River Sites

Columbia River Basin

The stunning landscape of the Columbia River Basin is shaped by millions of years of volcanic basalt, sculpted by flowing rainwater and snowmelt. Water that “cleansed a thousand places,” as one elder told us, gathers in the Big River, the Nch’i-Wána. These lands and rivers are also shaped by cultural traditions: knowledge, rules, and lifeways passed down through countless generations as a guide for how to live in balance with our natural environment. Elevating these Indigenous voices is both an act of justice and a call to action to take better care of our shared ecology.

Site Overviews

Lewis and Clark ended their journey in Chinook homelands. On two sides of the cape, a series of art installations by Maya Lin set side by side native and western approaches that have shaped the cultural and ecological history of this place.

The Confluence Land Bridge reconnects the community with the riverfront and the Indigenous history that shaped this traditional cultural and economic crossroads. Architect Johnpaul Jones designed the bridge with artworks by Lillian Pitt, exploring themes of River, Land and People.

The Confluence Bird Blind sits at the center of a storied landscape undergoing a dramatic wilderness restoration. The Sandy River Delta is public land with a rich biological and cultural history.

Where Celilo Falls once roared, this future project will educate people about the history of this place, honor Indigenous cultures of the Columbia River and strengthen the tribal presence in the public spaces along the river.

Where the Snake and Columbia Rivers meet, the Story Circles connect visitors to the Indigenous history of this traditional crossroads for trading and culture. Tribes from throughout the region continue to maintain a connection to this special place.

Nez Perce homelands still look similar to what Lewis and Clark described. The Listening Circle is based on a blessing ceremony held there in 2005 and honors the Nimíipuu, the Nez Perce people.

Connecting people to the history, living cultures and ecology of the Columbia River system through Indigenous voices.

From Ilwaco to Lewiston, Confluence offers a diverse selection of programming. You can attend a Story Gathering panel, go an immersive concert at one of our sites, join us on a guided road trip, or participate in a teacher development workshop. Our programming is designed to elevate Indigenous voices and broaden one’s understanding of the Columbia River system.

Community Calendar

Chairman Tony Johnson, at a dinner hosted by the Chinook Nation on a Confluence Road Trip. Photo