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Nine recognized tribes in Oregon

There are a lot of stories about Native American tribes and tribal issues (i.e., casinos), but I've never seen a summary of how many tribes there are in Oregon. Can you come up with the answers, Oh Wise Ones?

— Billy, Medford

Well, Billy, if you haven't seen a summary of tribes in Oregon, you apparently haven't read the Oregon Blue Book from cover to cover. Actually, we haven't either, but we do turn to it often for just these sorts of facts. Here's what we found out:

There are nine federally recognized tribes with reservation lands in Oregon. Those nine tribes have about 24,500 members, according to the latest Blue Book figures. They range in size from the Burns Paiute Tribe, with 349 members, to the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, with 5,200 members.

There are smaller tribes not on the that list, including the Takelma Tribe, whose members lived in the Rogue Valley until they were forcibly moved to the Siletz and Grand Ronde reservations in northern Oregon in the 1800s. Some members of that tribe have returned to Southern Oregon, notably tribal spokeswoman Agnes Baker Pilgrim, the granddaughter of a Takelma chief.

The estimated population of all Native Americans in Oregon — including tribal members, members of tribes without federal recognition and those who self-identify as American Indian or Alaskan Native — was 109,223  in the 2010 Census.

Here's the list of the nine tribes with reservation lands, with the number of members, per the Blue Book:

  • Burns Paiute Tribe, 349 members.

  • Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw, 953 members.

  • Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, 5,200 members.

  • Confederated Tribes of Siletz, 4,677 members.

  • Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, 2,893 members.

  • Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation, 4,306 members.

  • Coquille Indian Tribe, 963 members.

  • Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe, 1,536 members.

  • Klamath Tribes, 3,700 members.

— Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. To see a collection of columns, go to mailtribune.com/youasked. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.