Myrtle Woodcock

Myrtle Woodcock was born on April 13, 1889 and died in 1973. She served as a member of the National Congress of American Indians and the Chinook Indian Nation Council, and spent much of her life advocating for Chinook recognition.

In a November 2005 interview, Oma Woodcock Singer talked about her mother, Myrtle Woodcock, and her grandmother’s activity in preparing Chinook tribal members to talk with Charles McChesney in the early twentieth century:

“My mother was very, very active in the Chinook Tribe. Her mother was too; in fact, her mother got transportation for many of the Indians who appeared in this census here [the McChesney Rolls], and took many of them, took them from South Bend, and they went down to what they call Georgetown, a little reservation down by Tokeland, Washington, and got people who had boats. Because that’s where a lot of the census takers were, had gathered at this little reservation. She took them down there and had them recorded, so they had a record here of their ancestors and how they were related to the Chinook Tribe or Quinault or Clatsop, whatever tribe it was.

And so she was very, very involved in that, because she felt all of her life as if the Chinook Indians had been deprived of a reservation, of land. They signed a treaty.
I believe it was 1851. They signed the treaty and the agreement was to give them land, reservation land. It went back to Congress, and then as the historians put it, “through an error,” the Congress did not receive the signed treaty, and so they didn’t get their land. That was it. They had no reservation to go to.” ~ Interview by Donna Sinclair November 1, 2005

Pictured at top: Myrtle Woodcock and to the right right Oma Singer Woodcock




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