Karuk is the native language of the Karuk people who have lived, since time immemorial, on the Klamath River in northern California, from near Seiad Valley in the northeast to Bluff Creek, about ten miles southwest of Orleans in the southwestern portion of Karuk territory. Some linguists make the claim that Karuk is part of the Hokan language family while others argue against the status of Hokan as a language family. Karuk has about eight elderly fluent speakers and dozens of active learners of the language.
The Karuk Tribe has a Language Program whose staff works to revitalize the Karuk language with the guidance and involvement of the Karuk Language Restoration Committee. More than sixteen Karuk teams have participated in the Master Apprentice Language Learning Program of the Advocates of Indigenous California Language Survival.
In 1989, the Karuk Tribe officially changed the spelling of its name from Karok to Karuk. The proper way to pronounce the name of the tribe is Karuk.
I am an enrolled descendant of the Karuk Tribe. My family is the Ince family from around Happy Camp, California. I started learning the Karuk language in 1992 from the Supahan family and from 'Auntie' Violet Super.
In terms of academic and professional credentials, I earned an MA in linguistics from the University of Oregon in 2004. I apprenticed to linguist William Bright since I started my linguistics program in 1999. I began work on a master's program in library and information sciences through San Jose State University when I started wondering about how to best care for, organize and share all the Karuk language materials we've been creating.
I started this site when I was teaching Karuk at Hoopa Valley High School in 1999 as a service learning project for my students. They found the images, recorded the sounds, and used Microsoft FrontPage to construct the site.
Three years later, the Advanced Media Technologies class at Happy Camp High School built a similar site. Their teacher's educational goals were that the students learn web design tools and how to work with clients. I supplied all the audio files and met with them to discuss the structure and the design of the site. One of the students built a new home page which unified the two phrase collections and had a list of links to sites with Karuk information.
Sometime after this first site was made, Northern California Indian Development Council (NCIDC) graciously agreed to host this site at their cost.
I let the site sit untouched for nearly four years, when Auntie Violet Super passed away and an announcement to go to karuk.org for information about how to donate to the Karuk language program in her memory was posted. I never did learn how to add links using the same tools the site was designed in, so I slapped in the ugly text and made the announcement.
Now I am the student. I'm making a new home page for the site and adding several new pages to satisfy the final project of a class I am taking.
NCIDC will be changing their Internet Service Provider sometime in the near future. Hopefully this site's transition to that new server will be seamless to you.
You can reach me by email.
I'm also on Twitter.