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Rights Remembered

A Salish Grandmother Speaks on American Indian History and the Future

Pauline R. Hillaire

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Imprint: University of Nebraska Press
Published: 05/2016
Pages: 488
Subject: Social Science
eBook ISBN: 9780803285781


Rights Remembered is a remarkable historical narrative and autobiography written by esteemed Lummi elder and culture bearer Pauline R. Hillaire, Scälla–Of the Killer Whale. A direct descendant of the immediate postcontact generation of Coast Salish in Washington State, Hillaire combines in her narrative life experiences, Lummi oral traditions preserved and passed on to her, and the written record of relationships between the United States and the indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast to tell the story of settlers, government officials, treaties, reservations, and the colonial relationship between Coast Salish and the white newcomers. Hillaire's autobiography, although written out of frustration with the status of Native peoples in America, is not an expression of anger but rather represents, in her own words, her hope "for greater justice for Indian people in America, and for reconciliation between Indian and non-Indian Americans, based on recognition of the truths of history." Addressed to indigenous and non-Native peoples alike, this is a thoughtful call for understanding and mutual respect between cultures.


Pauline R. Hillaire, Scälla–Of the Killer Whale (Lummi) (1929–2016), was a historian, genealogist, artist, teacher, and conservator of Coast and Straits Salish knowledge and culture. In 2013 she was recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts as a National Heritage Fellow, the nation's highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. She is the author, with Gregory P. Fields, of A Totem Pole History: The Work of Lummi Carver Joe Hillaire (Nebraska, 2013). Gregory P. Fields is a professor of philosophy at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. He is the author of Religious Therapeutics: Body and Health in Yoga, Ayurveda, and Tantra. 


"As a culture bearer and revered elder of the Lummi Nation, Pauline Hillaire (Scälla–Of the Killer Whale) is a national treasure. In Rights Remembered she brings her distinctive voice to the issues of treaty rights, subsistence, and the revitalization of indigenous cultures. Comparable in scope to the work of Vine Deloria, this book provides a much-needed perspective on American history and the encounter between Native people and Euro-Americans in the Pacific Northwest. It is an invaluable contribution."—Suzanne Crawford O'Brien, author of Coming Full Circle: Spirituality and Wellness among Native Communities in the Pacific Northwest  

"Pauline Hillaire has spent a lifetime documenting her tribe's rights. Together with Gregory Fields, she has created a monumental plea for the recognition of Lummi and other Northwest Coast Native American rights in a work grounded in the evidence and enlivened with her family's personal stories."—David R. M. Beck, author of Seeking Recognition: The Termination and Restoration of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians, 1855-1984