Tamastslikt Cultural Institute, Pendleton

4.6
#2 of 14 in Things to do in Pendleton
The Tamástslikt Cultural Institute is a museum and research institute located on the Umatilla Indian Reservation near Pendleton in eastern Oregon. It is the only Native American museum along the Oregon Trail. The institute is dedicated to the culture of the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla tribes of Native Americans. The main permanent exhibition of the museum provides a history of the culture of three tribes, and of the reservation itself. The museum also has a second hall for temporary exhibitions of specific types of Native American art, craftwork, history, and folklore related to the tribes.
The widely celebrated Oregon Trail sesquicentennial in 1993 served as a platform for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation to present their vision for the future, and convey their interpretation of the past. The original proposal for the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute site detailed a $13 million Oregon Trail interpretive center that would “tell the story of the Oregon Trail from a Native American perspective,” and be an economic and cultural stimulus. The Tribes anticipated the interpretive center to increase local investments and create “more than 800 full-time jobs.” The initial funding strategy included federal funds, local fund raising, grants, video poker profits, and “the commitment of timber from the U.S. Forest Service,” in constructing the interpretive center. After three years of lobbying, the Confederated Tribes were denied federal funding on the basis that the Interior Department’s budget did not "include any money for Indian interpretive centers.” Shortly after the decision, the Oregon Legislature allocated a minimum of “$666,000 in lottery funds” to the construction of the Oregon Trail Interpretive center.
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Tamastslikt Cultural Institute Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
207 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We enjoyed looking at the art created before entering the exhibits and enjoyed it. The exhibits were thoughtful and well presented. My biggest hope is this wonderful place and grow and thrive so we ca...  more »
  • I would urge you to make the trip just to visit this institute. Very well done and thought provoking. Unique exhibit. Engaging for all ages.  more »
Google
  • Very interesting and evocative museum. Beautifully put together. I felt I understood how modern day Native Americans have blended cultures and done a wonderful job of maintaining their identity. Many authentic works for sale in the gift shop and a nice place for lunch.
  • A truly powerful and, at times, sad experience. This was a chance to really get some education on the local tribe and their history. If you live in the area, this is a must. If you don't, you should make the effort regardless. I would recommend this museum to my friends and family.

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