Gathering Chemawa Strawberries, circa 1909


Photograph (lantern slide) showing students harvesting strawberries at the Chemawa Indian School, circa 1909.

Location Description: 

Chemawa Indian School

Cultural Narrative: 

Gathering Chemawa Strawberries. Young women would have to help gather strawberries to learn a trade and sell for needs of the school. These ladies came from various parts of the Pacific Northwest. It was not uncommon to see the school matrons take these girls and have them gather fruits for the school and to sell to the public.

Traditional Knowledge: 


Many of the young girls in this picture may have come from a missionary of their reservation.  To instill in them that they would be of use not only to their church but to others as well.  These young women have many stories on why they had to pick and gather these berries.  Many of whom wished that they again would be able to go to their mountains and pick their own berries of their area. 

Boarding Schools

As you may have heard of the many stories from indian women they will tell you that it was not always easy to learn the ways of non-indians.  They would be punished for asking why they were gathering these berries and not the ones of their own area.