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The key word is selection. Although the number of items in the collection is considerable, they represent only a fraction of what exists. For example, only certain groups: the Tlingit and Tsimshian of the Alaskan Panhandle, the Coast Salish of Puget Sound, the Makah and Nootkan peoples of the outer coast, the Nez Perce and the Coeur d'Alene of the interior plateau, are highlighted. This reflects the limitations of the collection itself as well as of the expertise of the scholars whose works appear in the project or are cited. The photo collection also shows the effects of selective winnowing. It is a fact that early photographers thought certain native groups were more attractive than others. As a result, the dramatic art of the Alaskan and British Columbian coasts is better documented than the less spectacular forms common to the Puget Sound region, and scenes of picturesque encampments sold better than more humble depictions of everyday life. The thoughtful observer will also notice that most of the photographs were taken before the 1930s. It is not because people stopped taking pictures or that native culture stopped developing after that period, but rather because those selecting the photos were bound to respect copyright law whose protections extend back 75 years.

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Near the northwest corner of the continent, the ice of the St. Elias Range leaves its high birthing fields and flows nearly four miles down to the ocean shore. In this cloud-shrouded refuge, ice and sea continue to sculpt the land as they have for untold thousands of years. The mark of their ancient work extends more than a thousand miles to the south: in the tangle of fjords and islands of the Alaskan panhandle, in the wide turbulent ocean entrances, teeming with life, separating the Queen Charlotte Islands, the Haida Gwaii, from the rain-lashed coast, and in the sinuous route of the Inside Passage between Vancouver Island and the rugged mainland. This is the world of Raven, powerful and immense, resplendent in sunlight, but more often hidden in mist and shadowed by gigantic forests.

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To the south, where the Fraser River surges into the Gulf of Georgia, the land assumes a gentler cast. Strong rivers exit their mountain fastnesses and wind through a lowland plain before emptying into the great, rich estuary known as Puget Sound. Here it only seems to be as rainy as it is further north: the Olympic rampart catches most of the precipitation on its western slope, leaving the country in its shadow relatively dry. Before they were cut away, the lowland forests were also immense, but intermingled with them were open areas covered with ferns and grasses and spangled with wildflowers. This is the land of the Changer, the Star Child who descended from the heavens to the fertile earth and, as Moon, married a daughter of the Salmon people, ensuring his human kin happiness and plenty if they would respect the family of his bride.

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American Indians of the Pacific Northwest Collection

In 1998, the University of Washington Libraries received a grant with the Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Grant Competition to create a digital collection of writing and photographs dealing with Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest that would be available to students and researchers using the Internet. In collaboration with the Chaney Cowles Museum/Eastern Washington State Historical Society in Spokane and the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle, the UW Libraries created a collection of some 2,300 photographs and 7,700 pages of text as well as metadata (captioning).

Washington State Bar Exam Essay Course - Outlines and lectures for the essay portion of the Washington State Bar Exam.

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- One of the more effective means government officials used in their attempt to eradicate traditional native institutions was to remove children from their families and enroll them in schools run by the government or by religious groups. Carolyn J. Marr , Librarian at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle, examines the operation of northwestern Indian schools in her essay and even provides a daily schedule from the Cushman Indian School in Tacoma as an example of the degree to which students' lives were regimented. Although training in manual and domestic skills was often valuable, forbidding the use of native languages and strict limitations on visits home came fearfully close to realizing the goal of Richard Henry Pratt, founder of Pennsylvania's Carlisle School, to "Kill the Indian and save the man."

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The authors of the essays divide this ongoing saga into ancient, historic and contemporary periods. The division between ancient and historic is determined by the year during which a given group first appeared in written records. This varies. If Juan de Fuca's voyage is to be credited, then people living along the strait now bearing his name were first described in 1591, whereas the Nez Perce do not appear in the written record until 1805. What separates historic from contemporary is more difficult to define, but the consensus of opinion appears to be that contemporary history commenced when modern native groups succeeded in re-forming meaningful self governments. In the United States, this generally begins with the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934.