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Meet Professor Katy Barber
Meet Professor Katy Barber

Professor Katy Barber teaches U.S. West, Pacific Northwest, and public history courses. Her scholarship addresses the survivance of Indian nations in the 20th century Pacific Northwest despite federal and local efforts to conquer and assimilate Indian people. She has researched and written about the effects of dam building on the Columbia River on Northwest fishing tribes, the struggle for federal recognition among tribes in the Northwest, the role of regional indigenous women leaders, and the history of representation and misrepresentation of Native people in museums and public history programs.
Her most recent book will be released summer 2018. In Defense of Wyam: Indigenous-White Alliances and the Struggle for Celilo Village (University of Washington, 2018) presents a remarkable alliance across the opposed Native and settler-descended groups, chronicling how the lives of two women leaders converged in a shared struggle to protect the Indian homes of Celilo Village. Other publications include Death of Celilo Falls (University of Washington Press, 2005) and Nature’s Northwest: The North Pacific Slope in the Twentieth Century (with William Robbins, University of Arizona Press, 2011). 

Her public history work includes conducting oral histories for the U.S. Forest Service, Chinook Indian Nation, and Oregon National Guard, historic resource studies for the National Park Service, and consulting with Northwest museums. From 2006-2011, she directed the Center for Columbia River History (CCRH), a public history consortium located on the grounds of Fort Vancouver, a National Park Service site, which included Portland State University, Washington State University Vancouver and the Washington State Historical Society.

Professor Barber finds it rewarding to teach at a university that understands and values public history. Moreover, it is a hallmark of PSU that many students are prepared and eager to engage in collaborative projects with other students, faculty and community groups.


Name: Katy Barber
Title: Professor of History
office: 441-D CH
phone: (503) 725-3979
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