The Yurok Reservation:
Welcome to Weitchpec, where the Klamath and Trinity Rivers converge. This was the center of commerce when our great grandparents lived here. It is rich in resources both in the river and on the mountains. Food was so plentiful that our people had time to create objects of beauty and utility. The Yurok women are known for their fine basketry; a craft developed in this rich land and made entirely of the resources available here.
Today Weitchpec is the eastern most community on the Yurok Reservation. As with most reservations the unemployment is high and the available jobs are limited.
The Source Food Company:
The food sources are plentiful here, but the harvesting is limited to what can be used immediately. The Source Food Company, a owner operated company, officially kicked off in December 2011. Its intent is to bring economic opportunity to the Weitchpec community. The goal of the company is to give the community members a reason to harness the harvests and to grow their own foods. The first step toward this goal is to build a cannery to process foods harvested by community members.
These rivers are known for their wild salmon runs. The Willson family hand crafts and traditionally preserves wild salmon both in jerky form and a smoked and canned form. These hand crafted products are of highest quality and our goal is to make them available on the gourmet market. This project allows us to pursue this plan.
Food Security and Income:
We are members of the Yurok Tribe and life long residents of Weitchpec. The abundant resources available in the mountains and rivers that supported our great grandparents are still available to support us and our community members today. We recognize our food supply is becoming fragile and living in such a remote location, the cost is high and the supply could be cut off easily. While this cannery will be individually owned, the cannery becomes the first step in helping the community meet their nutritional needs locally and creating additional income through surplus sales.
The cannery is only one aspect of the food security vision for this community. Our vision is to see our friends and family take initiative to build herds and flocks, to garden and grow crops, to fish and to gather. We are obtaining FDA approval for the cannery and with your backing will be in production by Summer 2012. We will fully employ several community members and encouraging others to gather, to fish, to plant crops and to develop herds and flocks to create food that can be processed at the cannery.
Use of Funding:
The FDA requires the products to be processed via very specific requirements. To prepare salmon in the family tradition, documents and associated fees must to be filed with the FDA; food safety training must occur; and equipment must be purchased. We are looking to you, our backers to help us pay these fees, support the training of our employees, and build a small cannery to FDA specifications. To create a year round cannery operation, we need cannery equipment, freezers and flash freeze equipment and a temperature/humidity controlled smoke house. The freezing equipment will be used to preserve the wild salmon while they are available during the commercial fishing time for use year round.
Don't withhold your support just because we reached our goal, your support beyond our goal will allow us to put in a second line right away. The second line will be dedicated to preserving plant products.
Much of the cannery structure will be constructed using existing materials so the majority of your support will go to paying the fees, supporting the training and purchasing the necessary equipment. Once the cannery and smoke house are operational, sales to the gourmet market and your continued support (i.e., future purchase and sharing your find with your friends) will provide employment for tribal members year round and bring a quality smoked wild salmon product to the gourmet market and to you and your friends.
You, the backer of this worthwhile project, will CHANGE THE WORLD in this small community and create hope, food security and a livelihood for many families. How often can you say you were directly involved in changing the world? One delicious jar is all we ask - but order as many as you like - they make great gifts and will last without refrigeration until they are opened. Make sure to tell your friends about this opportunity.
You will receive one jar of canned smoked wild salmon as a reward for a $35 pledge or 12 jars for a $300 pledge. Your order will be delivered in late August or early September, dependent upon when the commercial salmon season occurs.
For our supporters who are not smoked salmon fans (I hear there are some), we are offering jam and jelly gift sets.
We own the Spey-gee Resort and Guide Service which overlooks the Klamath River - see www.klamathriveradventures.com . Many of the images in the video were taken from the resort site. You will have a full weekend use of the entire resort for a corporate retreat (max. 12 guests) for a $5000 pledge. This reward includes lodging and full access to resort amenities. Each guest receives a river tour, a traditionally prepared wild salmon dinner, and a jar of smoked wild salmon along with the greeting cards created for this campaign (Sorry only one available).
Our great grandparents had such an abundance of food, so arts and crafts were abundant and the stories abounded. Three original images inspired by these designs and stories have been created just for this campaign. Every supporter will receive one or more of the images along with the associated story.
A memorial reward is offered as an incentive to pre-order $100 or more. For instance, if you want 3 jars of the smoked wild salmon, you can pledge $105 and select the memorial reward. When you select this reward, you will be able to select your desired rewards at the end of the campaign on the questionnaire you receive and indicate who you want to honor with a memorial.