Wanapum Heritage Center

Wanapum Heritage Center Information

"Coyote created the river in his efforts to care for the Wanapum. The Wanapum people have been supported by the river’s bounty for thousands of years. We honor the spirit of the river. We are the caretakers responsible for the land and for passing on the teachings of the natural world to the next generation."

The Wanapum Heritage Center is set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Columbia River, where the landscape transitions from rugged canyons to expansive riverbanks. Towering basalt cliffs stand as sentinels, reflecting the eons of natural and cultural history embedded in the region. With its dramatic vistas and beauty, the Columbia River Gorge adds a layer of majesty to the Wanapum Heritage Center's surroundings.

As the cultural center of the Wanapum Band, the Wanapum Heritage Center embodies the Tribe's commitment to preserving and sharing its rich cultural heritage. The Wanapum people have called the Columbia River Basin home for generations, and their deep connection to the land is evident in the exhibits, artifacts, and stories housed within the center.

Wanapum means river people. The Tribe was originally located in Washington along the Columbia River. Lewis and Clark meet with the Wanapum at the mouth of Snake River, finally reaching the Columbia River long into their travels. It is there they met the Wanapum people, who were fishing salmon from the Columbia River during the autumn salmon run. The meeting was peaceful between the Corps' and the two hundred men Wanapum and Chief Cutssahnem. They shared tobacco, played drums and sang before holding a meeting where Lewis and Clark presented Chief Cutssahnem with a peace medal and other presents.

Wanapum Heritage Center

  • 29086 WA-243
  • Mattawa, Washington 99349
  • 509-766-3461
Travel information
  • Time Zone: Pacific Standard Time

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