Tribal Fishing Platform on the Klickitat River / Photo by Peter Marbach

Northwest Tribes: Rich Native Heritage

The Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest share a rich tapestry of traditions shaped by different terrains and cultures, and bound together by salmon and other natural foods, a spirit of determination, and a close connection to the land.

“One thing I loved about growing up on the Warm Springs Reservation was the simplicity of life. For us, the mountains are not rocks but houses for the people that lived and walked the earth before humans arrived, now sleeping in their lodges. We believe that the land holds a life force unto itself.”

—Elizabeth Woody, poet, writer, and artist, Portland, OR

Examples of Northwest Tribes

  1. Squaxin Museum

    The Squaxin Island Tribe invites guests to come and discover their culture and the rich traditions of their past. In an educational journey, visitors find thought-provoking artifacts, including 100-foot long fish traps, naturally preserved in mud for more than 500 years. There are enough exhibits…

    Location: 150 SE Kwuh Deegs Altxw, Shelton, WA 98584
  2. Yakama Nation Museum and Cultural Heritage Center

    Journey through time at this museum, set on the present-day reservation, and see life-size replicas of dwellings, hear Yakama narratives and music, and encounter “The Great Native American Leaders” in mannequin form. A significant portion of the Central Cascades were the ancestral homeland of the Yakama…

    Location: 100 Spiel-yi Loop, Toppenish, WA 98948
  3. Return of C’waam Annual Ceremony

    This unique event is held each year after the first snow in March, in Chiloquin, Oregon. Each year the c’waam (also known as the Lost River Sucker) swims up the Sprague River to spawn. Snowflakes fall at this time of year, heralding the c’waam’s return.…

    Location: 501 Chiloquin Blvd, Chiloquin, OR 97624
  4. Longhouse Education and Cultural Center

    Learn about the many cultures and regional Native communities that collaborated on the design and construction of this center—attend a Native arts fair, hear Northwest story tellers, or watch a Tsimshian Fourth Generation dance performance at The Longhouse Education and Cultural Center at Evergreen State…

    Location: 2700 NW Evergreen Parkway, Olympia, WA 98505
  5. Museum At Warm Springs

    The Museum At Warm Springs is intended to preserve the history and traditions of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon. The museum is both a gesture of welcome to the general public and a conservatory for ancient and revered traditions. Your…

    Location: 2189 Highway 26, Warm Springs, OR 97761
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