Darcy Gray

Document Type

Honors Thesis


The Coast Salish are a network of related Indigenous peoples in the Pacific Northwest. Their lifestyles have been challenged by Euroamericans for generations. Using archival sources from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and primary photographic sources, this study focuses on how domestic life changed for Coast Salish people across the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I explore pre-colonial settlements and longhouses, interracial marriages during colonization, and boarding schools for Indigenous children after U.S. power solidified. The transformation of Coast Salish life induced by oppressive power structures illustrates the vital role of family ties in the origins and evolution of Coast Salish culture. My research engages with an ongoing debate in Native American and Indigenous studies, weighing how scholarship can address colonial attempts at Native erasure while also making clear Native resistance and adaptation to these pressures. By blending archaeological and ethnographic sources with archival records, I engage this debate in Indigenous by merging attention to the oppressive power of colonialism with Native adaptation and persistence. This approach charts the evolving politics between Native family networks, frontier enterprises, and the governments of the U.S. and Canada.

Publication Date






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