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Northwest Migration in the United States

(Top of page): Photo excerpted from “Students outside Oak Lake School, 1894”, # 2003.12.5 from Museum of History and Industry, Seattle, WA.


Northwest Migration is the movement to claim – some would say re-claim – the northwest as an ethnic homeland for Europeans/European-Americans. It is an idea; to some an ideology; akin to that of the Hispanic Reconquista.

A growing body of literature and mostly Web-based discussion and chatter focuses on the notion that those of European extraction in North America have an increasingly urgent need to establish a geographical “nation” or territory of their own, irrespective and outside of state or national boundaries. In many cases one finds that the idea dovetails with the provincial “Cascadia Independence” movement. Overall, however, taking the idea and the movement together,  Northwest Migration associates most closely with White Separatism and the Southern Secessionist and various state independence movements.
But Northwest Migration may or may not fall under the larger, umbrella white nationalist ideology(s). Indeed, Northwest Migration’s online presence quite often aligns with (or directly derives from) Native American separatist sentiment
Hence, Northwest Migration is its own animal – a movement and an ideology all its own.
Battle of Seattle"

This photo of Emily Inez Denny's painting shows Seattle's white settlers running to safety in the city's blockhouse. The ship "Decatur" sits offshore in Elliott Bay, helping to protect the settlers from a threatened Indian attack..." (Courtesy and Museum of History and Industry, Seattle, WA.)


The idea has been in the air for some time but began to be bandied about in the media with Smithsonian Institution paleontologist James C. Chatters’ (Ph.D University of Washington, 1982) summer 1996 discovery of an ancient skull in Washington’s Columbia River basin. Dated at around 10,000 years old and dubbed “Kennewick Man”, the skull ignited questions and some controversy when Chatters was quoted as saying the following:

The completeness and unusually good condition of the skeleton, presence of caucasoid traits, lack of definitive Native-American characteristics, and the association with an early homestead led me to suspect that the bones represented a European settler.

– James C. Chatters, Smithsonian Institution (

The ensuing controversy spilled over when the Indian tribe, on whose land the remains were discovered, demanded its return for burial – even though scientific examination hadn’t yet completed.

– d.g.w.

(For more on the subject, check out the documentary “Ice Age Columbus:Who Were the First Americans?”(on DVD). Find it at

This web site is devoted to discussion and essays on the subject of ‘northwest migration’ as it pertains to the North America.

Any and all contributions are welcome. Contact the admin. at


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