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The Klamath Indians have hunted, fished, and foraged in the area of the Klamath Marsh and upper Williamson River for over a thousand years. In 1864 the Klamath Tribe entered into a treaty with the United States whereby it relinquished its aboriginal claim to some 12 million acres of land in return for a reservation of approximately 800,000 acres in south-central Oregon. This reservation included all of the Klamath Marsh as well as large forested tracts of the Williamson River watershed. Treaty between the United States of America and the Klamath and Moadoc Tribes and Yahooskin Band of Snake Indians, Oct. 14, 1864, 16 Stat. 707. Article I of the treaty gave the Klamath the exclusive right to hunt, fish, and gather on their reservation. Id.; Kimball v. Callahan, 493 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 419 U.S. 1019, 95 S.Ct. 491, 42 L.Ed.2d 292 (1974) (Kimball I.) Article II provided funds to help the Klamath adopt an agricultural way of life. 16 Stat. 708.

The 1864 Treaty provided that the Tribes would have "secured" to them "the exclusive right of taking fish in the streams and lakes, included in said reservation, and of gathering edible roots, seeds, and berries within its limits." In 1954 when Congress terminated the Klamath Reservation, it enacted an express provision continuing the Indians' right to fish on the former reservation land.


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See also Klamath Basin Crisis website

Herald & News Series on the Klamath Tribe

An Uphill Fight, Tribes' efforts to regain former reservation land find little support H&N 6/23/05 Part 5 of 5.
Turning things around, Tribal leaders work to address social problems, regain treaty rights H&N 6/22/05 part 4 of 5.
Spending spree, H&N 6/21/05 Part 3 of 5
A tribe vanishes, H&N 6/20/05. Klamath tribal members voted to terminate their tribe. Part 2 of 5.
Your land, my land, Part 1 of Klamath Tribes regarding wanting back the land they sold, H&N 6/19/05.