Winter’s Song: The life and death of Chief Paulina
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The Northern Paiute, Shoshone, Bannock, Klamath, and Ute tribes inhabited the Great Basin, which encompasses much of Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Northern California, and Oregon. Living mostly in small family groups, they struggled to survive in a varied and sometimes harsh environment. In the mid-1800s while resisting pressure to move onto reservations, they fought the bloodiest and most protracted war with the US government that no one seems to have ever heard about. The white settlers called these people the “Snake Indians.”
If you have ever visited Central Oregon, there is one geographic name which appears more frequently than all others—Paulina. In fact, there are more geographic locations in Oregon named for Paulina than any other person.
Paulina was a Northern Paiute war chief who lived in Central Oregon from 1833 to 1867. For twenty-two years he fought to protect and preserve his tribal homeland from encroachment from other tribes, miners, and white settlement.
He was a Snake dog soldier, and this is his story, as told through his eyes…
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