Here, near the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers, Nez Perce people lived and fished long before Lewis and Clark arrived in 1805. Today, the Listening Circle honors native traditions in a landscape that today remains similar to what the explorers described in their journals. Visitors will experience the Listening Circle and focus their attention on the breeze through the trees, the gentle sound of the water, and the muted browns, greens, and yellows of the enduring landscape that surrounds them.
The Listening Circle is a basalt amphitheater inspired by the Nez Perce blessing ceremony that took place here in 2005 where the women faced north, the men faced south, the elders faced east, and no one passed behind them. From above the arced basalt seating resembles ripples of water.
Confluence connects you to the history, living cultures, and ecology of the Columbia River system through Indigenous voices. We are a community-supported nonprofit that works through six art landscapes, educational programs, and public gatherings in collaboration with northwest tribes, communities, and the celebrated artist Maya Lin. Confluence began as a response to the Lewis and Clark bicentennial, to tell a more inclusive story of Lewis and Clark. In 2001 Maya Lin was asked by tribal leaders to design art sites along the river. Since then five art sites have been built and Confluence offers an array of programming along the Columbia River system.