Final Blog

For my final blog I would like to say that after blogging for the first time in the class I found it to be rather interesting. This class was a something I think my soul needed as well as learned many interesting things like blogging. I didn’t really know what a blog was and I can  see like anything else it has it’s place and \can be a useful tool to find thing out from a persons perspective and compile information on a subject. I was happy to attend this course and would recommend it to fill the blanks in native culture that we really have not accepted. History seems to explain in depth some of the other minorities in depth but we are just now going through this transition in American culture that brings this to light. Thanks all.

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For this weeks blog I would like to talk about how this class has affected my life. I lived with the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe for about 10 years basically the late 80’s and early 90’s. Back then I was just living and hanging with people that I loved and liked and I did pick up on some of the culture but the history was missing. After this class I was able to connect the dots so to speak. The way some of the elders were stand offish to a white person living amongst them now makes sense. I had known that the European contact was something that had not been forgot but to really see what they had gone through it is very easy to see why it was harder for elders to deal with. I was accepted and was never treated unfairly which speaks volumes of these people and I now have even more respect for them and their traditions. I have rekindled many old relationships over the last few months and I thank this class for this in fact I have a guided trip with a well respected friend and tribal member to explore the Elwha river since the dams have been removed I want to see this historical rock that we have read about in this class that was unveiled after the dam removel. 

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Point no Point

The Lower Elwha Klallam tribe gained their sovereign Nation status through the Point No Point treaty of 1855 and have lived in the area since. The land was acquired by the United states through a trust for the tribe in 1935. The land was declared a reservation for the Lower Elwha Tribe in 1968. There is about a thousand acres of land on and off the reservation that the tribe has re acquired. The tribe has it’s own government and constitution and governs itself and provides for the Tribal members. This seems to be a very unique situation meaning they have there own police and laws as well as court system and punishment.

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Early Klallam

Early on the Klallam people fished the salmon runs and hunted around those seasons. They also hunted the whale and they also gathered shell fish and plants for medicines. In the 1800’s this began to change because of the Hudson bay company and the natives were forced to move onto reservations. This obviously changed the way they fished and hunted. I looked for what kinds of plants that they used for medicines and did not find but over and over I found that salmon was there primary source of food and still is today.

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Klallam

On April 29th Peninsula College raised a Totem that has recently been refurbished. This Totem was given by Brick Johnson of the Klallam people in 1972. I was one of the folks that was involved not only putting on this event but heavily involved with the former carvers family making sure that all of the families wishes were respected. This event went very well the ceremony was perfect. It was the first time I have seen a bridge being built in the public eye bringing multiple cultures together with the mutual respect of the importance of culture nice!

 

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Totem

On April 29th Peninsula College raised a Totem that has recently been refurbished. This Totem was given by Brick Johnson of the Klallam people in 1972. I was one of the folks that was involved not only putting on this event but heavily involved with the former carvers family making sure that all of the families wishes were respected. This event went very well the ceremony was perfect. It was the first time I have seen a bridge being built in the public eye bringing multiple cultures together with the mutual respect of the importance of culture nice!

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The Elwha dams

The Elwha  River Dams were the biggest legal battle that the tribe was involved in and was a monumental win for the tribe having these dams removed would restore the River to its natural state. The battle was with the federal government. The peoples position was that the river is where their people have lived for a long time and that their belief’s, traditions and livelihood. where at stake and worked to get the dams removed. They also argued that the decimated salmon runs need this to be able to be restored.

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For this post I will be naming several different pieces that I have seen held and transported so I guess I am the source. I have seen masks that are indescribable in there appearance other then artwork. Drums from deer hides that sound amazing and are decorated with art. Paddles carved from cedar as well as cedar roses. Canoes that have been hand carved and decorated that also look amazing. All of these pieces have meaning within the art work that is unique in appearance as well to the person.

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Klallam

First of all let me get it right Klallam is how the name is spelled Clallam refers to the people of Clallam county (sorry). The Klallam people inhabited a much larger area then I had first thought they were living from the Pacific ocean across the Olympic peninsula as far in to the Hamma Hamma River. The Klallam people also span from the tip of Vancouver Island across the Straight of Juan de Fuca and mainly inhabited along the coast but did move inland around some rivers. The Klallam people’s language and traditions have kept them united but they did coexist with surrounding tribes with some inter marriage with the tribes around them. The Klallam people also shared fishing and hunting villages with surrounding tribes as well. They were a first nation community in the Pacific Northwest. For me I grew up with some of my sources for this class we goofed off a lot and were really tight and now after being in this class I am having flashbacks of things said to me by natives over the years that were not clear to me back then the true meaning. I have learned some other meanings to things said just from being in this class. They were family to me and still are just funny that when I was with them on a more regular basis I didn’t notice the culture as much as I do now. we were young and just hanging and being friends. It is truly cool to see the change where the culture is not only started to be excepted but sought after for knowledge and traditional values by all people.

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