It was a hot day for the Karuk Tribal Reunion at the Happy Camp River Park, but the activities and friends & neighbors who gathered made it all worthwhile.
The kids knew how to cool off and loved splashing down the waterslide. It didn’t appear to bother Duke Arwood when he got dunked in the Dunk Tank either. Sitting in the shade of the trees on the park lawn was great. That’s where we got to visit with all the friends and neighbors we hadn’t seen for a very long time!! John and Ruth Bain sent a post card from Europe with German Students, and here they were, back in Happy Camp!
There was an Olympic Competition for the youngsters. In the 3 to 5 year old category, Devin Rompon was able to kick the ball the farthest. Isabell Gomez kicked it almost as far and Natalia Sherman was third farthest. For the 50 Feet Dash those contestants varied it as Isabell Gomez came in first, Devin Rompon came in 2nd and Natalia Sherman was third for the bronze medal.
Results for 5 to 8 year olds in the 50 Yard Dash were Aliza Rompon first, Halayah Sherman 2nd and Julie Murray 3rd place. Aliza Rompon was also first for most jumping jacks within 3 minutes with 53 Jumping Jacks! Emily Mitchell was 2nd place. Halayah Sherman had 18 jumping jacks but she did 59 sit ups to win the first place in the most sit ups within 3 minutes. The 2nd place winner was Emily Mitchell with 28 sit ups and 3rd was Aliza Rompon.
When the 9-12 year olds competed, Hula Hoop Contest was won by Truly Jerila, and the 2nd place was Ryan Mollier and then Logan Mollier as they were the last three standing.. Alisha Jones came in first in the 100 yard dash, 2nd by Logan Mollier and 3rd Austin Bideler . Logan Mollier won first place in baseball throwing, followed by 2nd – Gavin Bideler and 3rd by Ryan Mollier.
The brave contestants for teenage category, were entered in the 3-Legged Race for 50 Yards! 1st place was won by Frankie Snider & Shaunice Polmateer. Kassie Polmateer and Gabby Ward came in second.. Other Competitors receiving ribbons included Jonny Court, Lucifer Alexander, Emily Mitchell, Marlene Juarez, Daisy Gomes, Alicia Jones, Kory Cenham, Trapper Busby, and Ryan Reed.
by Judy Bushy, Happy Camp. CA
It was a busy weekend in Happy Camp with the Krauk Tribal Reunion as well as the Klamath River Watershed Art & Music Festival.
It wasn’t required that one be Karuk to attend the reunion, only to vote in the election that was taking place at the same time. The thing I noticed most was how considerate they were to all. They served breakfast for those who got there early, without charge. They were offering everyone bottled water and asking them to be sure not to become dehydrated. Since temperatures had been in the triple digits the week before, Saturday didn’t seem all that hot. The consideration that they expressed was what one appreciated! They were also inviting all to the dinner at three o’clock. A welcoming attitude pervaded the day at the Reunion .
Susan Gehr had a large Karuk Dictionary that she was making available to those who wanted to play a little game. Eager youngsters enjoyed the game and even wanted to play again without the reward of another dictionary once they had earned one. It looks like a fascinating book and it is good to see all the enthusiasm from youngsters learning to speak Karuk. There was basketry going on both in the People’s Museum (where the language game was taking place also) and on the grass elsewhere. I noticed the addition of many photographs to the museum displays and hope to go back and look at them further another time. The Gift Shop in the People’s Museum was also a very busy place and had hats and t-shirts as well as their usual assortment of interesting wares for the event. They have such a good collection of books available and handmade note cards and so many things.
Dion Wood kindly invited me into the room where youngsters were decorating neat tote bags with stencils and markers. I didn’t get any art done due to taking photos of the beautiful children who were doing better art work than I could, but they offered a tote bag to carry all the literature, pens and color books that I’d collected. My kids always humored my having more coloring books than they did, but we always shared or copied a page they liked. Having child care business over twenty years, with CareAlot Child & Family Resources 1989-1991 made that more practical. Right behind that building you could hear gleeful sounds of children and on a hot day there was a long line at the waterslide. In fact, some bigger “kids” carried down little ones, and didn’t mind the splash in the cool water in the pool at the bottom at all!!! Then they could bounce in the bounce house until they were dry and slide down the water slide again!!! Great idea for a hot day.
The “techie’s” from the Tribe were cooking up hamburgers and cheeseburgers that looked delicious despite the jokes about keyboarding on the beautiful grill. The Happy Camp Community Computer Center had a booth as well. They have a lot of college classes available right in town here to help community members get an education! Eddie Davenport had a booth on the financial helps that are available to buy or remodel a home or to help a business. One area just for Tribal members were kits for emergency preparedness that were prepared for the elders and other members in case of flood, fire or catastrophe, but everyone was welcome to information on how to prepare for such an event. Here in Happy Camp we are accustomed to a week without electricity around New Years although we haven’t had one like the 1964 flood lately. This year the fires have so far been eighteen miles west of us but last year we were faced with the possibility of evacuation from wildfire. Being seventy five miles—long and winding road miles—from a hospital in the winter makes us more aware of needs to be prepared for handing some difficulties on our own before we are able to get to outside help.
The Health Tent had displays and information on all sorts of health issues and handouts of all sorts of helpful information. There was a beautiful horse painting being raffled off and opportunities for the youngsters to do their own art of horses. The Red Cross people were there with first aid information. You could learn your blood pressure or information on diabetes or other ailments. There was information on alcohol and other drugs. It seemed like there was information on any area of life that you wanted to become more aware of and healthy from dental to safety.
There were crafts and homemade jewelry and articles available for purchase of course. There was a raffle for everyone who came and registered as well as a raffle for a beautiful blue scooter, which received a lot of interest. Horseshoes, volleyball, and all sorts of games were available. Later on in the day there was music planned and after the Reunion many went over to enjoy performances of musicians at the Watershed Festival.
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.
“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.
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!