Uncle Dave's Camp on the Yurok Reservation in northern California. Photo: David Severns

Camp on Yurok Reservation keeps tribal traditions alive for newer generations

David Severns, a citizen of the Yurok Tribe, is keeping his people's traditions alive at a camp held on the reservation in northern California.

Severns started Uncle Dave’s Camp, as the event is known, more than 20 years ago, The New York Times reported. He sees it as a way to teach young men about fishing techniques, dance regalia and other aspects of Yurok life.

“A lot of us didn’t have father figures in our lives,” Josh Meyer, who attended the camp when he was younger and now serves as a teacher, told The Times. “We looked to Dave for that.”

The camp typically runs from April through October. Severns funds it with dividends he receives as a shareholder of an Alaska Native corporation, according to The Times. His wife, Mara Hope Severns, is Alaska Native, the paper said.

“A lot of people say the white man is taking away our culture,” Severns told Yurok Today, the tribe's newspaper, back in 2008. “Right now, it is up to us to cultivate our culture. If it’s gone, it’s our fault. You can’t blame the white man no more.”

Read More on the Story:
Traditions Revived at a Tribal Culture Camp (The New York Times September 10, 2017)