For centuries the Karuk fished, gathered food, and made medicine in the fertile watershed of the Klamath River. Contact with European Americans and their zeal for resource extraction nearly eliminated California native peoples, leaving only a handful of Karuk families on their land. Despite efforts to suppress them, Karuk traditions were carefully passed from one generation to the next. Today these traditions are hampered by governmental policies that rarely take into consideration the native view, or their historical role as land managers. As the Karuk people slowly return, the struggle to reclaim the physical and cultural landscape becomes their greatest challenge -- to heal the landscape as well as the people who call it their home.
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