Around 4000 BC the Pacific Northwest was inhabited by several hunter-gatherers-fishers. Because they rarely moved from their living space, conflict was at a minimum and allowed technological advances to take place. Soon, in 3800 BC, the Chinooks was the first tribe there to establish farming.

Chinook Expansion

Alaskan Totem Pole

A Chinook totem poles. A pole shaped like this meant the territory belonged to the Chinooks.

The Chinooks, who lived along the coast and the Columbia River, were not nomadic and got their food from fishing along the water or hunting animals, mainly elk. Settling down allowed them to discover farming, which greatly increased their food supply. The population then grew, which meant the Chinooks needed to expand so their land was not overused. They began to conquer neighboring tribes, and set up farms there. During the conquests, mines were discovered. The Chinooks are credited as the first peoples to use bronze weaponry in the Pacific Northwest, around 3000 BC.

During this time, the First Kingdom of Chinook began, began by Labai I in 2567 BC. Tyee (chief) Labai took control of the Chinooks using his strong army equipped with bronze weapons. Labai focused on conquering the Pacific Northwest, first by controlling all the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Labai also created Chinook's first navy, by building large boats fit with archers. Labai's son was the first ruler to have ships fitted with sails. Chinook ships pillaged the coast and took money and fish from passing ships. The navy soon established dominance in coastal waters.

With dominance on land and sea, the First Kingdom quickly established dominance over the Pacific Northwest.

Chinook Advancement

From around 3000 to nearly 1500, several advancements took place which allowed the Chinooks to flourish and become an economical, cultural, and military center. Firstly, the first forms of writing was created. Originally, only pictographs were used, but around the beginning of the Bronze Age writing soon evolved into a early proto-writing, which contained around 1,500 different characters. As time passed the writing was simplified into about 400 characters. Writing allowed many modern historians to figure out Chinook culture and history.

The second was the production of gold and silver coins. Following the discovery of gold and silver mines across their territory, the Chinooks decided to mine it and make jewelry along with coins. Coins were engraved with the Tyee's face along with his name and year. Coins were first commissioned under the reign of Tyee Tolo II in 2300.

Fall of the First Kingdom

Important changes were occurring in the First Kingdom. Firstly, Tyee Clatsop was murdered by his brother Wascopa in 2214, and Clatsop's two sons, Multnomah and Skillot, led their armies against Wascopa. Civil war erupted in the kingdom, with each side securing alliances with tribes forming the Kingdom. During this many of the barriers protecting the kingdom fell into disrepair, allowing barbaric tribes to raid the kingdom. In 2198 BC, the Sioux tribe, pushed out of its homeland by the Dnalians, sacked the capital city of Clacka. This battle resulted in the death of Skillot, and this weakened Multnomah force considerable. During the Battle of Willamette in 2196, Multnomah was killed and Wascopa took control over the kingdom.

This did not sit well with most of the population, who had thought Clatsop was a tyrant who had betrayed the royal line. In 2195, 50 soldiers of the Tyee Guard murdered Clatsop in the Clacka Royal Palace. Later, the captain guard named Elwahko burned down the palace, signifying the end of the monarchy.

In 2194, Elwakho set up a council made up by an elected representative from each of the 16 tribes who ruled over the newly-formed Chinook Republic.

Preceded by:
'Farmers Then Fishers' Succeeded by:
The New Republic

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