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Klamath Tribal Food Security News 
Spring 2020
Research team in forest wearing masks or keeping distance
KDNR and UCB research team in the field during COVID-19, staying safe and keeping up the work. Photo credit: S. Bourque

In this issue:   
  • Black Lives Matter solidarity message
  • UC Berkeley student interns' research contributions
  • Environmental education for local youth through Píkyav Field Institute
  • New Karuk Tribal farm
  • Community news, events & resources
Black Lives Matter: Message of solidarity in action
Our Karuk Agroecosystem Resilience Initiative: xúus nu'éethti team has been mourning and reflecting on the recent police killings of Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Justin Howell, Sean Monterrosa, and Jamel Floyd, among countless others, and discussing the ongoing pattern of sanctioned violence against Black and non-Black Indigenous people and People of Color (BIPOC) by law enforcement officers. In our personal and professional lives, as well as with each other, we have been discussing approaches to radically reform policing, criminal justice and law enforcement institutions in our communities, as well as strategies for addressing systemic racism and white privilege in research in environmental science, food studies and conservation fields more specifically. We have been grappling with how to best practice anti-racism and centering of Black, Indigenous, and Peoples of Color first in our work, research and advocacy and how to deepen our anti-racist learning, commitments, practices and alliances collectively and individually. The UCB-Karuk partnership works to recognize that we are all coming to this conversation from different experiences, racial backgrounds, and situated perspectives.

Our team is composed of Indigenous and non-Indigenous members, based at different institutions - including the Karuk Tribe Department of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley/UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the US Forest Service - and we are involved in different webs of personal and professional relations that are taking time to acknowledge our positionalities so we can act to support the Black Lives Matter movement and anti-racist practice. Academic partners on the grant affiliated with UC Berkeley's Dept. of Environmental Science, Policy & Management have also committed to the following actions. Team members with children are drawing on Black Lives Matter Instructional Library as an important resource for youth and teachers.

Read on to see our current efforts and pledges for further action.
UC Berkeley student interns support Karuk Agroecosystem Resilience Initiative: xúus nu'éethti
Sample page from new Karuk plant guide
Sample page from Karuk cultural plant guide
This past academic year, seven UC Berkeley undergraduate students made excellent contributions to our Karuk Agroecosystem Resilience Initiative: xúus nu'éethti, through the Rausser College of Natural Resources' Sponsored Project Undergraduate Research program.
Three students completed botanical internships focused on herbarium specimens, botanical research, and developing plant guides. Intern Aliya Haas Blinman conducted literature reviews on the plant biology and climate resilience/ vulnerabilities of 20 different focal plant species important to Karuk People and studied in our project plots. Interns Bryce Hutchins and Lizz Carlton helped complete a series of plant guides on Karuk food, fiber, and medicinal plants and common plant diseases. These will be used by field technicians conducting our agroecosystem resilience survey and also integrated into Karuk K-12 curricula. Aliya and Liz also worked to create voucher specimen labels for specimens deposited in the Karuk Herbarium with plans in the future to mount the specimens. 

Four student interns also assisted with our long-term land use/land cover change
Scanned image of Superintendent's Daily Report from December 1903
Orleans mining record from 1903
research. Interns Cori Nelson, Martin Banuelos and Ben Satzmann helped process and analyze sets of historical aerial images to see how land cover around our Agroecosystem Condition Assessment (ACA) research plots has changed over time in the Karuk Aboriginal Territory. Intern Lena Kondrashova conducted archival research on historical mining, logging and land survey records to help understand how historical land management activities have shaped the vegetation composition and conditions of our ACA plots. A better understanding of the long-term changes in our ACA plots will help contextualize the current distributions and conditions of cultural species in our plots. It will also help us map out their potential future trajectories under different management and climate change scenarios.

We look forward to recruiting our new cohort of UCB interns this fall! 
Applications can be found here starting August 17th.
Inspiration from the field
Píkyav Field Insitute - K-12 Environmental Education Update
By: Heather Rickard (K12 Environmental Education Division Coordinator) and Bari
Talley (Sípnuuk Division Coordinator)
Píkyav Field Institute staff recognize it's been a difficult transition for students, teachers and families with school closures and a shift to remote learning, and we sincerely hope this finds you all well. This summer, our Peekaavichvaans Intern, Aja Conrad, has provided summer work for local youth, looping them in to pressing community food security initiatives. She has connected that work to the higher education opportunities with our local university, Humboldt State University and our joint Karuk-University of Washington research project (more on that in the next newsletter!). Also, we are supporting the Karuk Education Department summer initiative for a virtual Math & Science camp. Learn about this effort for 5th-8th graders here.

Before schools were closed, Happy Camp Elementary 7-8th grade class completed a 4 week series on Fire Ecology and Cultural Fire with DNR's Fire & Fuels staff. Read more...

Sowing seeds of resilience & growing community: new Karuk Tribal farm
By: Jasmine Harvey (Karuk Dept. of Natural Resources)
We are in very uncertain times. This year has been marked with massive changes to society from a global pandemic and widespread social unrest, and nobody knows what tomorrow may bring. Although the Karuk Department of Natural Resources has always worked to ensure that our communities aren't faced with food insecurity, this year our efforts have grown substantially.  Read more...

KDNR researcher V. Preston running a transect
UCB researcher D. Sarna-Wojcicki plotting GPS coordinates

Local news
Legal victory for Tribal water rights in Klamath Basin
"On June 22, 2020, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear the Klamath Project irrigators' Fifth Amendment water rights takings case Baley v. United States." Read as to why this is perceived as a notable victory for Klamath Tribes and other tribes in the Klamath Basin. 

USFS supports Karuk Tribe World Renewal Ceremonies 
From July through September, the Karuk Tribe is holding its World Renewal Ceremonies, and the USFS prohibits all other water access and recreation along the Klamath River in that time.

Uncertainty due to FERC ruling regarding removal of focal Klamath River dams
In mid-July, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) handed down a ruling that has cast an uncertain pall over the removal of four dams along the Klamath River, a move advocated for by the Klamath River Corporation and allies for many years now. Listen here for a discussion on this by local activists and experts.
(Virtual!) Events of interest
Advocacy & Water Protection in Native California: free summer speaker series
Starting weekly in June, Humboldt State University's Native American Studies program and Save California Salmon have been co-hosting a wide-ranging Zoom & Facebook live series on "Advocacy & Water Protection in Native California." The series has been divided into three modules: 
  1. The state of California salmon; 
  2. Culture, advocacy & environmental justice for Tribal communities; and 
  3. Direction action & allyship with Indigenous movements. 

Currently in Module 2, this speaker series is open to the public and you can still register to watch and participate in upcoming seminars, every Friday at noon through Aug 28th.


We want to flag one past seminar that particularly might interest you: June 15th seminar on State of the Salmon and Water Wars on the Klamath River

Missed an issue? See what your Karuk-UCB Food Security team has been doing here.

Keep in touch! Find upcoming events, see photos, ask questions, let your neighbors know what's going on in the foodshed! All that and more on the  Foodshed Facebook page .

Wondering what, where and when to plant? Visit the Mid Klamath Watershed Council's  Foodshed pages for excellent free information on the vegetables and fruits that grow best here, along with planting calendars, soil, and disease prevention advice.

The Karuk Tribe's Sípnuuk Digital Library, Archives and Museum supports food security and sovereignty with information on our regional food security issues, solutions and knowledge of traditional and contemporary foods and materials. Easy to use and open to all - sign up now!

Karuk-UC Berkeley Collaborative | Karuk Agroecosystem Resilience Initiative |

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