Removal of the western Oregon tribes to the reservations was a tumultuous affair. Caravans from the Umpqua and Table Rock reservations to the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation (also called Yamhill River Reservation) took place in the dead of winter with several people dying on the trip. These “Trails of Tears” removed tribal people from their homelands to strange areas, to them, north of their territories, where they did not know what foods were available, where to harvest them, and became completely dependent on the will of the government to care for them. The strength of Joel Palmer’s negotiations helped immensely … Continue reading Estuaries Saved the Coastal Tribes: Section 2- Removal and Exposure
Albert B. Meacham was an Indian agent in the 1860’s and 70’s and oversaw some changes in the reservations. He attempted to give the tribes some voice in this situation, worked to get the tribes to adopt western medicine, and began warning the tribes that their treaty funding was about to end. In short, he seemed to care about the tribes and his reports suggest that he deeply cared about what the tribes had gone through for some 16 years. He even wrote a book of his experiences, Wigwam and Warpath, which addresses nearly all of the tribes in Oregon. … Continue reading Meacham’s Final Appeal to Fairly Pay the Tribes Removed to the Coast Reservation.
For years, I have stated that the tribes did not have bison in Oregon, so they would not have made tipis. This is why the tribes have plankhouses and longhouses made from woven mats. Tipis require a large animal to cover the tipi with their hides. This has made sense to most people. We did have structures among some tribes that looked like a tipi, the Molala for one had a tipi-like mobile living structure that was covered instead in woven mats. But, while bison are not known for the past few centuries west of the Rockies, there has … Continue reading Bison of the Western Rockies
Oregon Tribal Languages have been endangered for over 100 years. From an original base of some 100 languages and dialects, the number of surviving languages with speakers has dwindled to about eight. Most tribes do not have many elder speakers and the language programs are constantly searching for funding to help the languages survive to the next generation. At least five tribes have active language stabilization and restoration programs and several tribes teach their language (s) in community groups. A few tribes have a language taught in regular school classrooms. The most advanced by far is the Chinuk wawa … Continue reading Surviving Oregon Native Languages; Online Sources and Links
Previous to the Americans and the British In Oregon, the tribes had numerous interrelationships with one another. Trade was a major part of the lives of all tribes. Some tribes had vast resources, but only in a few items were they specialized. The Chinookans, had vast amounts of dried salmon because of owning the best salmon fishing sites on the Columbia and Willamette rivers, as well as access to all of the trade items in the Columbia River Trading region, a vast trade zone which stretched from the mid-west American plains to the Pacific Coast. While the Kalapuyans had lots … Continue reading Trade Between the Interior and the Coast; Kalapuyans, Klikitats, Coosans