Experience the rich cultures of the nine federally recognized tribes of Oregon.
For thousands of years, Indigenous peoples have cultivated, honored and thrived on the picturesque and bountiful landscapes of Oregon. From the jagged coastlines, winding rivers and estuaries to the arid high desert plateau, they have persevered to keep their vibrant traditions alive. Visitors can learn from, honor and respect these unique cultures by joining in local rodeos and powwows, visiting cultural sites and supporting tribe-owned businesses. Discover where and how to experience these cultures in regions across the state.
The Coquille Indian Tribe inhabited the watersheds of the Coquille River system in and around Coos Bay, a region teeming with shellfish, salmon and abundant plants for foraging. Marvel at the beauty of Bullards Beach State Park while fishing or crabbing in the Coquille River, discover local legends as you spy the rock face silhouette and listen for the maiden’s call at the Face Rock Scenic Viewpoint. Keep an eye out for grey whales at the cove in nearby Battle Rock Park. Stay at the Coquille-owned Mill Casino Hotel & RV Park, which features beautiful bay-view rooms, a waterfront RV park and in-house entertainment.
The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians in Lincoln City is the most diverse confederation of Tribes and Bands on a single reservation in the USA. Their ancestors spoke at least 10 different base languages and lived in communities stretching from the Cascade Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Visit the North Lincoln County Historical Museum to see exhibits of ancient tribal artifacts and documents. Play the Chinook Winds Golf Course, which is cut into a mountainside and borders lush wetlands. Stay at the oceanfront Chinook Winds Casino Resort in all seasons, whether cozying up to your in-room fireplace or on the beach steps from your door. The nearby Hee Hee Illahee RV Resort has spacious sites and hook-ups with a year-round pool and spa.
The Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians of Florence and Coos Bay are the Indigenous people of the plateau – from the estuaries of the Coos Bay to the Umpqua and Siuslaw Rivers. Spot sea otters, ospreys, blue herons and salmon as you kayak the winding Siuslaw Water Trail. Paddle out to explore Weed and Jewitt Islands on the blue waters of Tahkenitch Lake. Or spend the day golfing on Ocean Dunes Golf Links with its unexpected turns and breathtaking scenery. Spend the night in a yurt at Siltcoos Lake Resort, which offers kayak rentals, or go the luxurious route at award-winning Three Rivers Casino Resort with its in-suite whirlpool baths.
The waterfront Chinook Winds Casino Resort, owned by the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, in Lincoln City
The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Pendleton lived in the lands surrounding the Columbia River for more than 10,000 years, fishing, hunting and gathering food from the lowlands along the river to the highlands in the Blue Mountains. At the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute, browse artwork and exhibits showcasing the lives and history of regional tribes. Attend a show, open house or arts workshop at Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, which provides the community with opportunities for artistic development. At McKay Creek National Wildlife Refuge, sneak a peek at a wide variety of wildlife and plants. Wildhorse Resort & Casino is your homebase for lodging and entertainment, offering comfortable suites plus indoor and outdoor pools, a sauna, cineplex, casino, bowling and arcade.
The Burns Paiute Tribe in Southeast Oregon in Burns were small peaceful bands who roamed extensively in central-eastern Oregon. They were gatherers and hunters who survived on seeds, bulbs, plant fibers, berries, roots and wild animals. Shop for authentic Indigenous American jewelry and art at Oard’s Gallery, or browse the arts-and-crafts stands at the annual Burns Paiute Reservation Day Powwow. Hike the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness area in Malheur National Forest to see vista after breathtaking vista, then sleep under the stars in a tent or cabin within the forest.
Exploring the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Pendleton
The Klamath Tribes in Klamath Falls were hunter-gatherers that claimed the east slopes of the Cascades and the adjoining desert areas from the Deschutes River headwaters and beyond Oregon’s borders – including what is now Crater Lake National Park. Surrounded by steep slopes and lush forests ideal for hiking or cross-country skiing, Crater Lake was formed by the collapse of an ancient volcano and is the deepest lake in the USA. For a glimpse into the past, check out the logging museum, pioneer village and interpretive signs at Collier Memorial State Park. The Favell Museum features over 100,000 Indigenous American artifacts such as arrowheads, obsidian knives, tools clothing and basketry. KLA-MO-YA Casino has over 340 Vegas-style slot machines and is located next to a Sleep Inn & Suites for convenience and comfort.
The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians (Nahankhuotana) in Roseburg claimed the vast area surrounding the Umpqua watershed for trade, hunting and gathering. Deer, elk, salmon and steelhead were diet staples, in addition to huckleberries and other foraged plants. Plunge into the cool waters of the natural water slide at South Umpqua Falls in the Umpqua National Forest, or hike the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Trail with its spectacular wildflowers and views of the Rogue basin. Takelma Roasting Company, named after the local language, roasts several varieties of coffee, each with its own Takelma name. Recharge at the Seven Feathers Casino Resort and Creekside Hotel, which features freshly renovated rooms, a full-service spa and legendary performers on stage.
The Acker Rock Lookout in the Umpqua National Forest
The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs is made up of three main tribes: Warm Springs, Wasco and Paiute. These tribes lived in harmony for hundreds of years before white settlers arrived in the 1500s. At The Museum at Warm Springs, tribal culture comes to life through interactive, rotating exhibits from one of the largest and most complete collections owned by any Indigenous American tribe. Cast your line with Indigenous-owned Littleleaf Guide Service, which provides private fishing excursions on the Lower Deschutes River. The soon-to-open Warm Springs Commissary is revitalizing a historic structure that will house Indigenous-owned businesses, food trucks and an outdoor market. Fall asleep to the sound of the roaring falls and wake up to tribal members fishing from traditional wooden scaffolds at Sherars Falls rugged camping site (permit required).
Fly-fishing on the Lower Deschutes River with Littleleaf Guide Service
The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde are the Chasta, Rogue River, Umpqua, Molalla and Kalapuya. These are the surviving tribes of the original 29 bands that found their way to the area in the late 1800s. Explore the striking wood-clad Chachalu Museum and Cultural Center featuring artwork and heritage pieces such as traditional tribal cedar carvings and murals. Meander Fort Yamhill State Heritage Area, home to one of the best archeologically preserved forts in the Northwest. The Lodge at Spirit Mountain Casino offers a variety of accommodations to fit any budget, with on-site dining and entertainment. Big Buck Campground’s creekside camping spots are perfect for a rustic experience with access to hiking trails.
Members of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde paddling on the Willamette River
More experiences nearby