Multimedia Collection

Skookum Tillicum: The Strong People of Siletz

34 min
E99 .S544 .S56 2002

Coming from the Columbia River to the Klamath River in Northern California, from the sea to the Cascade Range, the people of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians are descendants of many different tribes and bands.

This rich land supported the large population of our Siletz ancestors for millennia. But when the Europeans discovered these resources, they brought new technology, trade goods, and foreign diseases.

There was no law and little order. As the Rogue River Indian Wars ended in 1855, our ancestors were removed to a permanent 1.1 million-acre reservation that stretched from Cape Lookout to the Siltcoos River, and from the Pacific Ocean nearly to the crest of the Coast Range. Thousands of them walked more than 250 miles to their new home.

In spite treaties that promised a permanent reservation, the Siletz Reservation was taken away piece by piece. In just 40 years, it was whittled down from 1.1 million acres to 551 allotments (about 44,000 acres) and five sections of tribal timber.

In 1954, the federal government terminated the Siletz Tribe. But interest in our traditional ways survived and in 1977, tribal members convinced Congress to restore the tribe's federal recognition as a tribe. We were the first in Oregon and the second in the nation to regain federal recognition.

We again run our own government, provide services to tribal members in 11 counties in Oregon, operate a health clinic, have a ceremonial dance house and a community center, host annual pow-wows, and earn revenue by cutting timber on tribal land, running the Siletz Tribal Smokehouse in Depoe Bay, OR., and operating Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City, OR.

An emphasis on education and culture remains central to our tribe. Many of our charitable donations go to schools and our traditional feather dance has been revived. We continue to look toward the future as we remember our ancient traditions. We invite you to join us on this journey as you discover the land of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon.

Distributed by Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon (

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