Lake Concow Campground, near Concow, Butte County, CA.
Lake Concow is in the low foothills of the Sierras, just off Highway 70 between Oroville and Quincy. It’s a splendid fit for Buckeye: open spaces on a floor of conifer needles among the tall trees, a large open field, a beautiful lakefront, and a creek running right through a series of traditional structures. Our habit of building from local, natural materials matches the pre-existing bark & tule tipis, earthen sweatlodge, and large roundhouse. We found Lake Concow through friends, and have begun a fruitful relationship with the current collective of owners, who are excited to host Buckeye.
12967 Concow Road, Oroville, CA, 95965
~click on photos to enlarge ~
The first four years of the Buckeye Gathering were held at YaKaAma Indian Education and Development, 501c3, in Forestville, CA. We feel lucky and honored to have found such a home ~ it was clearly the right place for our formative years. In 2009, Buckeye was a formless inspiration, it has since grown to shape many of our life paths. Though we sought advice and support along the journey, we began our first year with almost no experience in organizing an undertaking like this. At the end of a four year cycle, both our identity and vision have come into focus. When searching for new land in 2013, we knew what we were looking for: a place capable of nesting the myriad moving parts of a large, temporary, wonderful village. We learned a great deal about what those parts were at YaKaAma, and we are grateful to all those involved. It could not have happened without the cooperation and long hours of the YaKaAma Board of Directors; clearly many members of our community have benefited from their commitment.
We leave YaKaAma feeling good. Not only did we fulfill our own commitments, but our community poured extra love and labor into each gathering and we left the land in a healthier state than we found it. As we surveyed the changing scene in 2013, we saw our handiwork everywhere. We spent thousands of collective volunteer hours to haul out tons of trash, make extensive infrastructure repairs, build traditional structures, plant edible-medicinal-utility species, responsibly manage the forest, and of course thatch that magic arbor every year.
After challenges that arose in 2013, the YaKaAma Board of Directors decided they no longer wished to host Buckeye. The Buckeye organizers also no longer wish to continue to navigate the ongoing political difficulties there. We know that we have stood in our truth and are being called to a rebirth. We have done our best to caretake the land with a gentle hand and we wish the best for that very special place where many tribes gather. As the dust cleared in 2013 and we saw we would be moving, we also realized that Buckeye exists beyond any specific location and is whatever we, as a community, create. We step into the wide open future, ready to hone our village building skills on new, fertile soil. Come join us at Lake Concow and see what the transformation brings!