Palmer Strategizes Treaty-Making, 1853

In 1853 Joel Palmer, newly appointed Indian Superintendent of Oregon, was working to keep the peace between the tribes and settlers in Oregon. The plan was to remove the tribes and allow the settlers to take their lands so that the natural resources may be better used. Palmer was in full agreement of his role to help colonize the Indians and in his many letters philosophized extensively about the benefits of assimilating the tribes to civilization. But Palmer was also a humanist and wanted to tribes to be fairly dealt with by the white Americans. He saw them as people … Continue reading Palmer Strategizes Treaty-Making, 1853

California Native History Contexts

In recent months I have been delving into records of the California Superintendency. I have studied several California tribes in the past, namely the Tolowa and Shasta tribes, and my master’s paper was about the Tolowa Fish Camp at Indian beach. I have not taken the time previously for much more reading about California Natives because I know its a big state with a complex history. I have had my hand full with the 60 tribes of western Oregon. But going through federal microfilm for the California Superintendency, from the beginnings of United States Indian affairs is quite instructive. The … Continue reading California Native History Contexts

Development of Tribal Cultural Identity at the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation

A good number of people have over the years shown some confusion about the identity of the tribal members at the Grand Ronde tribe. Many natives and non-natives still do not understand the impact of the removal of the people from their lands, their assimilation to American society, and the somewhat unique situation of being terminated in 1954.  It is not that termination is unique to Grand Ronde, because 109 tribes were terminated nationally, but there are few other reservations that can claim 27 to 35 tribes and be terminated, leaving many people without federal status and related to so … Continue reading Development of Tribal Cultural Identity at the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation

Elijah White Romanticizes Oregon Tribal Peoples

Dr. Elijah White was a missionary and the first Indian sub-Agent of the Oregon territory. He was then (1837) part of Jason Lee’s Methodist Mission but had a falling out with Lee and left Oregon for the east. White returned in 1842 leading the first wagon train on the Oregon Trail. He was then appointed by the War Department to be a sub-Indian agent of the Oregon Territory. The Indian Office was transferred to the Department of the Interior in 1848 which caused a change in policy regarding the tribes. No longer were they first to be treated as an … Continue reading Elijah White Romanticizes Oregon Tribal Peoples

Chief Eagle Horse Baritone Singer from Alaska

Charlie Cutter, a student of Chemawa Indian school from about 1898 to 1902 was a noted baritone singer. Cutter was born in Shaken Alaska in1880  and had a native name, Dockh-hoh-kharckh,  which was difficult to pronounce, so the Indian agents just called him Charlie Cutter while at school. He is noted to come from the Klawock tribe of Southwest Alaska.  Newspaper accounts suggest that he had encountered missionaries for the first time as a child and became interested in going to school in the south. In Chemawa he was an older student, which was not uncommon for the time.   He … Continue reading Chief Eagle Horse Baritone Singer from Alaska