The Wahkiakum were a Chinookan-speaking people that lived in two villages at the mouth of the Elochoman River on the northwest coast of Oregon. Like most tribes in the area they subsisted on salmon, root bread, and berries and participated in the elaborate regional trade network.
During the winter of 1805-06, the Lewis and Clark expedition settled near the Wahkiakum at Fort Clatsop. On several occasions the band met with the Corps, gifts were exchanged, and the ideal of peaceful trade with the United States was discussed. They were called the "Wackiakums" in the journals, and Lewis and Clark estimated there were about 200 Indians in the band.
Many years later, smallpox devastated the local bands. By the middle of the 19th century many of the survivors had moved to the Yakima Indian Reservation in Washington State.
WILLIAM CLARKNovember 7, 1805
"Two canos of Indians met and returned with us to their village, they gave us to eate Some fish, and Sold us fish, Wa pa to roots three dogs and 2 otter skins for which we gave fish hooks. ...."