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Indian Tribes of the Northwest

Indian Tribes of the Northwest

By Hancock House Publishing

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The origins of the native inhabitants of the Pacific Northwest, from Oregon to Alaska, have never been fully established. It is now believed that they migrated from Asia via Siberia over a narrow isthmus of land, which in later times became submerged beneath the waters of the Bering Straits.

There may well have been successive waves of migrants who gradually dispersed themselves all over the North and South American continents. Whatever their beginnings, by the time the first European sailing ships were sighted in our coastal waters, the great northwest was already settled by a diverse people, speaking many different languages and dialects, and with a rich culture of their own.

Essentially, children of nature, they enjoyed an almost mystical affinity with her forces. Indeed, they saw man and nature as one and this belief profoundly affected their attitude to life. Children were taught never to interfere with or molest any living creature A very old totem pole, which stood for many years at the ancient Haida village of Tanu, graphically illustrates this fact. It was known as the "Weeping Totem Pole of Tanu" and the strange legend surrounding it was told around the lodge fires long before the arrival of the white man.

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