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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Boxberger, Daniel L., 1950-

Second Advisor

Pine, Judith M.S.

Third Advisor

Lewis, David G. (David Gene), 1965-


In the 19th century the federal government and local Indian agents began a series of policies aimed at breaking down tribal distinctions at the Grand Ronde reservation in northwestern Oregon. The 'successes' of these assimilation policies were well documented by contemporary federal officials, missionaries and anthropologists. Today many ethnohistorians continue to write about the history of Grand Ronde as if tribes had dissolved by the end of the 19th century. Over the last 20 years most scholars who have written on 19th century identity at Grand Ronde view identity as a social phenomenon and try to incorporate indigenous perspectives, but they rely on ethnohistorical data consisting mainly of materials written by European and European American missionaries, federal officials and anthropologists, and the people who created most of this ethnohistorical data tended to systematically exclude descriptions of seemingly ambiguous tribal adaptations in favor of descriptions of compliance or noncompliance with standardized rules or theories made according to their own essentialist administrative categories. Some of the biases inherent in this data make it into today's narratives of tribal identity at Grand Ronde.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subjects – Names (LCNAF)

Confederated Bands of Indians Residing in the Willamette Valley--History

Subject – LCSH

Tribes--Oregon--Willamette River Valley--Ethnic identity; Ethnohistory--Oregon--Willamette River Valley; Indians of North America--Oregon--Politics and government; Indians of North America--Oregon--Government relations

Geographic Coverage

Willamette River Valley (Or.); Oregon; Grand Ronde Indian Reservation (Or.)




masters theses




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