Canoe Life and Lords of the Inland Waters

Clark County Historical Museum will continue its 2019 First Thursday Speaker Series on Thursday, July 11, with “Canoe Life: Traveling with Our Ancestors” and “Lords of the Inland Waters.” Doors will open at 5 p.m. and the event will begin at 7 p.m.

These joint presentations will explore the relationships that Southwest Washington Native American Nations have had, and continue to have, with the region’s rivers and waterways. The evening’s featured presenters will be Tanna Engdahl, Cowlitz Tribe Spiritual Leader, and Sam Robinson, Chinook Indian Nation Vice Chairman.

“Centuries before European arrival, the Cowlitz designed and created the perfect river transporter: cruiser and freighter rolled into one. We still have a tribal carver whose hands are guided by the Ancestors,” said Engdahl, whose presentation is titled “Lords of the Inland Waters.”

Robinson’s presentation, “Canoe Life: Traveling with Our Ancestors,” will recount his experiences in the canoe, including ceremonies and tribal stories.

“Our ancestors had relationships with people all along as they put out of the mouth of the Columbia River and they would head north and south,” Robinson said. “And it is all-important for us Chinook people to travel on these journeys…because you are keeping those relationships.”

CCHM is honored to have members of Southwest Washington Native American Nations present this event and share this window into Southwest Washington’s past with the community.

The CCHM First Thursday Speaker Series is sponsored by the Clark County Historic Preservation Commission. General admission is $5; seniors and students are $4; children under 18 are $3; and the evening is free with a CCHM membership. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early, as it is first-come, first-served seating.

For more information, contact the museum at 360-993-5679 or by email at

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