In process: Before Portland: the Native Americans’ Wappato Valley. Revised and expanded version of Cathlapotle and its Inhabitants.  Anticipated completion 2016-2017. In the Portland, Oregon area, recorded history starts in 1843 (first land claim) or 1851 (municipal incorporation). But people lived in the Portland Basin (Multnomah, Clark, Columbia, and Clackamas counties) for 10,000 years before that.  This book addresses the history and culture of the Native peoples who lived in the area before the mid-1800s.


Chinookan Peoples of the Lower Columbia by Robert T. Boyd

Chinookan Peoples of the Lower Columbia. (2013) Co-edited by Robert T. Boyd, Kenneth M. Ames and Tony A. Johnson. Seattle: University of Washington Press. (a Choice outstanding academic title for 2014) Paper edition, August 2015. This is a deep and wide-ranging picture of the landscape and resources of the Chinookan homeland and the history and culture of a people over time, from 10,000 years ago to the present. This compilation by archaeologists, ethnologists, scientists, and historians, includes contributions by members of the Chinook and related tribes, to provide a valuable introduction to Chinookan culture and research.


Cathlapotle and its Inhabitants by Robert T. Boyd

Cathlapotle and its Inhabitants, 1792-1860. (2011). Author Robert T. Boyd. 200 pp. report prepared for U.S. Fish &  Wildlife Service Region 1, Sherwood, OR. (An ALA “Notable Government Document” for 2011). This report provides the most comprehensive synthesis to date of information about the Native peoples of the “Cathlapotle Reach,” a stretch of the Columbia River from Longview to Vancouver, and by extension, the greater Portland Basin, during the early contact era.


Indians, Fire and the Land by Robert T. Boyd

Indians, Fire, and the Land in the Pacific Northwest. (1999) Editor Robert T. Boyd. Corvallis: Oregon State University Press. During more than 10,000 years of occupation, Native Americans in the northwest learned the intricacies of their local environments and how to use fire to create desired effects, mostly in the quest for food.Drawing on historical journals, Native American informants, and botanical and forestry studies, the contributors to this book describe local patterns of fire use in eight ecoregions, representing all parts of the native Northwest, from southwest Oregon to British Columbia and from Puget Sound to the Northern Rockies.  These writings offer historical perspective on the contemporary debate over “prescribed burning’ on public lands.


The Coming of the Spirit of PestilenceThe Coming of the Spirit of Pestilence: introduced infectious diseases and population decline among Northwest Coast Indians, 1774-1874. (1999) Author Robert T. Boyd. In the late 1700s when Euro-Americans began to visit the Northwest Coast, they found a population conservatively estimated at over 180,000 people. A century later only about 35,000 were left. This book details the impact new epidemic diseases had on the Native American population size, structure, interactions, and viability. Seattle & Vancouver: University of Washington & UBC Presses.


People of The Dalles The Indians of Wascopam Mission by Robert T. BoydPeople of The Dalles: The Indians of Wascopam Mission. (1996). Author Robert T. Boyd. A historical ethnography based on the records of the Methodist Missionaries. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.  (a Choice “outstanding academic book” for 1996) Paper edition, 2004. People of The Dalles is the story of the Chinookan (Wasco-Wishram) and Sahaptin peoples of The Dalles area of the Columbia River, who encountered the Lewis & Clark expedition in 1805–6. The early nineteenth century history and culture of these communities, geography, subsistence, economy, social structure, life-cycle rituals, and religion, is reconstructed from the accounts of explorers, travelers, and the early writings of the Methodist missionaries at Wascopam, in particular the papers of Reverend Henry K. W. Perkins.