Development of Tribal Cultural Identity at the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation

A good number of people have over the years shown some confusion about the identity of the tribal members at the Grand Ronde tribe. Many natives and non-natives still do not understand the impact of the removal of the people from their lands, their assimilation to American society, and the somewhat unique situation of being terminated in 1954.  It is not that termination is unique to Grand Ronde, because 109 tribes were terminated nationally, but there are few other reservations that can claim 27 to 35 tribes and be terminated, leaving many people without federal status and related to so … Continue reading Development of Tribal Cultural Identity at the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation

Revisiting the Schools I Attended

As a native person, a member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and a descendant of the Santiam, Takelma, and Chinook peoples of western Oregon, I have noted that many of the schools I attended were named for prominent persons in the settler community many of whom had interactions with tribes. I first noted this when engaged in my Ph.D. research and found that Douglas McKay was the Secretary of the Interior who pushed for termination legislation for tribes. It is instructive to me to understand what was the attitude of these prominent men towards Native peoples in the … Continue reading Revisiting the Schools I Attended

Nicholas Day Saves the Umpqua Indians

The following story appeared in the Oregonian in 1900. Nicholas Day was an Indian agent who was hired by Joel Palmer to manage the Umpqua Indians. Day took his job seriously at a time when there was much unrest in the region. The Rogue River Indian war was raging through southern Oregon with many settlers killed. The military force is a command of volunteer militia under the Oregon Territorial government who were activated and ordered to go to Rogue River to assist in the defense of the settlers in the region. During this period there were many feelings expressing in … Continue reading Nicholas Day Saves the Umpqua Indians

Waukikum Treaty of 1851

Treaty between the Waukikum tribe and the United States, negotiated by Anson Dart, Superintendent of Indian Affairs. The treaty negotiations at Tansey Point on the Columbia River were all arranged by Robert Shortess who was appointed special subagent. Dart was assisted by Henry Spalding agent, and Josiah Parrish sub-agent. The treaty was among 19 treaties negotiated by Dart and the Willamette Treaty Commission in 1851. None of these treaties were ratified by Congress. Dart accompanied the treaties to Washington, D. C. and gave the Senate a means of moving forward, by notifying them that all lands in the Willamette Valley … Continue reading Waukikum Treaty of 1851

Preparing for Purchase, First Indian Agent in Coos Bay, 1853

When Joel Palmer was appointed to Superintendent of Indian Affairs in May 1853 he had a good working knowledge of the tribes but had never visited the southern Oregon coast. He began to scope out and plan how southwestern Oregon was to be managed as there were numerous tribes in that region. His first effort was to halt the Rogue River War which was raging in the area of the gold mines of southern Oregon. Palmer teamed up with General Joe Lane to bring the war to a swift end with a treaty of peace (9/8/1853) and a treaty of … Continue reading Preparing for Purchase, First Indian Agent in Coos Bay, 1853