“We help each other; We will live good”
We are the Klamath Tribes, the Klamaths, the Modocs and the Yahooskin. We have lived here in the Klamath Basin of Oregon, from time beyond memory. Our legends and oral history tell about when the world and the animals were created, when the animals and gmok’am’c – the Creator – sat together and discussed the creation of man. If stability defines success, our presence here has been, and always will be, essential to the economic well-being of our homeland and those who abide here.
In the old times we believed everything we needed to live was provided for us by our Creator in this rich land east of the Cascades. We still believe this. We saw success as a reward for virtuous striving and likewise as an assignment of spiritual favor, thus, “Work hard so that people will respect you”, was the counsel of our elders. For thousands upon countless thousands of years we survived by our industriousness. When the months of long winter nights were upon us, we survived on our prudent reserves from the abundant seasons. Toward the end of March, when supplies dwindled, large fish runs surged up the Williamson, Sprague, and Lost River. At the place on the Sprague River where gmok’am’c first instituted the tradition, we still celebrate the Return of c’waam Ceremony.