Native American Culture in the Pacific Northwest

Idaho and Montana are rich in Native American heritage.  Our local tribes are involved in many wildlife and fishery projects, as well as offering visitors a glimpse into their past and their future.

In North Idaho, the Kootenai Tribe maintains a hatchery for raising and releasing the endangered Kootenai River white sturgeon.  This intriguing and bizarre prehistoric fish has a history that extends beyond multiple ice ages.  Visitors to the hatchery can talk with tribal members and  learn about their efforts to re-introduce this fish to the Kootenai River eco-system, as well as view the the baby white sturgeon and other fish that are being raised there.

The Cataldo Mission, built in 1848 , stands tribute to the inginuity and craftmanship of early Native Americans in tandem with Jesuit missionaries.  Sitting on a grassy knoll overlooking the Coeur d’Alene River and facing I-90, the mission is Idaho’s oldest standing building.  The Old Mission Park encompasses a visitors center featuring Native American history, a picnic grounds, walking paths and 2 ancient cemetaries.  The annual Feast of the Assumption Pilgrimage of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe is an event not to be missed in August, held at the Cataldo Mission grounds.

The People’s Center, located near Flathead Lake, Montana encourages visitors to participate hands-on in Native American crafts and history.  Because the museum exhibits stay with the traditional use of oral history, personal native guides will translate for visitors as they explore the artifacts and stories of these proud tribes.  Cultural education classes such as beading, basketry, traditional costume, Native Games and Tribal Language are held regularly and the public is encouraged to participate.  The Peoples Center is a perfect place to experience the rich, cultural heritage of the Kootenai, Salish and Pend d’Oreille tribes.

Gain a Blackfeet perspective of Glacier National Park and the Going to the Sun Road by taking a tour narrated by a lifelong tribal member. The tour concentrates on Glacier’s natural features relevant to the Blackfeet Nation, past and present.  Visitors will gain valuable insight into the cultural past of the land known to the Blackfeet as the “Backbone of the World”

Call TMI Tours at 1-800-975-7775 or email us at [email protected] for more information and reservations.