Native American people have lived in the area now known as Oregon since time immemorial. During the era of colonialism (beginning in the 1600s)-and even into the 21st century-non-Native people often portrayed the North American continent as a vast wilderness that was virtually unpopulated when they arrived. This could not be farther from the truth. In Oregon alone there were dozens of tribes, each with its own ancestral territory and rich cultural history. There was not a single region of Oregon that did not have an Indigenous tribe or band living within it. Nothing was discovered or “untapped”, but instead well managed as Indigenous stewards of the land. Over time, the environment has been impacted by changes such as an increase in human population, and over consumption of natural resources (freshwater, minerals and energy). This lesson focuses on the impact of dams on the salmon population of Oregon. The activity in this lesson will give students an essential understanding of why salmon are essential to the traditional lifeways of Native Americans in Oregon. It will also highlight the important contributions tribes are making to salmon restoration efforts in Oregon.
Material Type: Lesson, Lesson Plan