Truth of History

This title is nearly an oxymoron. There are historic truths, but what we known of history is an invention of mostly people who did not personally experience that history. In truth, historians write histories all the time where they assume that what they are writing is true, based on the preponderance of evidence. Mostly historians get clues as to what is history from a number of sources, and they have to assign values to those sources. Some sources are reliable, some are not based on a number of factors. These factors can include the reliability of the source, the source’s … Continue reading Truth of History

Oral Histories of Native Experiences at Yahaats Sub-Agency

Yachats, today, is a tourist area on the Oregon Coast. The area is known for its amazingly beautiful coastline, for sea lions, and whale watching and weekend vacationing. That reputation is in stark contrast to the original use of the location in the mid-nineteenth century as an Indian reservation, a sub-agency of the larger Alsea Reservation within the Coast Reservation lands. The Yachats sub-agency was where Indian tribes from the Coos Bay, Lower Umpqua, Alsea, Coquille, and Siuslaw rivers were relocated temporarily in preparation for permanent removal. This action freed all of the lands around Coos Bay and many other … Continue reading Oral Histories of Native Experiences at Yahaats Sub-Agency

Our World is Created by Monsters

We know that Native stories, what we call oral history now, were history of our lands and peoples. Many were also teaching lessons for children. Their parents and elders in the tribes would set aside time in the winter time, usually at night to tell stories land, how it was formed, the strange animals, the existence of previous races of talking animals and their trials and troubles. Many of these stories were designed to teach the children how to act and how to stay safe when growing up and traveling around their land. Many others were told to answer the … Continue reading Our World is Created by Monsters

Tribal Oral Histories Are History

When the western Oregon tribes were terminated, the federal government reported that we had agreed to be terminated. This story is pervasive throughout the region with tribes, Oregonians and history books all professing the willingness of the western Oregon tribes to be terminated. This story affected people’s identities, where members of terminated tribes were not allowed to participate in reservation activities, as many non-terminated tribes assumed that the terminated tribes willingly agreed to stop being Indian. In fact terminated tribal people moved into cities and became “urban Indians”, a term many attributed in a negative way to be a racism … Continue reading Tribal Oral Histories Are History