- The Arrival of the White Men
- Traditional Legends (Micmac, Chinook)
The Micmac tribe was originally from the Great Lakes area, but later
could be found in Canada and Maine. They have a long history, and are
thought to have possibly encountered Viking explorers around the year
1000. They later allied with the French after building good relations
with Jacques Cartier in 1523 and Samuel de Champlain in 1603.
The Micmacs became traders, often moving between other tribes and the
whites. These activities wreaked havoc on their natural way of life, and
many of their people died due to the introduction of war, disease, and
alcohol. Later the French armed them and paid them bounties to kill and
scalp France's enemies. The Micmacs fought the British in the American
Revolution. Most became Catholics. In the 1800s, the Micmacs were forced
to accept white control of their lands. By the early 1900s, the Micmacs'
land was reduced to only enough to hold schools. Today, many still fight
for recognition of their people's needs and against discrimination. /font>
The Chinook tribe originally lived on the Pacific coast and around the
Columbia River Delta. Visiting Anglo explorers introduced smallpox, a
sickness for which the Chinooks had little resistance, devastating their
population. Lewis and Clark visited and lived with the Clatsops in 1805.
The growing fur trade and influence of the whites slowly changed the natural
lives of the tribe. Many abandoned their traditional village sites and
merged with other tribes, mostly around trading areas.
The Chinooks had approximately 22,000 members in 1780, but that number
was reduced to about 100 by the late 1800s. As they joined with other
tribes, their language became extinct. In 1899, a group representing the
Chinooks, Upper Chinooks (Wahkiahums), Clatsops, and Cathlamets filed
a land claim with the U.S. government, which-thirteen years later-awarded
them only $20,000 about 214, 000 acres of their homelands. In 1951, the
Chinooks, who didn't live on a reservation petitioned the government for
land. They were given $50,000 instead. The U.S. government's Bureau of
Indian Affairs came to view them as a "terminated tribe," and their 1979
petition for recognition is still under consideration.
- prophetsones who speak by divine inspiration
or as interpreters through whom the will of God or a god is expressed.
- earnestmarked by or showing deep sincerity or
- Baptizedto admit into Christianity through baptism.
- ornamentalof, relating to, or serving as an ornament
or a decoration.
- creaturesliving beings, especially an animal.
Use the STUDY GUIDE below as a way to work through the selection
and improve your comprehension of the essay.
Answer the Questions to Consider questions in the book as a way
to develop your understanding of the selection.
1. What do the words used to describe unfamiliar things say about the
Micmac and Clatsop way of life?
2. What are the similarities and differences in the ways that the Micmacs
and Chinooks described the Europeans?
3. How are the Europeans viewed in these accounts?
4. Why, in your opinion, is Native-American history often passed from
generation to generation in the form of prophecy?
Native American Perspectives
Paul Bailey. Wovoka: The Indian Messiah (1957). About the Paiute
prophet who taught the Ghost Dance to Indians in the 1880s.
Benjamin Capps. The Great Chiefs (1975). A lavishly illustrated
book that relates life stories of the great Native American chiefs of
the Old West.
Gregory Dowd. A Spirited Resistance: The North American Indians’
Struggle for Unity 1745–1815 (1992). Describes Shawnee Chief Tecumseh’s
efforts to build an independent Indian nation.
Grant Foreman. Indian Removal: The Emigration of the Five Civilized
Tribes of Indians (1932). About the U.S. Army’s 1830s removal of five
southeastern tribes from their lands.
William T. Hagan. American Indians (1979). A history of Native
Americans, from early encounters with whites to the present-day.
Francis Paul Prucha, ed. Documents of United States Indian Policy
(1990). A collection of U.S. government documents on Indian policy.
John Tebbel. The American Indian Wars (1960). The history of
Indian wars, written by an Ojibwa journalism professor and historian.
W.C. Vanderwerth. Indian Oratory: Famous Speeches by Noted Indian
Chieftains (1971). Noted speeches by the greatest leaders of the Native