"We are Indian. We have that in us. We have ties to the land that nobody else has."

Wanda Johnson

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Burns Paiute Tribe

In 1851, the first treaty was signed in Oregon between the Indians and the U.S. government. These historical photos offer a small glimpse into the lives of the native Oregonians around the turn of the last century.

A Klamath Indian rests against a large Ponderosa pine in 1923. White settlers in this area at first wanted only the lower-elevation land more suitable for farming. Consequently, the Klamath Reservation was situated on a vast tract of timberland. The Indians later developed this "unwanted" land into a lucrative industry.

Library of Congress, #cph 3c36575


Layered, reed mats were a common — and effective — material for teepee exteriors, such as this teepee on the Umatilla reservation.

Oregon Historical Society, #bb015202


Three men stand in full regalia on the banks of the Columbia River in what was likely a staged scene by the photographer.

Oregon Historical Society, #bb011611


Several Wishram Indians travel along the Columbia River in a raised-prow, Chinook-style canoe in this undated photo.

Library of Congress, #3a47171u


A photo of President Warren G. Harding hangs outside a teepee on the Warm Springs reservation in the 1920s.

Oregon Historical Society, #bb015200


Pictured here, two men on horseback on the Umatilla Reservation in an undated photo.

Oregon Historical Society, #bb015161


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Mary Bradford, a basketmaker and member of the Rogue River Tribe, is pictured in this 1902 photo.

Oregon Historical Society, #bb012666


A Piute chief poses with a bow and arrows in this 1875 photo.

Oregon Historical Society, #bb012666


This 1923 image is titled "Klamath in costume," though "costume" is probably a poor choice of words, since it may suggest a "pretend" outfit and not one's actual clothes. Many Native Americans prefer the term "regalia" for official clothing worn for special occasions.

Library of Congress, #cph 3c23299


John Bradford, a Rogue River Indian, poses for a photo circa 1900.

Oregon Historical Society, #bb004226


The Indians were removed from the Newport/Yaquina Bay area in the 1860s, opening the area up to white settlers. By 1900, when this photo was taken, seeing a Native American woman in a canoe near Newport was an unusual sight.

Oregon Historical Society, #bb003423


In this 1902 photo, three women stand for a picture on the Warm Springs Reservation in Wasco County, Oregon.

Library of Congress, #cph 3c19344


Red Elk and his sister, members of the Walla Walla tribe, pose in this undated photo. The Walla Walla tribe later became a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, #P2002.047.0073


Hanna Coos Chief Deloose Jackson, who died in 1907, dreamed a song late in his life — a powerful occurrence in Coos culture. "We will never fall down," the lyrics of the song said.

Oregon Historical Society, #bb015178

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