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Tamástslikt Cultural Institute, Pendleton
(4.6/5 based on 140 reviews on the web)
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.HistoryThe 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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  • This is a must see for anyone coming to or through Pendleton. Located on the Confederated Tribes of the Instills Indian Reservation, it is full of exhibits that tell the story of the tribes and the cl...  more »
  • I visited by myself but happened upon a guided tour being given to a school group. The tour guide was very well steeped in her tribe's history and made the story come alive. Try to join a tour if you ...  more »
  • The Museum shop is always my favorite place for beads,books and beautiful Pendleton Blankets and clothing. 
  • Excellent exhibit blending the past, present, and future of the Confederated Umatilla tribes.
  • Good, thought-provoking museum.
  • Small but excellent. Very nice exhibits!
  • Wonderful presentation of the plateau culture.
  • Exhibits are informative and the staff was helpful. This is a beautiful cultural and educational resource.