Broken Treaties: full documentary

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Broken Treaties: full documentary

The following is an OPB original series Oregon Experience is a production of OPB in partnership with the Oregon Historical Society [ ??? ] MAN: We have been here since time began We have been here since the first human got here For many thousands of years, Oregon has been Indian country MAN: Indian country is pretty complex It’s not just one group of people that are all the same It’s dozens of different tribes who once lived in hundreds of villages in a diverse environment of natural abundance WOMAN: When those natural resources were desired by the white folks that were coming here to this land, Indian people were in the way WOMAN: They fought with us, they killed us, they drug us out of our home territory The treaty guaranteed us that we would remain on this land in our ownership forever Leading support for Oregon Experience is provided by Major support provided by Support for ”Broken Treaties” is provided by and viewers like you MAN: I’m on the veterans committee for the parade in Eugene One of the meetings, a woman brought her son and introduced me as Chief Brainard, and the kid looked at me and said, ”I thought all Indians were dead.” [ men singing and drumming ] The Indian people of this country are very much alive although others have long been predicting their demise [ singing ] MAN: The big picture of American Indian policy was stated by George Washington in 1783: The Indians are going to go extinct, and the United States is going to get all their lands There was a time after World War II and Korea that all the anthropologists expected that we would become culturally extinct, that we would lose our language, our lands would be sold off and frittered away We would no longer be able to be identified from any other person on the landscape But that’s not the case Oregon today is home to nine federally recognized tribes ANNOUNCER: Give her a big round of applause — Carissa Jackson, incoming queen of the Restoration Powwow, Klamath Tribes! Most are actually confederations — groupings — of several different tribes More than 60 tribes and bands once lived here, speaking at least 18 languages [ speaking in Native American language ] [ speaking in Native American language ] That’s ”hello, my friend.” [ speaks in Native American language ] ”How is it you are doing?” Oregon contains four distinct culture areas — with variations in terrain, climate, and resources that can shape the way people live We have all these different geographies, if you will, that distinguish any one part of Oregon from any other part of Oregon And that is the case with the tribes Each of their landscapes, each of their geographic areas dictated their traditions, dictated their technologies, dictated their relationships with others Each of the tribes are defined by a particular place in the world WOMAN: Coquille people lived from the mouth of the river, the Nasomah Village complex Up the river, we had village sites anywhere that it was a good place to fish and a good place to live MAN: The Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla people were strong traders They controlled much of the economic trade route that went into the Great Basin to our south, that went into southern Canada to our north DON GENTRY: The E’ukskni, the Klamath people — that’s what we called ourself, ”people of the lake,” we lived in various locations here along the rivers, the lakes, and the marshes MAN: I am Siuslawan, or Siuslaw, as it’s said today So I am Siuslaw [ speaks Native American term ] And I’m also Kuitsh, which is Lower Umpqua MAN: I live here on the Umatilla Indian Reservation I’m a tribal member, and I have lived here most of my life WOMAN: I live in Warm Springs, Oregon, and I’m Northern Paiute and of the Sahaptin descent I’m just three different types of Paiute [ chuckles ] The Paiutes claimed most of what is now southeastern Oregon

WOMAN: I think the distinction was our ability to thrive and to live in country that other people found less desirable The Indians of this vast desert area walked long distances to hunt, gather, and trade for food Today’s Burns Paiute Tribe was called the Wadatika, ”the eaters of the wada plant.” RODERIQUE: Almost every Paiute band is named after their primary food source You have the Agai Ticutta, the fish eaters You have the Toi Ticutta, the cattail eaters You have the Gidi’tikadii, the groundhog eaters Some of the Great Basin had no outlets to the ocean, so access to fresh salmon there was limited But that fish has always played a big role in Northwest Native culture We are called the Salmon People, and the salmon was a great part of us The Coos and other coastal Oregon tribes never had to travel too far for food Large mammals existed here in big numbers Plant resources were abundant in the rainforest environment, providing not only food but materials for baskets, canoes, and plank houses The people at water’s edge ate shellfish and fresh- and saltwater fish MAN: All the tribes had a relationship with salmon If you didn’t have a lot of salmon, you would do whatever you could to make enough resources to go trade for salmon Today, this fish still swims throughout much of Oregon But before the dams and habitat degradation, salmon and steelhead migrated into nearly every part of the state RODERIQUE: I had never seen a salmon in the Malheur River I remember as a little girl listening to my granduncle and grandaunt talking about the salmon runs in the Malheur River, how shallow the water was and that the fish were coming so thick that you could walk across on ’em and step on ’em Most of northeastern Oregon — and a big swath down the center — is plateau country — wide open spaces and rolling hills Laced with waterways and light on rainfall, this is the homeland of the Umatillas, Walla Wallas and Cayuse the Warm Springs and the Wascos the Klamaths, Modocs, and Yahooskins and others They harvested the salmon that passed by in astounding numbers The Cayuse acquired horses in the early 1700s WOMAN: One party was going to raid the Shoshone They saw a man there riding something the size of an elk and decided to change their mission immediately and obtain a mare and a stallion They gambled everything they had to bring home both a mare and a stallion, and came home naked — that’s everything you have We selectively bred the horses we obtained, and they became known later as Cayuse horses, or Cayuse mustangs [ horse nickers ] A wealthy family would have had thousands of horses And in 1890, we’re the largest livestock-producing tribe in the United States [ ??? ] As this territory was settled by Euro-Americans, they sometimes described it as wilderness — pristine and untouched But in fact, the forests, grasslands, and rivers had been maintained by the Indians for a very long time Our ancestors managed the forest, managed the land for a variety of things After they were finished hunting elk, they would burn off that area, because they would clean up all the underbrush and provide more feed for the elk and deer for the next year, and also any woody material that was in that area, it would burn it down, and then it would come back with tons of nice straight shoots that would be usable for basket weaving [ birds chirping ] Many of the tribes out here in the Pacific Northwest lived what we would call seasonal rounds Tribes followed the berries maturing They would move elsewhere and dig the roots They would move elsewhere and hunt deer And they’d always get back to the river for the very regular runs of salmon that we know, the fall and spring chinook RODERIQUE: We traveled northeast to gather bitterroots and gather plants and berries and medicines up in the forest [ frogs croaking ] When you think of the expanse of Eastern Oregon and where our people went to gather their foodstuffs for the wintertime, we spent a lot of time traveling

But the Indians’ seasonal mobility also meant that they were often away and unable to defend their property when the settlers arrived and claimed it as their own It is people being displaced by other people, who, because it’s convenient and because U.S. policy lets it happen, can take over someone else’s neighborhood, can take over someone else’s house, can take over someone else’s resources White settlers began to arrive in large numbers in the early 1840s GENTRY: Initially, the contact was positive with some of the traders, but then the folks that wanted our land, you know, moved in, and there was clashes and loss of life on both sides MAN: I always get a kick out of that story about one Indian that went to Italy and put his flag down and says, ”I discovered this land, I claim this land for the nation of –” the Indian tribe he was from And they all, ”What are you doing? What do you mean? You can’t do that We’ve got a nation already here.” ”Yeah.” ”And we have governments for thousands of years.” ”Yeah.” ”And we’ve got organized religions.” ”Yeah.” [ ??? ] In 1492, Christopher Columbus ”discovered” — and claimed — the Americas for the queen of Spain A year later, Pope Alexander the Sixth wrote the rules for the proper way to do that His ”Doctrine of Discovery” would guide Europe’s colonization of territories and subjugation of Native people around the world Lewis and Clark’s 1804 Corps of Discovery was an early step in bringing that way of thinking to the American West MILLER: Tribes are sovereign governments The United States Constitution recognizes them as sovereign governments But part of the Doctrine of Discovery claims the newly arrived United States or European country has an overriding sovereignty over the sovereignty of the indigenous groups, tribes, nations — call it what you will [ ??? ] In time, that policy would take on a new name — Manifest Destiny SAMS: As the pioneers came out West and were looking for more land, they believed it was Manifest Destiny, that it was their right under God that they should be able to have these lands And so the United States used the Doctrine of Discovery, as other European powers had used it, in order to get the land from the tribal people out here CONNER: Our inability to read and write, not living in permanent dwellings, not being an agricultural society, never mind that we were horticultural, are all things that were used to keep us labeled as heathens, savages, primitives and uncivilized peoples And most of those were used to help dispossess us of our lands MILLER: So this Doctrine of Discovery that today looks almost ridiculous — one culture sails across the ocean and says, ”This is mine”? It’s like if I come to your house and say, ”It’s mine, because I’m Bob Miller, and I’m better than you.” Well, we would laugh at that But if I then have a gun to back that up, all of a sudden it becomes ”the law.” And the Doctrine of Discovery and Manifest Destiny does not look much different than that In the early 1830s, the Oregon Trail had established a direct route to the Pacific Northwest The government encouraged Americans to make the journey and to settle here to strengthen its claim to the territory The U.S. Congress had formally declared the best of intentions toward the Native people MAN: ”Their lands and property shall never be taken from them without their consent…” But as the settlers moved in, few were asking for the Indians’ consent So in our opinion, people were trespassing This is our land And before any treaties were signed, before the tribes had surrendered any of their land, the government began to officially give it away The Oregon Donation Land Act was passed in 1850, offering 320-acre parcels to thousands of white immigrants BEERS: The Organic Act of 1848 says that you have to have a ratified treaty in order to take those lands So those lands were just taken illegally There was serious clashes between our people and the non-Indians You always have the U.S. Army coming in, and they’re there protecting the settlers from the Indians Excuse me! It was the other way around because of militias, people that were, you know, free territorial citizens,

and they tasted land, and there was resources almost unbound, and Indian people were just in the way [ ??? ] The 1840s and ’50s saw a sharp increase in violence between Indians and non-Indians [ gunshot ] In 1847, Cayuse warriors attacked the Whitman Mission, blaming the Presbyterian missionaries for the measles that had infected the tribe The consequence of us killing the Whitmans is that Indians are being hunted all over the Oregon Territory, and there’s further bloodshed Miners and other settlers killed hundreds of Native people, sometimes with government approval If you were involved in some sort of an effort to kill Indians, then you were allowed to make up an invoice of your expenses for, you know, using your rounds of ammunition and food and your travel costs and that kind of stuff In 1854, several dozen miners came into the Coquille village here, in what is now the town of Bandon They were angry over an altercation with a Native man They went to different areas and just killed Indians, just wiped them out The massacre at Bandon, they attacked them in the early morning, while it was still dark They burned all the houses and killed women and children They killed everybody The violence only compounded the impact of another factor that was taking a huge toll on the tribal populations Beginning in the late 18th century, outbreaks of introduced disease swept through the territory And in some areas, with no immunity to these new infections, more than 90% of the tribal people died CONNER: And there was so much decimation from pandemics, specifically measles — and smallpox, dysentery, influenza, typhus also take their toll But in particular, measles wipe out entire villages of Cayuse people Weakened by sickness and violence, most tribes knew they could not win a war with the U.S. Army SAMS: The United States government at the time had a number of pony soldiers Every time you killed one of their pony soldiers, they just reached into their vast numbers on the East Coast and replaced them My ancestors, they recognized that for every one of our warriors killed, it took many years to train another warrior up and coming to fill that place And the government knew that peaceful settlements were less costly than battle In 1850, the superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Oregon Territory, Anson Dart, set out to negotiate treaties with the Indians He had some success with tribes in the western part of the state, but none would agree to move away to eastern Oregon, which the settlers were demanding Anson Dart returned to Washington with 19 signed treaties, in which the tribes ceded almost 6 million acres of their land to the government But he had failed to move the Indians out of western Oregon, so Congress never ratified those treaties, and the president never signed them into law An unratified treaty really is nothing But what happened to the tribes quite often is that they thought they had a binding agreement They perhaps moved to the restricted area they agreed to And yet then moneys never came from the Congress because the treaty was not ratified Soon after that initial venture, the new superintendent for Indian Affairs, Joel Palmer, embarked on another round of treaty talks Working with Isaac Stevens, governor of the Washington Territory, Palmer signed a treaty with the Nez Perce, the tribe of Chief Joseph Their homelands included the Wallowa Mountains of northeastern Oregon But ultimately, their reservation would be in Idaho [ chirping ] The Umatilla, Walla Walla, and Cayuse tribes resisted efforts to move them to Washington Territory SAMS: Young Chief of the Cayuse is the one who stood toe to toe with Palmer and Stevens and told them that they were not going to leave, that they wanted to stay in their homelands, the lands where the bones of their people are buried, and that they couldn’t give those bones up In the end, the three tribes did negotiate a reservation on or near their ancestral lands at the cost of ceding more than 6 million acres to the United States The 1855 treaty merged the tribes to become the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

SAMS: And when they did so, reserving our rights to all our usual custom places so that we can hunt, fish, and gather is a critical part of that They knew seven generations down the line that would be important to those children after them But the benefits of this agreement were not immediately apparent The treaty doesn’t actually get ratified by Congress until 1859 In the meantime, there’s bloodshed and war Sixty unarmed men, women, and children are gunned down on the Grand Ronde River Peo-peo-mox-mox, one of the Treaty Council, is slain under a flag of truce in the Walla Walla Valley And people are encroaching on our lands and our hunting and fishing places And so there’s no peace from this peace treaty Their treaty was ratified, and is still in effect today So, too, is the treaty with the Warm Springs and Wasco tribes — later joined by Paiutes — who reserved their fishing and other rights by ceding about 10 million acres of land These plateau tribes had lived for millennia along the Columbia River and its tributaries, but the settlers now wanted to farm that fertile land, with its abundant water The Warm Springs Reservation was established in a higher and drier area of sagebrush and trees PITT: All through the nation, you find tribes that are located in the worst lands We were moved onto these lands You take a look at the forest around you Don’t forget, to a farmer, a tree is in the way And so, oh, no, we don’t want that, because it’s got too darn many trees on there, and it’s a real hassle to cut them down and get the roots up and clear it out The Warm Springs tribes, using the trees that the settlers did not want, went on to build a sawmill and a lumber business on the reservation All right, it’s powwow time! In southcentral Oregon, the treaty with the Klamath, Modoc, and Yahooskin tribes got off to a rough start GENTRY: And what happens when the treaty was signed, between then and when the treaty was ratified, folks started settling in lands that we tried to reserve — south of us in Swan Lake, northeast of us in the Silver Lake area, northwest of us in the Fort Klamath area You know, all these areas that we tried to reserve in treaty, people started moving in, and somehow the boundaries got changed, you know, when the treaty was ratified Nevertheless, it did reserve for the Indians a huge swath of high-elevation forest MAN: There’s the timberland in the upper mountainous regions, which we’re in right now, and then there was the lower land around the lakes and everything And the people at the time that moved into the area, the settlers, if you will, they wanted to farm ground They said, ”Well, let’s move those Indians up to that timberland, because we can’t farm it.” It was of no value to them at the time Several years later, after the reservation was formed, there became a demand for timber When we negotiated our treaty, we didn’t have rail here, but we did have one of the most valuable old-growth Ponderosa pine forests in the Pacific Northwest By the late 1850s, most tribes in western Oregon had signed treaties — but without reserved rights to hunt and fish MAN: They saw signing the treaty as a way to take care of themselves for a few years But you have to understand that most of them thought that they were going to die Tribes along the coast appear on a single document, which has come to be known as the ”Coast Treaty.” Superintendent Palmer traveled village to village, stopping to identify local headmen, explain the terms of the treaty, and acquire their marks, usually exes Most people within most tribes spoke several languages because of the proximity of different tribes, but English wasn’t really one of them So, it’s hard to say really as to what their understanding of the treaty was The treaties weren’t negotiations by any stretch of the imagination It was essentially Indian people being compelled to sign this with a promise that, you know, no harm will come your way Don’t sign it, and all bets are off The treaty specifies the boundaries of a million-acre reservation where the tribes would reside, a 105-mile strip along the western edge of the territory, to be called the Siletz, or ”coast,” Reservation In return for ceding most of their lands to the government, the Indians were promised a long list of compensations: cash payments, spread out over several years for ”mutual improvement and education,” sawmills, flour mills, teachers, schoolhouses,

farming implements, tools, even arms and ammunition Soon after the treaty signings, the Indians were taken to the Coast Reservation or the nearby Grand Ronde — also called Grand Round — Reservation MAN: Some of our people were herded like cattle to Port Orford A lot of our people died there And they were kept there for almost a year, and then they were put on these ships There were two steamers that came up the coast, up the Columbia, and then to Willamette Falls, you know, as far up as you could go, and then they were marched overland to what is now Grand Ronde Then there was people who came from more inland areas, and they were forced to march up the coast And of course in those days there was no bridges, no nothing, and they had to fend for themselves basically They were in really bad shape Mostly women and children and older men We refer to it as our trail of tears And people were forced to swim with their kids on their backs across these rivers, every river system all the way up the coast MAN: And then some were force marched from that temporary reserve at Table Rock to Grand Ronde It was in February, in the middle of winter The rough path ran where I-5 is today and then out, once you get to Eugene, down what 99 is The whole way, there were people that followed the Indians and essentially identified that if they were to break ranks and leave that line, that they would be killed And the idea was to basically empty out western Oregon for settlement And we would we remain on our reservations, and that would be the grand bargain that we struck in those treaties Members of the coastal tribes learned eventually that the treaty had not been ratified There would be no schools, blacksmiths, or farm implements, and no returning to their homelands BRAINARD: By not ratifying that treaty, there was no money for the tribal people And they rounded them up here at Coos Bay and them moved them to Fort Umpqua up at Reedsport Held them there for seven years, and then they moved them on to Yachats One of the main holding centers on the Coast Reservation had been here at Yachats MAN: This is where the Coos, Lower Umpqua, Siuslaw people were marched, the furthest coming from Coos Bay, which is about, ah, 81 miles south of us It was an internment camp Over 50% of the people that came here perished because of the lack of food The treaty was never ratified, so there was no money to support the tribal people up here And so they’d come out here and go out onto the rocks after the shellfish And you can see what would happen as they would go out there and a big wave would come in — they would be knocked into the water The United States never did ratify the Coast Treaty, but they did keep the Indians’ land [ crickets chirping ] LEWIS: The United States has really desired American Indian lands since the very beginning Every 20 to 30 years, there’s a new strategy At first it was, let’s write treaties with them and put them on reservations on lands that we don’t want We recognize you own 10 million acres of land, and it’s your reservation, your land forever And then later on it became, well, now they have too much land How about you reduce your land to 2 million acres? LEWIS: Well, you know, we still need more land for settlers for Americans to make proper use of it, because obviously American Indians are wasting it because they’re not making proper use of it by putting in farming and logging off all the timber Why don’t you have 500,000 acres? There’s so few of you left anymore, you don’t need all this land So the federal policy has always been to diminish the tribal land base [ ??? ] Within 10 years of its creation, the Coast Reservation began to be dismantled First, settlers realized that Yaquina Bay did have value: as a harbor, as a source of oysters, as a good place to build a road inland to the Willamette Valley The Indians were removed in 1865 Soon, two more sections met a similar fate Then, in 1895, some of the remaining land was parceled out to Indians in small allotments The rest was kept by the government or sold

Today, the Siletz Reservation is less than 4,000 acres In northeastern Oregon, the signers of the 1855 Umatilla Treaty agreed to certain boundaries for their reservation But the government’s survey would show very different boundaries, and about half as much land In the years that followed, the reservation was made smaller still SAMS: By reducing our land mass down from a half a million acres to 157,000 acres, they were able to get access to that prime real estate for farming and they were able to then build out the city of Pendleton Ultimately, a government program turned the community-owned reservation land into a patchwork of small allotments, privately owned by both Indians and non-Indians CONNER: The allotment era was not just a land grab It was also a way to break down our communal structure and teach us to think: this is mine; that’s yours What happens is a lot of land falls out of our hands and we end up with what’s now called the ”checkerboard reservation.” Assimilation has been a stated goal of U.S. Indian policy — that Native people would be better off if they could lose their Indianness — quit speaking their Native languages and learn English, dress in modern clothes, and convert to Western religion The federal government encouraged various denominations to establish churches and schools on Indian reservations LEWIS: For some 20-some years, the various churches run the schools on the reservations and processes of assimilation at the reservations In the latter 1850s, the federal government literally assigned different denominations to each reservation The Catholics came to Grand Ronde and to Umatilla Methodists went to Siletz But they were basically assigned We’ll do what we can to civilize these heathen savages, to help them understand that they need to become moral people of the land and not be warlike, not have too many wives, not have slaves At Warm Springs, the Presbyterians came into there And so they all got their shot at trying to civilize these people SAMS: We got two On the northern half of the reservation is the Catholic Church, which was established in 1847 at St. Andrews And on the southern half of the reservation is the Presbyterian Church But we do practice one common Native religion, and that is our Washat religion Some of the same people that may go to different churches early in the morning, you’ll see them all together at the Washat religion at the longhouse When I was in my teenage years, I was confused and asking my grandmother, ”Why do we go to both services?” And she leaned over to me and wanted to know, do I know what’s going to happen when I go to the other world? Do I know what’s going to happen when you go to meet your Creator? I said, ”Of course, I don’t.” And she goes, ”Neither do we, neither do I And so to play it safe, we should probably see both religions, because we don’t know what’s going to happen when we go off to the other world.” Most churches sponsored schools for Indian children, and the government built some of its own In both, students who spoke their native language would often be punished We’ve been told that our traditions and our religion and all of that was pagan We’re — you know, we had to learn Christianity We had to speak English You have to learn how to be like the rest of the people One of the first Indian boarding schools — in the early 1880s — was a vocational school in Forest Grove That closed after a couple years but led to the 1885 opening of the Chemawa Indian School in Salem, which is still boarding and teaching young Indians today I was taken out of my grandmother’s home at five years old and sent to Chemawa You bring somebody from an environment where there’s no running water, there’s no bathrooms, no showers, no electricity I’m still trying to get over this hot water coming out of the wall Then you take me — is a treat, and you have a big stage and you have all these little Indian kids coming from traditional backgrounds And you’re watching this guy cut this lady in half This is all scary But I’ll tell you one thing, I had an education You had one teacher, 35 different tribes represented in one first grade classroom By December, we were reading

The tribes of Oregon suffered to varying degrees from white settlement, but few felt the impact more than the Native people of Harney County — the Burns Paiute Tribe ADAMS: We really struggled to find a home base because we were always being chased off of this land for its value to cattle and grazing and timber harvest This rough desert country was not choice farmland — but to the Paiutes it was home, and had been for thousands of years ADAMS: The value of that land to the Paiute people, it’s tremendous That’s our whole existence, why we’re here in this valley The wada seed and the tules, the willows, the hunting that went on there — that’s all so valuable, priceless The Indians here depended on seasonal access to the foods that sustained them But the newcomers began to erect fences and graze cattle where those foods grew, and some would shoot at Indians who dared walk there Conflict ensued [ ??? ] To isolate and protect the Paiutes, the president, by executive order, created the 1.8 million-acre Malheur Reservation Like other reservations, the Malheur soon began to shrink in size as settlers, ranchers, and miners demanded more and more pieces of it A few Paiutes joined members of the Bannock Tribe in a short-lived effort to repel the trespassers from the Indians’ land In response, in the winter of 1879, the Army marched the whole local population of Paiutes up to Fort Simcoe on the Yakima Reservation, 350 miles away There, they would be detained for the next several years Rena Beers was born in 1918 You boil them and eat it, just like macaroni Today, Rena is the oldest living member of the Burns Paiute Tribe This is my mother, my brother These are my sister’s kids She remembers stories from her mother, who had been a child when the Paiutes were relocated They were taken over there She told me there was a lot of prisoners over there While the Indians were held in Washington, the government here eliminated the Malheur Reservation and opened that land to settlement And that reservation we had was taken away from us [ ??? ] In the mid-1880s, after years of captivity, the Paiutes were released Each adult that returned to the Burns area was given an allotment of land — 160 acres — to farm and to start a new life But most of those allotments sat on dry, alkaline sagebrush soil and could support few, if any, of the returning families It was a very poor time for people that returned to this area, to the homeland They had no skills, they had no education Primarily talked the Paiute language Tried to live as they did before they were taken out of this country — digging roots, making jerky The Indians had no money, no tribal lands The food resources still existed, but the Paiutes’ access to them was limited I remember my grandmother, and we’d go around and pick up the other aunties, and we’d go to Hines There used to be a dump out there And the people in town, when they would go, the meat, they would put it in a box They wouldn’t throw it in with the rest of the trash and set it aside, because they knew the Indians were coming That’s how they were able to get their meat Because just to go out there and hunt, they’d get shot at The hard times that ensued would color the Paiutes’ lives far into the 20th century RODERIQUE: We survived on donations, things that were found at the city dump I think it was especially hard for men to find jobs RENA BEERS: We worked for food Chopped woods so they can have something to eat They’d trade that for breakfast or something This is how we lived I survived through that That’s my mother, my two sisters

And my brother’s laying right there And then this is our dad A local business gave the tribe a small parcel of property at the edge of town The tent village that developed there was called ”Old Camp.” RENA BEERS: Little tents And then later on, they’d give us those Army tents We lived way back there, second tent Today, the Burns Paiute Reservation is about 770 acres just outside the town of Burns Some tribal members are still trying to get at least part of the Malheur Reservation back We didn’t give up this land We didn’t sign anything We didn’t sign a treaty This land could still be ours [ drumming and singing ] The government had intended to move all the Indians in western Oregon onto the Siletz and Grand Ronde reservations Whole tribes had been uprooted and damaged And women were often the glue that held their people together IVY: Women play big in western Oregon Indian culture Indian women were the ones that were bilingual They had to know their language plus their husband’s language, maybe it wasn’t the same They were always moving to, you know, their husband’s village so that they knew more history, because they had to not only know their history, but their husband’s history HOCKEMA: When the government was rounding up the Indians, if an Indian person was married to a white person, they didn’t have to go to the reservation A lot of people feel that the reason the Coquille tribe is here today is because of those women who stayed behind and, mostly secretly, kept the traditions going — the language and the customs Many cultural objects — tools, utensils, and items of personal adornment — had been lost in the relocation It broke that connection to place that people have It’s where their ancestors were buried They were able to bring very few to little or no things with them WOMAN: Several waves of displacement And you render tribal people and their art forms and their cultural expressions invisible And that happened here So many of the iconic art forms that you would have seen here a couple hundred years ago were looted, were moved Centuries-old information and wisdom, stories about the art on the rocks — disappeared On Oregon’s east side, the Umatilla tribes had been left to live closer to their homelands with their cultures more intact In 1911, they partnered with the city of Pendleton to start the Pendleton Round-Up, a yearly event that endures to this day But back then, the Indians still needed a signed pass to leave the reservation The Umatillas did have, however, reserved rights for fishing, hunting, and gathering on and off the reservation SAMS: My grandparents used to say there, ”During the Great Depression, we never went hungry.” And the reason why is that because we had all of our traditional food sources here and that we could fill our tables and fill our bellies, ensure our children had enough food to eat In Klamath County, in 1908, the railroad was extended up from California The tribes turned the vast forest lands — theirs by treaty — into a lucrative business FOREMAN: The Klamath Tribes supplied 36 mills in this area at one time With rail moving in and the demand for timber, it set us up economically to be stable, and actually we were amongst the richest and self-sufficient tribes in the nation The treaty guaranteed us that we would remain on this land in our ownership forever But things began to fall apart for the Klamaths — and many others — in 1954, when Congress passed public laws 587 and 588 HARRELSON: We were all terminated And termination was a government policy

that ended the recognition of Native people by the federal government The Klamath Termination Act and the Western Oregon Indian Termination Act eliminated 61 Oregon bands and tribes — virtually all the Indians west of the Cascades plus the Klamaths They would no longer be ”federally recognized.” The laws were touted as an effort to liberate the Native people from government oversight So the responsibilities that the federal government committed to us by treaty — the health, education, all those benefits, basically went away They essentially just wadded up the treaty and threw it away and then paid us money Many tribes drifted into poverty The Klamaths received some financial compensation for their liquidated timber holdings GENTRY: There was a big flush of money that some people were prepared to handle, but a lot weren’t Some folks used their money and bought a piece of property and bought furniture and automobiles and went to work, and still had those properties Other people lost it There were hundreds, hundreds that lost their lives under the age of 30 just because they got this money They went out and got in car wrecks, alcoholism, shootings, stabbings And it was a very difficult time for tribal members Only a fraction of America’s tribes were terminated And across the country, conditions for many other Native people were improving Congress was funding better health care, new housing, educational opportunities, and more for federally recognized tribes, but not the Indians of western Oregon [ ??? ] ANNOUNCER: So I’d like to welcome everybody to the Klamath Tribes’ 30th annual Restoration Celebration and Powwow After 20-30 years, most of the terminated tribes were restored The theme of our celebration here is ”spirit of our ancestors.” The people of each tribe had to convince Congress that their members deserved to be re-recognized as Indians GIRLS: Hi! The Klamaths won their case on August 26, 1986 They celebrate that anniversary here in Chiloquin every year Their million-acre reservation had been reduced to a few hundred ANNOUNCER: This is the Alvin Miller float Glad to have you here, and welcome You guys look beautiful Nevertheless, restoration was a victory [ drumming ] Three tribes in western Oregon established their independence: the Cow Creek Band of Umpquas; the Confederated Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw; and the Coquilles The larger confederations, the Siletz and the Grand Ronde, regrouped and looked to the future HARRELSON: So Grand Ronde is a tribe We all went through the common cause of termination and then the effort to be restored as a people together And that really grounds us as one entity of people By the end of the 20th century, the Native people of Oregon had survived deadly epidemics, vigilante raids, and countless assaults on their culture One of the first orders of business for many tribes was to try preserve their traditional languages, though some had been lost forever [ speaking in Native American language ] Maintaining the Paiute language has become a priority for the Burns Tribe We should instill some pride in our younger generation, because they’re learning Spanish faster than they’re learning their own native language So — and it’s dying away [ singing ”The Itsy Bitsy Spider” in Native language ] And our language is important because that identifies who we are [ speaking in Native American language ] We’ve got to teach our children so they can teach their children and their children, because elders have said that our language should never be forgotten [ ??? ] It’s important to recognize that there are many artistic traditions in Oregon WOMAN: These are called the putlapa

They’re worn in our traditional ceremonies during the root feast or the huckleberry feast WOMAN: Our culture and our ways of life are being diminished, so I really want to bring that back So it means a lot to me in my heart to be able to teach others or to keep carrying it on myself But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve done my best to pass this on to young people WOMAN: Someone made the comment that the tribe didn’t do beading, and then my cousin pulls out her necklace that my great-grandmother made, that was a netted necklace from the 1800s So I replicated this, and then I taught the class myself to the tribal members And they learned how to do Coquille art DARTT: Along the Oregon Coast you see a lot of open weave baskets They’re beautiful and really intricately woven, however, very utilitarian for gathering clams and camas And then when you get into the Columbia River region, there’s a lot of stonework, a lot of carved material WOMAN: These are all our huckleberry baskets From what I was told from one of our elders, she used to go with her family out on horseback And they’d go out for weeks picking huckleberries, and they’d have baskets probably about this big and fill them up Our collections is pretty unique with probably about 95% of our objects coming from Warm Springs tribal members The Warm Springs collection eventually grew so big, the tribe built a museum to house it A temporary exhibit displays the modern work of another Warm Springs artist, Lillian Pitt DARTT: I would encourage you to seek out the art of these contemporary, local Native people It places you in the present with an anchor in the past, with this long history of connection to this place MILLER: The Indian cultures are still here, they’re strong, they’re getting stronger Tribes want to preserve their languages; tribes want to preserve their religions, their cultures, their homelands Most tribes, their population’s going up, their economy’s going up They’re taking advantage sometimes of opportunities because of their sovereign status Tribal gaming is an example of that Because they are separate governments, the United States Supreme Court recognized that tribes can offer gaming Tribal gaming Casinos The Cow Creek Band of Umpquas opened Oregon’s first casino in 1994 Every tribe has one now The casinos changed the game Oh, man, the casino is a lifesaver It gives the tribal governments money to spend any way they want IVY: Tribes have been able to enter into a social economic environment where they have brought something to the table And this is probably the first time the tribes have had the opportunity to have a place in the marketplace That gets you invited to the Chamber of Commerce banquet You know, that gets you involved in the Rotary Luncheon That gets you involved and that gets you invited and it gets you on boards, and all of a sudden you begin to learn the rest of the world That revenue builds the capacity of your community SAMS: We are the largest employer in the county, with 60% of our workforce being non-Indian We provide over $44 million in taxes and payroll back into the local community The tribes are funding other work that may have far-reaching effects SAMS: This tribe fought hard with the state to increase the water quality standards for the entire state in order to protect our fisheries and to protect our water That benefit of exercising our treaty right for that protection now benefits all Oregonians Dams and diversions blocked salmon migration in the Umatilla River for more than 70 years MAN: And we’re able to restore water and salmon to the river We’re doing that in the Walla Walla right now and into the Grand Ronde area as well Nez Perces are doing that in the Wallowa In the Klamath Basin, battles over water have raged for decades But a treaty provision has given the tribes a powerful seat at the bargaining table FOREMAN: The courts determined that the Klamath Tribes had senior water rights throughout the former reservation And that caused a lot of contention of non-tribal members here that depended on it, if you will But the tribes are, you know,

they’ve always been willing to share, and we’re sharing some of that water today Indians are increasingly playing active roles in resource management JESSE BEERS: I feel that I have an extra stewardship duty to these lands and waters, and other people in our tribe do as well We may not legally own them, depending on how you look at it, but we’re here, we’re not gone, and we’re able to speak for the generations before MILLER: The United States’ relationship with Indian tribes is ongoing The idea that Indians would die out, what George Washington said, has turned out to be false Social Darwinism didn’t happen The Indian cultures are still here, they’re strong, they’re getting stronger You want to show them how you can run and buck and take off and be wild? These days, many Indians are well-versed in the details of those treaties of the 1850s and ’60s Most other Oregonians know little or nothing about them Come on, Dolly Come on, Dolly, come on How do people think Oregon, the state of Oregon got here? How did these counties get here, how did all of these cities? Under what legal authority, under what basis do they even exist? HARRELSON: The goal of the government was to remove our ancestors and make way for their people to settle our lands PITT: The United States made a deal We’re going to live up to our end of the deal We’re just wondering if the other side’s going to live up to their deal [ ??? ] LEWIS: Once you’ve been 10,000 years in one place, and your culture and your genealogy is a part of that place, you have a better understanding of that place than anybody else, and everything you do is going to resonate with the land around you Our cultures resonate with this place because we learned to live with it We’re a part of it The forests, the rivers, the coastline, the mountains — we’re a part of all that Our people are from there Everything we do in our culture resonates with that [ cheering ] LAVADOUR: Indigenous people have very much to offer the world, the contemporary world This is a good place with good people, compassionate people, people who care about the land, people who care about one another And that’s a good thing, you know You know what I mean? It’s a real good thing ANNOUNCER: Dave Jackson and family MAN: Hey There’s more about ”Broken Treaties” on Oregon Experience online To learn more or to order a DVD of the show, visit [ ??? ] Leading support for Oregon Experience is provided by Major support provided by Support for ”Broken Treaties” is provided by and viewers like you