Native groups had been in contact with Europeans on the Oregon coast for several generations prior to Euro-American settlement. British fur traders reached central Oregon in the 1820s passing through on their trapping expeditions. In the 1840s, emigrant parties passed through on their way to the Willamette Valley. With the Treaty of 1855 the federal government relocated the tribes of “middle Oregon” from their traditional home on the Columbia to the Warm Springs Reservation. Soon after, Euro Americans initiated settlement in the Crooked River Valley.
Explorers & Fur Traders:
The first decades of the nineteenth century saw the initial contact between Native Americans and Euro-Americans in central Oregon.
In 1845 Stephen Meek led an ill-fated wagon train through central Oregon in an attempt to find a shortcut to the Willamette Valley.
Treaty with the Tribes of Middle Oregon:
The 1855 Treaty with the Tribes of Middle Oregon was advantageous to the U.S. government because it largely removed the Upper Chinookan and Sahaptin peoples from the Columbia River corridor.
After the Treaty:
The terms of the treaty of 1855 could not hold up in the face of continued Euro-American encroachment.
Wars with the Northern Paiute:
Resistance to federal reservation policies came from Paulina and his band of Northern Paiutes.