Indigenous peoples have lived in the Columbia River Plateau region for thousands of years, negotiating and fostering relationships among themselves and with the ecosystems of their homelands. Beginning in the nineteenth century, they formed relationships with foreigners who arrived overland — first, the Lewis and Clark Expedition and, later, thousands of immigrants on the Oregon Trail. Scholars Bobbie Conner and Bill Lang will discuss with each other and with the audience the experience of newcomers entering and crossing those homelands, including how those events impacted life for Native people and how those foreigners’ experiences in the plateau contrasted with the goals they had set when leaving their homes.
From direct action to court action, women in Oregon used a variety of tactics to protest the state, and the status quo, in the early twentieth century. Women from diverse backgrounds protested as individuals and as members of political and labor organizations, seeking both personal freedom and justice for collective groups. They faced incarceration, harassment, and even physical violence as they worked to demand change. As historian Kimberly Jensen will demonstrate, their stories are important pieces of larger histories of citizenship, civil liberties, and dissent.
Black and white Oregonians have sometimes been in conflict and, at other times, have cooperated as they threaded their way through the state’s history. Blacks in Oregon sometimes pioneered laws and societal practices that reflected national events. Although minuscule in numbers, blacks, along with white allies, led the way in enacting racial justice legislation during the mid-twentieth century. Oregon’s Constitution, however, banned both slavery and free blacks — while the state’s political leadership supported the Union during the Civil War, which led to the end of slavery. Join us for an evening exploring Oregon’s enigmatic history in relation to blacks.
The “Doctrine of Discovery” is the international law principle that European nations used to claim most of the non-European world. This talk will explain the elements that make up this law and argue that the Doctrine of Discovery morphed into “American Manifest Destiny” and was used, and is still being used today, to justify the acquisition of lands and assets of Indian Nations and peoples.
This talk highlights the recent archaeological work and findings of the Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project (OCDP), a multi-agency partnership that has been excavating sites across the state in order to better understand and share the history of Oregon's early Chinese residents. With a focus on rural communities, remote mining camps, and railroad construction, this collaborative project has provided important insight into the Chinese experience and role in the settlement and development of Oregon.
Scholars Dr. Katy Barber and Dr. Melinda Marie Jetté encourage attendees to consider the complexities surrounding the settlement of Oregon.
Klamath tribal citizen Kathleen Hill discusses the relationship between Indigenous people and settler-colonists in North America. While the sovereignty of Native nations is legally recognized, “white” systems of power continue to dominate and intrude into the lives of Native people.
The deep history of Latinos in Oregon begins in the early nineteenth century, when the current southern state line was actually the northern border of Mexico, and continues through today, as new immigrants arrive and Latino Oregonians of many generations continue to shape the state. During the twentieth century, Latino Oregonians engaged in labor activism that resulted in founding significant, ongoing organizations —such as PCUN —that continue to provide leadership in the state today. This program will explore that long history of labor organizing within national, and international, context and will consider the ongoing political impact of that work today.