Two brothers said increasing frustration at the
choppy flow of information from the Yurok Tribe
to out-of-the-area tribal members prompted them
to launch a Web site providing a forum to share
Santa Cruz resident Larry Sanders and his
brother, James Dunlap, of Sacramento launched
YurokVoices.com in mid-January in an effort to
provide off-reservation tribal members with
information -- particularly updates the brothers
say aren't finding their way from the tribal
headquarters in Klamath to members living
The most recent example of that information
void, Dunlap said, was the result of the vote on
how the settlement monies would be dispersed.
While the result of the vote could have been
placed on the tribe's Web site, Dunlap said it
hasn't been updated for more than a year.
In fact, the impetus for the site -- launched
Jan. 11 -- was a discussion on the
Times-Standard Web site comment section related
to the story on the settlement vote.
”A lot of us who live off reservation never
get any information,” Dunlap said. “Anything
with deadlines is always late.”
With YurokVoices.com, the intent is to get
the information and share it with others on the
The lack of information shared is an ongoing
issue for tribal members who live out of the
area, the brothers said.
”It's frustrating for everybody,” Dunlap
As it is now, he said, if a tribal member
wants to send a flier or letter to the all of
the tribe's members, the information and the
cost of postage must be submitted to the tribe
”With the forum,” he said, “we'll be able to
talk among ourselves.”
Yurok Tribal Chair Maria Tripp described
several ways in which the tribe attempts to keep
its membership informed about important issues.
For starters, the tribal council meets twice
a month, with the gatherings open to the public
and time allotted for tribal member comments.
In addition, she said, district
representatives hold meetings in their home
areas, and the tribal council calls community
meetings to address a variety of different
topics. Other communication efforts include a
quarterly newsletter and special mailings two to
three times a year.
Tripp estimated the tribe spends between
$30,000 and $40,000 per year communicating with
members. Currently, efforts are underway to
prepare DVDs on issues -- such as the removal of
damns on the Klamath.
”We do try to communicate,” Tripp said. “We
really do try to address individual calls and
letters if we can.”
Jessie Faulkner can be reached at 441-0504 or