Projects

Kalpull Kiej Juju, “Deer Mountain”, TJU-EPU's Healing Center
-A sustainable model of spiritual land stewardship

In March 2007, 1700 acres of land northeast of Yreka, CA was donated to TJU – EPU to create a sustainable container for humanity to reconnect to the natural and spiritual world, so that we may maintain balance and harmony with All of Our Relations and re-create systems of being that work with indigenous knowledge as well as with the modern world.. We have named this land “Deer Mountain”, translated in Mayan Kaqchikel as “Kalpull Kiej Juyu”.

Our ceremonial containers have been prepared to be a spiritual refuge, and we have already witnessed incredible manifestations from nature and the spirit world. These land bases need the community to be strong and participate. And they can only become successful if you are also part of it.


Goals of the Deer Mountain Center

Our primary goals for creating the Deer Mountain Center are:

  • To create profound experiences that will help individuals to look at themselves, their life, and their relationship to our Mother Earth and Spirit.
  • To provide a sacred space for wisdom keepers from different nations to share their knowledge and ceremonies.
  • To develop sustainable agriculture including foods, medicines, and a seed bank.
  • To provide a retreat space for rejuvenation and reconnecting with nature.

The Components of Deer Mountain

The land at Deer Mountain will be developed with various components to accomplish the many parts of our vision. These are:

  • Traditional Ceremonial Center
  • Spiritual leader residence completed in 2009, with plans for adjacent gardens, greenhouses, and a seed bank as the seasons and sacred cycles progress.
  • Retreat House

Traditional Ceremonial Center

Our Ceremonial Center will include sweatlodges, medicine lodges, open arbors, a roundhouse, and other ceremonial altars that will be protected and allowed to continue holding ceremonies and healing energies for future generations. These are places of sacred geometry and working with the elements to create the conditions for healing and spiritual connection.

Residence, Adjacent Gardens, Greenhouses, and Seed Bank

The spiritual leader residence is the first building at Deer Mountain, providing a home for our founders to connect and steward the land while we begin our sustainable agriculture and agritourism-type programs.

The gardens and greenhouses will grow natural, old-strain foods and medicines, using a combination of traditional and modern techniques. These can be sold locally and will also be used to collect and store seeds for our seed bank. In addition, the gardens will provide a beautiful natural source of food for people who are utilizing our facilities. Visitors to Deer Mountain will take part in the gardening as part of their time on the land, so as to cultivate a relationship with nature and their food source.

Retreat House

The retreat center will be a beautiful and comfortable house for retreats and workshops that can be used in all weather conditions. It will also house the main office for our nonprofit and other organizations that are part of the Deer Mountain Center, as well as an art gallery and store to sell our products.


About the Land

The land at Deer Mountain is located about 30 miles northeast of Yreka, just seven miles as the crow flies south of the Oregon border. Neighboring Copco Lake, formed in 1917 by damming the Klamath River, has a small subdivision of about 150 homes. Fishing and whitewater rafting are popular on the Klamath River. The Deer Mountain land is zoned as an agricultural property, ranging in elevation from 2,600 to 4,000 feet. The property contains two historic cabin sites (predating 1884) and one home site that includes a barn and a shed. All adjacent properties are largely undeveloped.

Biodiversity

The land at Deer Mountain is very unique in its biodiversity, with a combination of influences from the eastern desert, the Cascades Range’s basalt and lava flows, and the Siskiyou Crest, a unique mountain range running east-west that serves as a biological corridor for plants and animals to travel and disperse throughout the Pacific Northwest. Here one can walk through rolling grass meadows surrounded by Juniper, Incense Cedar, and Ponderosa Pine, and witness oaks and junipers living side-by-side, which is not a common occurrence. Many of our relatives live here, including - bears, cougars, coyotes, bobcats, foxes, raccoons, porcupines, squirrels, snakes and birds, including bald and golden eagles. This sacred land also holds the incredible gift of springs and creeks that hold the source of all Life: Water. It is part of the watershed of the epic Klamath River. There is a real movement to preserve lands around this area as wilderness, due to its unique biodiversity, and efforts are being made to clean up and restore the Klamath River.

History

Like the blending of geology and plant life, this area was also an area of diverse cultures, and is rich in history from the Shasta and Modoc Indians, with the Shasta Valley and Rogue Valley each boasting populations of around 10,000 people. Pilot Rock, which can be easily seen from the Deer Mountain land, was the guiding stone to help people find their way from one valley to the other. The village center for the band of the Shasta that were living in this area is now underwater at Iron Gate Reservoir. This was a very abundant and sustainable area.  It is said that when people came to this area, they would see miles and miles of fish racks and plants drying, all up and down the creeks and the rivers. In drought years, men also hunted elk, antelope, and deer. The women were gatherers, and used ceremonial fires to ensure good harvests of acorns and Camus (a kind of edible lily), as well as a way to keep the forests healthy. Ceremonies were regularly held to ensure healthy relationships with the plants and animals that the people depended on. As recent as 1994, an ancient Salmon ceremony was brought back by a tribal elder of the Applegate River area. The following year, officials counted more salmon than there have ever been in recorded history!