Karuk Tribe helps Good Teachers of Klamath River Valley

Karuk Tribe helps Good Teachers of Klamath River Valley
by Judy Bushy

“Good teachers can become better teachers” was the theme of classes at the People’s Museum. A number of teachers from local schools went back to class for a couple of days last week for the Northern California Writing Project. Their goals were to be better prepared when they return to the classroom next fall to teach Karuk students to write.

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

The Karuk Tribe of California Education Program Director, Jennifer Goodwin, arranged an exciting opportunity for teachers in the Happy Camp Schools and Down River in Junction School, to learn more about the cultural background of the students in their classes.

It was a pleasure to have Tom Fox of the Northern California Writing Project and transferring soon to the National Writing Project share current resources for teaching writing. 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. Some examples were working with language as Susan Gehr does, writing grants or writing lessons to teach, reports, minutes, agendas and articles.

Much is happening in Happy Camp to help us in learning and understanding each other better. This is sure to help the community.

Karuk Writing Class 1

9th Reunion for Karuk Tribe in Happy Camp

The rain mostly held off for the Reunion although it was threatening or giving sprinkles at times. The day began with those wanting to register for volleyball and horseshoe games getting there early.

After Alvis Johnson opened in prayer, there was a song by the Vice Chairman of the tribe Leaf Hillman. Chairman Arch Super welcomed all to the 9th annual Karuk Reunion. In the past it has been held in the fall but this year it was moved to June to accommodate those who want to travel to Happy Camp for vacation when the kids are out of school. There were well over three hundred there with some coming from a distance.

Elders who are eighty-five years of age and older were all honored. Then Lucille Albers, Charron Davey Davis, Margaret Vera Houston, Lafayette Robert Jerry Sr. Violet Ruth Super, Nancy Lee Super, Charles Robert Thom and Anthony Joe Jerry Sr. were all recognized as Karuk full bloods. There were sixteen at one of the first Karuk reunions but they are passing away. The Karuk Tribe is honoring and desiring of preserving their wisdom and knowledge.

Volley Ball games and the Texas Hold’um Poker tournaments began. Never did find out about Texas Hold’um. There was also a “Make and Take Activity” room for children at the TERO office. There was a “Language Jeopardy Game.” Sue was also telling stories in Karuk to the youngsters. Craig Tucker was scheduled to do a presentation on the Department of Natural Resources. Julian Lang presented songs from the Center of the World.

Dinner was traditional fish and acorn soup with pork barbecue ribs; bake potatoes, beans salad and dessert. At the River park the evening dance was with the live band, “Taxi.”

Florrine Super and Carrie Davis were Co-coordinator of the event and gave a special thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of this years reunion. Sara Spence did a great job as Vendor Booth co-coordinator. The booth that was the most fun was cutouts for men, women, boys and girls where they could place face and hands through holes and look traditional, holding basket weaving supplies or drum or tomahawk. Myrna painted the plywood pictures with Michael Thom’s assistance. Sara Spence, Ellen Johnson and others helped in printing out the photos.

Other booths had food. The High School Indian Club served hamburgers and hotdogs. Indian Taco’s were available also. There was a unique old blue bus whose occupant was selling beautifully tie dyed shirts and things.

Many of the booths were very informative. Each of the departments of Karuk tribal government had booths. The health exhibits were especially informative and helpful. Everyone there seemed to be having a good time. It was a good opportunity for those from a distance to visit the People’s Center Museum and gift shop also.

Dr. Burns Resigns Alcohol & Drug Prevention Coalition

by Judy Bushy

Things are busy in Happy Camp. The last meeting of the Children and youth Alcohol and other Drug Prevention Coalition was eventful. I was very sad to hear that Dr. Steven Burns has stepped down from the leadership of that group. Dr. Steve has done a wonderful job in founding this organization with a most important goal for our community—to prevent alcohol and other drug abuse among our children and youth.

Dr. Steve sent an email to let everyone know that he will not be able to continue actively working on the coalition project. Since moving his family to Happy Camp, he has become four times busier than he was in San Diego. He will be refocusing his time on his family and church activities as well as his many ongoing responsibilities as the town doctor.

Karen Derry who directs the Happy Camp Family Resource Center was asked by Dr. Burns to take over the duties, pending a new meeting of the coalition. We thank Dr. Steve for getting the ball rolling on this alcohol and other drug prevention efforts in our community.

Karen and Nadine are excited about the impact the Coalition can have on our Klamath River communities for our children. For more information, or to volunteer your help in this effort, you may call 493-5117.

Step into the Wonderful Visitor’s Center!

by Judy Bushy
Many out of town visitors were here for the grand opening of the Visitor Information Center at the Forest Service office Peg Boland, Supervisor for the Klamath National Forest, Cheryl Wainwright for the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce and Tom Waddell filling in for the Karuk Tribe of California representative, cut the ribbon and invited the crowd of eager people in to see the new Visitor Information Center.

It is beautiful!! There is a large wrap around desk where the receptionist helping the visitors with questions can sit ready. Veronica Salvage will be the smiling face greeting visitors now. An oak display rack holds a wealth of information on the area, wildlife, natural resources and businesses in the area from the Chamber of Commerce.

There are areas for the youngest visitors, too. They can sit at a table and see an animal skull or feel the difference in vegetation that is used in basketry.

The Karuk basket collection of Ruth Baker, administered by Hazel Joyner, is on display so you can see their world-renowned basket skills. The most striking item is a manikin with the traditional dress of the Karuk.

The mining history of the area is also apparent with the display of how a mine worked in the old days.

Local artists have brought in their paintings and other artwork to display, which adds color and the proper setting for the displays. Alan Crockett teaches art classes, some of which will be going into the Marble Mountains for on the scene painting experiences, and bring more art to bring these views to the visitor who stops by the center. Klamath Know Arts Council is also involved in this part of the project. Photos and poetry as well as the actual hands on exhibits make this a wonderful slice of the resources of the area. Colleen Hall and Dan Huddleston are also thanked for their participation. Animals that had previously been on display in the forest service office are there to see, along with some great new additions.

From the beginning of the idea of a Visitor Center, which Tom Waddell mentioned in the Action committee many times, to the fruition of the plan, has taken a few years. It seems like all of the parts of the local community have been involved. Don Hall in Yreka as well as Valerie and Gay Baxter spent busy days helping the Chamber with memorandums, applications with necessary paperwork. That was back when Eddie Davenport was the president. Louis Tiraterra Sr. Louis Tiraterra Jr., and Dennis Day were working on the drawings.

Fred Newoshi and Verna, Alta Harper, Hazel Joyner as well as Arch Super and the Karuk Tribe of California provided support and assistance to the displays. It is hoped that the People’s Center and the Visitor’s Center will be sharing displays for years to come. Nothing would have gotten accomplished without the help of the RAC, especially Sheryl Crawford and Eddie Davenport; as they provided the initial funding of $38,000 for the remodeling.

It has turned out a very beautiful project for the funds and information and assistance for visitors to enjoy our area more for many years to come. More exhibits and possibilities are anticipated and it will be a work in progress as more variety and presentations, which can vary with the seasons. You just need to stop by and see the displays. You’ll enjoy it and it is a perfect place for a visitor to our area to find out about recreational opportunities and get questions answered to make their stay more enjoyable!

Outreach America Reaches Klamath Children

Last Saturday was a really busy day for oodles and oodles of children of all sizes and shapes! It was the Outreach America in town with games and fun for the children.

The kids got bicycles and all sorts of prizes and seemed to be enthusiastic about the event when I was able to find it at the high school football field.

The Happy Camp Assembly of God was instrumental in bringing a team from Little Country Church to town for this special event for the kids.

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