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5500 - Transformative Hegemons and Transformative Indigenaeties in Old Oregon, 1811-1855

Through the first half of the 19th century the indigenous peoples of the region known in British North America as the Columbia District and in the United States as Oregon Country adapted their relationships with the natural environment to rapidly transforming social, ecological, political and legal contexts. Many of these adaptations involved changes in land use, and were made within ambiguous legal frameworks. Between 1811 and 1846 a large part of the Pacific Northwest was jointly claimed and occupied by Britain and the United States. As this joint claim was disputed and a boundary was drawn along the 49th parallel, the competing hegemons largely ignored the claims of the indigenous peoples residing in the region. In the area that became a U.S. territory, the legal position of indigenous land use continued largely undefined until 1853-1855 when Indian land claims were extinguished in the eyes of the federal government through the negotiation and ratification of treaties. Drawing on methodologies from the fields of anthropology and history, this paper approaches the role of traditional environmental knowledge in shifting historical contexts. Specifically, it explores relationships between indigenous land use and culture change as they are influenced by transformative political, legal and social processes through the stories of individuals and families residing in the Willamette, Umpqua and Rogue River valleys between 1811 and 1855.

Palabras claves: indigenous rights, traditional environmental knowledge, transformative culture

Autores: Pederson, Nora (University of Alberta, Ud States of Am / USA)

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