Tribal Histories of the Willamette Valley

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Indigenous scholar and author David G. Lewis (Santiam Kalapuya) tells the Indigenous side of Western Oregon’s colonization story through Tribal Histories of the Willamette Valley. The book highlights the erasure of Indigenous voices from the predominant narrative about colonization.

During the time of first contact with American expansionists, tens of thousands of Indigenous peoples inhabited the Willamette Valley. Within a few decades, Indigenous tribes endured debilitating diseases, broken land treaties, and cultural desecration. White settlers intentionally destroyed Indigenous food sources and provoked attacks on the Kalapuya, Chinook, Molalla, and other native communities. American justice turned a blind eye to numerous assaults on Indigenous villages, as they knowingly created an unsustainable situation to necessitate the relocation of native peoples to under-resourced reservations.

A hopeful reader might take away the story of resilience. After all that the tribes have endured, they are still here. Many are engaged in cultural preservation. Another reader might connect generational trauma to the present-day economic, health, educational, and other disparities among Oregon’s Indigenous peoples. This is an important book for advocates of Indigenous rights who are interested in digging deeper and beyond the prevailing myths that erase the truth about the long-lasting impact of genocide and colonization.

Reviewed By:

Author David G Lewis, Greg Robinson
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 240 pages
Publisher Ooligan Press
Publish Date 14-Nov-2023
ISBN 9781947845404 Buy this Book
Issue November 2023
Category History