Tag Archives: Smoke Signals

Smoke Signals and Chemawa American Now Available at Historic Oregon Newspapers Online!

Thanks to collaborations with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and funding from University of Oregon (UO) Libraries donors, three new important titles are now available for searching and browsing on Historic Oregon Newspapers online:

Smoke Signals masthead features the title, Smoke Signals, in bold, followed by text that reads: "A publication of the Grand Ronde Tribe, www.grandronde.org. Umpqua, Molalla, Rogue River, Kalapuya, Chasta

Smoke signals. (Grand Ronde, Or.) July 15, 2013, Image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn93050714/2013-07-15/ed-1/seq-1/

Weekly Chemawa American masthead

Weekly Chemawa American. (Chemawa, Or.) December 30, 1910, Image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/ca15001324/1910-12-30/ed-1/seq-1/

The Chemawa American masthead

The Chemawa American. (Chemawa, Or.) April 01, 1915, Image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/2003238611/1915-04-01/ed-1/seq-1/

This content is now available online in addition to the Klamath Tribune, which was published from 1956-1961 and documents the termination of the Klamath Tribes. (See our blog post from last spring for more information on the Klamath Tribune.)

Smoke Signals, the current newspaper of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, is now available for searching and browsing online with issues dating from 1978-2013. Smoke Signals started off as a monthly tribal newsletter in the 1970s as the Tribes were organizing to restore their tribal status, which had been terminated by the federal government in 1954. The U.S. Congress passed the Grand Ronde Restoration Act in 1983, restoring federally recognized status to the Tribes.

Clipping reads: "Grand Ronde's Restored! They say it was the strongest Restoration Bill ever presented to Congress! WIth fifty-seven letters of support and no opposition, our Bill was passed in the House on November 7, 1983, sponsored by Congressman Les AuCoin, D-Ore. 'This is a day of celebration,' said Rep. Les AuCoin, 'The Grand Ronde are a determined people who have earned the dignity of being called a Tribe once more.' On Nov. 11, 1983, Senator Hatfield presented it to the Senate where it passed without going through Committee. THis was a unique situation and was an important factor in its swift passage in the Senate. With this accomplished in both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate; both of our Congressmen then pushed for the signing by the President; he signed it on Nov. 22, 1983, making our restoration Bill, H.R. 3885 (Union Calendar No. 276) into LAW! We are, and will ever be, grateful to Congressman AuCoin for introducing our Bill, Sept. 14, 1983; and, for his support and able-assistance throughout this entire legislation. Also, we are thankful to Senator Hatfield for his interest and staunch support which was the factor in the Senate's passage too. We are now looking forward to working with them, especially Congressman AuCoin, during the next two years on our Reservation Plan. We are now planning to have a Restoration celebration tentatively, sometime during the early part of 1984. We will have a notice in the newsletter when all plans are finalized. -Kathryn Harrison, Community Org."

Smoke signals. (Grand Ronde, Or.) November 01, 1983, Image 3. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn93050714/1983-11-01/ed-1/seq-3/

In 1995, the paper started appearing twice a month, and in 2005, Smoke Signals became part of the Tribes’ Public Affairs Department. During its lifetime and through numerous staff changes, Smoke Signals has won many journalism awards from the Native American Journalists Association and Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association.

Clipping shows an image of two children in traditional regalia, dancing inside a gymnasium. Clipping reads: "Tribe Celebrates Restoration. Members unite to give thanks, recognize effort and achievements. Celebration - Tribal members Melissa Biery (left) and Shasta Wilson fancy shawl dance for an admiring crowd at the Annual Grand Ronde Restoration Day Pow-Wow, held in the new gymnasium at the Tribe's Education campus."

Smoke signals. (Grand Ronde, Or.) December 01, 2002, Image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn93050714/2002-12-01/ed-1/seq-1/

The majority of issues from Smoke Signals were scanned from microfilm negatives at the University of Oregon (UO) Libraries, but the Tribe scanned and provided several early issues that were missing from the UO Libraries’ microfilm collection.

The Weekly Chemawa American, available online from 1901-1910, featured news articles, literature, and photographs by students who were attending a journalism class taught by staff of the Chemawa Indian Boarding School. The paper covered school news, student achievements, and events, and reported on interesting articles and topics found in various newspapers, such as the Oregonian, in addition to student editorials. By late 1914, the publication shifted to a monthly schedule, dropping “weekly” from the title to become The Chemawa American, now available online from 1914-1915.

Clipping from the Chemawa American reads: "Oregon Rural Schools: our system attracting attention everywhere. That the people living in rural districts of Oregon care more for their schools, are working harder to give their boys and girls a practical education, and have made a greater advance than any other state, is clearly proved by the reception which has been given the rural school  exhibit at the Panama Pacific International Exposition."

The Chemawa American. (Chemawa, Or.) December 01, 1915, Image 10. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/2003238611/1915-12-01/ed-1/seq-10/

Chemawa Indian Boarding School is the oldest continually operating Indian Boarding School in the United States, established in 1880 by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Forest Grove, Oregon, and then moved to Salem in 1885. The school has hosted students from throughout the western United States, including special groups of Alaskan natives, Navajo Indians, and in the earliest years, primarily students from Oregon’s tribal reservations. The school is still in operation today under management by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Image from the Weekly Chemawa American shows a fence and gate with a sign that says "Indian Training School" surrounding a yard with two trees and a building in the distance. Children are standing around the scene, with one child on a bicycle. Image is on the front page of Vol. 6 issue 8, dated November 14, 1902. Caption reads "Main school entrance."

Weekly Chemawa American. (Chemawa, Or.) November 14, 1902, Image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/ca15001324/1902-11-14/ed-1/seq-1/

All issues of the weekly and monthly Chemawa American were carefully scanned from the original paper documents, borrowed from the Cultural Exhibits and Archives program of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, where they are housed as part of the Charles Holmes collection. Charles Holmes was a teacher and the student newspaper advisor at the Chemawa Indian School from the 1950s – 1970s, and the collection includes thousands of photographs, correspondence, media, and other documents. Students at Willamette University have been working to catalogue and archive the many photographs from the Chemawa Indian School that are part of the Charles Holmes collection, led by archaeology professor Rebecca Dobkins in collaboration with the Tribes (read more about this project at http://www.grandronde.org/news/articles/dobkins-tells-chemawa-indian-school-stories-at-salem-library/).

Image shows a student with a yearbook and laptop, working at a desk. Caption reads: "Emilie Jensen, a senior at Willamette University in Salem, looks through a Chemawa Indian School yearbook from 1961 as she works on an assignment for her Native North American Cultures class in the college's archives on Thurs. Nov. 15. The yearbook is part of a collection that Chemawa industrial arts teacher and yearbook and newspaper advisor Charles Holmes had. The collection was donated to the Tribes after he walked on in 2011.

Smoke signals. (Grand Ronde, Or.) December 01, 2012, Image 5. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn93050714/2012-12-01/ed-1/seq-5/

Special thanks to the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, as well as Jennifer O’Neal, University Historian and Archivist at the University of Oregon Libraries, and David Lewis (CTGR Tribal Historian), for facilitating this significant digitization project!

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