No material on this site may be copied or reproduced without written

The contents of this website are protected by United States Copyright

© EarthAlive Communications 2018  All Rights Reserved

permission from John Veltri or Marguerite Lorimer

Funding for the production of this project has been received from 

the Richard & Roberta Cummings Family Fund,

and the Humboldt Area Foundation's Native Cultures Fund

the Nathan Cummings Foundation,

Klamath River: "The Water is Alive"  Photo © John Veltri

THE DIFFERENT MEANINGS OF 

WALKING BACKWARDS

In the Káruk culture, and in other indigenous cultures, special "medicine names" are sometimes given to children. Káruk medicine man-ceremonial leader Charles R Thom (1928-2013) explained that these names are given to those wo are qualified by heritage and their dedication to keeping the culture alive. 

Many years ago, when filmmaker John Veltri asked Káruk medicine man Charlie Thom, "What is the meaning of your name, Walking Backwards?"  Charlie responded in this (paraphrased) way:

                                                       

WALKING BACKWARDS means

HONORING THE CEREMONIES

learning about, understanding,

respecting and participating in the sacred ceremonies

WALKING BACKWARDS means

NATIVE CULTURAL REVIVAL

keeping indigenous cultures alive by understanding the history,

learning the language, practicing the cultural traditions, and teaching the children

 

WALKING BACKWARDS means

PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT

protecting the sacred sites, keeping the waters and air clean, respecting the plants, 

animals and fish in their natural environments, and "cleaning up our own back yards"   

 

WALKING BACKWARDS means

JUSTICE FOR NATIVE PEOPLES 

advocating for respect and restorative justice for the Káruk people 

as well as for indigenous peoples throughout the world 

Káruk medicine man Charlie Thom in 2012, Mount Shasta, Northern California

Jimmy4.jpg
Jimmy4.jpg
Jimmy4.jpg
Jimmy4.jpg
Jimmy4.jpg

Images (above) by Káruk artist Jimmy "Running Deer" Thom