History on Location – Cathlapotle 9/25

History On Location

Northwest Native Revolutions –

The View from Cathlapotle

Saturday, September 25


Catlapotle Plankhouse – Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge

Annually, The Causes of Conflict: Digging Deep to Understand American History TAH project produces two “History on Location” workshops, engaging teachers with powerful professional development in historically significant locations.  Our regional “History on Location” programs are led by program partner The Center for Columbia River History, challenging teachers to connect local and national historical narratives to lead students to a stronger learning experience.  Previous programs have been outstanding, filled with new insights into how to deepen the study of The Civil War and The Civil Rights Movement through attention to the Pacific Northwest.

Teachers in this day-long workshop will visit one of the largest Chinookan village sites in the Pacific Northwest, the reconstructed Cathlapotle Plankhouse in Ridgefield, Washington. There, participants will consider Native agency during a period of revolutionary change wrought by trade, disease, and cultural exchange from first encounters with Euro-Americans to the present day. Teachers will engage directly with Native and non-Native scholars through talks, walks, and hands-on activities to examine the Causes of Conflict themes (the role of laws, relations amongst people, economics, and place) and to identify pedagogical strategies for the local application of national histories.

Participants will be asked to consider:

  • How historical narratives are constructed
  • The role of place in understanding the past
  • Different modes of engaging with the past
  • Connections between past and present
  • Connections between local and national history

We’re pleased to be led by the following presenters:

  • Katy Barber, Center for Columbia River History Director and Professor of History, Portland State University
  • Sam Robinson, Vice Chairman, Chinook Nation
  • Jacqueline Peterson, Emerita Professor of History, WSU Vancouver
  • Tony Johnson, Chinook Cultural Committee Chair and Language Specialist
  • Anan Raymond, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Archaeologist
  • Connie Graves, weaver, Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Reservation

A draft agenda is posted here.  In order to host this exceptional program in this intimate location, seating is extremely limited.   If you are a teacher who would like to attend this program at no charge, please contact Matt Karlsen at your earliest opportunity.  When registering, please identify your preference between the two breakout sessions offered after lunch:  Learning from Location or Learning by Doing.  Although we may not succeed in every case, we’ll do our best to place you in your preferred option.

Members of the Causes of Conflict 2010-2011 cohort are pre-registered for this program, but should contact Matt with their breakout choice.

To prepare for our work together, please read the following selections prior to the program.  If you attended the Summer Institute, they were distributed at that time; if not, please ask Matt to send you a copy.

  1. John Sutton Lutz, “Introduction: Myth Understandings; or First Contact Over and Over Again,” in John Sutton Lutz, ed. Myth and Memory: Stories of Indigenous-European Contact. Vancouver/Toronto: UBC Press, 2007.  This chapter from Myth will introduce you to multiple perspectives regarding how contact stories have been and are being told.
  2. Jon Daehnke, “Cathlapotle. . . catching time’s secrets.” Produced and printed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Cultural Resource Team, Region 1, Sherwood, Oregon, January 2005. Illustrated by Chinook Artist, Charles Funk.  This booklet discusses historic ways of life at Cathlapotle as understood through archaeology and history, and in discussion with members of the Chinook Nation.
  3. Robert Boyd, “Another Look at the Fever and Ague of Western Oregon,” Ethnohistory, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Spring 1975), pp. 135-136; 138-143; 147-152.  This interdisciplinary article examines primary sources to determine the origins of diseases that decimated Native people in the early nineteenth century.
  4. Robert Boyd and Yvonne P. Hajda, “Seasonal population movement along the lower Columbia river: the social and ecological context” American Ethnologist, Vol. 14, No. 2 (May 1987), pp. 309-313.  Boyd and Hajda explain how seasonal population movement and complex regional social relations contributed to Lewis and Clark’s historic observations along the Columbia.

The following additional readings will further enhance your learning:

  1. Jon Daehnke, “Contested Spaces, Contested Roles: Heritage Management and the complexities of conflict in the Portland Basin,” Journal of Social Archaeology, Vol.7, no. 2 (2007), p. 250-275.  Daehnke provides the background and critical social issues involved in creating a heritage space on the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge.
  2. Michael Silverstein, “Chinookans of the Lower Columbia,” in Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 7, eds. Wayne Suttles and William Sturtevant. Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution (First Edition, 1990).   This encyclopedia article introduces the reader to the ways in which Chinookan peoples are classified by anthropologists as Upper, Middle, and Lower Chinook and historic territory. It also describes cultural practices as understood through explorer’s accounts and archaeology.

I hope to see you at the Cathlapotle Plankhouse!


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