The Oregon Digital Newspaper Program (ODNP) is pleased to announce the addition of the Klamath Tribune to the Historic Oregon Newspapers online keyword-searchable database! Published in Chiloquin, Oregon from 1956-1961 by the Klamath Information and Education Program (a facet of the Oregon State Department of Education), this is the first newspaper solely covering Tribal issues that we have digitized and added to the website, in partnership with the Klamath Tribes and a generous University of Oregon Libraries donor.
The Klamath Tribune was published in the wake of the U.S. Congress’ 1954 decision to terminate federal recognition of the Klamath Tribes, which include the Klamath, Modoc, and Yahooskin Band of Paiute Indians. The decision was controversial, given that an official report from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) stated that the Klamath Tribes did not meet the criteria for termination, and there was major opposition from Tribal members. The Klamath Termination Act, otherwise known as Public Law 587, was framed in the context of helping the Tribes, but the effects of termination were overwhelmingly negative. (More information can be found online at The Klamath Tribes’ website.)
The Klamath Information and Education Program was created to help Tribal members assimilate into Anglo-American culture. Volume 1, Issue 1 of the Klamath Tribune appeared in November of 1956 as a means of communication with Tribal members in preparation for termination and to inform them of educational opportunities available to them under Section 26 of the termination law, which stated that:
The Klamath Tribune included:
Tribal news, with a focus on education-related news items and individual achievements:
“Q&A” sections about the Termination law (otherwise known as “Public Law 587”):
Recommendations for agriculture, ranching, and home-keeping practices:
Information on water rights, and other political, economic, and environmental issues:
Although Tribal perspectives were included, the paper was primarily dedicated to persuading Tribal members to actively learn and participate in the dominant Anglo-American culture and way of doing things:
The last issue of the Tribune was published in July of 1961. By 1986, the Klamath Tribes were successful in restoring their federally recognized tribal status through the Klamath Restoration Act. The addition of the Klamath Tribune to the Historic Oregon Newspapers database is a crucial step towards representing the full range of Oregon’s history and cultural heritage in our online newspaper collection. Go check it out, explore, and see for yourself! You never know what you might find in the newspaper pages of the past.
Robbins, William G. “Subtopic : People, Politics, and the Environment Since 1945: Termination.” The Oregon History Project. Oregon Historical Society. Web. Accessed April 30, 2014. <http://www.ohs.org/education/oregonhistory/narratives/subtopic.cfm?subtopic_ID=171>
The Klamath Tribes. “History.” The Klamath Tribes. Web. Accessed April 30, 2014. <http://www.klamathtribes.org/history.html>
The Klamath Tribes. “Termination.” The Klamath Tribes. Web. Accessed April 30, 2014. <http://www.klamathtribes.org/background/termination.html>