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.

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.

There are seven Story Circles: Introduction, People, Salmon, Seasonal Rounds, Trade, and the Coyote Circle. The following material is to aid you in visiting the Story Circles if you desire, or to experience the Story Circles if you cannot visit.

This collection centers around salmon as a First Food and the sacred and cultural associations.

Are you looking to visit all or some of the Confluence River Sites? This printable one-page map is a guide to doing just that.

The Sandy River bird blind, inspired by William Clark’s quote that he could not sleep because of bird noises, was built to give guests a chance to visit a restored native habitat and learn about native birds and animals.

Maya Lin’s first Confluence site is at Cape Disappointment State Park. Guests are greeted by a path, amphitheater, fish sink, and gathering circle. It was built of native materials for the Lewis and Clark bicentennial.

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.