Indian Fishing Rights on the Grand Ronde-Siletz Indian Agency

Over the course of the years  one question about the tribes of western Oregon has never been fully answered, Do the Tribal Members of the Grand Ronde and Siletz Reservations possess fishing rights? This essay offers a few case studies … Continue reading Indian Fishing Rights on the Grand Ronde-Siletz Indian Agency

Kalapuyans: Seasonal Lifeways, TEK, Anthropocene

Kalapuyan History (summary) From original 25,000 Kalapuyan people (estimated) in 19 tribes and bands, they were reduced to about 800 by 1850 through diseases like malaria. The loss of population caused cultural collapse and the confederation of many different villages to a very few. This left the land open to settlement from other tribes and American settlers. Americans encountered a park-like setting, a vast flat clear prairie with a mild climate and plenty of water, perfect for agriculture. The collapse of Native culture caused the collapse of most maintenance of the environment. The Tribes were removed to the Reservations in … Continue reading Kalapuyans: Seasonal Lifeways, TEK, Anthropocene

Douglas Encounters Kalapuyans In Oregon

Scottish Botanist David Douglas (25 June 1799 – 12 July 1834) did extensive work in Oregon. On David Douglas’ famous trips to Oregon he documented a collection of plant seeds and samples, but also a collection of animal samples, and material culture (hats and baby boards). He famously names the Douglas fir tree. Douglas shipped the collections in barrels to the Royal Horticultural Society from the port at Fort Vancouver.  His collections are now in the British Museum or in Anthropology  museums in Scotland. The journals of David Douglas offer a glimpse of the environment of the Willamette Valley at … Continue reading Douglas Encounters Kalapuyans In Oregon

Dentalia Shell Money: Hi-qua, Alika-chik

Dentalia shells, a mollusk, is collected from the sea floor off of Vancouver Island and is used by native peoples in a broad region of North America.  They grow up to 3 inches (or more) long for the North West Coast dentalia, while 2 inch dentalia are not uncommon and 1-1.5 inches are the most common. Tribes of the North West Coast and California used the dentalia for money, and for decorative and ceremonial artwork. The shells are tusk shaped, and when the animal dies, the tusk is hollow, which allow for easy stringing. The tusks are formed in layers … Continue reading Dentalia Shell Money: Hi-qua, Alika-chik

Wallace House, The First American Building in the Willamette Valley; and the Taking of Fort Astoria

Fur traders with the Pacific Fur Company, an American company, left Fort Astoria in 1812, 23rd, October (Franchere), for the Willamette Valley to establish a fur trading outpost.  The intent was to establish a fur trading post close to the Kalapuyan tribal villages and form positive relationships with the tribes.  Wallace House was built by William Wallace and Stephen Halsey in December 1812 with the help of fourteen other men included Donald McKenzie (Henry, et al. 1897). Wallace house became the first American building in the Willamette Valley and was occupied until at least 1814. The first information the fur traders had heard … Continue reading Wallace House, The First American Building in the Willamette Valley; and the Taking of Fort Astoria