The Chinook Indians were River dwellers living in northwest Oregon along the Columbia River. The Chinook were known for their fishing skills and as traders.
They were expert whale hunters and relied heavily on salmon fishing for both survival and trade.
Using a trading language understood by many different tribes and groups, the Chinook traded furs, fish, canoes, shells, and slaves for other items they needed.
American explorers Lewis and Clark encountered the Chinook as they explored the Columbia River region in 1805. Although the tribe welcomed European traders, the Chinook population was devastated by diseases brought by these foreigners.
The tribe was nearly extinct by 1900 when it decided to merge with other tribes in the area.