Confluence Library

Confluence is honored to work with eight sovereign tribes from the Columbia River Basin. Each has a vast and rich history and enrolled members continue to maintain cultural, economic and environmental connections to their homelands. Here are some basic facts about each of these tribes with tribal resources to learn more.

Paul Lumley, the Executive Director of NAYA PDX, talks about how treaties are a source of power for tribes, the importance of tribes being in charge of their own science, and the resilence and passion tribes have to maintain their traditions.

Tanna Engdahl, the spiritual leader of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, talks about Cowlitz federal recognition, the experience of non-treaty tribes, the impact of the disease on the Cowlitz and the spiritual power of sacred sites and ancestors.

In this episode, anthropologist and Grand Ronde historian David Lewis, discusses the loss of land, tribe-settler interactions, the historical context of Grand Ronde’s treaty negotiation, and protecting rights that weren’t guaranteed in treaties.

This vintage postcard of Shoshone Falls was found in an antique store. The art was done by Horace C. Myers, an Idaho photographer.

This talk argues that the Doctrine of Discovery morphed into “American Manifest Destiny” and was used, and is still being used today, to justify the United States’ acquisition of the lands and assets of the Indian Nations and peoples.

A brief summary of the treaties and Acts signed by Presidents Lincoln, Johnson, and Grant in the 1860s and 1870s which affected Native tribes, especially the Nez Perce.

The site of Sacajawea State Park had been important for trade and kinship. The Corps of Discovery were led there by Sacajawea in 1805. By the 1870s, settlers took the land and local tribes were sent off to reservations.

The confluence of the Snake and Columbia Rivers was a major uniting force for tribes of the Columbia River basin. It became a major site for settlers later, as the waterways provided a convenient mode of transportation.

The Sacajawea State Park area saw a lot of change between the surrender of Chief Joseph and the revelation of the Hanford nuclear operations only a century later: railroads, dams, and plutonium replaced trade and family.