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Facts at your Fingertips

Original Indigenous Economies
Chief Joseph
Chief Joseph the Younger of the Nez Perce Indians is a statesmen known for leading hundreds of people over hundreds of miles while being pursued by 2000 U.S. soldiers, and for advocating equal rights.
Clam Gardens
Clam gardens are an ancient form of aquaculture which fostered productive clam beds and were claimed as property by those who invested in the productivity. They are an example of ownership of the marine resources harvested there.
Fishing Weir
A fishing weir is constructed to span part or all of a spawning stream and designed to trap or funnel fish. Those who invested in constructing and maintaining the weir held ownership claims to its use.
A potlatch is a traditional winter gathering bringing together members of different Northwest Coast tribes for feasting and dancing. Potlatching, which also involved significant transfers of wealth, evolved as a way to secure property rights to salmon streams.
Sun Dance
Banned from 1883 - 1934, by the Bureau of Indian Affairs Code of Indian Offenses, the Sun Dance is annual ceremony of many Plains peoples involving several days of fasting and dancing. Participation in the Sun Dance reinforces the organization of the tribe and, along with other ceremonies, serves as an oral constitution.