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The Pioneer Press at the very top of the State of California grants permission for this article to be copied and forwarded.
Pioneer Press, Fort Jones, California
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Vol. 33, No. 15
Page A1, column 2
Karuk Treaty controversy continues
In December, the Karuk Tribe announced another casino proposal.
By Liz Bowen
Pioneer Press Assistant Editor, Fort Jones, California
Calif. – An ad hoc group is taking exception to the
validity of the Karuk Tribal’s federal recognition
and is requesting an inquiry by the Siskiyou County
Board of Supervisors to Congress.
of the Karuk Tribe announced on Dec. 6, 2005 to the
county Board of Supervisors that it is proposing a
new casino, in Yreka, an ad hoc committee organized
and will be presenting information to the county
supervisors at its Feb. 21, 2006 meeting. The ad hoc
group is opposed to the new casino proposal for a
number of reasons and can back those reasons up with
documentation and facts. The proof that the Karuks
are using another tribe’s treaty, according to the
ad hoc leaders, shows that the Karuks received
federal recognition incorrectly.
ruling documents, congressional testimony and
historians utilized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs
and the National Indian Gaming Commission are the
basis for the proof that the Karuk Tribe received
its federal recognition through a lie.
months, the Karuk leaders have been claiming that
Yreka is an aboriginal area to the tribe. But
throughout the last six years, the Karuk’s website
showed that their aboriginal territory was based
from Seiad to below Orleans to Bluff Creek. Yreka
was not included in that area.
Now the Karuks are claiming most of Siskiyou County from Scott Valley, Yreka and Shasta Valley as it lands.
Members of the
Shasta Nation are incensed, because the area clearly
was “not Karuk territory,” according to Karol
Purcell, a member of the ad hoc committee.
The two tribes
speak a very different language, which was first
documented back in 1851 by George Gibbs, who wrote
the journal and documented treaties with the federal
congressional testimony on the territories of the
tribes in Northern California came through Gibbs,
who rode with Indian Agent, Redick McKee. The Karuk,
then known as Coretem and later as Karok, was a
party to Treaty Q signed on Oct. 6, 1851 at Camp
Klamath (Weitchpec) and a supplement treaty signed a
Camp Coretem, which is the mouth of the Salmon
River, on Oct. 12, 1851.
until McKee’s group reached Scott Valley on Nov. 4,
1851 that a “treaty of peace and friendship was made
and concluded” on Nov. 4, 1851, with a dozen chiefs
of the Shasta Nation. This was documented as Treaty
its federal recognition 20 years ago, the Karuk
leaders used the Shasta Nation’s Treaty, which was
“R” in submitting its application to the Bureau of
But the proof
of documentation goes deeper than the first signing
of Treaties Q and R.
December 2005 meeting of the Karuks with the
Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors, the Karuk’s
attorney quoted a 1910 census of where Native
Americans were living along with their tribal
connection; and said that Karuks had immigrated to
the Yreka area. The attorney also said this was the
first time a census was done on the Indians.
The ad hoc
committee, in doing its research, quotes an 1886
censes, where the different ranches of the Hoopa
Valley Indians were numbered, which included the “Karoks.”
In the Kelsey Census of 1907, a few Karoks are counted in Scott Valley, specifically in Greenview and Etna, but were not found in Yreka.
In the 1910
Census, Karok are again counted in Scott Valley. The
Indians in Yreka were listed as “Shasta, Wintu and
“The 1910 Census is available for viewing on microfilm at the Siskiyou County Library in Yreka,” said Purcell.
Then in the
1925 Supreme Court case, number 262, Steve Super and
Benjamin Wilder vs Hubert Work, it shows that the
Karok were claiming Treaty Q, not Treaty R. Super
was a Karok and Hubert Work was the U.S. Secretary
“This is just
a small sample of the documentation showing the
fraudulent use of Treaty “R” by the Karuk Tribe,”
The ad hoc committee included legal documentation from the last 30 years to show that the Karuk signed Treaty Q, which does not give them aboriginal access to the Shasta Nation lands encompassing most of Siskiyou County and into Oregon. It also shows that the Karuks jumped ship at some point and began using Treaty “R.” In Oct. 2004, the National Indian Gaming Commission denied the Karuks its Indian Gaming exemption for a casino proposal on lands taken into trust after 1988. In that document the NIGC referenced the use of Treaty “R” by the Karuks, which was actually signed by the Shasta Nation on Nov. 4, 1851 in Scott Valley.
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