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.
This short list of sources just scratches the surface of a vast body of historical literature. If you are not sure where to start, you might try browsing the Oregon Encyclopedia's Native American subjects, which has short articles on hundreds of topics, plus further readings for each entry.
A good and succinct overview of Oregon tribal history. This was originally published as a chapter in:, Daniel S. Murphree (ed.), Native America: A State-by-State History, Greenwood Publishing group, 2012.
The standard reference work on Pacific Northwest tribes, with entries for dozens of tribes and bands. "This third edition includes the recent economic, political, and cultural developments that affect the native communities, as well as other contemporary issues such as Indian gaming and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. All entries include information on tribal history, location, demographics, and cultural traditions." - Publisher
This site by David Gene Lewis, Ph.D. (Grand Ronde) dozens of posts on the history and anthropology of Oregon's tribes, mostly focusing on those with a Grand Ronde connection. Sections include Native Place Names, Missionaries and Natives, Oregon Tribal Treaties, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and many others on specific tribes.
"In this book, Gray Whaley examines relations among newcomers and between newcomers and Native peoples--focusing on political sovereignty, religion, trade, sexuality, and the land--from initial encounters to Oregon's statehood. He emphasizes Native perspectives, using the Chinook word Illahee (homeland) to refer to the indigenous world he examines. Whaley argues that the process of Oregon's founding is best understood as a contest between the British Empire and a nascent American one, with Oregon's Native people and their lands at the heart of the conflict." - Publisher
An edited version of ethnographic research conducted in the 1930s on the Nehalem Tillamook. "This is the first book-length ethnography of any Western Oregon native group, and it will be invaluable for drawing comparisons with other Northwest Coast native cultures, especially in the areas of female roles, world view, and social expressions of supernaturalism." - Publisher
The best published history on the tribes of Siletz, with especially rich detail about the Athabaskan-speaking tribes of the lower Rogue River. "This remarkable account, written by one of the nation s most respected experts in tribal law and history, is rich in Indian voices and grounded in extensive research that includes oral tradition and personal interviews. It is a book that not only provides a deep and beautifully written account of the history of the Siletz, but reaches beyond region and tribe to tell a story that will inform the way all of us think about the past."
A classic history of the Rogue River Indian Wars and the devastating effects of white incursions into indigenous lands in southwestern Oregon. Originally published in 1971, some of its descriptions and language show their age, but it remains a compelling book.
A history of the confederated Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw tribes, from the signing of treaties with the U.S. government in the 1850s; through termination of their federally recognized status in 1956; up through their legal restoration 30 years later.
"An updated narrative of the events surrounding the Rogue River War. As his title suggests, Douthit questions the standard historical interpretation ... Instead, he focuses on the indeterminate yet often peaceful interchange between whites and Indians." - OHQ Review
Jetté, a descendant of a Native/French family from Oregon, recently published this deeply researched book on mixed-race communities around the Salem/Champoeg area. She includes a succinct summary of the ethnographic research on the Kalapuyan tribes, including basic details about their linguistic divisions, political and social organizations, as far as is known by Western scholars today. This is also an excellent introduction to the subject of the fur trade era in general.
"Scholars provide a deep and wide-ranging picture of the landscape and resources of the Chinookan homeland and the history and culture of a people over time, from 10,000 years ago to the present. [...] Their accumulated scholarship, along with contributions by members of the Chinook and related tribes, provides an introduction to Chinookan culture and research and is a foundation for future work."
This book includes the original words of the Tualatins from the late 1800s as they were being dispossessed of their traditional lands through treaties. See especially pages 117-126 for the Tualatin Tribe's 1851 Treaty proceedings. A lot of other original material about the Kalapuyan tribes is also compiled in this volume.
"How does a woman survive a concerted campaign to deny her humanity by the government at the national level and by her foster parents and spouse at the most intimate level? Standing Tall, the biography of Oregon tribal leader Kathryn Jones Harrison, recounts the Grand Rondes' resurgence from the ashes of disastrous federal policies designed to terminate their very existence. The tribe's revival paralleled - and was propelled by - Harrison's determination to overcome daunting personal odds." - Publisher
A primary source: this is one of the earliest published ethnographic texts on the tribes of Northwest and North-Central Oregon, published by George Gibbs in 1877. Many later sources derive their information from this text.
Writings from a Yakama woman who had first-hand knowledge of spiritual and cultural practices of multiple tribes on the mid-Columbia and the Columbian plateau. "Both her parents and her maternal grandmother were shamans, and her childhood was populated by people who spoke tribal dialects and languages: Nez Perce, Umatilla, Klikatat, and Yakima Ichishkíin. [...] Beavert narrates highlights from her own life and presents cultural teachings, oral history, and stories (many in bilingual Ishishkíin-English format) about family life, religion, ceremonies, food gathering, and other aspects of traditional culture." - Publisher
"Shadow Tribe offers the first in-depth history of the Pacific Northwest's Columbia River Indians--the defiant River People whose ancestors refused to settle on the reservations established for them in central Oregon and Washington. Largely overlooked, their story illuminates the persistence of off-reservation Native communities and the fluidity of their identities over time." - Publisher
A popular history of the Nez Perce War (1877), which led to the exile of Chief Joseph's band from their homeland in the Wallowas. A good introduction to the tensions that existed between Native and white viewpoints at a time when the U.S. military was consolidating control over indigenous peoples of the West. “A brisk narrative of one of the last major collisions between Native Americans and white America. [Sharfstein’s] two main characters are complex and compelling―Chief Joseph, a thoughtful, powerful speaker who spent years trying to find a way for his people to live alongside American settlers, and General O.O. Howard, a moralistic liberal Army general whose fate it was to crush Joseph’s small Nez Perce tribe.” - NYT Review
A history of the Warm Springs peoples by one of its elders. "'Nearly seventy-five years of my lifetime have come and gone since hearing of the sparse historical events from the old-timers,' American Indian elder George Aguilar tells us. 'It's my turn now.' When the River Ran Wild! is Aguilar's recounting of events ..."
"The Columbia River Plateau, in the interior Pacific Northwest, was populated for centuries by the Umatilla, Walla Walla, and Cayuse Indians. By the late nineteenth century, after the U.S. government had confined these peoples to a single reservation, their lives began to change irrevocably. Major Lee Moorhouse, a businessman and former militia officer, served as an Indian agent during this period. Believing that the Indians he encountered were a "dying race," Moorhouse was driven to collect their artifacts and, for posterity, take their photographs ..." - Publisher
"The Modoc War is a devastating history of defiant indigenous resistance during the Gilded Age of the nineteenth century. McNally's fast-paced, blow-by-blow account chronicles the daring actions of Modoc freedom fighters, treacherous U.S. soldiers, genocidal American settlers, and hubristic military leaders that scarred the West during the "Indian Wars" of the post–Civil War era. But this is more than simply a long-overdue accounting of broken treaties, broken promises, and tragic removal in California. McNally also shines a mirror at us, demanding a reckoning for the demographic and cultural genocide that occurred in the Klamath Basin and across the American West." - Natale A. Zappia, California History
A biography of Sarah Winnemucca, a Northern Paiute woman who lived for a time at the Malheur Reservation in Oregon, before returning to her homeland in Nevada. She worked to free her people from confinement on distant reservations after the Bannock War of 1878. Read it in tandem with her autobiography, Life Among the Paiutes: Their Wrongs and Claims (1883).