In this lesson students will learn how Native American tribes living in what is now Oregon incorporated geologic knowledge into their lifeways and cultures. It will describe tribes’ use of stone tools, designation of prominent landforms as significant and meaningful places, and oral traditions they maintained regarding geologic events to help them understand and organize the world they lived in. This lesson assumes students have some familiarity with or prior instruction in earth science concepts such as Oregon landforms, the rock cycle, plate tectonics, and earthquakes and tsunamis.
Native American tribes in Oregon have relied on salmon for thousands of years. Salmon is considered a first food—a food resource that Indigenous people have depended on since time immemorial. This lesson includes four activities to support student learning about this traditional resource. In the first activity students will learn why salmon are essential to the traditional lifeways of Native Americans in Oregon. In the second activity students will evaluate the life cycle of salmon, specifically the importance of salmon returning to their home stream to spawn. In the third activity students will examine the impact of dams on the life cycle of salmon. Finally, students will work in small groups to identify strategies being used to restore the salmon population in Oregon.