Life in Bay Center on Willapa Bay

Living in a maritime fishing village in Southwest Washington state on Willapa Bay

Posts Tagged ‘Chinook Nation’

Lewis and Clark National Heritage Area moves forward…what about Chinook Tribe recognition?

Posted by pallix on April 11, 2009

It’s been on my radar to keep an eye out for the progress being made to have this region declared a National Heritage Area.  My interest is more along the lines of what seems a corresponding and relevant action to recognize the Chinook Tribe as a declared Tribe.  To my way of thinking, the naming of  Lewis and Clark National Heritage area,  requires a recognition of the Chinook people as a federally recognized tribe. 

 

Without the friendship and aid of the Chinook people, Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery expedition may well have not survived once they arrived in this area – the mouth of Columbia River where it flows into the Pacific Ocean.  Legislation has been introduced to give recognition to the Chinook Tribe.  That legislation has not moved along; while simultaneously legislation to declared this area a Lewis and Clark National Heritage area seems to be moving along.  To my way of thinking, these are hand in glove actions, complementing each other, and it seems to me it would be hypocritical to have one without the other.

Link to article at Daily Astorian;   excerpt

Having just returned from a trip overseas, David Szymanski, superintendent at Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, is canvassing the North Coast to update communities on the proposed National Heritage Area.

He presented to the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners an update on the proposed Columbia Pacific National Heritage Area Wednesday in the Judge Guy Boyington Building. Heritage areas define a region where communities can use federal funds to benefit local economies.

"This project will not go forward until we’ve heard from local governments and the public," Szymanski said.

The Columbia Pacific heritage area would incorporate portions of Clatsop County and Pacific and Wahkiakum counties in Washington.

"People are probably surprised to learn that the National Park Service often has skepticism about National Heritage Areas," Szymanski said. "Some have not been well thought out."

Szymanski said the most important requirement for a heritage area is finding the right coordinating entity. A lot of heritage areas focus on tourism, rather than broader economic development.

ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia was recently selected for the coordinating entity for this heritage area, in large part because the nonprofit organization focuses on investment and capital building.

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Posted in 19th Legislative District, 3rd Congressional District, Chinook Nation, Lewis and Clark National Heritage, Native Americans, Neighboring communities, neighbors, Pacific County, Pacific ocean, recreation, U.S. Representative Brian Baird, wetlands, willapa, willapa bay, Willapa National Wildlife Refuge | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Chinook Tribal Office Has Moved to Bay Center – Welcome!

Posted by pallix on April 8, 2009

excerpts from article in Chinook Observer

BAY CENTER – The Chinook Indian Tribe has moved its office from the Sea Resources building in Chinook to Bay Center.

Tribal Chairman Ray Gardner said the move had been in the works for quite some time. "When you look back historically, it made sense to move to Bay Center because 90 percent of our staff live there and there’s a very large volunteer group there."

The opportunity to move the tribe’s headquarters north came last year when tribal member Zoe LeCompte donated her grandfather’s home to the group. The house, at the entrance to Bush Park, had been empty for years and was in danger of being demolished. It has been rehabilitated with the help of Naselle Youth Camp crews and tribal members.

Now, after five months of work, Office Manager Jennifer Lagergren and office staff Beverly Buckner and her daughter Audrey Anderson are moved in and handling tribal business at their new digs.

The tribal office hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The new phone number is 360-875-6670.

Posted in Bay Center, Chinook Nation, Chinook Observer, Chinook Tribal Center, Native Americans | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Chinook Nation Restoration Act – H.R. 6689

Posted by pallix on November 19, 2008

Chinook Nation Restoration Act – H.R. 6689 – Extends federal recognition to the Chinook Indian Nation. Makes the Chinook Tribe and its members eligible for all services and benefits provided by the government to federally recognized tribes regardless of the existence of a reservation or the location of residence of any member on or near any Indian reservation. Provides that, for purposes of the delivery of federal services to enrolled members, the Tribe’s service area shall consist of specified counties in Washington and Oregon.

Requires the Tribe to: (1) submit to the Secretary of the Interior a membership roll; and (2) conduct, by secret ballot, an election to adopt a constitution and bylaws. Provides that if the Tribe transfers all rights to land to the Secretary, the Secretary shall take such land in trust for the Tribe’s benefit, subject to specified restrictions. Directs the Secretary to: (1) negotiate with the tribal governing body regarding establishing a reservation; (2) develop a plan for doing so.

Requires the Secretary to: (1) notify and consult with all appropriate state officials and owners of land adjacent to those considered for the proposed reservation; and (2) provide complete information on the proposed plan to such officials. Provides for the plan’s submission to Congress upon approval by the tribal governing body.

Requires any real property transferred by the Tribe or any member to the Secretary to be held in the name of the United States for the Tribe’s benefit. Prohibits the exercise of eminent domain for purposes of acquiring lands for the Tribe’s benefit.

Latest Major Action: 7/31/2008: Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.

Links: 

 Open Congress

The Library of Congress

Baird confident of support for Chinook recognition  – article at The Daily Astorian

It is time to recognize the Chinook Nation – indianz.com – has several links to history of getting tribe federally recognized.

Recognizing the Chinook Nation  Long Standing Injustice about to be Set Right  is explained at Congressman Brian Baird website.

Official website of the Chinook Nation

Posted in Bay Center, Chinook Nation, Native Americans, U.S. Representative Brian Baird | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Chinook Nation and Bay Center

Posted by pallix on October 3, 2007

It’s not mine to say, so better said by Native Americans of the Chinook Nation, link

excerpts:

The Chinooks paddled in to Point Ellice and brought the Corps food when their own boats could not manage the turbulent Columbia. Lewis and Clark praised the Chinooks’ skill and beautifully crafted canoes, then stole one on their way home.

The Corps of Discovery was the vanguard of a steadily increasing flow of traders, both from sea and inland. Within a few years, white people established trading posts in Astoria and in Vancouver. They pushed the Chinooks deeper inland and brought with them disease, including smallpox, malaria, and measles, wiping out almost 90 percent of the tribe. Where Lewis and Clark and their men once drifted down the Columbia past the fires of hundreds of Chinookan villages, now all that was left were abandoned longhouses and hastily dug graves.
To survive, the Chinooks married into other tribes and lived in insulated pockets where they could still fish and carry out their traditions as much as possible. One of these pockets of Chinooks was, and still is, the town of Bay Center, Washington.

It is still a Chinook stronghold, although many of the younger generation have moved away. At its peak, over a third of Bay Center’s inhabitants were Chinook. Charles Cultee, the Clatsop whose stories Frank Boas transcribed in 1894 in the book Chinook Texts, was one of the Indians who lived in a cabin along the beach. Phillip Hawk’s father, John Hawks, was another. Phillip was the last Chinook born in the village. His family moved up the hill to Bay Center when he was 5 or 6 years old and enrolled him in school. That’s when he learned to speak English.

Phillip is in his mid-80s now, but still strong from fishing crab and oysters and from his daily walks along the beach and through the swamp of cattails near the old Chinook village site. Walking today, we pass the carcass of a bear. We pass where the orchards used to be. We pass posts that once held up boardwalks through the swamp. Finally we come to the old village site on Willapa Bay, plotted out long ago so that people could walk out of their houses be at work immediately harvesting oysters. These days the beach is covered with spartina, an invasive weed from China that was carried in the bilge water of passing ships. The spartina chokes out the sweetgrass used by Chinooks in making baskets. The sweet, small native oysters are nearly gone, too, muscled out by the vigorous Pacific oysters seeded by Japanese fishermen.
The village site is grown over by alder and underbrush. Phillip shows us the plots that belonged to his family, the Cultees, and the Chinook minister. Cabins without electricity or running water sat in each plot. By the 1930s, the Chinooks abandoned most of the cabins for land on the Quinault reservation or houses with electricity in Bay Center. The last Chinook to live in the village, an elderly bachelor and one of the few Indians who could drive a car in Bay Center at the time, abandoned his cabin in 1953

We also see the corner post of an old Shaker church. Many of the Indians at Bay Center were Shakers. Tony Johnson explains that Shakers believed people didn’t need Bibles, they could talk directly to God — a belief that dovetailed smoothly with American Indian tradition.

The Chinook Nation is not federally recognized, which is a sore point with the Chinooks.
Council chairman Gary Johnson says that the tribe has always been recognized and shouldn’t have to apply for recognition. He points to the Halbert Decision of 1934 that granted land allotments to Chinooks and other tribal nations, and he notes that members of the tribe had received fishing rights for years. In 1967, the Bureau of Indian Affairs unilaterally delisted about 100 tribes, including the Chinooks, saying that they didn’t have reservations and therefore weren’t official tribes. (Later, the Sammish tribe claimed that the delisting was illegal and had its recognition re-instated.) In 1978, the Bureau of Indian Affairs established a Branch of Acknowledgement and Research to approve the recognition of tribes, and the Chinooks began a 23-year process to regain recognition.

At last, on January 3, 2001, the Chinook Nation was formally re-recognized. The tribe was elated. On the 89th day of the appeal period, the Quinault Tribe filed an appeal, saying that the Chinooks hadn’t followed the correct procedures in applying for recognition. Gary says that over half of the Quinault reservation’s allotments are held by Chinooks, and that federal recognition of the Chinooks was a threat to Quinault control of the reservation and its resources, including its casino.The appeals court reaffirmed the Chinooks’ recognition, but the appeal still had to be approved once again by the Department of the Interior.
By now, President George W. Bush had succeeded President Bill Clinton and appointed a new Secretary of the Interior, Gale Norton. Rather than simply approving the judge’s confirmation of the tribe’s recognition, the Secretary subjected the appeal to a full review. The tribe was on pins and needles, but became optimistic when Gary Johnson and his wife were invited to a luncheon at the White House to commemorate tribal involvement with Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery. Two days later the tribe received word that their recognition was denied.

Posted in Chinook Nation, Native Americans | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »