Indigenous Historical Conceptual Framework

The Indigenous historical conceptual framework illustrated below draws upon the teachings of the Tree people or what Western science calls dendrochronolgy (the dating of past events through study of tree ring growth). At the core is the heart wood and earliest period that Native people often draw from to understand and feel a sense of who they are and where they are from; this is often expressed as Ancestral Teachings.

This period of time defies Western attempts to chronologically place it along a time continuum as is best explained in the context of “Since Time Immemorial.” There is an immense span of time before we reach the Early Contact Period (which includes the possibility of Asian and Russian contact prior to European arrival) which essentially encompasses a growing migration of non-Natives to what is now commonly referred to as the Pacific Northwest. This period of time was followed by a Colonization Period that resulted in the settlement and encroachment of non-Natives upon the aboriginal territories. This gave way to an Assimilation Period as a result of the plight experienced by many Native communities and eventually led to federal policy to evolve from the genocidal policies common throughout the colonization and early assimilation efforts. The devastating influence of assimilation efforts finally resulted in the period of self-determination and self-governance that characterizes the circumstances of Native people in modern times.


Key to Timeline Framework:
Self Determination & Self Governance (1970 to Present Day) -Outer ring
Assimilation Period (Approx 1856-1970)
Colonization Period (Approx 1500- 1855)
Early Contact Period (Approx 1200-1500)
Ancestral Teachings of Plant & Animal People – Inner ring