Native Culture in the Northwest

The Northwest has a rich Native American culture, and groups can experience it in myriad ways. Here are two of the top options.

Coeur d’Alene Julyamsh Pow Wow

Every summer, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort in Idaho host this colorful, three-day pow wow, which draws 10,000 people per day. It takes place at Kootenai County Fairground in Coeur d’Alene, about 20 miles north of the resort. Julyamsh is the largest Native-American festival in the Northwest.

The festival features 600–800 dancers; 60 drum groups; a horse parade, with riders in full tribal regalia; dancers from tribes throughout the United States and Canada; vendors selling food, native crafts and Northwest memorabilia; and colorful contests for participants and visitors.

The Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s native name is Schitsuumsh, meaning “those who were found here” or “the discovered people.”

Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve

Hibulb Cultural Center describes its mission as to protect, restore and enhance the history and culture of the people of the Tulalip Tribes. The cultural center is a beautiful, 25,000-square-foot facility sitting in the middle of 50 wooded acres. Visitors can get a close-up view into the culture of the Northwest tribes, which is quite distinct from other native cultures in America.

Exhibits include Warriors We Remember, the Canoe Hall and the Longhouse. Storytelling has always been a valuable tradition to the Tulalip peoples, and at the center you can listen to stories such as “Lifting Up the Sky” and “Mud Swallow’s House.” You can also enjoy fascinating collections of art, artifacts and archaeology, ranging from ancient times to modern.

As you wander through the thick forest surrounding the center, you may hear the echoes of history whispering through the trees.

Read more about Native American and other casino resorts in Steve Winston’s supplement, “Carving a New Identity, in the May issue of Smart Meetings magazine.