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According to Klamath tribal legend, the Creator and animals existed before humans, and consulted in their creation. For millennia, the indigenous Klamath tribes flourished in what is now called Oregon's Klamath Basin, east of the Cascade Mountains.Theirs was a diligent culture. The Klamath spoke two languages, Klamath and Modoc.The first European to arrive in the region was a trapper from Hudson's Bay Company, Peter Skeen Ogden, in 1829. The tribes resisted the outsiders' encroachment until 1864, when they signed a treaty to formally capitulate and relinquish some 23 million acres of their homeland. Then life on the new Klamath Reservation began.Cattle raising was encouraged there and to this day it has been a successful venture for many tribal members. By the 1950s, the Klamath ranked among the wealthier tribes in the country.In 1954, federal recognition of the tribe was terminated by Congress, which ended that source of human services, and the reservation land base of 1.8 million acres was seized by condemnation. Supreme Court ruled that the tribes had retained their treaty rights to subsistence hunting, fishing and gathering, and by 1986, federal recognition was restored -- albeit without giving back the land base.The tribes were directed to draw up an economic self-sufficiency plan that eventually led to the construction of the Kla-Mo-Ya Casino, which opened in 1997.
See also Indian Wars Time Table.
Native American Cultural Regions map.