Lionel Youst

Coquelle Thompson, Athabaskan Witness:
A Cultural Biography

"Coquelle Thompson, Athabaskan Witness is an excellent book for anyone interested in Native American lives and in relations between anthropologists and Native Americans."
Dell Hymes: author of In Vain I Tried to Tell You.

"It is a cultural biography that personalizes the experiences of one persevering individual over nearly a century of change . . . it is a valuable document, rare among southern Northwest Coast studies." Robert Boyd: Ethnohistory.

"The information is rich; the narrative is lively and true. . . . This is a great book about a pivotal man, the life course of a reservation, the character of a region, and about the complexities of society, biography, and literary representation."
David Dinwoodie: Journal of Anthropological Research.

"Existing works do not give such a strong sense of a man's life, the historical context, and the relationship with anthropologists and anthropological methods. Anyone interested in indigenous biography of Indian peoples of Oregon and the Northwest Coast will read this book"
Anonomous reviewer: University of Oklahoma Press.

"I was delighted with this book; it gives a very strong sense of Thompson as a boy, as a man and, finally, as a very aged man. His life is deftly tied to the events of the larger world, in the United States and beyond.. . . The book gets better as it goes along."

"This is compelling, well-rounded biography of a key coastal Oregon elder, until now known mostly to the academic community, or a small part of it."
2nd anonomous reviewer: University of Oklahom Press.

"Youst and Seaburg have done those interested in Western Oregon Indians a great service with this book. Not only have they written an entertaining and informative book about one main character who lived through so much of interest, they have also pointed the way for much more research and investigation.. . . There is no other book that will tell as much about what it was like to live on the Siletz Indian Reservation."
Ralph Mohr: reviewer,The World (Coos Bay, Oregon).

"Y & S's extraordinarily well researched biography of Thompson weaves together family traditions, ethnohistorical records, and ethnographic field notes to construct a vivid portrait of a man and his times."
Victor Golla: The Society of the Study of Indigenous Languages of the Americas.

"But in unearthing the work of these half-dozen different anthropologists and augmenting it with research of their own, Youst and Seaburg were able to fill in many gaps. The end result is an interesting and, at times, very poignant biography."
Barbara Michael: the Bookmonger, syndicated reviewer.

"Thompson's contributions, however, extended far beyond the discipline of anthropology. Through his work, he preserved the traditions of his people from which later generations of Coquilles drew the elements for a cultural revival in the 1970's and 1980's. This achievement was Coquelle Thompson's greatest legacy."
Mark van de Logt: Montana, The Magazine of Western History.

"Coquelle Thompson is an excellent choice for a 'cultural biography' . . . the book is highly accessible and succeeds where most scholarly work too often fails: it communicates an important story to a popular audience."
Gray H. Whaley: Western Historical Quarterly.

"a commendable job of reconstructing the substance and texture of Thompson's life while providing an intimate view of Indian lives in western Oregon. [It]provides wonderful insight into the dynamics of cultural persistence and change, because it shows how individuals such as Thompson recreated and transformed old traditions in a new setting."
David Arnold: Pacific Northwest Quarterly.

It is volume 243 in the University of Oklahoma Press Civilization of the American Indian Series.
University of Oklahoma Press (2002)
ISBN 0-8061-3448-8
322 + xii pages. 25 photographs. 3 maps. Appendices. Bibliography. Index.

Selected Works
by Lionel Youst

Labor History
"The Wobblies, Solidarity Forever" (first published North Country Anvil, no. 13, November, 1974). "How Dad Joined the One Big Union." "Wobblie Martyrs: Coos Bay, Centralia, Salt Lake City." "George McGovern." "IWW in Coos County."
An account of author's father, George Youst, a logger who joined the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) at Centralia Washington in 1918. The violence of the Armistice Day Parade November 1, 1918 is described, when logger and IWW organizer Wesley Everest was castrated and hanged by an ultra-patriot mob. The article follows Wesley Everest's career as union organizer from 1912 to his death by lynching, and the author's subsequent employment in logging camps during the 1950's.
Harry Bridges, founding president of the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union (ILWU) was persecuted by the antilabor establishment for more than 30 years (approx. 1935-65). One of the weapons used against him was his estranged wife, Agnes. This article follows the shameless exploitation by the Justice Department and certain employer's organizaitons of their soured relationship.
A series of fifteen essays on the works and personalities who were most influential in the author's liberal education.
An series of articles and first person accounts of the rescue and attempted rescue of persons lost in the forested 900 square miles of the Coos River drainage over the years from 1871 to 2000.
A personal, pictorial, and primarily oral history of the small sawmill in the Douglas fir region, 1926-1956
The story of a Coos Indian woman born on a tidal slough on the Oregon Coast in 1860.
The compelling life story of an Upper Coquelle Athabaskan Indian who lived almost 100 years.
Local History
Local wilderness homesteads, 1875 to 1955. 160 photos, verbatim interviews. For copies contact author at

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