Coquille Indians

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 783
3050 Tremont
North Bend, OR 97459

Contact Information




Cultural History

The Coquille Indians were used to be known as the Mishikhwutmetunne. The Mishikhwutmetunne literally means "People living on the stream called Mishi". The name actually fits the tribe, since they have settled in the Mishi stream before they traveled up to their present location. The tribe was once an Athabascan band who is over six thousand years old. The Athabascan band used to dwell in the Southwestern portion of Oregon, on the eastern fork of the Coquille River. The tribe, since then, has been known in their new name, the Coquille Tribe. Aside from this area, the tribe also settled in some areas along the bays and the estuaries which were just around the area. The languages known to the tribe were actually a combination of languages. They spoke the Clatskanie, the Umpqua and the Coquille-Tolowa languages.
The Coquille tribe then built their homes as lean-to-dwellings. Their homes were usually made of cedar planks. The tribe's diet was composed of deer; fish most especially salmon, and acorns. They also thrived on the other resources which were abundant on their settling areas. The tribe was all alone and happy, they had their own community and was contented until the coming of the Whites.
The tribe used to number up to 8,000 members until the Europeans introduced the smallpox virus. The smallpox virus killed thousands of tribal members. It served as a trap for the tribe so that the Europeans could gain their lands. Aside from smallpox, malaria also killed most of the tribal members and so the thousands were diminished to only up to hundreds. The population diminished due to the lack of immunity to the virus as well as the lack of the experience in handling such diseases. The trappers were then followed by other land-hungry intruders who were in search for vulnerable tribes to colonize. The other gold-hungry settlers were backed up by the United States government and so the tribe could not do anything to keep their lands away from the intruders. There were bloody revolts which lead to deaths and sacrifices by the tribal members. However, all of these are part of the history. There were two peace treaties signed of which the Congress failed to ratify. The Coquille Tribe was then forced to move out of their ancestral lands and settle for the Siletz Reservation instead, in the year 1857. The Coquille Tribe has gone too far in trying to gain recognition. Their efforts were finally recognized in the year 1989.
Today, the remaining tribal members are engaged in several business ventures. Many tribal members have started engaging in business enterprises. Some of their businesses include educational facilities, recreational facilities and security services. Agriculture is also a thriving industry in their community.

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