What Happened to Caroline Mercier

I have thought over the years about the tribal people from Grand Ronde who have disappeared from the tribe. In essays, I have written about some of the reasons for people leaving the tribe. The reservation at the turn of the 20th century was developing into a set of Native farms as people took advantage of their new Indian allotments, granted in 1891. The allotments came on the heels of some 40 years of poverty, neglect, and loss for the people at the reservation. The change began in the 1870s with the informal allotments, and some families were able to … Continue reading What Happened to Caroline Mercier

Nachicolcho or Siletz: a Place on the Oregon Coast

The Siletz placename is something of a mystery. Leo J. Frachtenberg, the ethnologist assigned to collect native languages on the Grand Ronde and Siletz reservations in about 1913,  in about 1914 thought the word “Siletz” to be of Athapaskan origin and suggested that the origin is in the word “Si’is/Silet” meaning Black Bear. I have looked at Frachtenberg’s paper on the word numerous times over the years and normally have stated that the word was probably not Athabaskan but instead Salish as the Siletz Indians were said to be Salish/Tillamookans. They were perhaps the most southern of the Tillamookan tribes … Continue reading Nachicolcho or Siletz: a Place on the Oregon Coast