Duck Duck Book


33 – kalapuyans
05.17.2006, 1:13 pm
Filed under: history & geography

The Kalapuyans : a sourcebook on the Indians of the Willamette Valley / by Harold Mackey ; with a new afterward [sic.] from the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and an updated bibliography. 
Salem, Or. : Mission Mill Museum Association ; Grande Ronde, OR : The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, c2004.
979.5004 M157k 2004; two copies, no holds; one copy reference only at Central Library]

This slim volume reproduces primary source material on the history of the Kalapuya people, discusses archaeological evidence about their pre-historic past, and briefly touches on the cultural and political conditions under which the Kalapuya lived in the period beginning with their contact with white settlers (the early 1800s) through their removal to reservations (c1850s) and the first fifty years or so of reservation life. Mackey presents the book to readers, in his introduction, as a plug for the gap in material available to teachers who wish to fulfill Oregon's requirement that the grade school curriculum include material about the history of our state's native peoples.  The Kalapuyans is not written for elementary school students to read themselves; but could easily function as a sourcebook for teachers developing classroom materials.

Many original documents are reproduced in full, or quoted at length in The Kalapuyans, some of which are not published elsewhere.  I found the transcripts of the 1851 treaty negotiations at Champoeg to be especially interesting, because they show so clearly the racism and condescension of the U.S. representatives.  The U.S. negotiators make a lot of cloying references to "Your great father in Washington" and make many promises of the care with which this great father will tend to the needs of the Kalapuya people.  Since we know by now that this was all hogwash, it's bitter to read, and some of the exchanges are most poignant. 

The Kalapuyans includes very little discussion of the recent history of the Kalapuya or the other tribes and bands which now make up the various Oregon confederated tribes, though a new afterword fills a small part of this void. (Further details of the history of the Kalapuya people can be found on the webpages of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz and the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde.  Both tribes have excellent cultural resources available online, including maps, historic photographs, and information about current cultural activities.)

The first edition of The Kalapuyans was published in the 1970s:

The Kalapuyans : a sourcebook on the Indians of the Willamette Valley / by Harold Mackey. 
Salem, Or. : Mission Mill Museum Association, [1974]
[MCL call number: 970.1 M1553k; one copy, no holds; one copy reference only at Central Library]

I have not examined this earlier volume, but the bulk of its content appears to be the same (though it lacks the afterword mentioned above).

[thanks, Sara]

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