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Inventory of the Quinault Indian Reservation Collection, 1939 - 1977

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Descriptive Summary

Abstract: In 1975, a group of Quinault Indians filed the Helen Mitchell, et al. v. United States court case, alleging that, beginning in 1920, the Bureau of Indian Affairs mismanaged forests on the Quinault Indian Reservation to the detriment of native Americans.
This collection includes correspondence, memoranda, reports, and photographs and other materials that were assembled by professional historians Dr. Harold K. Steen and Dr. Robert E. Ficken in order to historically document the forest management practices of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) on the 200,000-acre Quinault Indian Reservation in Washington State. The materials were compiled as evidence in the 1975 Helen Mitchell, et al., v. United States case filed by a group of Quinault Indians who alleged that, beginning in 1920, the BIA mismanaged forests on the Quinault Indian Reservation to the detriment of Native Americans. The Forest History Society generated the final report of Steen and Ficken, The Bureau of Indian Affairs and Forestry on the Quinalt Indian Reservation: A History (1977), for the Department of Justice.
Title: Quinault Indian Reservation Collection, 1939 - 1977
Creator: Quinault Reservation (Wash.)
Repository: Forest History Society Library and Archives
Call Number: 3959
Language of Material: Material in English
Extent: 0.5 linear ft.
(1 archival box)

Historical Note

In 1975, a group of Quinault Indians filed the Helen Mitchell, et al. v. United States court case, alleging that, beginning in 1920, the Bureau of Indian Affairs mismanaged forests on the Quinault Indian Reservation to the detriment of native Americans. The Land and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice granted the Forest History Society the task of preparing a documentary history of forest management practices on the Quinault Reservation, hoping to unearth sufficient evidence to counter the claims of mismanagement. Then Forest History Society Associate Director Dr. Harold K. Steen and Dr. Robert E. Ficken were engaged as the professional historians whose job it was to gather the necessary historical evidence, to document said evidence in a thorough report, and to testify in court in defense of their research, if necessary. Dr. Elmo Richardson assisted them in gathering historical data about BIA management practices in the post-World War II era. The materials in this collection are those pertaining to the creation of the official report entitled The Bureau of Indian Affairs and Forestry on the Quinault Indian Reservation: A History (1977) that was generated by the Forest History Society for the Department of Justice.


Collection Overview

This collection includes correspondence, memoranda, reports, and photographs and other materials that were assembled by professional historians Dr. Harold K. Steen and Dr. Robert E. Ficken in order to historically document the forest management practices of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) on the 200,000-acre Quinault Indian Reservation in Washington State. The materials were compiled as evidence in the 1975 Helen Mitchell, et al., v. United States case filed by a group of Quinault Indians who alleged that, beginning in 1920, the BIA mismanaged forests on the Quinault Indian Reservation to the detriment of Native Americans. The Forest History Society generated the final report of Steen and Ficken, The Bureau of Indian Affairs and Forestry on the Quinalt Indian Reservation: A History (1977), for the Department of Justice.

Collection Arrangement

1. Correspondence, Memoranda, Reports, Photographs, and Other Material, 1939-1977



Subject Headings

  • Ficken, Robert E.
  • Indians of North America -- Legal status, laws, etc. -- Cases
  • Quinault Indians
  • Quinault Reservation (Wash.)
  • Richardson, Elmo
  • Steen, Harold K.
  • United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs

Separated Material

Harold Weaver Photograph Albums removed to FHS Photograph Collection

Detailed Description of the Collection

1. Correspondence, Memoranda, Reports, Photographs, and Other Material, 1939-1977.

   Folder 1
Photographs: Taholah Indian Agency, August 12-23, 1939
This collection of photographs concerning Washington Indian Reservations, was assembled by Weaver in 1939 when he was a Forest Assistant. The album was placed with a number of other Weaver albums that are housed together in the FHS Photograpic Collection.
   Folder 2
Correspondence: Forest History Society Report, January 5, 1977 to November 25, 1975, and undated
   Folder 3
Correspondence: Forest History Society Report, November 24, 1976 to March 10, 1977
   Folder 4
Correspondence: Copy of Forest History Society Report, undated

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright Notice

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The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Quinault Indian Reservation Collection, Library and Archives, Forest History Society, Durham, NC, USA.

Processing Information

Processed by Michele Justice, August 1991

Encoded by Amanda Ross, October 2008

Funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission supported the encoding of this finding aid. Support for digitization and outreach provided by the Alvin J. Huss Endowment.