P R E S S  R E L E A S E

Karuk Tribe  

For Immediate Release:   March 28, 2016

For more information:  Lisa Hillman, Food Security Coordinator, Karuk Tribe 530-627-3446; lisahillman@karuk.us

launched: Klamath BAsin Digital Food Security library

Orleans, CA - As one of the seven collaborators in the Food Security Project for the Mid-Klamath region, the Department of Natural Resources is proud to announce the March 23 launch of the Sípnuuk Digital Library, Archives and Museum. This collection was developed as part of a broad food security initiative in the Klamath Basin funded by the USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture – Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Food Security Grant # 2012-68004-20018.  Sípnuuk, the Karuk word for storage basket, is the name for the regional digital library that is one of the objectives of this grant.

“This is a very proud moment for us all here today. Developing this valuable digital resource has required asking some tough questions about preserving cultural heritage; and while we don’t profess to know all the answers, we have come a long way. Fortunately, we have been able to count on dedicated and hard-working staff, and have profited from the advice of representatives from our target audiences: cultural practitioners, tribal leaders, academic researchers, non-tribal community members,” said Leaf Hillman, Director of the Karuk Department of Natural Resources.

Sípnuuk’s overarching goal is to serve as a resource for researchers, tribal departments, tribal and local non-tribal communities to enhance understanding of regional food security issues, identify solutions and to document and provide access to knowledge of traditional and contemporary foods and materials. 

The AFRI Food Security Grant, led by UC Berkeley’s Dr. Jennifer Sowerwine, is being implemented by a network of collaborators throughout the Klamath Basin as well as at external partnering institutions.  “Each collaborating entity and individual involved is doing vital work specific to food security - from academic research to on-the-ground revitalization,” reports Sowerwine. The conceptualization of Sípnuuk was to bring this work, as well as other resources critical to its development, together into a collection that can be used for wide variety of projects and activities that support enhancing food security and food sovereignty in the Klamath Basin.   Currently, over 750 items have been uploading onto Sípnuuk – and its collections continue to grow on a weekly basis.

Contributions from AFRI Participants range from a wide range of food security projects pertaining to land and water management practices, traditional and contemporary foods and materials, and the laws and policies pertaining to food sovereignty.

Explore https://sipnuuk.mukurtu.net for more information.

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Press Release

For immediate release: February 4th, 2016

Contact: Susan Gehr, Project Investigator, at sgehr@karuk.us, (800) 505-2785 extension x2204

Headline: National Science Foundation Funds 2016 Karuk Language Scholar Gatherings

Happy Camp, CA -- The Documenting Endangered Languages Program of the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences has funded a series of gatherings of Karuk language speakers, teachers, community scholars, documenters, authors and editors.

More information about the National Science Foundation can be found at: http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=12816&org=NSF

The project (Grant #BCS 1500605) will bring members of the Karuk language community together for four meetings to which they will bring audio recordings, photographs to be described and/or Karuk language materials that they would want to discuss long-term preservation and access concerns for.

One of the meetings will be an onsite workshop with a preservation archivist, a half-day instructional session on personal archiving best practices followed by a half day clinic where participants can bring items and situations to the clinic for review and feedback by the archivist.

At other meetings, participants will set preservation goals for their personal language collections and may bring in a part of their collection for refoldering, rehousing or documenting. Participants will discuss their options for long-term access to their collections through looking at deeds of gift for local and regional archives. They will also learn how to prepare for transferring a personal language collection to an individual who might carry on their work or to an archive. Participants will also discuss gaps in the existing collections of documented speech types and topics in order to plan for future teaching, documentation, and publication projects. 

Gatherings will take place in Yreka, Happy Camp, Orleans, and in the Eureka/Arcata area. There will also be time for speaker circles, curriculum exchanges, and other language activities. 

Letters of intent to participate in these gatherings are required. See http://karuk.us/index.php/jobs/request-for-proposals. 

For more information about this project, contact Crystal Richardson, Karuk Language Program Coordinator at crichardson@karuk.us, or Susan Gehr, Project Investigator, at sgehr@karuk.us, (800) 505-2785 extension x2204


P R E S S  R E L E A S E

Karuk Tribe · Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations · Institute for Fisheries Resources · Center For Biological Diversity · Friends of the River  The Sierra Fund · Upper American River Foundation · Environmental Law Foundation ·  California Sportfishing Protection Alliance · Foothills Anglers Coalition · North Fork American River Alliance ·Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center· Klamath Riverkeeper


For Immediate Release, October 9, 2015



Craig Tucker, Karuk Tribe, (916) 207-8294

Elizabeth “Izzy” Martin, The Sierra Fund, (530) 913-1844

Glen Spain, PCFFA, (541) 689-2000

Jonathan Evans, Center for Biological Diversity, (213) 598-1466

John Buckley, CSERC, cell (209) 918-2485; office (209) 586-7440

Bill Jennings, CSPA, (209) 464-5067

California Gov. Brown Signs New Law to Protect Rivers, Fisheries From Gold Mining

S.B. 637 Requires Clean Water Act Permits for Motorized Hobby Gold Miners


SACRAMENTO, Calif.— California Gov. Jerry Brown today signed into law Senate Bill 637 to protect California’s water supplies, wildlife and cultural resources from the damaging effects of destructive hobby gold mining. The new law requires that all small-scale miners using motorized suction pumps obtain a Clean Water Act Permit from the State Water Resources Control Board before mining in California waterways.

“This is a great victory for all of us concerned about clean water and healthy fisheries,” said Elizabeth Martin of the Sierra Fund.

“We are very pleased that our tribal fisheries and sacred sites will receive additional protections from the ravages of gold-mining clubs who have been damaging our resources for decades,” said Josh Saxon, council member of the Karuk Tribe.

The legislation affects suction dredge mining, high banking and any other form of mining that relies on motorized suction pumps to process materials from the banks or beds of rivers and streams. Suction dredges are powered by gas or diesel engines that are mounted on floating pontoons in the river; attached to their engines is a powerful vacuum hose, which the dredger uses to suction up the gravel, sand and mud from the bottom of the river. The suctioned material is sifted in search of gold. Similarly, high banking suctions water to process material excavated from riverbanks, causing erosion and sediment problems as well as affecting cultural sites.

Dredging and high banking alters fish habitat by changing the river bottom and often reintroduces mercury, left over from historic mining operations, to the waterways threatening communities and fisheries. These machines can turn a clear-running mountain stream into a murky watercourse unfit for swimming or fishing. 

Read more: Press Release - New Law to Protect Rivers

P R E S S  R E L E A S E


Karuk Tribe


For Immediate Release:   January 30, 2015


For more information:  Leaf Hillman, Director of Natural Resources, 530.627.3446



Tishawnik Ceremonial Grounds near Orleans, CA Recognized as Historically Significant Area by National Park Service


Happy Camp, CA – Today the National Park Service announced added the Tishawnik Ceremonial Grounds, located just south of  Orleans, California, to the National Register of Historic Places (National Register).

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

Tishawnik is one of three locations where the annual Karuk World Renewal Ceremony or Pikyávish, has been celebrated since time immemorial.  According to Karuk Tribal Chairman Russell ‘Buster’ Attebery, “Karuk People have been conducting these ceremonies and performing our sacred ceremonial dances at Tishawnik since the beginning of time.  Today’s announcement helps ensure that these sacred ceremonies and dances will continue to be held here until the end of time.”

Tishawnik is located along the thinly populated middle reaches of the Klamath River in northern California and has been used since time immemorial by the Karuk Tribe, as well as visiting neighbors, the Yurok and Hupa Tribes.  These ceremonies and ceremonial dances are still performed at this site each year.

In recent years, the area has been threatened by development, mining activity, and illegal marijuana growers. The Tribe hopes that recognition by the National Park Service will help protect this important cultural resource.

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Ayukîi, thank you for visiting the Karuk website. As you may have seen in the Springtime 2014 Karuk Newsletter, we need your support to get the Karuk Gaming Compact approved in the California State Legislature. Here is a link to the draft letter. You may also send this to the local Yreka City Council and Siskiyou Board of Supervisors. If possible please send us a copy of your letter or let us know that you sent a letter by emailing Jaclyn Goodwin at jaclyngoodwin@karuk.us. We thank you for your support. Yôotva!!!


To download the letter of support or view the casino update click one of the following links

Letter of Support

Casino Update





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