I almost forgot to post these pictures I took along the Columbia River last month. We were on the Washington side – Oregon is just across the river in the background.
That statue in the first photo is Ilchee, who’s also known as the Moon Woman. I did some reading about her after I saw this and learned that she was a Chinook princess. I found a couple of different narratives about her online: one is by Chinook chief Cliff Snider (in a 2002 interview), and another is by Washington Irving (published in 1936). It’s pretty interesting to see the differences in how they told her story.
I grew up in this region and yet the local history I learned was shallow and focused almost entirely on European and mainstream American figures like Astor, Lewis & Clark (I’d venture to say this is probably the case with most US history classes and textbooks). When I finally got around to taking a class about the Pacific NW at the end of college (“Indians in Western Washington”) I was surprised by almost everything I learned.