[Back to Formatted Version]

Marie Norris Collection, 1974-2004

By Finding aid prepared by Elizabeth Nielsen.

Collection Overview

Title: Marie Norris Collection, 1974-2004

Predominant Dates: 1974-1983

ID: MSS Norris

Primary Creator: Norris, Marie

Extent: 0.25 cubic feet. More info below.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The Marie Norris Collection documents Norris' life and work as a Native American activist, storyteller, and historian and consists of materials created by Norris and assembled by Roger Weaver. Marie Norris pursued a life of active service to her Klamath community until her death in 1981. Roger Weaver met Norris in 1974 and was inspired by her to develop a course on Native American literature at Oregon State University, where he was a faculty member in English from 1962 until his retirement in 1996.

Scope and Content Notes

The Marie Norris Collection documents Norris' life and work as a Native American activist, storyteller, and historian and consists of materials created by Norris and assembled by Roger Weaver. The Collection includes two versions of the manuscript Along Klamath Waters, a letter, newspaper clippings, publications, and a sound recording. The manuscript is an autobiographical narrative prepared by Norris for publication as a book. Norris describes her life as a member of the Klamath community in southern Oregon and interweaves stories of Klamath culture and history throughout the narrative. A primary topic of the manuscript is the termination of the Klamath Tribe in the 1950s and the impact on the culture, economy, and lands of the Klamath peoples. Both versions were edited by Roger Weaver. The 1979 version of the manuscript is unabridged; the 1980 version is an abridged version edited for submission to a publisher. It was not published.

The letter was written from Norris to Roger Weaver in February 1980; Norris writes about her family, provides an update on her health, and discusses her book. The collection also includes a journal article written by Roger Weaver about Norris' interpretation of Klamath chants and a biographical sketch of Norris in Notable Women in the History of Oregon. The audiocassette is a sound recording, On Klamath Life & Singing in Klamath, that includes a 1974 interview between Roger Weaver and Marie Norris. The sound recording has been digitized and is available in two parts: Part 1 (about 40 minutes) and Part 2 (about 45 minutes).

Biographical / Historical Notes

Marie Norris pursued a life of active service for her Klamath community. In addition to founding the Organization of Forgotten Americans in 1969 to address the effects of tribal termination, Norris served on the Klamath Tribal Executive Committee on Claims, the Klamath Indian Game Commission, the Civil Rights Committee for the state of Oregon, the Klamath County Juvenile Advisory Council, and the Committee of Oregon Rural Opportunities. Norris spoke frequently about Native American culture and was one of the last people able to speak the Klamath language. Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh declared Norris as one of the most outstanding women in Oregon history. Marie G. Norris was born on January 15, 1920 in Modoc Point, Oregon; she died on August 16, 1981 in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Roger Weaver, an Oregon State University faculty member in English literature and poetry from 1962 to 1996, met Norris in 1974 during a storytelling event. Weaver was inspired by Norris to develop a course on Native American literature in which he featured some of her stories. Weaver, in turn, inspired Norris to compile and write her stories as a book. Roger Keys Weaver was born in Portland, Oregon on February 2, 1935 and graduated from Salem High School in 1953. In addition to his University teaching, Weaver has taught children, youth, and adults in school settings as well as through workshops and summer programs.

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 1 audiocassette; 2 boxes

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: Most of the materials in the collection were donated to the Special Collections & Archives Research Center by Roger Weaver in 2014. The collection also includes a manuscript draft and sound recording that were received about 2001 and cataloged in the Center's History of the Pacific Northwest (HistPNW) Collection. These two items were transferred to this collection in 2014.

Related Materials: The Roger Weaver Papers (MSS Weaver) are also available in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center. Other materials documenting the Klamath community and people are part of the Jackson F. Kimball Collection (MSS Kimball), Mater Engineering Tribal Consultation Files (MSS MaterEngineering), and the KOAC-TV Films (FV 207).

Preferred Citation: Marie Norris Collection (MSS Norris), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.


Norris, Marie
Weaver, Roger.

People, Places, and Topics

Indian termination policy--Oregon.
Klamath Indian Reservation (Or.)
Klamath Indians--History.
Klamath Indians--Social life and customs.
Klamath Indian Tribe of Oregon.
Klamath language.
Klamath women.
Norris, Marie
Oregon Multicultural Archives

Forms of Material


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.