In this Culture Section you will be introduced to the
world of the Umatilla, Walla Walla and Cayuse people. As you
tour along you will learn about their world during the days
before Europeans arrived and changed their age-old lifeway
forever. You'll also learn about the lasting qualities that
characterize these people of the south-central Plateau within
the topics included under Culture - about family life
and the life of all things through the seasons, about religion,
and trade and travel - told through the stories that hold
the culture together.
The many changes that accompanied the arrival of traders and
trappers, are included within the section called U.S.
Remember to think about the story from the point of view of
these Columbia River people. How did they see their lives
change after the arrival of traders, missionaries, treaty
commissioners and agents, settlers, and the American military?
Despite the devastation brought by these various groups, whether
intentionally or due to uncontrollable circumstances, the
Umatilla, Walla Walla, and Cayuse people have survived and
will continue to do so. The stories told here will help you
understand a very different perspective on history and culture
from the one taught in schools. Keep your mind open, ask questions,
and explore the world of these people through their eyes.
Contemporary culture, including artists, education, and issues
of sovereignty are included with the section called Native