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Termination: The attempt to destroy
and the rebuilding of the Siletz Tribes

In addition to the briefing recording below, you will find a range of supplemental resources, many suggested by the speakers, to deepen your understanding of the Siletz people and Termination.

Termination: The attempt to destroy and the rebuilding of the Siletz Tribes

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

The federal policy known as Termination was one of the most destructive policies ever initiated by the United States Congress. Passed in 1953 and signed by President Harry Truman, Termination was intended to end tribal rights as sovereign nations and completely dispossess tribes of their lands. Ed Ben (Siletz) will offer his first-hand account of the reactions and actions of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians as Termination was forced upon them. Our second speaker, Bud Lane (Siletz), will discuss the impacts of Termination and the tribes’ efforts to rebuild itself over 44 years to become a vibrant, culturally-focused sovereign nation once again.

“I loved the open format of an interview; it allowed for more information to be shared than a prepared presentation. Hearing about this from the people experiencing it was impactful and will stick with me more than a presentation.” – Termination Briefing attendee

Transcript | Download

Recommended resources

Videos

Recounts the history of the Siletz tribe from the tribe’s point of view. (12:07)
Skookum Tillicum

Bud Lane teaching students the Siletz Dee-ni dialect of the Athabaskan language, as well as traditional basket weaving and regalia making. Here, Bud speaks about the history of the Siletz people. (4:59)
Smithsonian Folklore

Delores Ann “Dee” Pigsley, Siletz Tribal Chairwoman, was a recipient of an Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership Award in 2011. Pigsley speaks of some of the Siletz Tribe’s greatest accomplishments. (9:10)
Indigenous Leadership Awards

 

Map

Siletz Ancestral Land & Language Maps | ctsi.nsn.us/heritage/maps/

 

Suggested readings

The People Are Dancing Again: The History of the Siletz Tribe of Western Oregon
Charles Wilkinson
This book provides an in-depth look at the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians perseverance, survival and revitalization efforts.

The Rogue River Indian War and its Aftermath, 1850-1980
E. A. Schwartz (2010)

 

Websites

Our Heritage & Culture | ctsi.nsn.us/heritage
Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians

Our History | ctsi.nsn.us/introduction
Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians

 

Making a difference: Native-led nonprofits

Please learn more about and consider financially supporting these Native-led nonprofits:

Siletz Tribal Arts & Heritage Society
Siletz-led nonprofit charged with the planning of a new cultural center in the Siletz community
siletzartsheritage.org

Northwest Native American Basketweavers Association
nnaba.net

About the speakers

A Navy veteran who served in World War II, Ed Ben was actively involved in the Tribes’ restoration efforts after the Termination Act passed and was elected to the first tribal council post-Restoration. Now an elder at age 93, and following in the footsteps of his father, Archie, Mr. Ben continues to pass on his historical, cultural, and language knowledge about the Tribes to younger generations.

Alfred “Bud” Lane III is the current vice-chairman of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians Tribal Council, a position he  has held off and on since 1987. He is a knowledge holder and teacher of the Athabaskan language and culture bearer of Siletz traditions and basketry. Siletz children and adults are learning the language, songs, and dances of their ancestors through Bud. He is a 2007 ILA Honoree.

Top image: Congressional hearing on the Siletz Restoration Bill in 1976. Pictured from Left to Right: Delores (Lane) Pigsley, Joe Lane Sr., Robert Rilatos Sr., Arthur S. Bensell, Kathryn (Jones) Harrison, Robert “Bob” Tom, Pauline (Bell) Ricks, Alta (Tom) Courville, and Sister Francella Griggs. Courtesy of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. Images of the briefings speakers, courtesy of the speakers.