Teacher’s Learning about Karuk Culture

One very special item that Jennifer Goodwin and Erin Hillman shared with teachers this week was the creation of regalia for a girl to dance in ceremonies this weekend. It took many hours of work over weeks to sew and decorate the skin skirts with fringes, shells, beads albalone, deertoes, and braided bear grass but it was beautiful and made a pleasant sound as it moved around. The design on the top was “friendship design.” The skirts were made by grant of $5,000 and worn by Frankie Snyder in her first ceremonial dance. 

 The Karuk Tribe of California Education Program Director, Jennifer Goodwin, arranged an exciting opportunity for teachers in the area schools learn more about the cultural background of the students in their classes. Not only were teachers from Happy Camp Elementary and High Schools but Jefferson Continutation school and Junction School from Somes Bar. It was a pleasure to have Tom Fox of the Northern California Writing Project and transferring soon to the the National Writing Project share current resources for teaching writing.

 A panel was assembled to answer all the questions that the teachers cared to ask about the Karuk culture, past and present. Jennifer and Erin shared the regalia project. Dan Goodwin, tonyu, Blanche, Bud Johnson,  of fisheries, Paula McCarthy, Clayton Tuttle, Ben Harrison and Phinuggtuuf took part in the panel. The brush dance was traditionally done at the home of a sick child for healing and although it is still done for healing, it is done on a regular basis for good health and prosperity to preserve the tradition. There isn’t alot of “pow wow” dancing here but war dancing was mentioned. Community is always open to watch and usually food for all. It’s a way of balancing, a way of living, they said. Because the Karuk never had a reservation each family had their own place that they lived from Bluff Creek to Seiad Valley. When the gold rush intruded into this place, the government wanted to ship them all out to Hoopa, not realizing there was differences between Hoopa Tribe, Yurok Tribe and Karuk Tribe who didn’t speak the same language at all.  The Yurok were “downriver “people and the Karuk “upriver people.” Paula McCarthy siad her mom was sent to Indian School in Riverside and Native Americans there were punished for speaking their native languages. The Karuk Tribe of California started with 10 or 12 acres donated to the Tribe in Orleans and has purchased and developed nearly 600 acress in Orleans, Witchepec, Happy Camp and Yreka since being recognized.  Verna shared how she learned basketweaving from Grace and Madeline Davis and they wanted her to “pass it on.” Kenneth Brink said, “Red devils, blue devils or dust devils”, the Putawan is a devil, but “not so scarry anymore.” The mascot of the Happy Camp Elementary School has been the Putawan for many years. So the teachers learned many new things from the panel on the Karuk culture and hopes are to share further in the future. 

 Besides delving into discussions on “What connections there are or could be between writing in school and writing in real life in Happy Camp,” there were opportunities to talk to tribal members about their culture and Tribal employees about how they use writing in their employment, working with language as Susan Gehr, writing grants like   or writing lessons to teach. reports, minutes, agenda’s and articles.  

Honoring Our Armed Forces

Bigfoot Jamboree Princesses

Bigfoot jamboree Princesses "o538th Annual Bigfoot Jamboree

38th Annual Bigfoot Jamboree

Happy Camp has many men and women who have served in some branch of the U.S. military both in the past and the present. Thank you all for your time and dedication to serving our country. The 2005 parade is dedicated to ALL OF YOU!

Tracy Burcell thanked everyone who has helped or participated in the planning of this years Bigfoot Jamboree. She especially wanted to thank the Coordinating Council members who worked so hard to put together the Jamboree. The Happy Camp Coordinating Council was Tracy Burcell, President, Leonie Jacobsen, 1st Vice President, Janet Burcell, 2nd Vice President and Secretary, Donna McCulley, Treasurer & Secretary, Kenny Jacobsen, and Sara Spence, Associate Members.

Robert & Norma Seaman were 2005 Bigfoot jamboree Parade Grand Marshalls.

The Coordinating Council sponsored a fundraiser for purchasing a bullet proof vest for our Siskiyou County K-0 Deputies. On sunday, September 4th during the Bifgoot Jamboree, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department will have Sheriff Rick Riggins and several Deputy Sheriffs squaring off in a donut eating contest to help promote the fundraiser.

Donations towards the purchase of bullet proof vests for K-9 Deputies (the four legged ones) could contact the Happy Camp Coordinating Council. There were also opportunities to contribute at the donut eating contest (Won by Gabe Garrison!!) folloed by a K-9 Dog Demonstration. A large donation was forwarded to the Sheriffs Office for this purpose.

Chamber Board Elected 2003

2003 Chamber Board

2003 Chamber Board


Newly elected board members of the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce met to plan for launching of projects for the new year at Pizza House in Happy Camp.

Shown are Tom Jobe of Klamath Inn and RV park who will serve as treasurer, Tom Waddell from Karuk Community Development Corporation, Joe Giera of Klamath Country Rafting Co. who will serve as secretary with the help of Becca, President Cheryl Wainwright of Health and harmony and Craig Williamson of Alchemists Den who will be vice president. Also elected, but not present at this meeting are Rosemary Boren and Robert Schmalzbach.

They will begin their term of office with a meeting for all membership on January 13th which is postponed from the previous week. All members and the public are invited to the Family Resource Center meeting at 6:30 Tuesday January 13th.

Disc Golf Coming Soon

A phenomena sweeping the nation with flying objects identified as discs, will soon be a part of the Happy Camp recreation scene. Local resident, Louis Tiraterra, put together a committee to oversee the creation of our own nine-hole quality disc golf course, which will eventually be expanded to a full 18-hole course.The object of the game is to throw a disc from a tee pad into a basket on a pole. Though well-bred players use professional, weighted discs, anyone could choose to use a simple frisbee.

The game of disc throwing has been around in various forms and cultures from the beginning of history, but modern disc golf evolved from the frisbee craze of the sixties. The first disc golf course, opened in 1975 in Pasadena, California, started a nationwide expansion of the sport.

Ground breaking for the new course is expected to start on July 13, 2002. A dedication ceremony is planned for August 31, 2002, during the Bigfoot Jamboree. Besides Louis A. Tiraterra, President and Founder of the Association, additional committee members are Erik Haskel, Doug Goodwin, Don Voyles, Dennis Day, Charles Mayton, Mike Tiraterra, and Lou Tiraterra Senior. Donations to cover the cost of the project are now being accepted.

An Abbreviated History of Disc Golf

Is This Sign Obsolete?

Happy Camp City Limit Sign

Happy Camp is still here and the elevation hasn’t changed, but how about that population figure? Didn’t the recent year-2000 census change that at all?

The US Census Bureau lists Happy Camp in their American Fact Finder section. It is easy to see they have counted 2182 people in this area now… which sounds like a remarkable increase! But look at this carefully. It doesn’t really say there’s 2182 people in Happy Camp – what it says is there’s that number of people in “Happy Camp Census County Division” and that happens to be a large slice of western Siskiyou County, from the county line – east all the way to Scott River. As we know, most of that area is completely unpopulated, but it does include Seiad Valley and Somes Bar.

Not only that, but the number 2182 doesn’t represent an increase at all. Comparing with the year-1990 census population number of 2876, there’s been a decrease in population. This is more what we would expect to find, for as we all know, hundreds of people left Happy Camp when the lumber industry was devastated during the last decade.

Where then, did the 1,110 number come from, and how many people are really living in Happy Camp today? While doing this demograpic study, we discovered the source of the 1,110 number is the 1980 census, twenty-two years out of date! This figure can be found on a xls format spreadsheet file found at the California Dept. of Finance website. Whether that number counted only people living in Happy Camp, or in the entire Happy Camp Census County Division, we don’t know.

Conclusion
To find the number actually living in the area of Happy Camp today, we discovered we can request statistics for the 96039 zip code area. In this area, 1277 people were counted during the year 2000 census, and this is the number that we think should be on the Happy Camp sign. As for how many were here in 1990 – that number could not be found.

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