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date: 09 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Despite decades of neglect by professional historians, the Pacific Northwest brings particular clarity to major themes in Native American history. On both sides of the Cascade Mountains and the US-Canadian border, Native communities have carried on the struggle for territorial integrity, political authority, economic viability, and cultural legitimacy that began in the late eighteenth century. Scholars, in turn, have broadened their studies temporally, culturally, and thematically to create a fuller picture of the region’s past. This chapter surveys recent trends in the ethnohistorical literature concerning the diverse indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast and Columbia Plateau. For the sake of brevity, it emphasizes three themes of particular salience in the Northwest: the porous character of cultural and political boundaries, the fluidity of racial and tribal identities, and the determination of Native nations to protect their ancestral lands and resources.

Keywords: Boldt decision, British Columbia Treaty Commission, Columbia Plateau, Delgamuukw decision, Indian Shaker Church, Nez Perce War, potlatch, Chief Joseph, Chief Seattle, fishing rights

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