News Archive

January 3, 2017

Together, We're Creating a Legacy

Legacy Maker Dinner Presented byThe Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE FoundationArlene Schnitzer & Jordan Schnitzer Dear Friend of Confluence, We are sad to report that we have postponed our dinner. The weather is...   more >

November 21, 2016

Before The End Of The Year, Help Connect Students Kids To Columbia River Cultures

Dear Friend of Confluence, #ConfluenceConnects students to place through art and education by introducing them to native artists and tradition keepers who share what it means to be from the river,...   more >

October 14, 2016

Confluence Story Gatherings Honor Indigenous Voices

Confluence is currently organizing a series of public forums that are intended to elevate indigenous voices in our understanding of the Columbia River system. Confluence Story Gatherings are story-driven discussions,...   more >

July 28, 2016

Introducing Tributaries: A Confluence History Blog

Stories are like tributaries. They shape the landscape as they confluence with other waters flowing toward the ocean. The history of the Columbia River system is filled with countless tales...   more >


Tremendous School Year at Confluence

June 23, 2016

With the 2015-16 school year ended, we’re excited to report thousands of students at 11 schools across nine districts on both sides of the Columbia River worked with native artists and tradition keepers through Confluence in the Classroom.

  • Hundreds of students painted three murals covering 550 square feet of wall.
  • 300 students wove cedar baskets.
  • 35 kids created multimedia oral history about their connection to rivers.
  • 15 students learned to play Native American flutes and made their own drums.
  • 12 native youth made wing-dresses.
  • 180 kids sat at the foot of She Who Watches at Columbia Hills State Park and listened to the stories of the N’chiwana, the BIg River.
  • 400 students toured the Sandy River Delta and gathered traditional ecological knowledge at the confluence of the Sandy and Columbia Rivers.
  • In Maupin, students learned winter stories and traditional and contemporary Native American songs and dances. Then they  performed them in their community.
  • In Wishram and Lyle, students walked the halls counting their numbers in Sahaptin.
  • Yakama artist Toma Villa helped students at Vancouver’s Discovery Middle School create mural encompassing the diversity of the school community.

Confluence in the Classroom was made possible this year by the generous support of the Bill Healy Foundation, Firstenburg Foundation,Gray Family Foundation, PGE Foundation, Roundhouse Foundation, U.S Bank Foundation and Wildhorse Foundation. Thank you!


Experiencing Confluence Through Multiple Senses

Zoriam Cooke finds the Confluence Land Bridge in Vancouver deeply meaningful and he wasn’t going to let the fact that he’s visually impaired stop him from sharing his multi-sensory experience. So he organized a tour for members of LIFT, an organization that helps visually impaired high school graduates transition to independent living, through Confluence in the Community and program manager Courtney Yilk. Just as Confluence aims to bring new perspectives to our sense of place, Zoriam expanded our perspective of this particular place by exploring the landscape through multiple senses. Participants tasted native thimbleberries on the Land Bridge’s ethnobotanical walkway, smelled herbs in the Fort Vancouver garden, and examined the indigenous imagery on the Land Bridge’s spirit baskets through touch.

Thanks to Zoriam and the excellent rangers and Blacksmith Theisen at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site! If you’re interested in exploring the Land Bridge or any of Confluence sites in your own way, contact Courtney Yilk.


Stories from the River

First-person storytelling has a unique power to deepen our understanding of the history, culture and contemporary lives of native Northwest people. Confluence is developing an interactive online platform that will connect visitors and students to narratives that provide cultural and historical context to Confluence sites and the Columbia River system.