Confluence Library

In this article, Keri E. Iyall Smith (Cowlitz) details how, by taking cues from Indigenous Peoples who see the natural world as relatives, equal to humans, entitled to protections and thoughtful (minimal) use, it is possible to shift away from attitudes that expanded in the colonial era, which see land as a thing to be conquered and with resources to be extracted.

This guide is designed to guide you though the Sandy River Delta, focusing on what you see, hear, and feel while at the SRD, and to prompt thinking about changes in the landscape.

Confluence recently premiered the film “Salmon’s Agreement,” which was followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker Woodrow Hunt (of Tule Films) and with Roberta Conner (Tamastslikt Cultural Institute). Many attendees asked how they can help the salmon. Here are some resources to get started.

It was just in February when our panel of Indigenous historians and leaders led a thought-provoking discussion in Vancouver about conservation practices along the Columbia River. Yet the themes and lessons are timeless and remain relevant as we work toward a more inclusive understanding of the land we share. This Story Collection includes a two-part podcast from that Story Gathering, along with a selection of writings and interviews around the notion that our ecology is inextricably linked to our history and our future together.

After a turbulent industrial past, the Sandy River Delta required significant restoration in the late 2000s to make it a safe recreational area and a thriving natural habitat, full of native plants, birds, and animals.

Although the eclipse of 1834 was not visible in the Northwest, an 1860 total solar eclipse started off Cape Disappointment. Research for a subsequent total solar eclipse in 1869 fueled U.S. interests in Alaska.

Yakama time balls were woven twine that detailed major events of a woman’s life- sometimes including eclipses. Several major eclipses were visible in the Northwest from 1503-1806 including one eclipse obscured by clouds.

Native methods for catching fish along the Columbia River used spears, baskets, and weirs. White newcomers saw these as inefficient and began using mechanical processes such as fish wheels to increase canneries’ catches.

As the Northwest was increasingly colonized, resource extraction and utilization became the region’s economic backbone. Hydroelectric power, lumber mills, and agriculture thrived while damaging Native ways of life.

Cape Disappointment, at the mouth of the Columbia River on the Pacific Ocean, hides a bay full of plants, animals, and birds, as well as visitors. Here, Waikiki Beach is the only safely swimmable coast in Washington.