Category Archives: Upcoming Causes of Conflict Events

The end is nigh

While we may have thought that we made it through May 21 unscathed, I received two messages yesterday that our friends in the colonies might have considered providential signs.

The first was an email from Peggi Zelinko at the Department of Education.  She wrote to say that no new Teaching American History proposals would be awarded FY 2011, ending any hope that “Competing Visions: Debates that Shape America”, the excellent proposal we submitted in March, would be funded.   This confirmed my suspicions – but was disappointing nevertheless.

The second was a posting on the National Coalition for History site:


The House Education and Workforce Committee this week approved, by a strict party line vote of 23-16H.R. 1891 the “Setting New Priorities in Education Act.” This bill would eliminate 43 programs at the Department of Education including Teaching American History (TAH) grants.

An amendment was offered by Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ), and cosponsored by Representatives Davis (D-CA), Woolsey (D-CA) and Wu (D-OR) that would have potentially preserved TAH. The amendment would have required the Secretary of Education, in consultation with the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense and Director of National Intelligence to determine if the United States was experiencing a shortage of linguists. If it was found that was the case, Department of Education funds could have been used to improve foreign language education, economic and financial education, arts education and the Teaching of Traditional American History. The Holt amendment was defeated by the same party line vote of 16-23.

House Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MI) has decided to adopt a piecemeal approach to reauthorizing the ESEA, considering a series of targeted bills instead of one large one. H.R. 1891 is the first of those bills to be introduced and passed by the panel.

H.R. 1891 will now be considered by the House where it is expected to pass. While this is disheartening, the bill would still have to pass the Senate and be signed by the President which is unlikely. Traditionally, there has been strong bi-partisan support in the Senate for the TAH program.

In the Senate, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) will soon introduce a single all encompassing ESEA reauthorization bill. It was expected he would introduce the bill right after Easter, but that has not occurred. There is no indication at this time what Chairman Harkin’s position is with regard to TAH in particular or history education in general.

It’s a shame.  Based on our experience, I believe that TAH projects have catalyzed important change, critically supporting teachers in ways that renew and expand their vision and capacity to improve students’ learning experience.  I hope that teachers find creative ways to continue the work on their own.

I look forward to next week’s demonstration lesson in Castle Rock and our final “Causes of Conflict” program June 29 & 30.  Enjoy the long weekend!


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!

Summer Institute 2010 – Update

The able doctor, or America swallowing the bitter draught. Cartoon in line engraving by Paul Revere for the Royal American Magazine, June 1774. 208-FS-3200-3.

With just a little more than two weeks to go before the summer institute, it’s time for an updated agenda!

Summer Institute 2010 Agenda – Final

Key details:

  • The 2010 Summer Institute, Why Declare Independence?, will be held August 2-6 at Educational Service District 112 in Vancouver, Washington.
  • The week has three foci:  Understanding the legal, political, economic, and social roots of the American Revolution; Literacy strategies supporting historical thinking; and learning from our colleagues and our students.
  • Attendance is free to teachers, but seating is limited and advanced registration is required.  Email me to see if we’ve got a spot for you or if you have any questions!

I hope to see you there!

Agenda: Neither North Nor South

I’m very much looking forward to our upcoming History on Location program at Fort Vancouver.  If you haven’t yet reserved a seat, contact me soon:  They’re going fast!

Neither North Nor South:
The Pacific Northwest in the Civil War

Presented by the Center for Columbia River History
March 6, 2010, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
E.B. Hamilton Hall, Red Cross Building
605 Barnes Road
New Location!  The Grant House – 1101 Officers Row
Vancouver, WA

Dr. Katrine Barber, Director, Center for Columbia River History
Dr. Richard Etulain, Professor Emeritus, University of New Mexico
Greg Shine, Chief Ranger & Historian, Fort Vancouver National Site
Donna Sinclair, Program Manager, Center for Columbia River History

9:00    Introduction, Neither North Nor South – Dr. Katrine Barber

9:30    Historical Perspectives Tea Party:  Developing Historical Empathy

10:15    Break

10:30    The Civil War and the American West – Dr. Richard Etulain

11:30    Role Play:  What did the Civil War mean to different groups?

12:00    Lunch Break

12:40    Lincoln and the Oregon Country – Dr. Richard Etulain

1:15    Fort Vancouver in the Civil War – Greg Shine, NPS

2:00    On Location:  Re-visiting Fort Vancouver with Greg Shine and Donna Sinclair

3:15    Question and Answer –  Greg Shine

3:30    Considering Classroom Implementation

Join the 2010-2011 Cohort!

Each year, teachers from across the ESD112 service region enthusiastically join the Teaching American History Grant funded project, Causes of Conflict: Digging Deep to Understand American History.  Participating teachers study with top historians both in Vancouver and “on location” in nationally significant sites.   Using the Lesson Study approach, they investigate the teaching and learning of US history paying special attention to their students’ literacy needs.  During the 2010-2011 year, we’ll be focusing on the American Revolution.  After reading this application, ask yourself:  Is this project a good fit for you?  If so, we hope you’ll join us!

The completed application is due March 1, 2010.  Please direct any questions to Project Director Matt Karlsen via email or phone (360 750 7505.)

Causes of Conflict Participant Application 2010-11

Neither North nor South: The Pacific Northwest in the Civil War – March 6, 2010

Brevet Major John F. Reynolds and Battery C, 3rd U.S. Artillery on parade at Fort Vancouver in 1860. Reynolds was killed at the battle of Gettysburg. Image #111SC 89759, courtesy of the National Archives

Saturday March 6, 2010, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

“Neither North nor South:

The Pacific Northwest in the Civil War”

The Center for Columbia River History with featured historian Dr. Richard Etulain

E.B. Hamilton Hall

New Location!  The Grant House – 1101 Officers Row

Fort Vancouver Historic Reserve

Annually, the Causes of Conflict Teaching American History project partners with the Center for Columbia River History to produce a regional “History on Location” program to complement the year’s focus.

Recognizing the linkages between Civil War and Pacific Northwest history provides us with a dynamic and more accurate way of relating regional and national history to our students. The advancement of slavery and other economic and political factors historians attribute to causing the Civil War also influenced Northwestern development. Nineteenth century sectional sentiments ran high in Oregon and Washington, with social and political impacts that included racial exclusion. Many connections exist between these geographically distant and seemingly disparate histories, including Abraham Lincoln’s interest in the Trans-Mississippi West and his Northwestern political connections; the divergent roads to statehood in Oregon and Washington; the Western training of Civil War soldiers in the pre-war era; the military role in facilitating Northwestern expansion and the transportation infrastructure; and the displacement and dispossession of the region’s Native people.  This program will explore many of these connections in ways which lend themselves to considering classroom implementation.

Keynote speaker Richard Etulain is professor of history (emeritus) and the director of the Center for the American West at the University of New Mexico. He is the author or editor of more than twenty books, including the soon to be released “Lincoln Looks West:  From the Mississippi to the Pacific.”

This event is free to teachers but seating is limited and advance registration is required.  To register, contact Matt Karlsen.

Recommended reading prior to the program:

The Pacific Northwest, Race, and The Civil War – Events Timeline

Abraham Lincoln Looks West

Agents of Manifest Destiny

Spectators of Disunion: The Pacific Northwest and the Civil War

Our Manifest Destiny Bids Fair for Fulfillment (excerpt)

Voices of the Past: Bluecoats and Copperheads

The Tribe of Abraham: Lincoln and the Washington Territory

Also of interest:

Shine, Gregory P. “An Indispensable Point”: A Historic Resourse Study of the Vancouver Ordnance Depot and Arsenal, 1849-1882. Vancouver, WA: National Park Service, 2008.

Finkelman on Lincoln-Douglas Debates and 1860 Election – February 4

The political quadrille. Music by Dred Scott.  Political Cartoons Collection (U.S.), Library of Congress; LOC Call Number: PC/US - 1860.A000, no. 39

The political quadrille. Music by Dred Scott. Political Cartoons Collection (U.S.), Library of Congress; LOC Call Number: PC/US - 1860.A000, no. 39

I’m pleased to announce that Dr. Paul Finkelman will return to ESD 112 February 4, 2010.  His talk on the Lincoln-Douglas Debates and the 1860 Election will help us bridge the work we did this summer on the root causes of the Civil War and the work we’ll be doing this spring on the war itself.  Dinner and registration will begin at 5:00; Dr. Finkelman’s program will run 5:30-8:30.  The program is free but seating is limited and advanced registration is required; please let me know if you plan to attend.

Preparatory Readings:

Helpful links: