On the Umatilla Indian Reservation near Pendleton, Oregon, sits one of the west’s truly remarkable destinations: The Museum at Tamástslikt Cultural Institute.
A world class facility inside and out, Tamástslikt is the only museum on the Oregon Trail that tells the story of western expansionism from a tribal point of view. Permanent exhibits bring to life the traditions of the Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla Tribes, who have called the region home for 10,000 years. But the museum doesn’t merely remember what has been. Tamástslikt (the word means “interpreter”) connects this rich, storied history to our present day — did you know, for example, that the confederated tribes are recognized leaders in the restoration of salmon habitats? — and then expands the experience further by sharing the dreams and concerns of its tribal community in a moving exhibit called “We Will Be.”
Editor’s Note: This is part of an eight-part series of the Oregon Cultural Trust’s Field Guide to Oregon Culture, which spotlights cultural attractions around the state. The Cultural Trust supports more than 1,300 nonprofits statewide in the development of arts, heritage, and humanities programs. Learn how your free contribution can enrich lives at CulturalTrust.org.