Tamastslikt Cultural Institute, Pendleton

4.6
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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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Tamastslikt Cultural Institute Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
165 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Stopped in on our way to the casino and wow, what a nice surprise! First, it was First Friday of the Month, so no admission fee. Second, it's just an incredible building. Third, the history presented ...  more »
  • Lived just a few miles away for years and after visiting I'm embarrassed I didn't go much sooner. So much information, history and beauty.  more »
  • We enjoyed the informative displays and videos. Learned a lot. The traveling exhibit about the Japanese internment was informative.  more »
Google
  • Beautiful and sobering. Unique arrangement of artifacts and dioramas tells the story of a people whose way of life was destroyed as whites pushed to settle the west. I learned a lot about the native peoples of the area.
  • Excellent experience, attended a good group discussion on racism, past, present and future, visited the book store and the exhibits afterwards.
  • It features an incredible, superbly curated, thought provoking, and moving permanent exhibit that beautifully recalls the rich history of the people of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. I spent multiple hours viewing it. The museum store was so visually appealing and offered a wide variety of high quality gifts and many intriguing books. If you happen by the Pendleton area you must visit!
  • Great facility with ample shaded parking under solar panels. Learn about the effects of the immigration to the American West from the native perspective. Lost cultural knowledge and heritage, land annexed by the newcomers-this is a much needed contribution to American history.
  • Very well done and educational: One of the best museums I've been to. What an exemplary way of educating the public as well as truthfully documenting the history and keeping the culture alive. If you're in the Pendleton area, this is a must see.

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