Local Tribes have long fished Oregon’s wild rivers and great waterfalls, like the now submerged Celilo Falls on the mighty Columbia River. They’ve scored petroglyphs in rock canyons like those at Picture Rock Pass and left behind the world’s oldest pair of footwear (9,000-year-old sandals) at Fort Rock. Proud ancestors of those first people make up nine federally recognized Tribes of Oregon. These are their stories.
Few words sufficiently describe the grandeur of road-tripping through Northeast Oregon, but even fewer sum up the added awe when remembering that a place is far more than the beauty of the topography — human stories are embedded in these landscapes. And you don’t really know a place like this until you know its history, peoples and cultures.
Oregon’s beauty is not just rooted in its incredible landscape, it is the roots themselves that hold treasures. Camas root has long nourished the people of the Northwest as a culturally significant staple.
Hidden beyond the steep, oak-savannah hillsides that surround Interstate 5 are Southern Oregon’s greatest treasures. Stands of old-growth Douglas fir trees tower above lush pocket valleys, springtime wildflowers turn grass oceans blue, and summertime huckleberries grow fat and purple on the bush.
There’s a place on the Oregon Coast that’s out of the public eye — high on a tree-lined hilltop with the Siletz River winding below, far from the noise of cars. If you’re lucky, you can spot eagles or hawks in the sky, and feel the energy of this sacred piece of tribal land.