The Coquille Tribe is a community whose binding thread is their Coquille identity; where members give to and receive from the Tribe; and where Tribal sovereignty and culture are exercised and protected by decisions and actions that are based on the long-term sustainable health and well-being of the Tribe and the region.
The Coquille Indians lived and prospered in the southwest region of Oregon for centuries. With the arrival of the white man in the late 1700s, diseases such as smallpox, measles and plague decimated entire villages; then, in the 1850s, a new form of “fever” — the discovery of gold — led to an influx of settlers whose mining despoiled the rivers and whose hostility toward the Native Americans caused destruction and murder in village after village.
Although a treaty negotiated in 1855 acknowledged Indian title to the Coquille lands, it was overlooked and never ratified when it reached Congress, and the Coquille were marched northward to the Coast Reservation, where overcrowding and disease took their toll. Over the years, many Coquille returned to their homelands and fought for acknowledgement of the treaty. By 1989, the Tribe was successfully restored to Federal recognition and Tribal sovereignty.