Ignoring Tribal History in a Contemporary Exhibit


On 10/26, 2019 I visited the Open house at the Oregon State Archives, Salem, OR, and was supremely disappointed at their new exhibit Rust, Rot, & Ruin, which documents the beginning of key industries in Oregon through the boomtowns founded by gold mining, logging, farming and ranching,  and other mining. Some of these industries produced company towns, which have since become ghost towns, largely abandoned by the original settler families who made their wealth off of these natural resources.

The text has few, very few, mentions of Native peoples and Chinese people. There is a panel on the Chinese laborers and one section of a panel on native peoples of the coast.

Lewis and Clark did not “occupy” the Oregon coast, they had a log cabin, Ft Clatsop, well inland from the Columbia River. They did visit the coast as far south as the Nehalem area, and drew a…

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