Native American Tribes Nations and Confederacies: Chinook

The Chinook, a native American tribe of the Penutian linguistic stock, resided on the lower extremity of the Columbia River valley. Twelve main tribes spoke Chinook languages all originating from Columbia.

Slavery was common among the Chinook, and their food consisted mostly of fish, roots, and berries. They were skilled with canoes, were noted traders, and practiced the custom of potlatch, however they lacked the totemic art and the secret societies of their neighbors.

They were well known to the traders on the Pacific coast in the late 18th century, and a corrupted form of their language known as Chinook jargon served as a trade language from the Columbia River to Alaska.

There were some 800 Chinook in the United States in 1990, working primarily in fishing, logging, and lumbering.




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