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Traveling down the Klamath River in remote Northern California to the ancient Káruk ceremonial site of Katamin (on left)      Photo © Marguerite Lorimer  

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Click for the different MEANINGS of the name Walking Backwards

Káruk people have lived in the Klamath Mountains and along the upper parts of the Klamath River for thousands of years. Káruk artifacts dating over 10,000 years have been discovered. Today, the Káruk Tribe is one of the largest tribes in California.

Káruk tribal lands span almost 2 million acres in the steep canyons, mountains and shores of Northern California's Klamath River Basin. Ka'tim'îin is the Káruk Tribe's "Center of the World". Located along the Klamath River (Ishkeesh), it is a powerful place of healing and ceremony, where Káruk people have lived and prayed, according to their creation stories, "since time began".

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Sandy Bar Bob and his wife, both Káruk, 1923.

Born in a place of natural abundance and innocent beauty, they survived unimaginable hardships in the aftermath of the Gold Rush

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Once known for its legendary salmon runs, the Klamath River and its surrounding mountains, majestic forests, crystal-clear lakes, bountiful wildlife and medicinal herbs have sustained the Káruk people and neighboring tribes for thousands of years. 


Known as the "Heart of the Klamath” or "Gateway to the Marble Mountains", Happy Camp (áthith'thúf-voon'nuupma ni'áraamsiip) became famous in the mid-1800s for its abundant, easy-to-find supply of gold. At one time called Murderer's Bar because of all its violence, the town was officially named HAPPY CAMP in 1852. After the Gold Rush, salmon and steelhead fishing, and logging became major industries. Happy Camp is the present-day headquarters of the Káruk Tribe, and is governed by a tribal council of nine members.


The following list of Káruk villages were located in Northern California's Klamath River bioregion, as reported in the Handbook of American Indians in 1906:

Amaikiara, Aperger, Apyu, Aranimokw, Ashipak, 

Asisufuunuk, Chainiki, Chawakoni, Chinits, 

Couth, Homnipa, Homuarup, Ift, Inam, Inotuks, 

shipishi, Ishwidip, lyis, Ka'tim'îin, Katipiara,

Kokaman, Kworatem, Ohetur, Olegel, Oler, 

Opegoi, Panamenik, Pasara, Sawuara, 

Shanamkarak, Shegoashkwu, Sumaun, 

Sunum, Supasip, Tishrawa, Tsano, 

Tsofkara, Tui, Uchapa, Unharik, Wetsitsiko, 

Wopum, and Yutoyara


Indigenous inhabitants of the Klamath River bioregion include the SHASTA NATION, whose original ancestral territories encompassed enormous parts of what is now northernmost California and Southern Oregon, and also some of the middle and upper parts of the Klamath River; the YUROK, whose tribal lands include the Pacific mouth of the Klamath and lower regions of the Klamath River; the HUPA, who call parts of the Trinity and lower Klamath Rivers their tribal home; the KÁRUK whose ancestral lands include the mountains, steep canyons, surrounding lands and shores of the middle Klamath River and parts of the lower Salmon River; and the present-day KLAMATH TRIBES of Modoc, Klamath and Yahooskin Band of Northern Paiute, who until 1864 lived separately throughout areas of the desert valleys, mountains, lakes and wetlands in Southern Oregon and Northern California and along the shores of parts of the Klamath River in Southern Oregon.

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