Please join us on Saturday, July 11, 2015 at 1:30 pm for a free program!
Despite the force of Oregon’s founding mythology, the Willamette Valley was not an empty Eden awaiting settlement by hardy American pioneers. Rather, it was, as Melinda Jetté explores in At the Hearth of the Crossed Races, one of the earliest sites of extensive intercultural contact in the Pacific Northwest.
Jetté’s study focuses on the “hearth” of this contact: French Prairie so named for the French-Indian families who resettled the homeland of the Ahantchuyuk Kalapuyans. Jetté delivers a social history that deepens our understanding of the Oregon Country in the nineteenth century. This history of French Prairie provides a window into the multi-racial history of the Pacific Northwest and offers an alternative vision of early Oregon in the lives of the biracial French-Indian families whose community challenged notions of white supremacy, racial separation, and social exclusion.
About the Author
Melinda Marie Jetté is a native Oregonian and a descendant of the French Canadian men and Native women who resettled French Prairie. The recipient of a M.A. in History from Université Laval and a Ph.D from the University of British Columbia, she is Associate Professor of History at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire.
Copies of Dr. Jetté’s book will be available in the Museum Store.