A short drive from Wildhorse Casino and Resort is the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute, a museum and interpretive center that tells the story of local American Indian culture and history.

The Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla peoples have lived on the Columbia Plateau, specifically what is now northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington, since time immemorial. In 1855, the U.S. government brought the three bands together and established the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation now has more than 2,800 tribal members who continue to care for and live on the land of their ancestors. Tamastslikt Cultural Institute — pronounced Tah-MAHST-Slicked, with the accent on the second syllable — is a storehouse for the tribes’ history and vibrant culture. More than just a museum, the $18 million center features a 14,000-square-foot exhibit space that incorporates artifacts, photography, video and interactive multi-media in world class exhibits. Its museum store sells American Indian arts and crafts as well as books, music and uniquely designed Pendleton Woolen Mills Indian blankets.

Tamastslikt is only one of five Oregon cultural institutes along the Oregon Trail that tells the story from the American Indian point of view. In addition to exhibits, Tamastslikt hosts events year-round such as the annual Salmon Walk in mid-August. The Museum Store regularly hosts authors for book signing and talks on their work.

Tamastslikt is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April to October, and Monday through Saturday November through March. Free admission and deep discounts are available to card-carrying members of Tamastslikt's partner institutions, the Oregon Historical Society, the Washington State Historical Society and the Fort Walla Walla Museum.

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