Road Trip

Confluence Field School: Mid Columbia

June 26 - 28, 2020
9am - 4pm
Columbia River Gorge to the High Desert of Central Oregon

Confluence Field School – Mid-Columbia – June 26-28, 2020

Applications are now closed.

For generations, our region’s origin story has been “Lewis and Clark discovered this place and the pioneers settled it.” We work to replace this tragically oversimplified narrative with a more holistic view of history that includes the long-neglected voices of Indigenous cultures that still call this place home.

The Confluence Field School is an immersive opportunity for teachers and education leaders to learn more about the storied landscape of the Columbia River system through Indigenous voices. These summer journeys include guided visits to Native sites of cultural and environmental significance with tribal cultural leaders and thinkers to hear personal insights into Columbia River Native traditions and history. Participants come away with a richer understanding of Tribal sovereignty, cultural traditions and heritage, resilience, and the value of reciprocity.

By joining this immersive experience, you can also help carry this work forward. Educators who have joined us in the past repeatedly express how unique and powerful these experiences are for personal and professional development.


Travel from the gateway of the Columbia River Gorge to the High Desert of Central Oregon. This trip begins with a morning talk with Grand Ronde members and a traditional ecological knowledge hike at the Sandy River Delta. Then we travel to the Warm Springs Reservation to celebrate Pi-Ume-Sha Treaty Days with featured speakers and a salmon dinner. We end with a visit to Celilo Park near The Dalles, OR. Professional development for teachers: 14 hours.

About the Program

The Confluence Field Schools are open to educators of all kinds, including classroom teachers, school principals, district administrators, school board members, administrators and educators with nonprofit organizations that work with schools and students. Ideally, our cohort will include a blend of travelers with varied educational roles, geographic and cultural diversity, and subject area focuses. We strongly welcome tribal members and educators who serve Native students. We invite groups of as many as three people from one school, district, or organization to apply.

Confluence Field Schools are free of change thanks to generous grants from the Emily Gottfried Fund and Meyer Memorial Trust. Confluence will cover speakers’ and park fees, select meals, and supplies. Participants must pay their own travel costs, including lodging and some meals. Carpooling options are available. Teachers will receive professional development certificates in cultural awareness of Native American experiences and perspectives. In your application, please specify what impact you expect this experience will have on your work and with students.

Participants must submit their application by April 13, 2020. Final list of participants will be shared by May 1, 2020. For more information contact Confluence Program Manager Courtney Yilk or call us at 360-693-0123.