Ka’m-t’em: A Journey Toward Healing
“Throughout the book there is a beautiful poetry of resistance and renewal that rings in each essay, echoing a renaissance of hope and transformation” – Michael Yellowbird (Fargo, North Dakota)
K’am-te’m: A Journey toward Healing, co-edited by Dr. Kishan Lara-Cooper and Walter Lara Sr., incorporates the testimonials of 26 California Indigenous leaders of all ages and backgrounds. Ka’m-t’em translates in the Yurok language as a basket that holds the treasures of Indigenous people. As such, this book shares unique concepts of balance and harmony with the human, natural, and spiritual elements of the world.
This book presents Indigenous testimonials of resistance, renewal, advocacy, resilience, beauty, and awakening. For example, a lead plaintiff in Lyng v. NICPA, a case that went to the Supreme Court, shares in-depth Indigenous knowledge and “behind the scenes” influences of the case; a fluent Tolowa speaker describes the impact of colonial education on language loss and his personal journey as a first-language English speaker learning to speak his heritage language; and a regalia maker describes the impact of genocide on communal relationships, the natural environment, and Indigenous spirituality, while relating the journey of reclaiming Indigenous identity through the process of regalia-making. In the sharing and in the listening of Indigenous testimonials, we are reminded of the beauty and the strength within us. The precious knowledge shared in this book inspires reclamation of identity and encourages readers to seek, search, embrace, and value their own truth.
All of the royalties from this book will be forwarded to the Ka’m-t’em scholarship for Indigenous California youth.
Ka’m-t’em: Next Steps for K-12 Educators
The Child Development Department at Humboldt State University and the Yurok Tribe’s Education Department are providing a Ka’m-t’em: Next Steps for K-12 Educators and Ka’m-t’em Speaker Series to 80 Ka’m-t’em Ambassadors. Ka’m-t’em Ambassadors are nominated by the administration of their respective schools to participate in this opportunity. Each Ka’m-t’em Ambassador will receive 3 units of credit from Humboldt State University’s Extended Education for participation in the Next Steps for K-12 Educators course, paid tuition, a free copy of the textbook “Ka’m-t’em: A Journey Toward Healing”, a Ka’m-t’em Ambassador Certification of Recognition, and access to the Ka’m-t’em Virtual Speaker Series. Through this experience, Ka’m-t’em Ambassadors will be exposed to concepts of worldview, epistemology, history and healing; implicit and explicit biases, testimonial justice and multi-logical epistemology; paradigm shifts to nurture safe spaces for learning and supporting transition to college; and resources and instructional strategies. Upon completion, ambassadors will disseminate information to their respective schools or programs.
Ka’m-t’em Sticker Campaign
Ka’m-t’em: A Journey Toward Healing was inspired by Indigenous youth and includes testimonies from 27 California Indigenous contributors of resistance, resiliency, and renewal. The Ka’m-t’em Sticker Project highlights quotes from these testimonies to generate discussions within the home and community. In so doing, we hope that an opportunity is created for families to share their own treasured knowledge and perspectives on these topics. Stickers have been distributed free of cost to programs who serve Indigenous children and families.
Powerful and Thought Provoking Book
Child Development, Humboldt State University & 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative,
“Ka’m-t’em is a powerful and thought provoking book that I am adding to the required reading for my university course on working with diverse families. Ka’m-t’em’s message of strength, survival and resilience is deeply inspiring. It goes to the heart of identity, culture, and speaking one’s own truth. This book is a gem to read and read again.”
Brought New Understanding, Appreciation & Honor
District Superintendent, California State Parks,
“Throughout the work of Ka’m-t’em, Dr. Lara-Cooper has gathered the works of contemporary northwest coast Indigenous leaders and through her educational activities across institutions and within Indigenous peoples of all ages has brought new understanding, appreciation and honor to Indigenous leaders, peoples and youth. It is a wonderful work covering the historical and contemporary experience of northern coastal California’s Indigenous peoples and their struggle with a dominant European ideologies and political systems that impacted Indigenous peoples throughout what is now the United States.”
An Influential Work
Social Work, Humboldt State University,
“Ka’m-t’em: A Journey Toward Healing is an influential work that has reached a national interdisciplinary audience. The book includes narratives of the indigenizing and revitalization of local Indigenous wellness, ceremony, and healing practices. The book is versatile and offers an important perspective for multiple disciplines.”
A Beautiful Poetry of Resistance and Renewal
Sociology and Anthropology, University of North Dakota,
“The writers share first hand experiences that range from survival, perseverance, awakening, activism, searching, recovery, renewal, responsibility, revolution, spirituality, remembering, respect, and balance. It also shares the pain and tragedy of the past and present, along with the awakening and the return to, and conversation of, practices and ceremonies to restore and promote healing. Throughout the book there is a beautiful poetry of resistance and renewal that rings in each essay, echoing a renaissance of hope and transformation.”
Reminded of Beauty & Strength Within Us
Humboldt State University,
“In the sharing and in the listening of Indigenous testimonials, we are reminded of the beauty and strength within us. The precious knowledge shared in this book inspires reclamation of identity and encourages readers to seek, search, embrace, and value their own truth.”
Invaluable Knowledge & Education
American Indian Studies, Arizona State University,
“This book represents an amazing effort to assemble over 20 authors from various ages and education levels. Just as one may gather research from the archives, this book is the gathering of community, cultural, and historical knowledge. In professional settings such as social work, curriculum and development, and public school classrooms, Ka’m-t’em provides invaluable knowledge and responsive education for trainings, workshops, and classrooms.”
Congratulations to Ka'm-t'em Scholar- Sasheen Raymond (Hupa/Yurok)! Sasheen completed her Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Social Work degree from Humboldt State University. She is pursuing a Ph.D in Global Leadership and Change from Pepperdine University. "My Master's thesis focused on Indigenous Leadership models in higher education as a means to create an equitable campus and support Native students. In my Ph.D program, I will continue to research Indigenous epistemologies and pedagogies that can transform higher education leadership practices. Indigenous principles create a culture of being relational, accountable, inclusive, and provide holistic support to students, faculty, staff, and community