Had a very nice time in Tacoma this past weekend. There were few sessions, the conference was only about a days worth of sessions. But two of the sessions had significant papers on Oregon history. They were all very good. Overall, there were no other native people at the conference that I saw. I became the de facto native scholar there, and was called on in that role. An interesting situation as I have arrived so late to this role. This is a problem that there are not yet enough native scholars that we have enough people in the fields to begin impacting the scholarship. How will tribal versions of the histories be ever heard if this does not occur? I will not accept that status and will continue to work toward greater visibility for tribal histories. If this does not occur, our histories will continue to be trivialized and we will continue to see history taught that does not reflect the reality of our experiences. Those histories are ‘retarded’ in the strict definition of the word. For a significant period of the early settlement and colonization of the region, the tribes had at least half of the experiences, the other half, the side which is rarely represented, that of the colonized, the repressed, the remainders, the survivors of genocide. We are the descendants of that rarefied body of people.
Northwest History Conference