Joel Palmer was the Indian Agent at the Siletz Agency in 1871 and had responsibilities, as emphasized in his 1871 journal, over continuing to removing Indians from the Southern Coast to the Coast Reservation, some of whom had run away from from the reservation earlier. 1871 removal of Tolowa and Chetco to the Coast Reservation. In November Palmer began to gather the necessary supplies together to remove some few Indian families from the coast. Palmer was also engaged in trying to figure out how to feed the people already on the reservation, these two responsibilities split his time significantly. The … Continue reading Joel Palmer Returning Indians and Feeding Natives, Siletz 1871
As related in my previous essay about the Chetko Massacre, there was a massacre of the Tolowa in 1853. The Palmer account suggest the previous massacre was the work of the same 8 or 9 men who destroyed the two Chetko villages in March of 1853. Annette Reed, a Tolowa descendant (Tolowa Dee-ni Nation), and Professor of Ethnic Studies at Sacramento State University, suggests that the way in which the history was written is suspicious. The pioneer account from the History of Del Norte County (Bledsoe), suggests that it was the Tolowa’s own fault that the massacre happened. In the … Continue reading The Most Persistent Attempt to Exterminate the Tribes, Beginning with the Yontocket Massacre 1853
Loren Bommelyn wrote to tell me that there were some corrections needed to the Chronology. I welcomed this because this is the Tolowa’s history and not mine. He provided a detailed and Linguistically corrected series of edits to numerous of the events and corrected a few things about the essay. Loren also responds to comments by Shawn Hostler who had disagreed with my documented assertion that the dance house land was called the Henry Flat. Find Loren’s comments below the original chronology.
In about 1997, I met Loren Bommelyn as he began a Masters degree in Linguistics at the University of Oregon. For his second and last year I was his roommate on in a University of Oregon Moss Street graduate house. Loren and his family were very giving of their time and I grew to appreciate their positivism while I was engaged in my Masters studies (the Masters and PhD studies would eventually lead to me becoming the Cultural Resources Manager at my tribe, the Grand Ronde Tribe). Loren had almost single-handedly built the Nelechundun Dancehouse at Smith River, and preserved their language, brought back dancing and singing in the traditional language and songs. Loren wrote the Tolowa Dictionary and devised a new language preservation technique, which is now called the Master-Apprentice system and was implemented at the University of California, Berkeley, which teams elder language speakers with apprentices who become fluent in the program.