Tangled Nets: Treaty Rights and Tribal Identities at
by Andrew H. Fisher
Since the days when the fur trade dominated the Pacific Northwest, Euro-American ideas of private property have affected Native Americans' relationships to natural resources. Historian Andrew Fisher explores the influence of legal and cultural concepts of fishing, property, and treaty rights on individual and group identity among Indians of the Columbia River. He argues that "even as the courts upheld treaty rights and encouraged tribal unity, they also set up conflicts between the federally recognized tribes and the off-reservation communities near the fisheries." Using records from the Tribes, Congress, the Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and other institutions, Fisher examines the relationship between tribal and individual identities in relation to fishing rights at Celilo Falls and concludes that "the redefinition of fishing rights has been a gradual and difficult process in which the River People played a significant role."
Andrew H. Fisher, professor of history at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, earned a B.A. in history from the University of Oregon and a Ph.D. in history from Arizona State University. He has published in Western Historical Quarterly, Arizona History, and Ethnohistory and was a contributor to the Encyclopedia of North American Indians. His article is based on his dissertation, "People of the River: The Making of Columbia River Indian Identity."
The Evolving Landscape of the Columbia River Gorge:
Lewis and Clark and Cataclysms on the Columbia
by Jim E. O'Connor
Geologist Jim O'Connor explains that "the Lewis and Clark Expedition can be viewed as a hinge point for the Columbia River," with "the changes engineered to the river and its valley in the two hundred years since their visit mirrored by tremendous changes geologically engendered in the thousands of years before." O'Connor draws on the expedition journals and twentieth-century geologic scholarship to examine the catastrophic changes that have affected the Columbia River Basin over thousands of years. The "resilience of the Columbia ecosystem" in the face of cataclysmic changes may offer hope to some that the river could overcome the drastic re-ordering wrought by humans in the twentieth century.
Jim E. O'Connor is a geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey in Portland, Oregon.