Klamath Tribes

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 436
501 Chiloquin Blvd
Chiloquin, OR 97624

Contact Information





Cultural History

The Klamath Tribes are composed of the Klamaths, the Modoc and the Yahooskin. These tribes have settled in the Klaath Basin of Oregon since the start of time. Their oral history tells the stories involved in their creation. One of the major stories that have evolved through the years in their community is that of the creation of man. It was said in the story that after the world and the animals were created, the gmok'am'c and the Creator sat together to discuss the possibilities of creating man thus; the Klamath Tribes came to life.

In their earlier times, they have always believed that their needs are to be provided by the Creator in the Cascades. However, despite this belief, they soon learned the art of looking for their food and shelter in order to survive. They have also always believed in the mantra, “work hard so that people will respect you”. This thinking was instilled to them by their elders and is still predominantly taught to the generation today. They have survived through their determination and wit. They have survived cold winter nights because of their food reserves as well as those hot summer days. They believe in the celebration of the Return of the /c’waam/ Ceremony which is held towards the end of March. It is the time of the yea where the fishes are abundant and the resources for food are everywhere. The abundance of fish can be dramatically seen in the Williamson, Sprague and Lost River. It is in the Sprague River where the first ceremony was commemorated. 

The Klamath Tribes are six tribes thriving together in the Klamath Marsh. They are bound by loyalty and family ties. They have long inhabited the Klamath Marsh along the banks of the Agency Lake which is near the opening of the Lower Williamson River on the Pelican Bay which is beside the Link River as well as those lands in the Sprague River Valley. The Modoc’s territories include the Lower Lost River, which is just around the Clear Lake. Their territory has extended to the south in as far as the mountains which are beyond the Goose Lake. On the other hand, the Yahooskin Bands occupy the area in the east of the Yamsay Mountain, in the southern part of Lakeview and the northern part of Fort Rock.

It was Peter Skeen who was the first White to travel up to their area. He was a fur trader. Years and years passed and his trail was soon followed by the others. Despite the White’s invasion, the tribe has maintained their culture, tradition and rights over the years.

There are currently 3,700 enrolled members of the tribe. Most of these members are settled in the Klamath County in Oregon. They are engaged in business enterprises such as the Kla-Mo-Ya Casino which was opened in 1997 in Chiloquin Oregon.

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