We Would Prefer to Remain in Our Own Lands, The Molalla People

The Molalla tribes, North, Santiam, and Umpqua valley (southern), were traders between the Chinookans to the north, the Klamaths to the south and the Paiutes to the east and the Kalapuyans in the west of their territory.  Their name is a corruption of the Chinook Wawa word “ulali” meaning berry or huckleberry.

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Klamath Termination: Water, Timber and Sovereign Rights



Klamath indians, Wocus gatherers and canoes
Klamath Indians, Wocus gatherers and canoes

The reasons for the elimination of federal management of Indians were many. A primary reason was the tribal reservations contained the last undeveloped western lands, which had some of the last untouched natural resources in the United States. Many reservations contained significant stands of timber and clean water resources, as well as significant underground mineral deposits.

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The Grand Enterprise of Six Tribes in 1845

In 1845, before the waves of settlers had come to the Oregon Territory, a confederation of six Oregon tribes worked together to begin to expand their resources and wealth. The “Kayuse, Wallawalla, Spokans, Nes Perces, Ponderays and Snakes” sought to create vast cattle ranches in their territories. Dr. Elijah White (Indian agent) reported the happenings of their grand enterprise to buy cattle in California from the Spaniards and drive them back to Oregon.

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Review: Melinda Marie Jette’s “At the Hearth of the Crossed Races” OSU Press, 2015.


Melinda Marie Jette’s 2015 book, At the Hearth of the Crossed Races, expands upon previous historical analysis of the beginnings of the Oregon territory, the fur trade and tribal relations in Western Oregon. Jette’s premise, that there has been an “inclination to overlook the French Canadian trappers, and by extension their bicultural families and Native kin,” is well founded. This is a timely addition to the literature of the Oregon Territory.

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Native land management

Very great site with good info and images about native plants.

Notes on ethnobotany in western Oregon

My friend from Grand Ronde has written an interesting blog post on burning and Indian land management.  As he says, 100,000 Native Foresters made Oregon’s forests.

There are some interesting books on Native land management in the far west:  Indians, Fire and the Land edited by Robert Boyd, Keeping it Living edited by Douglas Deur and Nancy Turner, and Tending the Wild by Kat Anderson.

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