Tony Johnson: Who You Are about “Where You Were Born and Raised.”

Tony Johnson (Chinook) talks about connections to land, place, and stories. 1:19.

Bio: Tony Johnson is the tribal chairman of the Chinook Indian Nation, as well as the chair of the tribal cultural committee. He is also the Cultural Education Director for the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe.


“So those connections, those kind of really intimate connection to your place, I think really changes how you feel about it. And we’re compelled to have people understanding it in that way or looking at our place that way because we really do believe they’re going to treat it differently. I think that has to be the case. And we want people to even have a sense of ownership in it. Even though that’s our stories, I mean it’s the stories from the place. And it used to be that where you were from is who you are. And that’s the nature of it, I mean it’s where you’re from. Nowawdays there’s all kinds of different ways to define who you are, what you are…but the reality is that for ten thousand years around here what you are and who you were was about where you were born and raised. It didn’t have nearly as much to do with your blood, it was the other. In that case these people that are here and going to be here–we need them to feel that kind of connection to our home and their home.”

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