Tributaries: A Confluence History Blog

Maya Lin has said, “I try to give people a different way of looking at their surroundings.” As you visit and explore a Confluence Project site, share your observations or new found discoveries in this open community of ideas.


Monthly Archives: November 2016

Wilfred and Bessie (Green) Scott shared stories with Confluence and our partners at NW Documentary. Photo by Ian McCluskey.

River People: “That’s the Only Place We’ve Ever Lived”

“River People” generally refers to indigenous tribes and bands that live along the Columbia River, and sometimes those specifically who fished at Celilo Falls or lived below the falls along the river. But some see a broader definition of that term. “I think all of us are River People,” says Nez Perce elder Wilfred Scott. more >

Fallers cutting down a large tree.

‘Impatient’ Economics Reshaped Northwest Landscape

Native American traditions speak to respecting nature and protecting the gifts of the earth so that they may renew and all humanity will benefit. Trade-based economies in the Northwest reinforced those philosophies – trading fish for horses, food for metal tools, and sharing winter stores with those in need. Now, Thanksgiving approaches – a holiday invoked by President Lincoln during the Civil War as a brief armistice between North and South to encourage all Americans to recall their blessings in the midst of the nation’s most tragic struggle between families, friends and citizens divided. Since then, we’ve grown to appreciate some of the deeper meanings of Thanksgiving – a time of sharing when non-indigenous people journeyed to North American shores and suffered ill-prepared through a dire winter. more >

Western Pond Turtles, familiarly known as Mud Turtles, once thrived near Fort Vancouver. By Jerry Kirkhart via Wikimedia Commons

Vancouver: Land of the Mud Turtles

By Mary Rose One hundred miles above the mouth of the Columbia River, the Hudson’s Bay Company built its premier fort in the West. The French Canadians called it “Jolie Prairie”[1] but long before the presence of outsiders, Native Americans … more >