Chinook Indian Research

Chinook Indians (from Tsinúk, their Chehalis name). The best-known tribe of the Chinookan family. They claimed the territory on the north side of Columbia River, Wash., from the mouth to Grays bay, a distance of about 15 miles, and north along the seacoast as far as the north part of Shoalwater bay, where they were met by the Chehalis, a Salish tribe. The Chinook were first described by Lewis and Clark, who visited them in 1805, though they had been known to traders for at least 12 years previously. Read more about Chinook History

Chinook Indian Biographies

Bureau of Indian Affairs

Chinook Indian Cemeteries

Chinook Indian Census

Chinook Indian Culture/Customs

Federal and State Recognized Tribes

Genealogy Help Pages

Chinook Indian History

Chinook Indian Land and Maps

Chinook Indian Language

Chinook Indian Legends and Stories

Mailing Lists

  • NA-NEWBIES – A mailing list for anyone new to Native American Research, all Tribes and Nations.
  • NATIVEAMERICAN-CHIEFSA mailing list for anyone with a genealogical interest in the chiefs of the Native American tribes/nations in the United States. Stories or history of Chiefs in Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean are also welcome.
  • INDIAN TRIBES-LOCATION, One for each state.  Ask questions to find the location of your ancestors
  • INDIAN CEMETERIES, A place to share the location or transcriptions of Indian Cemeteries
  • INDIAN ROLL LIST, List for each of the Indian Rolls, discussion on each of the rolls

Chinook Indian Military

Other Tribes

The list of tribes and organizations below are not federally recognized. Many of them are state recognized organizations only or working towards federal recognition. We will provide a listing for any Native American organization or tribe.  If you would like your organization listed please submit the information here.


Chinook Indian Treaties

Chinook Indian Suggested Reading

Dictionary of the Chinook Jargon or Trade Language of Oregon – Free
Some years ago the Smithsonian Institution printed a small vocabulary of the Chinook Jargon, furnished by Dr. B. R. Mitchell, of the U.S. Navy, and prepared, as we afterwards learned, by Mr. Lionnet, a Catholic priest, for his own use while studying the language at Chinook Point. It was submitted by the Institution, for revision and preparation for the press, to the late Professor W.W. Turner. Although it received the critical examination of that distinguished philologist, and was of use in directing attention to the language, it was deficient in the number of words in use, contained many which did not properly belong to the Jargon, and did not give the sources from which the words were derived.

The Chinook Indians: Traders of the Lower Columbia River (Civilization of the American Indian) $
The Chinook Indians, who originally lived at the mouth of the Columbia River in present-day Oregon and Washington, were experienced traders long before the arrival of white men to that area. When Captain Robert Gray in the ship Columbia Rediviva, for which the river was named, entered the Columbia in 1792, he found the Chinooks in an important position in the trade system between inland Indians and those of the Northwest Coast. The system was based on a small seashell, the dentalium, as the principal medium of exchange.

Chinook Indians (Native Americans (Heinemann Paperback)) $
Find out how Chinook Indians fished, hunted, and gathered food in the past. Learn about the clothes they wore and the homes they lived in. Read about the events Chinook people still celebrate today. In this book you will read about the shells that Chinooks used for money, discover how they used dogs to hunt, see how the Chinook people make canoes.


AccessGenealogy. Tribal Genealogy Research: Directory of online resources for specific tribes. Web. 2009-2013.

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1 thought on “Chinook Indian Research”

  1. Hello, I currently live in Portland OR, and have been doing a lot of research on the Chinook tribe. I’m writing a book, and trying to be very diligent in my accuracy. I cannot find any references on both male and female Chinook names/meanings. They only one I’ve been able to find is “Tyee” I would love to appropriately name my characters. Any help?

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