[Various locations in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. 1950-1980]. 761 photographs, of which 712 measure 7 x 5 inches and forty-nine measure 5 x 4 inches, most with printed captions on the verso, plus twenty-four photographic negatives. Minimal wear. Very good plus. Item #WRCAM56233
A substantial and informative collection of photographs produced by the Bureau of Indian Affairs over a period of thirty years, intended to document Native American lands and government projects in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. The images relate mainly to the Umatilla, Warm Springs, and Klamath reservations in Oregon; the Yakama, Colville, and Spokane reservations in eastern Washington; and the Nez Perce, Coeur d’Alene, and Kootenai reservations in northern Idaho. In addition, there are a small number of photos of other Indian reservation lands in the Western United States. The photos capture a broad range of activities on Indian lands, and provide a valuable record of relations between Native Americans and the United States government in the mid-to-late 20th century, along with a photographic record of developments and changes brought to reservations over this time period. All of the photographs are coded in the negative with an agency or reservation number, followed by the year, then the image number within that year. For example, the printed notation "501-55-66" means "501" for the Klamath agency, "55" for the year 1955; and "66" for the consecutive order number of the image negative. Many of the photos have a tag line imbedded in the negative, reading "Branch of Land Operations" and a purple ink stamp on the verso reading "SMC Cartographic Section / Concho, Oklahoma – [year]." In addition, the majority of the photographs are also annotated or identified, to some degree, on the verso. The captions often identify the date, location, and/or significance of the settings and subjects in the pictures. For example, one annotation for a photograph dated July 10, 1962 reads, "Indian homes moved or built on tribal purchase land. John Day dam will flood old home site." Not only does the photograph depict Native American homes on the Yakama reservation, but these homes no longer stand in this location (if they still exist at all) and the land depicted has since been flooded by the construction of the John Day Dam, which began in 1958 and was completed in 1971. Numerous locations are identified in the captions, as well; these include Rock Creek Indian Settlement, Lakeview Mountain, Pelton Dam Park, Fort Simcoe, Signal Peak Ranger Station, the John Day Dam pool, Oak Creek Game Reserve, Syncan Marsh, the Sprague River Valley, Fort Hall near Mount Putnam, Ross Fork, Ahtanum Creek, San Poil Valley, Camp Progress, the Enloe Dam on Similikeen River, the Coulee Creek Diversion, Bonners Ferry, the State Game Farm at Sweetwater, a Sweat Lodge at Talmaks, Idaho, the Union Pacific Railroad at the Umatilla Agency, the Red Lake Corral at Warm Springs Agency, the Warm Springs Grade School, Buck Springs, and others. The images also identify by name the owners of certain lands in the captions, such as "Matson's pasture," the George Fietush ranch, D.E. Clyde Ranch, the George McAnulty Farm on Whiskey Creek, Ivan Doak Farm, the Harry Pearson Farm on Modoc Point, Gienger Farm, Hiram Robbins Farm, Douglas Hess Farm, Ted Crume Farm, Vern Blough Ranch, Lee Joy Farm, and more. In 1954, a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) management survey team recommended the "consolidation at all levels of the branches of soil conservation, extension and irrigation and range activities now in the branch of forestry and range management into a new branch of land operations." Since 1955 the objectives of the Branch of Land Operations sought to "render assistance to Indians in solving home and economic problems," including improvement in the quality and quantity of crops and livestock, soil improvements, irrigation, weed control, improved farm management, and better marketing methods. The branch was also involved in home extension programs, concerned with such things as food conservation, nutrition, and sanitation. Other activities on the reservations included providing instruction and guidance by means of classes, demonstrations, visits, and work supervision through the use of agricultural and home extension agents, farm agents, farmers, and stockmen. For example, 4-H clubs were promoted as activities for young people. Many of these activities are recorded in the present collection of photographs. The photographs depict many aspects of the Branch of Land Operations' work, including different irrigation projects, like the Wapato Irrigation Project on the Yakama, the Modoc Point Irrigation Project and other work around the Klamath in southeastern Oregon, and the Monce Irrigation Project at Colville; soil erosion and flooding issues on the Coeur d’Alene; land clearing and the impact of logging, fire and brush removal; working with tribal members; Indian youth and other young people in hands-on educational programs at places like Twin Lakes Youth Camp; land and crop management; agricultural practices; educational activities and field demonstrations; open refuse pits and community dumps; road construction; archaeology on tribal lands, including shots of Indian graves and pictographs; the unveiling of the Kamikian Monument at the Yakama reservation; generic views of tribal range and timber lands; the equipment employed in farming, irrigation, logging, and other projects shown here; and much more. There are a few photographs showing tribal agency buildings and offices and other structures on reservation lands, and even a handful of images showing the Kern County Land Company's facilities in Bakersfield, California. According to the caption to one of the Kern County photographs, the company "is interested in establishing a feed lot on the Yakima Reservation." There is also an interesting series of photographs depicting African exchange students inspecting an orchard and learning about feed yard operations on the Yakama Reservation. Another series of educational photographs depicts the 4-H club at Warm Springs engaged in a number of agricultural activities. The photo groupings are arranged by date within each agency designation. There are over 125 photos relating to the Warm Springs and Umatilla reservations; about 210 relating to the Colville reservation; over 190 relating to the Yakama reservation; and about 170 relating to the three reservations in North Idaho. A very interesting collection of photographs documenting U.S. government activities on Native American reservations in the Pacific Northwest across three decades in the 20th century.