Mike Iyall: “You Lose so Very Much” from Disease

Mike Iyall (Cowlitz) talks about the cultural losses caused by disease. 1:02.

Bio: Mike Iyall is a Council member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribal and was Vice Chairman until 2016. He is the director of the Cowlitz Tribe scholarship program and serves as tribal historian.


“To me, if I were to think about something that was missing it would be the arts and culture that we lost in the disease. I always wonder what they might’ve been, because in a hundred years of catastrophic disease, you know I tell people you know if your house catches fire you run out of the building with just your clothes or maybe some of your clothes. There’s so much you can’t take. And that was what those people lost. We lost most of our language, we lost all of our soft art, all of our skills at the harder arts must have been lost as well. There’s so much we lost due to the diseases. I mean when 98 percent of your people are lost…you lose so very much.”

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