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Native Americans

Blasphemy cover by Sherman Alexie
Summer 2013

Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories

Blasphemy-Alexie

 

Sherman Alexie ’94
Grove Press, 2012

Most writers’ volumes of “new and selected” stories add only two or three new pieces to twenty or thirty old ones. More than half of Sherman Alexie’s Blasphemy is new, however, including a few lengthy stories. The success of Alexie’s teen novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian seems to have invigorated his short stories, and readers who regard them as his best work will be … » More …

Winter 2012

The Law and the Land

Indian Law Attorney Brian Gunn pushes into new territory for his tribe and others

In the summer of 1951, a Colville Indian named Peter Gunn sued the United States government for the loss of a portion of his ancestral lands. He joined members of a number of other tribes including the Lake, San Poils, Methow, Okanogan, and Nespelem, all living on the Colville reservation and whose homelands, which once covered nearly half of Eastern Washington, had been given to the public for settlement in the late 1800s.

Two generations later, Gunn’s grandson Brian, 38, filed another suit against the U.S. Department of the Interior, this … » More …

Winter 2012

Feasting on the Salish Sea

It must have been quite the feast.

No one remembers the host. Or how many guests there were. Or how long it lasted. Or even when it was exactly, though 650 years ago is a good guess. We do, on the other hand, know what they ate—approximately 10,000 sea urchins.

Archaeologist Colin Grier and I are standing at the back corner of what was once a longhouse on the northern tip of Galiano Island at the southern end of the Strait of Georgia in British Columbia.

In 2010, Grier and his crew, intent on another project, had nearly passed on this ancient longhouse. But … » More …

Spring 2012

Sacred Encounters

“When I drive past this place it gives me a good-hearted, happy feeling,” says Quanah Matheson ’04, cultural resources director of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. At what is now Old Mission State Park, just off Interstate 90 at Cataldo, Idaho, Matheson is taking a breather from the rush of last-minute details prior to opening a major historical exhibit.

A graceful, whitewashed chapel, the Mission of the Sacred Heart, completed in 1853 and the oldest building in Idaho, tops a grassy knoll at the state park, but down below, the tribe has just completed a modern museum that is now the permanent home of an exhibit … » More …

Spring 2012

The Long Journey of the Nez Perce: A Battle History from Cottonwood to Bear Paw

2012spring_nezperce_cover

Kevin Carson ’81
Westholme Publishing, 2011

In his foreword to the latest account of the Nez Perce War of 1877, Kevin Carson ’81 writes, “In my memory, there was never a time when our family was not fascinated by the saga of the Nez Perce.” Carson’s great-great-great grandfather, Levi Watrous, served as a scout during the Civil War, then moved to Columbia County, Washington, in 1872, where he made his living as a stockman. … » More …

Fall 2011

Cross-cultural pen pals

One morning this spring a group of WSU students from Jeff Petersen’s Communication Studies 321 class fills half of a small lecture hall at Spokane’s Riverpoint campus. They have traveled here from Pullman to meet their pen pals, 5th through 8th graders from the Nespelem Elementary School on the Colville Reservation in north-central Washington. Though they have been communicating with the grade-schoolers by letters throughout the semester, they are meeting for the first time to visit, “play” with science, and talk about going to college.

The Center for Civic Engagement at WSU started the pen pal project last fall. As a part of its mission, … » More …

Spring 2011

An art history

Worth D. Griffin stepped off the train in Pullman in the fall of 1924 to find Washington State College’s art department barely four years old and with just one other full-time faculty member. Prior to that, the only art instruction offered was painting lessons for students with the pocket money.

But Griffin had come to help teach design and creative composition and build a program. The Indiana native had studied commercial and fine art in Indianapolis and at the Art Institute in Chicago. In addition to working as a magazine illustrator, he trained among American realists, artists focused on rendering unidealized scenes of daily life. … » More …

Spring 2010

A Cascade Pass Chronology

A timeline of the Cascade Pass from 15,000 years ago to the present.

Return to “Of Time and Wildness in the North Cascades”

North Cascades National Park, National Park Service

by R. Mierendorf and J. Kennedy, 2009

The events below, based on calibrated radiocarbon ages, are in calendar years before present:

15,000?
Glacier ice melts out of the pass.

9600
Early indigenous people camp at the pass and make and repair stone tools, some made from locally-collected stone. Other tool stone is carried in from distant sources, including Hozomeen chert from the upper Skagit River to the north and the … » More …