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Talk in Coos Bay Looks Into Local Tribal History Around South Oregon Coast

Published 09/13/22 at 6:25 PM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Talk in Coos Bay Looks Into Local Tribal History Around South Oregon Coast

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(Coos Bay, Oregon) – For thousands of years before European settlers arrived on the Oregon coast, the area was already well populated. On the south coast, Siuslaw, Lower Umpqua, Coos and others were quite established and had developed a rich culture on their own. (Above: Cape Arago, courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more)

Part of that history was medical: they were more advanced in this than given credit for. The Coos History Museum in Coos Bay will be hosting a talk on the the medicinal herbs and plants utilized on the south Oregon coast, taking place on September 23 at 6 p.m. The in-person event is part of the museum's Fourth Friday Talk series, and coincides with the “Healing Hands” exhibit going there presently.

“Honoring our Medicine” is presented by Ashley Russell from the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians on that Friday. There, she will talk about her knowledge of Indigenous medical practices and the culturally significant plants of the Coos Bay area. This will include a demonstration of how to identify these important native plants, their uses in first aid, and how to use them in washes, soaks, poultices, and compresses.

This program is open to all with an admission price of $5 for members and $7 for non-members. The program currently has a limit of 20 participants, so be sure to register at your earliest convenience either at the CHM or on the museum website ( You may also contact the museum via email at or by phone at 541-756-6320 x216.

See more on Native History On the Oregon Coast: Yachats' early history, throughout the early 1800s, is filled with a litany of atrocities against local native tribes who occupied the region originally, such as the Coos, Lower Umpqua and tribes with names similar to Alsea and Yachats. One incarnation garbled through the white tormentors who ruled over them is Ya‘hatc - which likely is closest to the original pronunciation, but the actual name of the tribe is probably lost to history.

More on Coos Bay below, including famed south Oregon coast locales such as Charleston, the bay itself, and Shore Acres State Parks.

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Photos above courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast

Coos History Museum, courtesy photos above and below

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