Interesting Facts of the Coquille Indian Tribe

One of the major mile markers that separates the Coquille Indian Tribe from others located in Oregon or the rest of the country, is their recognition of same sex marriages. Tribal law specialists say the Coquille appear to be the first tribe to sanction such marriages. Most tribal law doesn't address the issue but the Navajo and Cherokee tribes prohibit same-sex marriages. "For our tribe, we want people to walk in the shoes of other people and learn to respect differences," the tribal chief, Ken Tanner, told The Oregonian. "Through that, we think we build a stronger community."

The Coquille are the first tribe to recognize and allow same sex marriage. This law was passed in August 2008. Coquille Indian Tribe is so far the only tribe that has recognized and allows same sex marriages.

"Coquelle" (the original spelling of the Coquille Indian Tribe) was pronounced "Ko-Kwel"

The survival of the Coquille is from this point almost miraculous. Some Coquille and part-Coquille families remained in the Coos Bay region - the Wassons, the Neds, the Tanners, and others. Through these families, Coquille traditions were kept alive, even though the Federal government declared the tribe extinct in 1954, along with 60 other Western Oregon tribes. However by 1989, the tide had turned, and after a long campaign, federal recognition was again extended to the Coquille.

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