We visited Washington & Oregon in part to familiarise ourselves with the Plateau Indians as opposed to the more well known Plains Indians. Research indicated good museums to see were;
The Wanapum Cultural Heritage Museum near Vantage, which covers the Wanapum Indians who never signed a peace treaty. This is small but very well put together, viewed from an Indian perspective, well worth seeing, free, and you CAN take photos.
The Fort Walla Walla museum at Walla Walla which covers the Plateau Indians in general, as well as the pioneers. This is a big exhibition, professionally laid out and very interesting. Though from an 'American' perspective, it forms an indepth background to the historical period on the Plateau to the present day, including buildings and farm equipement. $7 and well worth it, and you CAN take photos..
The Tamastslikt Cultural Institute at Pendleton which celebrates the traditions of Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla Tribes, and the impact of the settlers on the Oregon trail. This medium to large size exhibition is as seen from the Indian perspective, extremely well laid out and very interesting, $8, but free on the first Friday of the month, but NO photos!
And the Wallowa county museum, Joseph Oregon - a collection representing both the Nez Percé, and the local pioneers. This is a very amateur collection based on a donated local collectors lifetime collection, supplemented by current and former Wallowa County residents, it is just that - a muddled very amateur affair, of some interest. $4, NO photos There is little about the Nez Perce, apart from a copy of some dozen annotated paintings of the 1877 war from their perspective - very interesting, but difficult to follow in places. As interesting are the photos at the Nez Perce Homeland Project Exhibit near the main junction - look for the tepees outside.
All in all the 3 professionally laid out museums are well worth visiting, but the amateur affair is easily missable.
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