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.
Confluence in the Classroom put together a four pager on key concepts and understandings to do with CIC Native Educators, Oregon State tribal history requirements, and Washington State tribal history requirements. Read and download it here.
Many different tribes came together at the site of modern-day Sacajawea State Park. Although to later explorers it seemed barren, this crucial trading site was also an important site for weddings and kinship exchanges.
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.
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.
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 Chinook are one of several Lower Chinook people indigenous to the western Washington coast. Though not federally recognized, the Chinook were long recognized as prodigious traders across the Northwest coast.
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.