Chinookan peoples include several groups of indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest in the United States who speak the Chinookan languages. In the early 19th century, the Chinookan-speaking peoples resided along the Lower and Middle Columbia River (Wimahl) (″Big River″) from the river’s gorge (near the present town of The Dalles, Oregon) downstream to the river’s mouth, and along adjacent portions of the coasts, from Tillamook Bay of present-day Oregon in the south, north to Willapa Bay in southwest Washington. In 1805 the Lewis and Clark Expedition encountered the Chinook tribe on the lower Columbia. The name ″Chinook″ came from a Chehalis word Tsinúk for the inhabitants of and a particular village site on Baker Bay.
Since the late 20th century, the unrecognized Chinook Indian Nation of Washington made up of 2700 members of westernmost Lower Chinook peoples (the Clatsop and Kathlamet of what is now Oregon and the Lower Chinook (Chinook proper), Wahkiakum and Willapa Chinook of Washington State), has worked to obtain federal recognition. It gained this in 2001 from the Department of Interior under President Bill Clinton. After President George W. Bush was elected, his political appointees reviewed the case and, in a highly unusual action, revoked the recognition. The tribe has sought Congressional support for recognition by the legislature. However, it has already been determined by the US government that the Chinook Indian Nation does not meet the seven criteria established by law to be recognized as a tribe. The unrecognized Tchinouk Indians of Oregon trace their Chinook ancestry to two Chinook women who married French Canadians traders from the Hudson’s Bay Company prior to 1830. The specific Chinook band these women were from or if they were Lower or Upper
Chinook could not be determined. These individuals, settled in the French Prairie region of northwestern Oregon, becoming part of the community of French-Canadians and Métis (Mix-Bloods). There is no evidence that they are a distinct Indian community within French Prairie. The Chinook Indian Nation denied that the Tchinouk had any common history with them or any organizational affiliation. On January 16, 1986, the Bureau of Indian Affairs determined that the Tchinouk Indians of Oregon do not meet the requirements necessary to be a federally recognized tribe. The unrecognized Clatsop-Nehalem Confederate Tribes has approximately 130 members today and claim to have Clatsop and Salish-speaking Tillamook (Nehalem) ancestry, which is contested by the Chinook Indian Nation (which claim 760 tribal people of Clatsop ancestry).
Source From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia