A visit to the Karuk Tribe of California: Told by an intern

Hi, I’m Pete Sandberg and I’m a Travois intern. This is my second year interning with the company. I started my internship working with Travois Asset Management (Alicia Copeland is my sister) and have since helped out every other Travois team: the housing team, Travois New Markets, Travois Design & Construction Services, and a few main office task with finance, the office manager and the communications department. It’s been great learning about the different services Travois offers its clients.

Recently, I joined Architect Lauren DuCharme in California to observe her monthly work-in-place inspection of Karuk Tribe Housing Authority’s first Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) project, Karuk Homes #1, and to attend the project’s grand opening ceremony!

The first day we arrived at the project site early and completed work-in-place inspections all morning. Lauren writes a report on the construction progress each month for all project partners. We walked through units to ensure they were in compliance with the construction documents, which reference LIHTC and code requirements. We also took photos to add to the report.

After our walk-through, we were invited to a tribal council meeting where Lauren talked about the project and answered questions. We also enjoyed a delicious homemade spaghetti dinner with the group!

The grand opening ceremony was held on day two of my trip. It was a happy morning with all in attendance celebrating hard work and a big accomplishment – the project consists of 30 new single-family homes! You can read Lauren’s blog to get all of the details. Since Lauren was speaking at the ceremony, I was in charge of event photos. I think I did a good job capturing the happy celebration! Check out a few event photos below.

The last item on our agenda was to complete final inspections. Final inspections are done to make sure the house is ready for tenants. These houses are beautiful. Our design team did a great job of designing the homes. I think the new tenants will love them.


After our work was done, we decided to do a little exploring and went on a hike in Lithia Park. It’s a beautiful park in Ashland, OR, about a 40-minute drive from Karuk. The park isn’t a secret; there were many people enjoying the day in the river and the reservoir. A bluegrass band played while standing barefoot in the stream, children splashed in the water, some people exercised or meditated, and us, we just relaxed on a rock and took it all in. It had been a busy two days. Below are some photos from our hike.

My whole intern experience has been very educational. However, up until this trip, I had only seen behind-the-scenes office work, meetings, planning, etc. I was so happy to be able to see what all this hard work translates into and the amazing impact it has in Native communities. As I head back school in a few weeks to start my junior year, my appreciation for the work everyone at Travois does has only increased, and I’m even more thankful to be a part of such an amazing company.