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Klamath Tribal Food Security News 
Fall 2019
KDNR researcher harvesting willow
KDNR researcher, Lisa Hillman, harvesting willow. Photo credit: D. Sarna

In this issue:   
  • New cultural plant guide for the Karuk Tribe
  • Reflections from a year of fieldwork for agroecosytem resilience & risk
  • Highlights of Nov 2019 annual meeting of Karuk-UCB initiative
  • Karuk Tribe receives national award for Farm to School programs
  • New research article outlines the practicalities of equitable partnerships for Indigenous food sovereignty
New cultural plant guide
Sample page from new Karuk plant guide
Sample page from plant guide
We have a new plant guide! Over the past year, the Karuk-UCB team (from
Karuk Dept. of Natural Resources with University of California, Berkeley) developed a plant guide focused o
n cultural plants of the Karuk Tribe. UC Berkeley undergraduate students, enabled th rough a UC Berkeley undergrad research program , played strong roles in developin g the guide. The guide consists of 226 culturally important trees, shrubs, and herbs, wit h photos of each plant in vegetative, flowering, and fruiting states and the Karuk, common, and scientific names. In the coming winter and spring, we are working on an acc ompanying plant disease guide featuring plant diseases common to cultural plants in Karuk Aboriginal Territory. Both guides will be used as part of the K-12 tribal curricul um presented in local schools in Orleans and Somes Bar area by the Karuk Tribe's Píkyav Field Institute . Any questions can be sent to teammate Megan Muckioki ( ). 
Agroecosystem Resilience and Risk - Reflections from a  year of fieldwork

In 2019, our collaborative team from Karuk Department of Natural Resources (KDNR) and University of California, Berkeley (UCB) successfully carried out our cultural agroecosystem condition assessment, a core part of the Karuk Agroecosystem Resilience Initiative: xúus nu'éethti . This assessment is the first step in measuring and monitoring changing plant, animal, water, and habitat conditions due to climate change and cultural land management. Beginning in April, after the weather cleared a bit, we demarcated multiple areas around Orleans that will be monitored for years to come. 
Field crew in action
Karuk-UCB field crew in action

Integrating western with indigenous science perspectives, UC Berkeley academic teammates interviewed Karuk cultural practitioner teammates, recording the latters' observations about abundance, quality and availability of culturally important plants, as well as insight into past management and cultural resource history. Each month, the field research crew returned to focal areas to conduct "seasonal assessments," taking audio and photographic observations of plant, animal and insect activity, signs of stress, and water availability. We followed seasonal assessments with "harvest assessments" which document yield and quality of wild foods important to the Karuk Tribe.

We are observing and learning new things continuously through these assessments. We
Two-toned black bear scat
Two-toned black bear scat
h ave learned, for example, that it  is  becoming increasingly difficult to predict ideal harvest time as the climate changes, wit h the harvest window starting earlier than usual in many instances. We observed seasonal changes in black bear diet and could predict where they had been based on the content of their scat including blackberries, manzanita berries, and apples. We noticed that an unseasonably warm spell might have  stunted the growth of trailing blackberries. We saw early evidence of positive response to cultural land management practices where clippi ng has caused the Yerba Buena and Willow to sprout new, fresh stems. Harvest assessments yielded evidence both of bounty (for
Manzanita harvest results
Manzanita berry harvest
manzanita berries, Indian potato, and chinquapin) as well as scarcity (for huckleberries, sugar pine and trailing blackberries). We are 
also playing around with informative (and fun!) tools like 36 0 imagery which will capture habitat conditions for long-term  analysis (see here for an example ). We plan to organize these 360 images into tours that can be viewed through webmaps, story maps or applications on computers, tablets, phones or virtual reality headsets by KDNR managers and local students.
Indian potato (bluedick) bloom
Focal cultural plant, Indian potato

In 2020, we will continue with another round of seasonal and harvest assessments. To  better gauge and understand harvest abundance and quality, we are particularly interested in comparing focal areas that are in good condition with those that are doing less well. Results from those comparisons will inform next year's discussions with the tribal community. Those talks will help develop indicators of habitat and cultural plant resilience as well as management recommendations for building resilient agroecosystems under changing climate conditions. 

For more information about this ongoing research and how to get involved, please visit our  Karuk-UCB Collaborative website or email our Project Manager, Marit Doshi ( 
Karuk-UCB November annual meeting highlights

In November, the Karuk-UCB core team and advisory board for the "Karuk Agroecosystem Resilience Initiative: xúus nu'éethti " met in Orleans for three days for
UCB staff test-flying drone
UCB staff, Andy Lyons (l) and Sean Hogan, test-flying drone
their second annual meeting. On the first day, participants discussed progress over the past year ear and plans for all the main objectives of this Initiative, such as the Agroecosystem Condition Assessment (see above) and developing a climate change ap
p for cultural practitioners. On our second day, we focused on building mobile field survey data collection tools using Survey123 , learning with Initiative collaborators Andy Lyon s and Sean Hogan from the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources' Informatics and GIS Program . As we built and tested custom mobile survey forms , we discussed different ways these flexible tools can help organize many of our data co llection efforts on this project, as well as other Karuk Dept. of Natural Resource res earch efforts.

On the third and final day, we dug into different approaches to measuring, monitoring and managing for resilience. Drawing on methods and theory from the literature, we talked over st rategies for developing indicators of "resilience" for cultural food systems. We want those indicators to be meaningful for the Karuk community in the long-term and to touch holistically on healthy habitats, ecosystem processes, governance institutions, climate change, social relations and cultural practices. A field trip to an example research plot helped ground our conversation. We focused our attention on culturally-important focal species, including iris, hazel, huckleberry, manzanita, yew, tan oak, and mushrooms. While there, Andy and Sean piloted a drone flight over the site so we could see how this tool could be put to use to map the vegetation of our research sites more precisely and capture their surrounding context.  Overall, the meeting provided our team and collaborators an opportunity to connect in person and work through our collective vision for the coming year.

Selfie of annual meeting participants from drone
Drone selfie!
In The News
Karuk Farm to School Award
The Karuk Tribe is strongly committed to growing opportunities for Tribal and local youth to
Karuk Farm to School acorn preparation lesson
Karuk F2S acorn lesson
engage with their traditional food system, building integrative traditional and local foods curriculum into years of Farm to School (F2S) related initiatives. Leveraging collaborative partnerships and project activities, the Karuk Tribe initially received a F2S subaward under the  Mid Klamath Watershed Council 's award in 2015 which enabled staff to organize field trips to foraging sites, conduct a baseline survey of traditional food consumption at five partnering schools, and further build upon its K-12 Native food system curriculum. In 2017, the Karuk Tribe received a $100,000 F2S grant to expand upon ongoing initiatives (developed under their initial sub-award) to further support their impressive traditional foodways educational initiatives. 

Karuk F2S manzanita cider lesson with Cultural Practitioner Jeanerette Jacups-Johnny
Early this month (December 2019), the Karuk Tribe received special recognition by the national
US Department of Agriculture F2S Program and the  Intertribal Agriculture Council
(IAC) for their outstanding implementation of F2S. In the ceremony, held at the 2019 IAC Annual Conference in Las Vegas, it was noted that "the true impact of the Karuk Tribe's F2S based efforts over the years is immeasurable, as Píkyav Field Institute staff cultivate meaningful change in their communities through food and nutrition-based curriculum that follows the unique practices of the Karuk people."

New tribal partnership research article out!
This fall, Karuk-UCB collaborators, Jennifer Sowerwine, Daniel Sarna-Wojcicki, Megan Mucioki, Lisa Hillman, Frank Lake, and Edith Friedman, published their article laying out needs and practicalities around equitable partnerships for tribal health, food security and food sovereignty. This article, "Enhancing Indigenous food sovereignty: A five-year collaborative tribal-university research and extension project in California and Oregon," places the living example of their collaborative effort in the Klamath River Basin within the local context of ongoing relationships, histories, and efforts in the Basin.  The authors relay reflections on their research process and outcomes to the greater community of practitioners engaged in community-based participatory research with Native American communities. Their article outlines specific learnings and recommendations designed for non-indigenous collaborators seeking to partner with tribes on food systems research in the United States. Their evidence-based recommendations support active valuing of transparency, honesty, communication, and trusting relationships. For the authors, this partnership modality is the pathway for achieving positive food systems change in Native American communities. 
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!

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