A Rich History
The Coquille Tribe’s ancestral territory encompassed more than 700,000 acres. In 1855 the Coquille signed a treaty in good faith with the US government that acknowledged the Tribe’s rights to large portions of its homeland as well as money for schools and investments in agriculture. Congress never ratified this treaty, however, and the subsequent generations of Coquille were denied a permanent homeland until modern times.
In 1856 the Coquille, along with other Indian tribes, were forcibly marched north to the Siletz Reservation. Tribal members who made it to the reservation faced overcrowding and disease. Despite the effort to disband our Tribe, we continued to function as a sovereign government and family. By 1989, our Tribe, along with several other Oregon coast tribes, regained federal recognition after decades of struggle. During the intervening years, many Coquille returned to their homelands throughout five different counties in Southern Oregon.
The Coquille Tribe was restored to federal recognition on June 28, 1989. At the core of restoration is Tribal sovereignty: the Tribe’s authority to form its own government, with jurisdiction over Tribal lands, businesses and community members. The Coquille Restoration Act provided the Tribe with economic tools, that the Tribe could use to fulfill its obligation to serve our members and their needs.