Somes Bar

Karuk Storytellers Bypass Bookshelf

Ben Saxon, back to camera, polls students for their reactions after a lesson in oral tradition and storytelling at Junction School in Orleans./Photo by Malcolm Terence, Two Rivers Tribune Contributor.For generations children were taken from Native families in the U.S. and sent to Indian boarding schools where they were instructed in the English language white culture at the expense of their own language and culture. The Karuk Tribe is using a handful of federal grants to move in the other direction with the present generation of young people. The new program was put into action when a group of story tellers came to river schools. Besides the stories, the group shared xuun sára, acorn bread or crackers, and champínishich, yerba buena tea. Jesse Goodwin, one of the students, nodded appreciatively at the snacks and said he’d never had either before. His classmates agreed. Read More →

Obama Blocks Dakota Pipeline

Carley Whitecrane, flanked by her children, joined the march she helped organize in Orleans last week. Despite short notice, 75 people showed to show opposition to completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline. In mid-November Carley and her family traveled to Salem, Oregon, to oppose permits that would allow another fossil fuel pipeline that would cross the Klamath River./Photo by Konrad Fisher, Klamath Riverkeeper. Federal officials from the Army Corps of Engineers announced Sunday that that they would not approve the permit to construct the last leg of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) in its present route across the Missouri River. The decision was met by cheers across the camps at Standing Rock. A , few days before the Army Corps announcement an estimated 75 people joined for a march and rally in Orleans last week to support the water protectors, and they gathered with only one-day notice. To give perspective, the population of Orleans is 500-600. A proportionally large turnout in New York City would be around 1.2 million. Read More →

Somes Bar 8th Grader Reports on Standing Rock

A crowd of water protectors form a prayer circle as part of an action at Standing Rock. Their campaign to stop the construction of a pipeline that could threaten Sioux tribal water supplies has drawn thousands of supporters to North Dakota and members from at least 300 tribes. Their tactics, all non-violent, have been met with increasing violence by heavily militarized police./Photo by Aja Conrad. Editor’s note: Emma Boykin is 13 years old, an eighth-grader at Junction School in Somes Bar and a member of the Karuk Tribe. I heard about the protests to stop pipeline construction at Standing Rock for a while, and I was very interested in the actions by Natives and other people from all over the country. My brother Brent Boykin and two cousins had been there and returned full of stories. We got to the Oceti Sakowin camp in the middle of the night. In the morning I went up to the main camp where we joined a water ceremony. We went to the Klamath Basin Camp because we brought a lot of food to donate. The cook told us we were welcome. We moved our tent over to the Klamath Basin camp and began helping in the kitchen. We knew a few people, but everyone was very welcoming so you got to know everyone quickly. We helped organize the food and helped prep food for upcoming meals. No one argued the whole time we were there. Read More →

Karuk Fishermen at Ishi Pishi Falls, Still Dipnet Salmon Traditional Style

Ron Reed, right, explains his views on the losses of Karuk ecological knowledge and the efforts to rebuild it, between passes of dipnet fishing at Ishi Pishi Falls. His companion Brian Tripp, adds his own perspective./Photo by Jayme Kalal. Brian Tripp is well known for his gifts—poet and painter, sculptor and ceremonial singer—but he has another gift besides. He seems able to talk me into things. Read More →

Karuk Tribe Holds Its Own Climate Study Session

Acorn soup was a staple and still looms large in discussions of tribal cultural survival and of food security. When EcoAdapt, a consulting firm, convened a meeting of “stakeholders” in early spring to discuss climate change vulnerability, they dropped tanoak trees from a list of key species. The Karuk Tribe called its own climate assessment meeting this month to present its issues to agencies and to remind them that agencies had a special responsibility to consult with tribes./Photo courtesy of Malcolm Terence.  EcoAdapt, a non-profit outfit, was writing a risk assessment about climate change for the federal land management agencies that control much of Northern California. They invited stakeholders to workshops in the spring. Tribes were invited, but they have long said that they are legally entitled to government-to-government consultation, a level of process that should operate differently than the stakeholder interactions with other groups such as environmental groups, irrigators, and other interested locals. Read More →

Fire Crews Make Progress On Wooley Creek Blaze

Firefighters are battling a wildfire in a tributary of Wooley Creek in the Marble Mountain Wilderness near Somes Bar. Early last week Forest Service officials said the blaze was caused by two lost hikers who lit a signal fire to guide rescuers to their location, according to a TV news report, but by the end of the week spokesmen from the Six Rivers National Forest said only that the fire “was likely human caused, and is under investigation at the moment.” Read More →

Fire on the Mountain

The weather and fuel conditions on the Pony Fire compounded by difficult, even dangerous access made direct attack impossible for firefighters. The fire grew from 10 acres to 150 acres in a few minutes at this point on June 7./Photo by Aja Conrad. Local Volunteers and Rain Help Knock Down Pony Fire, Family Overwhelmed With Support By Malcolm Terence, Two Rivers Tribune Contributing Writer Published on June 28, 2016 in Volume 22, Issue 26 Jeremy Dahl was gardening in his yard between Somes Bar and Happy Camp in early June when he saw smoke boiling up from nearby Pony […] Read More →

River Olympics Stir Competitive Juices And Memories

Students from three schools seem to barely touch the ground in one of the sprint events at last week’s River Olympics at Forks of Salmon Elementary./Photo by Jeff Buchin. Students from three small country schools gathered at Forks of Salmon Elementary School last week for the River Olympics. The annual event stirs many old memories in some and competitive juices in others in a day of grade-school sporting events. Read More →