Native American culture

Explore Native American culture through collections of art, museums and regional destinations.

portlandartmuseumThis Native American-made cedar trunk is on display at Portland Art Museum.
Portland Art Museum

This section was produced in collaboration with 1000 Nations and the Oregon Native American Chamber.


Depending upon the time of year, you may find a powwow, salmon fest or other indigenous event within easy reach during your stay in Portland. For a calendar of events, see the Portland Indian Leaders Roundtable website and its Native Connect e-newsletter.

Museums & art

Several spectacular collections of Native American art celebrate the rich cultural diversity of the region:

  • The Oregon History Museum houses one of the largest photo archives west of the Mississippi, documenting the changing landscape of the West over the last two centuries. The museum is also home to a vast array of Native American basketry, beadwork and carvings.
  • The Portland Art Museum displays traditional carving, basketry, paintings and sculpture from tribes throughout the Northwest. The museum’s Native American Art Council hosts lectures and public displays by local and regional artists throughout the year.
  • Many shops and galleries in Portland feature Indian art, jewelry, crafts and food products. One established gallery is Arthur Erickson Fine Arts in downtown.

Day trips

Explore tribally owned museums such as the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute on the Umatilla Reservation (210 miles east of Portland in Pendleton, Ore.) or the Museum at Warm Springs on the Warm Springs Reservation (100 miles southeast of Portland).

The various tribal museums, with their permanent and changing exhibits, strive to show not only who Native Americans of Oregon were before contact with Caucasians, but who they are today and who they plan to be in the future.

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