Lower Chinook and Clatsop
Traditional Culture
  Since Time Immemorial
Who's Who
Village Life
Inter-Village Relations
Seasonal Round
"Celiast" and "Ilchee"
Intertribal Trade Network
Canoe People
References Cited

  Contemporary Culture
Environmental History
Cultural History
Recommended Websites

  Relationship with U.S.
  Early Coastal Exploration
Strangers Arrive
Maritime Fur Trade
Fort Clatsop Winter
Overland Fur Trade
Disease and Burial Customs
Fisheries, Missions, and Settlements
Shrinking Land Base
Making Treaties
Recognition and U.S. Relations
References Cited


Acknowledgements, Project Team, Property Rights, and Contact information

Fort Clatsop > Culture
Chinook flag

The Flag of Chinook Indian Tribe, Chinook, Washington.

Clatsop-Nehalem flag

The Flag of Clatsop-Nehalem Confederated Tribes, Turner, Oregon.

Chinook canoe at mouth of the Columbia River, from a painting by George Lagergren. Used with permission.

“They are still here. By the time Lewis and Clark arrived at the mouth of the Columbia River, the tribes in his area were experiencing the traumatic effects of contact with non-Indian people. Their populations were decimated by smallpox, typhoid, influenza, measles, and other diseases brought to the area by Euro-American maritime traders and explorers. Thousands of Native Americans along the Columbia River and Pacific Coast died as a result.

“As early settlers arrived in the region, the tribes were pushed out of their homelands. They were forced to learn new languages and much of their traditional ways of life were lost. Tribes that could no longer sustain a government scattered, and many enrolled in confederated tribes in the area after treaties were signed with the United States government. But they have survived.

“Today, these proud people work to recover their traditions and languages. The Columbia Pacific area is home to three tribes in Oregon and Washington States: the Chinook Nation, Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe, and the Clatsop Nehalem Confederated Tribes. There are also ten tribes associated with this area through historic trade routes and alliances, and many Chinook and Clatsop found new homes within these tribes.

“The associated tribes include: Cowlitz Indian Tribe, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, Confederated Tribes of the Grande Ronde, Quinault, Chehalis, Yakama Indian Nation, Wanapum Band, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla, and Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs.”

—Deborah S. Wood, Lewis and Clark National Historical Park,
“Columbia Pacific Native American Guide”
National Park Service, n.d.

Background: Lewis & Clark 1806, adapted from Moulton, 1983