Reminiscing the First Annual Karuk Reunion

By Judy Bushy – copyright 1997 “From the River” column

Originally printed in the Siskiyou Daily News, Monday, December 1, 1997

The Karuk Tribe of California had its first Reunion recently. Tribal members and their families came from all directions, including some from Florida, Idaho and Alaska, Alvis (Bud) Johnson Tribal Chairman, flew back from Washington D.C. Where he had been working for the tribe.

One of the most popular spots was a collection of old photos. A case of photos of the elders was unlabeled the guessing was interesting to see who could name all of the people in the pictures.

Crafters had jewelry and etched glass to share, but most of the sharing was old friends, cousins, and family members meeting after many years. Some were meeting an extended family member for the first time.

Indian card games, played with sticks to the accompaniment of drumming were drawing a large crowd to cheer on the Happy Camp team or the Yreka team. Many of the booths were informative. One could have blood pressure or sugar level checked at booths by the Karuk health Services. Net door the Karuk Housing Authority had information on the housing developments for the tribe.

Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce, whose president is Harvey Shinar, had T-shirts available to commemorate the reunion. The black red and gray shirts had a single white feather pointing down, the symbol of a tribesperson traveling in peace.

To top off the day full of memories and reminiscences, some of the elders of full Karuk blood were presented on the stage by Bud Johnson: Fanny Fisher, Violet Super, Carolyn Brown, Francis Davis, Charles Robert Thom, Vera Vena Arwood, Lucille Albers, Louis Lloyd Jerry, Barbara King, Priscilla Dean Ainsworth, Nancy Lee Super, Lafayette Jerry, Deanna Rose Harris, Charron Davey Davis, Ida Jean Quimayosie, Shirley Jerry, and Margaret Vera Huston were honored. Vera Arwood gave a welcome in the Karuk language. Salmon had been prepared over the fire all day for the special Reunion Dinner.

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