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.
The story of the Coast Reservation of Oregon is complicated. The Coast Reservation is created in 1855 by Presidential Executive Order and then for some months remains undeveloped by the Oregon Indian office. Joel Palmer, the Indian Superintendent for Oregon, planned to move all of the tribes of western Oregon to this reservation, because the 100 mile stretch of coastline and coastal mountains (100 miles long by 20 miles wide in most estimates) , were relatively unsettled, and were an intractable wilderness to the White settlers. The Coast Reservation extended from Siltcoos Lake at the south to about Cape Lookout … Continue reading Canoeing the Yaquina, Coast Reservation, November 1856
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