A Proud Past, A Bright Future.
The Yurok (Oohl) Tribe is California’s largest Native American Tribe, with nearly 5,000 enrolled members. Our ancestral lands include much of the coastline near present day Klamath, and extend up the Klamath River for over 40 miles. We have long been celebrated as great fishermen, eelers, basket weavers, canoe makers, storytellers, singers, dancers, healers and strong medicine people. The Klamath-Trinity River has historically provided much of our food, including ney-puy (salmon), Kaa-ka (sturgeon) and kwor-ror (candlefish). Offerings from the ocean and land – pee-ee (mussels), woo-mehl (acorns), puuek (deer), mey-weehl (elk) and ley-chehl (berries) – have also been essential to our people’s health, wellness and religious ceremonies. Our way was to never over harvest, and to always ensure sustainability of our food supply for future generations. The Yurok social and ecological balance, thousands of years old, was shattered by the invasion of the non-Indians beginning in the 17th century. Yet we’ve endured.
Today, the mission of the Yurok Tribe is to exercise the aboriginal and sovereign rights our people to continue forever our Tribal traditions of self-governance, cultural and spiritual preservation, stewardship of Yurok lands, waters and other natural endowments, balanced social and economic development, peace and reciprocity, and respect for the dignity and individual rights of all persons living within the jurisdiction of the Yurok Tribe, while honoring our Creator, our ancestors and our descendants.