The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation

The Museum At Warm Springs is chartered by the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon and opened in 1993 as a 501(c)(3) educational institution. We exists as an answer to a question that has troubled all Native Americans and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs:

“Can this nation’s indigenous peoples take meaningful steps on their own initiative, under their own control, to halt the erosion of their traditions, the dispersal of their sacred artifacts, and the loss of their very identity as a culture?”

After 25 years the answer to this question is, decidedly YES.


The 25th Anniversary

The Museum At Warm Springs is celebrating 25 years as a community treasure and key cultural resource to perpetuate the culture and heritage of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. To mark this milestone, The Museum will present a year-long program highlighting significant events, individuals and activities integral to our mission.

“It is a treasure beyond measure and if there is anything I want to “stimulate” it is the perpetuation of this very special institution…there is no better place and value than helping—even in a small way—the Museum At Warm Springs.”  – Victor Atiyeh (Governor of Oregon 1979-1987)


The Museum at Warm Springs

The mission of The Museum At Warm Springs is to preserve, advance, and share the knowledge of the cultural, traditional and artistic heritage of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

The Museum achieves this through educational exhibitions and programs that raise and inspire awareness of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and other indigenous tribes.

Museum Exhibitions

The Changing Exhibit Gallery features special opportunities to experience the art, history and culture of the Tribes, including: 

Twanat: Celebrate Our Legacy” opened March 17, runs until May 26 and honors the creation and opening of The Museum in Warm Springs in March, 2013.

Memory of the Land: Treaty of the Middle Columbia River Tribes and Bands” is this year’s featured exhibit. “Memory of the Land” will open June 21 and run through November 3. Since time immemorial, it has been the Tribes responsibility as protectors of the land to follow the unwritten laws of the Creator.

From 1855 until now, it is still the Tribes’ responsibility to continue as stewards of the land. A special alcove in “Memory of the Land” will display the case that houses the selected Treaty pages.

Art & History

The Museum’s record is one of collecting, exhibiting, and teaching the history, culture and heritage of the Warm Springs, Wasco and Paiute tribes–The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. The Permanent Exhibit provides a glimpse of historic life among the Tribes. The Museum’s Archives preserve historic photographs and documents for future generations.

The Museum has accomplished its mission with engaging exhibitions and workshops made possible by strong community involvement. It is the repository of priceless artifacts. It is a place where Warm Springs children learn about their arts and history, and where anyone can experience the dynamic Tribal heritage that has flourished in this region for centuries.

The Museum presents an annual Tribal Youth Exhibit, displaying the creativity and imagination of Tribal children from pre-school through high school. At the Annual Tribal Member Art Exhibit, adult artists display talents ranging from the creation of amazing bead work regalia to producing compelling documentary films. Annual summer exhibits have ranged from “Toi Maori: The Eternal Thread” with the Pataka Museum of New Zealand, to the “Art of Ceremony: Regalia of Native Oregon with the Hallie Ford Museum. In-house summer exhibits have included “Kindred Spirits: The Life and Art of Lillian Pitt” and “Celestial Visions.”

Canoe Journeys

In the history of the modern day Columbia River Gorge, tribes of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation referred to the sacred place as We’Muł (Kiksht), N’Chi Wana (Ichishkin), and Pabahuudu (Numu).

In the midst of relocation to the reservation, the people not only left their homelands, but also left behind beautiful works of art that included carvings, basketry, pottery, petroglyphs, structures, and canoes among many others. For thousands of years, the people of the big river used Canoes to travel up, down, and across the river as part of their livelihood.

The canoes were carved from ancient cedar trees from steep valleys of the Gorge. In the midst of moving inland to the reservation with stipulations in harvesting from the Big River, the people slowly began to lose touch with the ancient art of the canoes and the spiritual journeys within.

For several years, members of the Warm Springs community have connected with other Native Communities through spiritual Tribal canoe journeys. Those members came together to reintroduce canoeing and the spiritual connection to water that has been present since time immemorial.

Under the combined direction from cultural leaders, top management, youth programs, and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs now owns a 36’ canoe, which is based at The Museum. The Museum is fiscal sponsor of the canoe family. The canoe received the name N’chi Wana on March 27th, 2010 at Indian Park on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.

Tribal Canoe Journey has made it possible for our youth to stay connected to our ancient way of life, our culture, our heritage. We have also made a “safe” and positive place for our youth be be drug and alcohol free, and for them to know there’s much to learn in a healthy environment. Another major accomplishment is bringing together people, taking them through educational experiences, working together, and at the end of a journey, they are connected, they have bonded, they have made a family.

Connect With Us

The Museum At Warm Springs
2189 US-26
Warm Springs, OR 97761