Seasonal Wetlands and Minto-Brown Island Park

It seems important to tribes that if they are truly to become restored, and decolonized, they need to be culturally restored by helping to decolonize their lands and traditional resources at the same time. Tribes did not independently become culture but there are important interactions with their land and its resources that helped develop their cultures. Therefore, tribal restoration and environmental restoration are linked elements in decolonization. But there is also many other reasons for restoring traditional landscapes, for the safety and security of the many peoples who now live here, for the health of the land and the planet, … Continue reading Seasonal Wetlands and Minto-Brown Island Park

Camas Journal May 2, 2022

I revisited Bush Park today to tour the other areas of camas. I began at the “Picnic” area, south side of the park at its upper level and worked my way own to the flower garden area. For years Willamette Students and teachers have been restoring and tending to this area that used to be full of blackberry brambles. Now its mostly oak trees, camas and low bushes, snowberries, that overlay much of the area. The camas is thick under and on all sides of the snowberries. I wish there had been some variety in the berry plants they planted … Continue reading Camas Journal May 2, 2022

The First Census of the Coast and Grand Ronde Reservations: 1856

In 1856, Joel Palmer had some 4000 Natives removed from their homelands to the Coast and Grand Ronde Indian Reservations. Up to at least April of 1856 the primary location of the removal of the tribes was the Grand Ronde addition to the Coast Reservation. In this early period Palmer did not conceive of the two reservations as separate and he had already created the Coast Reservation in 1855 under presidential executive order. The Grand Ronde addition was not yet thought of as permanent and yet the majority of all tribes removed first settled at Grand Ronde due to the … Continue reading The First Census of the Coast and Grand Ronde Reservations: 1856

The Southern Exploring Expedition and The Kalapuyans

The Charles Wilkes Exploring Expedition came to Oregon in August 1841. The expedition split into two parties with some of the expedition venturing up the Columbia, and a number of the scientists and naval men (The naval men were dispossessed from their duties due to the sinking of the Peacock.) traveling down the Willamette Valley and through the interior valleys into California. Wilkes’ journal is a summary of the journey but does not include all of the details from the journey as many of the officers and scientists kept their own journals. I took note of details that address the … Continue reading The Southern Exploring Expedition and The Kalapuyans

Draining Wapato Lake

In Oregon, we have the well-known Wapato Lake, near Gaston. The lake originally was the center of seasonal activities of the Tualatin Kalapuyans (Atfalati) who lived near and harvested the nutritious wapato bulbs from the shallow waters of the lake and its surrounding marshy wetlands. Each Fall the Atfalati women would take their small dugout canoes into the water of the lake and lever wapato bulbs from the bottom of the lake by the thousands. The bulbs would be dried and stored for winter eating by the tribes. As Henry Zenk writes: “A wapato harvest place on the north end … Continue reading Draining Wapato Lake