This IS Kalapuyan Land: Family Separation & Significant Places

Family Separation Transcript:


Lake Wapato

Lake Wapato, near present day Gaston, was a fertile area perfect for cultivation of the aquatic plant of the same name.

An Atfalati-Kalapuya story talks about a lake monster, called amhulukw, who stole children. (underline by SLF, with line added connecting this phrase to the top and bottom images of kids)

“The Water Being used to be in the Tualatin Valley (Wapato Lake). No one saw it. Long ago people saw it. It was very large, it had four legs, it had a large horn, its body was spotted, it had dogs that were spotted. The Water Being seized two children…And he put them on his horn, he carried them away to the forked mountain. Three times the ground sank while he carried them away…” -Jacobs, 1945

Written on top image: FORCED TO LEAVE (added by SLF, who also added five blue triangles pointing upwards)

Caption on top image: A group of children shortly after arriving at the Forest Grove Indian and Industrial Training School. Note how their clothing and hair styles differ from the later photographs below, 1881. Davidson, WCHS #11,030 (underline by SLF)

Caption on center image: Early twentieth century settlement on Lake Wapato. WCHS #10,781

Written on bottom image: TAKEN FROM THEIR HOMES (added by SLF)

Significant Places Transcript:

Title: Atfalati-Kalapuya of Washington County

The Atfalati-Kalapuya had approximately two dozen villages in present day Washington County including Chachemawa near Forest Grove, Chalawai near Lake Wapato, Chakeipi close to Beaverton, and Chakutpaliu in the Hillsboro are. Chahelim, in Yamhill County, was also an Atfalati-Kalapuya village.

By the time the Oregon Trail pioneers arrived in Washington County, more than 90 percent of the native population had been wiped out by diseases. A small pox epidemic swept through the area in 1782-1783 followed by a malaria epidemic in 1830-1833. By 1848 only about sixty Atfalati-Kalapuya remained.

There was very little conflict between original inhabitants in the area and settlers. Most differences could be easily settled. For example, in May 1854, four Indians were brought to Hillsboro and put on trial for “unlawful assembly to do unlawful act.” They were accused of destroying a settler’s house under construction. Their leader, kayakach, is recorded as saying “It is my own place, McCloud. Your house should not be built (here). It is my own site. Do you not hear me, McCloud? I have not wanted you to build your house (here). Stop it! I will tear down your house.” Surprisingly, the dispute was settled in kayakach’s favor, although he was required to pay a fine of four horses. (sentence crossed out by SLF)

Most surviving Atfalati-Kalapuya were forced to leave the ancestral hunting, gathering and trade areas. They moved onto the Grand Ronde Reservation in 1855 after a series of treaties with the United States Government. (underlined by SLF)

Forest Grove Indian and Industrial Training School

Between 1880 and 1885, Indian children were taken from their homes all over the Pacific Northwest. The children were sent to the Forest Grove Indian and Industrial Training School and forced to assimilate into Euro-American society. The school was moved to Salem in 1885 and became known as the Chemawa Indian School. Today, the Chemawa Indian School is proud to provide Native American and Alaskan youth a positive educational environment and preservation of traditional tribal cultures. (underlined by SLF)

Five Oaks

The Atfalati-Kalapuya camped for hundreds of years near Helvetia in an oak meadow called chatakuin, which meant place of the big trees. The site later became a gathering spot for early pioneers. Five Oaks historic site is visible today from the Sunset Highway near Helvetia Road. The two remaining original trees are thought to be more than 500 years old.

Caption on center image: Five Oaks. WCHS #1270-50

Written on bottom image: FORCED TO ASSIMILATE (added by SLF)

Continue Learning

Learn more about the Forest Grove Indian Training School

Note: No Kalapuyan students attended this particular school, which was the second off-reservation school in the country and pulled students from farther across the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

View documents from the Forest Grove Indian Training School

Read about the currently operating Chemawa Indian School in Salem, OR

Read ethnohistorian Dr. David G. Lewis’ account of Chief Kiakut’s legal dispute with a settler on Wapato Lake

Note: Chief Kiakut is written as kayakach in the museum’s panel.

Check out our infographic about the Five Oaks Historic Site

Note: In 2020, there is one original tree remaining.


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