NORTHERN CALIFORNIA KÁRUK ELDER
One of Charlie Thom's older brothers, Lester Alford was a respected elder of Káruk and Shasta heritages who was instrumental in forming the Quartz Valley Indian Reservation (which is flourishing today). Even though he was sent to Indian Boarding School, which prevented him from learning the Káruk language, he spent much of his adult life contributing his knowledge of the Káruk and Shasta cultures for the people in his communities. A strict disciplinarian with a big heart, Lester influenced many younger people with his moral values, wisdom, encouragement and good will. His legacy continues through his children, who work in various departments with the Káruk Tribe and in other California Native communities.