History of Oregon

Native Indian Tribe

Names of the Oregon Indian Tribes

Oregon is a state of the northwest United States in the Pacific Northwest. There are many famous Native American tribes who played a part in the history of the state and whose tribal territories and homelands are located in the present day state of Oregon.

The names of the Oregon tribes included the Ahantchuyuk, Alsea, Bannock, Calapooya, Cayuse, Chastacosta, Chetco, Hanis, Kuitsh, Miluk, Modoc, Nez Perce (see above picture), Shasta, Snake, Takelma, Tillamook, Wallawalla and Yamel.

Fast Facts about the History of Oregon Indians
The climate, land, history, environment and natural resources that were available to the indigenous Indian tribes in Oregon resulted in the adoption of the Northwest culture. In Northeast and Central Oregon some Indians adopted the Plateau Culture

  • Name of State: Oregon
  • Meaning of State name: The name of this state is believed to come from the Spanish word "oregano" for the wild sage which grows in eastern Oregon
  • Geography, Environment and Characteristics of the State of Oregon: Coastal plain, river valley Cascade Mountains and plateau area
  • Culture adopted by Oregon Indians: Northwest Cultural Group. In Northeast and Central Oregon some Indians adopted the Plateau Culture
  • Languages: Athabaskan, Algonquian, Siouan, Caddoan and Uto-Aztecan
  • Way of Life (Lifestyle): Hunters and Fishers
  • Types of housing, homes or shelters: Pit houses, tepees, tule-mat lodges

History Timeline of the Oregon Indians

  • 10,000 B.C. : Paleo-Indian Era (Stone Age culture) the earliest human inhabitants of America who lived in caves and were Nomadic hunters of large game including the Great Mammoth and giant bison.
  • 7000 BC: Archaic Period in which people built basic shelters and made stone weapons and stone tools
  • 1738: 1738 Pierre Gaultier de la Vérendrye (1732-1739), lead the first known Euro-American expedition into Oregon
  • 1773: 1775 - 1783 - The American Revolution.
  • 1776: July 4, 1776 - United States Declaration of Independence
  • 1803: The United States bought the Louisiana Territory from France for 15 million dollars for the land
  • 1812: 1812 - 1815: The War of 1812 between U.S. and Great Britain, ended in a stalemate but confirmed America's Independence
  • 1824: Alexander Ross was the leader of the Hudson's Bay Company's 1824 trapping expedition into Snake Country during the fur trade era in Shoshone country
  • 1829: William Lewis Sublette (1799–1845) took the first wagon trains along the route (Oregon Trail) to the Rocky Mountains
  • 1830: Indian Removal Act
  • 1832: Department of Indian Affairs established
  • 1848: Cayuse War (1848–1855) the influx of disease and settlers to Oregon.
  • 1855: Winna's expedition against Snake Indians, Oregon
  • 1855: Klamath and Salmon River Indian war
  • 1855: 1855 - 1856 Rogue River War in Oregon. Indian tribes were attacked in an attempt to start a war that would enable unemployed miners to work. Survivors were forced on to reservations.
  • 1861: 1861 - 1865: The American Civil War.
  • 1862: U.S. Congress passes Homestead Act opening the Great Plains to settlers
  • 1864: The Snake War (1864–1868) was fought by the U.S. army against the "Snake Indians" which was the settlers term for Northern Paiute, Bannock and Western Shoshone bands who lived along the Snake River. Fighting took place in Oregon, Nevada, and California, and Idaho
  • 1865: The surrender of Robert E. Lee on April 9 1865 signalled the end of the Confederacy
  • 1865: 1865-1868 - Campaign against Indians in southern Oregon, Idaho (Territory) and northern California
  • 1872: 1872 - 1873 Modoc War in California and Oregon when led by Captain Jack Native Indians left their terrible reservation and fought for 6 months, Captain Jack was hanged
  • 1877: Nez Perce War in Oregon, Montana and Idaho. After fighting against the Americans Chief Joseph led his tribe 1700 miles to Canada but were forced to to surrender near the border
  • 1878: Bannock War
  • 1887: Dawes General Allotment Act passed by Congress leads to the break up of the large Indian Reservations and the sale of Indian lands to white settlers
  • 1969: All Indians declared citizens of U.S.
  • 1979: American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed

History of Oregon Indians - Destruction and Decline
The history of the European invasion brought epidemic diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera, influenza, measles and smallpox. The Native Indians of Oregon had not developed immunities against these diseases resulting in huge losses in population. Exploitation including the leverage of taxes, enforced labor and enslavement were part of their history, taking their toll on the Oregon Indians.

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