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The Tamástslikt Cultural Institute

Recently, I had the opportunity to explore the historic and charming town of Pendleton, Oregon. The town embraces its Wild West past through numerous historic and cultural attractions, such as its newest addition, the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute.

Operated by the Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla Tribes, this must-see attraction is the only Native American-owned interpretive center that lies on both the Lewis & Clark and Oregon National Historic Trails. Within the walls of an architecturally striking structure, the museum features world-class exhibits, interactive displays and demonstrations depicting the culture and history of these tribes. I felt amazement to discover these tribes’ ancestors first inhabited the Pacific Northwest’s plateau region some 10,000 years ago.

Here, you’ll learn another perspective on America’s westward expansion through the voices, collective memories and artifacts of the native people whose lifestyle was inalterably affected as a result. Additional facilities onsite include the Coyote Theater, the (seasonal) Living Culture Village, the Kinship Café, which features native-inspired dishes and a well-stocked Museum Store.

I was fortunate to be given an outstanding tour by native docent John Bevis, and your group would be well advised to request his services, should he be available when you are planning to visit. For more information, contact (541) 966-9748 or visit

tamastslikt-15Ornamental native dress

tamastslikt-16Excellent native docent, John Bevis, explains a display