What’s in a summer?

Blog Home    |     05.20.2017 by     |    


What’s in a summer?

I went home over the weekend, I met with several members of my speech community.

There was lots to talk about… And I realized, my IRB protocol might be a moot point.

After all, my Culturally Responsive Curriculum Development work (scheduled to take place at 1-4 pod sessions along the Klamath River basin this summer), must be responsive to the desires, hopes, dreams and BOUNDARIES of the speech community which has gifted me with a reason to come to grad school in the first place… My Karuk language.

If the community asks, then our curriculum and our work will be meticulously documented, for us alone.  There will be no publication in a journal or a magazine, no chapter in a book, no note about future scholarship in the works.

The needs of the many, are our needs.

As a Speech Community, we Karuks must be responsive to each other, and accountable to one another FIRST.


As a scholar, I wonder what it means to put my ‘scholarship’ on notice…

To talk to the field of scholarship in general, and say, “You are not the most important thing in my life.”  Who will take me more seriously because of this stance???

I suppose I ask this, because I can imagine those who will take me less seriously (I’ve met a few already).


Indigenous epistemologies provide a viable structure, from which Tribal and indigenous scholars are well positioned to explore, engage with, and discover many brilliant insights about the structure of our Heritage languages, functional pedagogy and SLA.  Working from behind tribal lines, we utilize new discoveries about ourselves and the world at large and continuously respond; adaptations help us continue to carve out a viable traditional existence in this 21st century world.

Of course, to be traditional and viable…  To be traditional, and viable…  To be traditional and viable, is not the same as being visible.

Through this process of adapting, surviving and respecting the speech community; we Karuks have earned the right as a community to embrace our Intellectual sovereignty and choose what we share with the world.

What can I do in a summer?

When I approach my research, I think, what can I do now that will help to secure a viable existence for the Karuk speech community members living seven generations from now???

This way of thinking reminds me of the work that has come before, the Karuks who have been revitalizing and reclaiming and resisting…

All I can do is contribute, my life to the cause.