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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Chinook Indians: not just history

Chinook Indian History Video I watched a really interesting video that I bought from a Chinook Indian booth at Sunday Market before the season ended. This is Gary Johnson, Chinook Tribal Council Chairman, discussing the condition of non-recognition between the Chinook Nation and the U.S. Government. Portions of our government work with the Indians on recognized and friendly terms, and other offices have rescinded recognition, culminating in an ongoing struggle. It's somewhat complex, but once you watch this video you understand that these are daily concerns of the existing Chinook people and not something out of a dusty history book.

The video was made during a festival given by the Indians including anyone who wanted to partake of a salmon feast, and native songs, dancing, and crafts were part in the event. Canoes built by Gary's son, Tony, were taken out into the river to teach and enjoy the old practices.

Most of the Chinook now live in the state of Washington rather than in Oregon, because that's where the U.S. Government moved their people when competition for land arose with the coming of more and more whites via the Oregon Trail. In the early years there had not only been space for all, but there was a healthy interrelationship based on commerce that benefited both races. It was the Clatsop Indians, one of the five Chinook tribes, had had the most interaction with the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

By the way, "Chinook" is prononced with the "ch" as in "chair," not as in "shoe," as we all seem to do.

It's a fascinating video by Riparian Productions entitled Chinook History, Yesterday and Tomorrow. Contact:

Chinook Indian Nation
PO Box 368
Bay Center, WA 98527


cieldequimper said...

Sounds fascinating. Too bad DVD formats aren't the same in Europe.

Per Stromsjo said...

Non-recognition... Whatever historical injustice may have taken place, we really need to move on. It's never easy and we have similar issues here as well.

kyungmee said...

thank you for this info. I have a sisterinlaw who moved out to oregon..looking forward to following your photos and stories.

Jacob said...

Excellent post and the photo(s) are wonderful. Very interesting commentary, too.

Don and Krise said...

You definitely have to view both sides get the whole picture.

Vogon Poet said...

The only Chinook I knew was the helicopter...
@ ciel - On a computer you can see any standard of video, NTSC included. Now most home players are multi-standard.

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