LIFE AMONG A PEOPLE
whose rich history and knowledge is personally
conveyed to entrusted persons from generation
to generation, rather than being written down in
books or shared with outsiders, has left its mark
on my family. According to rules of the Office of
Superintendent of Public Instruction, Washington state history is required to be taught in public
schools. In high school, my oldest son’s freshman
class read the textbook chapter regarding the native inhabitants of the Pacific Northwest. As he read
the paragraphs describing our people as possessing oval-shaped faces and a rudimentary language
and organizational structure, and explaining how
explorers such as Capt. James Cook, Juan de Fuca,
Capt. George Vancouver, and Peter Puget discovered the region, he could not help himself. “This is
bull****,” he muttered aloud under his breath. I was
never more proud of him than when he received
detention for this.
By Jack Fiander
Left: Yakima canyon and river.
Below: WSBA member Jack Fiander in the year 2006.