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Oregon Historical Quarterly

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Klamath Indians -- Folklore, Indians of North America -- Oregon -- Crater Lake -- Spiritual life, Klamath Indian Tribe of Oregon, Sacred space -- Oregon


Discusses the Native American view of Crater Lake, Oregon, as a place of religious significance and the misunderstandings with whites as to its importance to Oregon's Indian tribes. Created some 6,500 years ago by volcanic eruption, Crater Lake has long been seen by Indians as a sacred place. Their hunting, berry gathering, and vision quests in the lake area were tied to their religious view of the lake. Since the 1850's, whites have treated the lake with a lack of understanding of its significance to the Klamath tribes. The National Park Service restricted hunting and charged Indians fees to pass through it. In the late 20th century federal agencies showed more sensitivity to Indian concerns about recreational use of the lake, misuse of the land, and the tribal history of the area.


Origianally published in the OHQ Spring 2002 Special Issue: Crater Lake National Park at 100, by the Oregon Historical Society. Archived with permission.

Winner of the Joel Palmer Award Honorable Mention for Oregon historical writing from the Oregon Historical Society in 2003

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