Downtown Spokane American Indian Highlights

Discover Spokane's American Indian history and American Indian artwork and literature on this short walking tour of Riverfront Park.

Downtown Spokane American Indian Highlights

Spokane, Washington 99201, United States

Created By: Kauffman & Associates

Tour Information

This short walking tour of Riverfront Park and the Spokane Falls explores Spokane's American Indian history and current events; the importance of the Spokane Falls as a gathering place for Native peoples; and American Indian art, culture, and poetry.

The tour was created by Kauffman & Associates, Inc., as a gift for those attending the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) 2016 Mid Year Conference in Spokane, the Spokane Tribe and other local tribes, and the people of Spokane.

Information about sights will pop up on your phone when you reach them, or you can touch the numbered spot on your map to see details. You can skip sights, as well.


Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

1
Gathering at the Falls

The Gathering at the Falls Pow Wow takes place every year in Riverfront Park with activities centered here in the Lilac Bowl. The history of this event and the significance of gathering at the Spokane River goes back generations. It has ... Read more
2
Totem Poles on Canada Island

Expo '74, the first environmentally themed World's Fair, opened in Spokane in May 1974. Native American and First Nations heritage was a focus. There were demonstrations of tepee building, traditional garments, and traditional dances. Canad... Read more
3
Bridge from Smoke Signals

This is the bridge from the final scene in the movie "Smoke Signals," where Victor throws his father's ashes over the railing. The scene features the poem "How Do We Forgive Our Fathers?" by Dick Lourie How do we forgive our Fathers? Maybe ... Read more
4
Spokane Falls

The Salish word for the Spokane Falls is Stluputqu, meaning "swift water." For countless generations, the Sp’q’n’I (Spokane) Tribe’s central gathering place was at these falls where tribal members met to fish and trade. In June of... Read more
5
Salmon Chief sculpture

When the three Spokane Indian bands and other tribes gathered here to fish, chiefs were elected to keep order and keep the peace. One very important chief was the Salmon Chief who was in charge of organizing the fishing and making sure the... Read more
6
Women drying salmon sculpture

Look uphill to see additional artwork by Virgil “Smoker” Marchand. These sculptures were also installed here in 2014. While men were charged with fishing at the Spokane Falls, women worked to preserve the fish for the long winter ahead.... Read more
7
Sherman Alexie Poem (The Place Where Ghosts of Salmon Jump)

This poem was installed here in a spiral, overlooking the Spokane Falls, when the new downtown library was built nearby in 1995. In the poem, author Sherman Alexie, a Spokane Indian, wrote about the creation story for the Spokane Falls and ... Read more

 

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