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Tag Archive Wasco

Native Peoples of Oregon

A wide array of native peoples have lived in Oregon for at least 15,000 years, and likely longer. Although European pioneers pressured and persecuted these tribes just as they did throughout  the Westward Expansion, these resilient people have survived and even thrived into the modern era and contribute significantly to the culture and values of today’s Pacific Northwest.

By the 1500s, Oregon was home to :

Bannock
Chasta (Shasta)
Chinook
Clackamas (Chinookan)
Clatsop (Chinookan)
Coquille
Kalapuya
Kathlamet (Chinookan)
Klamath
Modoc
Molalla
Nez Perce
Paiute
Rogue (Takelma, Tututni))
Siletz
Snake
Umpqua (Cow Creek)
Wasco (Chinookan)
Wishram (Chinookan)

Chinookan tribes shared a loosely amalgamated trade language known as “Chinook Wawa”. At the time of the Lewis & Clarke expedition, there were an estimated 16,000 members of these Chinook tribes, or roughly 50,000 total indigenous inhabitants in the region.

This article only pays introductory homage to the native peoples of Oregon. As we expand our content we’ll explore these tribes, their cultures and histories deeper.

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