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" I was born upon the prairie where the wind blew free, and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures, and where everything drew free breath. I want to die there, and not within walls." - Ten Bears, Comanche Chief


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The Chinookan nation of Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest, which inhabited the lower Columbia River valley in what is now Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. Chinook comprise the Clatsop, Cathlamet, Multnomah, Watlala, Clowwewalla, Clackamas, Chilluckittequa and Wasco tribes.

Coastal Chinook and Upper Chinook are extinct languages spoken by Chinook peoples. The Chinook Jargon is a form of that language, technically known as a pidgin or contact language, which evolved to allow the inhabitants of the Columbia River region to discuss business. This jargon was adopted by various newcomers (e.g., Chinese immigrants), who used it throughout the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, and contributed a number of words to local Canadian English and American English dialects (e.g. skookum, high muckimuck).