Oregon Tribal Treaties

The period of Treaties begins in 1851 when some 19 treaties are written with western Oregon tribes. These treaties fail to be ratified.

In 1853 begins another era of treaties under Joel Palmer. Palmer wrote at least seven successful treaties for western Oregon and works on treaties for eastern Oregon with Isaac Stevens. Additional treaties are written with the Nez Perce, Klamath, and Paiute peoples.

Treaties are agreements between the tribal nations and the United States for sale of the tribal lands. Tribes are promised money, supplies, and services to remove to a permanent reservation for their home. By-and-large, the federal government does pay the tribes as agreed. But payments are late, supplies are cheap or not enough, and the management of the reservations is quite bad. Many native people die of mismanagement, starvation, malnutrition, violence, during the period of the early reservation. Then reservations reductions take more resources and land from the tribes. the western Oregon tribes and Klamath are terminated in 1954, meaning their treaties are terminated. This act, without the express approval of the tribes, is a breach of treaty terms. Seven tribes are restored in the 1970s and 1980s.

Treaties of Oregon tribes give some rights to tribes who desire hunting, fishing and gathering rights. But other treaties, which do not express these rights, do not address hunting, fishing, and gathering at all, and so western Oregon tribes then have the opinion that they did not have these rights taken away. Treaty debates are the backbone of all tribal histories in the present era and provide important context for tribes claiming sovereign rights.

Origins of the Willamette Valley Treaty Map of 1851

Anson Dart and the Willamette Treaty Commission

The 1851 Tansy Point Treaty Journal: The Clatsop Treaty

The 1851 Treaty Commission: the Ya-su-chah at Port Orford

The 1851 Treaty Commission: Coquille, Euchre, and Tototan at Port Orford

The 1851 Treaty Commission Journal: The Clackamas Treaty

The 1851 Treaty Commission Journal: Santiam Kalapuya Negotiations

Clatsops After Their 1851 Treaty

The Willamette Valley Treaty (Treaty with the Kalapuya, Etc.) Signed January 22 & Ratified March 3, 1855

Molalla Chief Crooked Finger, the Battle of Abiqua and the 1851 Molalla Treaty

Equability of the Willamette Valley Treaty

Treaty of Peace with the Rogue River Tribes, September 8, 1853

Rogue River Treaty of 1854, Negotiated November 15, 1854, Ratified March 3, 1855

Treaty with the Chasta, Negotiated November 18, 1854, Ratified March 3, 1855

Rogue River Treaty of 1853, Negotiated September 10, 1853, Ratified April 12, 1854

Treaty with the Molala, Negotiated December 21, 1855, Ratified March 8, 1859

The Molalla Treaty: The Last Western Oregon Treaty

Treaty with the Umpqua and Kalapuya, Negotiated November 29, 1854, Ratified March 3, 1855

Treaty with the Umpqua – Cow Creek Band, Negotiated September 19, 1853, Ratified April 12, 1854

The Cow Creek Umpqua Temporary Reservation

When the Tribes Sold Everything: Oregon Tribal Treaty Payments

When Treaty Annuities End – Federal Austerity in 1876

Meacham’s Final Appeal to Fairly Pay the Tribes Removed to the Coast Reservation.

This Place is as My Heart: The 1855 Wasco-Deschutes Treaty