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Bill in Congress proposes transfer of sacred lands to Karuk Tribe

One of the central activities of the Karuk Tribe is the annual World Renewal Ceremony. Central to the ceremony is the area the Karuk call Katimiîn, currently within the boundaries of the Six Rivers and Klamath National Forests.

Now California's senators and the area's representative in Congress propose to transfer those lands from the Forest Service to a trust on behalf of the tribe. The plan is laid out in the Katimiîn and Ameekyáaraam Sacred Lands Act, recently introduced in the U.S. Capitol.

The bill would allow tribal ceremonies to continue, but would not allow any gambling facilities on the land.

Josh Saxon is the Executive Director of the Karuk Tribe, joining us for an overview of the bill and the chance of it passing.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.