Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Indigenous History of Oregon

A guide for learning about the histories of the Native peoples of Oregon, especially the Tualatin Kalapuya (Atfalati) tribe on whose land the Forest Grove & Hillsboro campuses of Pacific University stand.

Nations, Tribes & Bands of Oregon

Oregon today is home to nine federally recognized tribal nations, plus several unrecognized tribes. These modern tribal governments each include members descending from multiple tribes and bands. This page is a reference for how these groups interrelate. 

 

Map: Oregon Language Groups & Tribes  - Source: PSU C-GEO, Student Atlas of Oregon.

 

Map: Oregon's Federally Recognized Tribes - Source: Atlas of Oregon (2nd ed.), 2001

 

Oregon's Tribes

For more about how this table is organized, see the Notes below

Modern Tribal Nation Ethno-Linguistic Tribal Groups: Constituent Tribes / Bands include:  Homelands
Burns Paiute of Harney County Northern Paiute
  • Wadatika
  • Hunipuitöka
South-Central OR: High desert areas
Chinook Nation (federally unrecognized) Chinookans
  • Cathlamet
  • Clatsop
  • Lower Chinook
  • Wahkiakum
  • Willapa
Lower Columbia River in WA & OR
Clatsop-Nehalem Confederated Tribes (federally unrecognized) Clatsop (Chinookan)
  • Clatsop
Northwest Oregon Coast
Nehalem (Tillamookan)
  • Nehalem
Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, Confederated Tribes of

Coos

  • Hanis Coos
  • Miluk Coos
South-Central OR Coast
Lower Umpqua
  • Lower Umpqua (Kuitsch)
Siuslaw
  • Siuslaw
Coquille Indian Tribe Coquille (Athabascan)
  • Coquille 
Southwestern OR Coast
Coos
  • Miluk Coos. Note: there was no sharp boundary between Coquille/Coos speakers; See the tribe's web site for detail. 
Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Takelma
  • Cow Creek Takelmans
Southwestern OR: Cow Creek and Upper Umpqua River Valleys
Upper Umpqua (Athabascan)
  • Several Upper Umpqua (Athabascan-speaking) bands including Upper Umpqua Targunsans and the Grave Creek Milwaletas. 
Fort McDermitt Paiute & Shoshone Tribes Northern Paiute
  • (research needed)
Northwest Great Basin: Southeast OR, Northern NV, Southwest ID
Western Shoshone
  • (research needed)
Grand Ronde, Confederated Tribes of Kalapuya
  • Tualatin (Atfalati)The northernmost Kalapuyan tribe, on whose land Pacific University's Forest Grove & Hillsboro campuses sit. 
  • Yamhill (Yamel)
  • Ahantchuyuk (Pudding River)
  • Luckiamute
  • Santiam
  • Chepenefa (Mary's River)
  • Chemapho (Muddy Creek)
  • Tsankupi (Calapooia River)
  • Mohawk (Mohawk River, OR; unrelated to the Mohawks of NY)
  • Chafan (near Eugene)
  • Chelamela (Long Tom River)
  • Winefelly (Mohawk, McKenzie and Coast Forks of the Willamette River)
  • Yoncalla
Willamette Valley and Upper Umpqua River Valley
Molalla
  • Various Molalla bands, names unrecorded, from the west slopes of the Cascades bordering the Willamette Valley
North & Central OR: Cascade Mountains and neighboring areas
Rogue River Tribes (Athabaskans and Takelmans)
  • Illinois River bands (Athabaskan-speakers)
  • Chasta Costa (Lower Rogue River, Athabaskan-speakers; unrelated to the Irkirukatsu Shasta)
  • Takelma (Upper Rogue River)
Southwestern OR: Upper Rogue & Illinois River Valleys
Shasta
  • Northern Shasta (Irkirukatsu Shasta)
Central OR-CA border
Umpqua (Athabaskan speakers) Southwestern OR: Upper Umpqua River Valley
Other OR & WA tribes
  • Members of other OR & WA tribes were also relocated to the Grand Ronde reservation in the 1800s, including:
    • Clackamas and other Chinookan-speakers
    • Klickitats 
Various places including portions of the modern Portland metro area
Klamath Tribes Klamath
  • E’ukskni (Upper Klamath Lake) bands
  • Plaikni (Sprague River) bands
South-Central OR: Klamath Basin
Modoc
  • Modoc bands
Northeastern CA & South-Central OR: near Tule Lake
Yahooskin (Northern Paiute)
  • Yahooskin Band of Northern Paiutes
South-Central OR: Upper Sprague River?
Siletz, Confederated Tribes of Alsea
  • Alsea
  • Yaquina
Central OR Coast
Rogue River & Related Athabaskan Tribes
  • Upper Coquille 
  • Chasta Costa
  • Tututni, including the bands: Chemetunne, Chetleshin (Pistol River), Flores Creek, Mikonotunne, Naltunnetunne, Kaltsergheatunne (or Port Orford band of Kwatami), Sixes (Kwatami), Yukichetunne (Euchre Creek).
  • Applegate & Galice
  • Chetco & Tolowa
  • Upper Umpqua
Southern OR & Northern CA Coasts
Chinookan
  • Includes descendants of several Chinookan bands/tribes, e.g. Clatsops. 
Lower Columbia River
Coos
  • Hanis Coos
  • Miluk Coos
South-Central OR Coast
Klickitat
  • Descendants of Klickitats from north of the Columbia River who had moved south into Oregon in the 1820s-1850s, or were relocated onto Oregon reservations after the 1855 Klickitat War.
South-Central WA; See note
Molalla    
  • Various Molalla bands, names unrecorded, from the west slopes of the Cascades. 
North & Central OR: Cascade Mountains 
Takelma
  • Dagelma
  • Latgawa
  • Cow Creek
Southwestern OR: Cow Creek and Upper Rogue River Valleys
Tillamook
  • Nehalem
  • Nestucca
  • Salmon River
  • Siletz
  • Tillamook Bay
North-Central OR Coast
Umatilla, Confederated Tribes of Cayuse
  • Cayuse bands
Eastern WA-OR border: Snake, Umatilla, Walla Walla Rivers
Umatilla (Sahaptins)
  • Umatilla bands
Northeastern OR: Upper Columbia & Umatilla Rivers
Walla Walla (Sahaptins)
  • Walla Walla bands
Eastern WA-OR border: Walla Walla, Snake & Columbia Rivers
Warm Springs, Confederated Tribes of Wasco (Chinookan-speakers)
  • Wasco bands, including the Wascoes proper (a.k.a. Dalles Wasco), the Hood or Dog River Wascoes, and the Watlala (a.k.a. Cascades).
  • Wishram bands,  including the Tlakluit and Echeloot
Central OR-WA border: Middle Columbia River. Wasco = South bank; Wishram = North bank
Warm Springs, a.k.a Tenino (Sahaptin-speakers)
  • Dalles Tenino (a.k.a. Tinainu)
  • Dock-Spus (a.k.a. John Day Band)
  • Tygh (a.k.a. Upper Deschutes), including the Tayxɫáma (Tygh Valley), Tiɫxniɫáma (Sherar's Bridge) and Mliɫáma (present Warm Spring Reservation)
  •  Wyam (Celilo Falls Band)
North-Central OR:  Columbia River Tributaries
Northern Paiute
  • Northern Paiutes who were relocated after the Bannock War of 1878 and at other times. 
Southeastern OR: High deserts
Unaffiliated Oregon Tribes Clatskanie (Athabaskans)

The Clatskanie were heavily affected by epidemics in the late 1700s-early 1800s. Survivors had merged with other tribes by the 1850s. 

Northwestern Oregon near Clatskanie & Vernonia
Other Tribes relocated outside of Oregon Niimíipuu / Nez Perce

Niimíipuu bands that originally lived in OR were removed to ID and WA in the late 1800s:

Northwest OR, Central ID & Southwest WA
Northern Paiute

After the Bannock War of 1878, Northern Paiutes from southeastern OR were split across multiple reservations. Their descendants are now part of tribes including: 

Southeastern OR & Southwestern ID
Other Tribes who now live in Oregon Too many to list!

Many Native American tribes -- as well as other indigenous peoples from lands occupied by Western countries -- have made Oregon their home. A few of the organizations serving these communities include: 

Varies 

Notes on the Table

  • Regarding the authority of the information in this table: This table was constructed as a reference tool by Pacific University's archivist, Eva Guggemos, who is a non-Native with a background in academic historical scholarship. It is based on tribal web sites and other published sources. It has less authority than the voices of Natives , who are the ultimate authorities on their own histories. Corrections, comments, questions, etc. are welcome! Please email archives@pacificu.edu
  • Regarding the terms Modern Tribal Nation, Tribal Group, Band, etc.: see Terminology.
  • Regarding disputes and/or variations in classifications here: Some modern tribal nations dispute the claims of other tribal nations regarding matters such as the extent/location of tribal homelands or the status of a group as being a separate tribe vs. a sub-group of a larger tribe. This table does not attempt to judge between these competing views. The section for each Modern Tribal Nation is intended to represent that nation's claims. 
  • Regarding Tribal Names (and Another Name in parenthesis): In order to save space on the chart, we have used this formula:
    • Ethnolinguistic Tribal Group = Name preferred by the Modern Nation (Linguistic Group or other Common Name)
    • Tribal Group / Band = Name preferred by the Modern Tribe, if known (Other common names for the Tribe/Band)
  • Regarding the appearance of one tribe across multiple Modern Tribal Nations: Many Tribal Groups/Bands exist across multiple Modern Nations, due to how tribes were split up and relocated to reservations in the 19th century. The Molallas, for example, are part of the Grand Ronde, Siletz and Warm Springs tribal confederations. 
  • Regarding the completeness of the information here: The table does not represent all constituents of each tribal nation. Many modern tribal members have overlapping or additional tribal ancestry beyond what is noted below, or may use different terms to refer to themselves. Again, Natives should be considered the ultimate authorities on their own stories.