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Author examines early lives of Clatsop, other tribes

First published in the July 16 print edition

Author Brian Ratty of Warrenton
By Cindy Yingst, Thursday, July 22, 2021

A few good things have come out of the pandemic and Brian Ratty’s new book is one of them.

“Broken Arrow: History, Myths & Legends” will be released Wednesday.

“About this time a year ago, our homes and towns were locked down because of the coronavirus,” Ratty said. “Ahead of us were months of unpredictability, quarantines and a fear of an invisible virus that ran through our population like a winter storm. Against this backdrop of uncertainty, I started a new book project. I called this endeavor my ‘covid book.’ ”

His “covid book” delves into local native American tribes – the Chinook, Clatsop, Nehalem and Tillamook – and tells the story of what their lives were like before the arrival of European settlers. It helps answer the questions of where the Pacific Coast’s tribes came from and where they went.

Broken Arrow, he says, “is a story worth telling, in the many voices of the different people who lived during those turbulent times.”

The book recounts their dreams, mythology, lifestyles, and survival methods in a land of plenty.

Ratty, who lives in Warrenton, is a retired film/video production company owner. He has written eight historical fiction novels about the Pacific Northwest.

“Local history is my preferred interest to read and write about,” Ratty said. “(It is) a subject I could talk about forever.”

Despite limitations imposed by the pandemic, Ratty found many out of print books and articles about local native American tribes and their lifestyles.

The biggest surprise from his research?

“Overall, the Indian culture and how proud and determined these people were,” he said. “One little tidbit was, although I knew about the many epidemics, I was taken aback at the rapid demise of the tribes.”

Ratty’s writing style is more storytelling than historical tome, he said. “Without historical fiction there would be no Bible.”

The book has done well among reviewers.

“Broken Arrow” garnered a five-star rating from the literary review organization Readers Favorite.

“Local Northwest author Brian Ratty writes not only with vigorously researched detail but with conscience and empathy about this land and its first people,” one reviewer wrote.

The soft-cover book is $15; eBooks are $3.99. Both are available at, , and at local bookstores and gift shops.