Elder Profiles

Merkie Oliver Shares the Old Days, Old Ways, With Visiting Friends

Merkie Oliver jumps center in an old photo from the mid-1950s. The picture was from an old film clip and repurposed for a tee shirt by his friends Thomas Dunklin, the Arcata photographer, and Brian Tripp, the Orleans-based artist and Karuk ceremony singer. When his two friends entered the room, Merkie Oliver, the storied Yurok fisherman, straightened his back and broke into a huge smile. It was not the easiest thing to straighten in the hospital style bed where he, by his own estimate, had been confined too long. Read More →

Hoopa Tribal Member Named Indian Education Director in Washington

Sherman graduated from Highline Community College in Washington with a degree in early childhood education. She recently became the Indian Education Coordinator for the Fife Public Schools in Fife, Washington, located on the Puyallup Indian Reservation; one of the most urban reservations in North America. Read More →

Orleans Poet, Artist, Summons Spirit People for Upcoming Art Show

Old time story tellers around here talk about when the long-ago world was full of of spirit people. Eventually, the stories go, some turned into animals and others into rocks and trees. Some even turned into humans. So surely, the large woodpecker with its swooping meandering flight, its bright top notch and its distinctive cry could choose to be a poet and a singer like Brian. Read More →

Salmon River Stories: Remembering Willis Conrad

The smell of smoke still gets me. Not smoke from a woodstove or a campfire. That smells like comfort and coffee in the morning. It’s drift smoke that stirs me up. It’s smoke from a fire in the forest. Memories tattooed into the brain by adrenalin seem to be the strongest. Read More →

With Helping and Healing Hands

Rebecca ‘Becky’ Dean Ferris always had a way about her. Her laugh is catchy. This bright- eyed Indian woman is old school; always helping people not for who they are or what she would get in return, but simply because they needed help. Read More →

How Many ‘Toes’ Do you Know

Many locals know her as ‘Becky Toe,’ a spin off nick name that was given to her late father ‘Jimmie Toe’ James. For those who don’t know, Becky James, she is a Yurok woman and honored medicine woman in the area. Read More →

Meals and Merriment

In this era when members of Congress and corporate executives try to whittle away the old people institutions of Social Security and Medicare, it’s useful to take a break at the Senior Lunch the Karuk Tribe offers five days every week. Read More →

Local Senior Turns 100 Years Old

Luella Layman travels every weekday from her home downriver near Upper Capell to the Senior Nutrition Center in Hoopa, and she’s getting ready for a big milestone on December 10: her first triple-digit birthday. Read More →