Friend of Confluence
Confluence connects people to the history, living cultures, and ecology of the Columbia River system through Indigenous voices. We are a community-supported nonprofit that works through five completed art landscapes, educational programs, and public gatherings in collaboration with northwest Tribes, communities, and the celebrated artist Maya Lin.
Confluence began as a bold idea in 2002. Two groups, considering similar questions separately, converged like two rivers heading toward the same ocean. Both were contemplating how to mark the upcoming Lewis and Clark Bicentennial. For Antone Minthorn, who at the time was Council Chairman for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon, the Bicentennial generated vexing questions: "How can this story include the Native perspective?" More importantly, "What is a legacy?"
Meanwhile, up and down the Columbia River, Jane Jacobsen and others agreed early on that they wanted the Bicentennial to generate something permanent—not just an event, but artwork that would leave a long-term imprint. When the two groups came together, they decided to create a series of art installations to commemorate the full history of the Columbia River system, not just a story about Lewis and Clark, but a story that began with Indigenous people. They saw a broader and deeper story about confluence. They agreed that the art should be designed by internationally acclaimed artist Maya Lin.
For generations, our region's origin story has been essentially "Lewis and Clark ‘discovered’ this place and the pioneers settled it." Our mission compels us to replace this tragically oversimplified story with a more holistic and inclusive view of history that includes the long-neglected voices of Indigenous cultures that still call this place home. Our organization’s collaborators include 13 higher education, 14 tribal, 28 government, and 11 visitor and convention bureau partners throughout the region. We are guided in our work by our 11-member Board of Directors, which is “majority minority” and includes seven Native Americans.
Confluence, Confluence Project
Tax id (EIN)
Arts & Culture
Indigenous & Native American, Youth & Children
Address1109 East Fifth Street
Headquarters1109 East Fifth Street
Portland, OR, US
Vancouver, WA, US
Pasco, WA, US, 99301
Clarkston, WA, US, 99403
Ilwaco, WA, US