Town of Cathlamet awarded $7,500 heritage grant


January 9, 2020

The Town of Cathlamet has announced receipt of notification of an award of $7,500 from the Lewis & Clark Trail Stewardship Endowment for the design, construction and installation of two Chinook Heritage signs at confirmed sites in Cathlamet (Elochoman Marina and Queen Sally’s Park) along with directional signs (two on SR 4, two in town). The grant will pay for sign design and construction along with associated costs including consultation with a professional historian. All signage design and placement will be in consultation with the Chinook Indian Nation.

This project is unique in the lower Columbia area, bringing together for the first time Wahkiakum County jurisdictions and the Chinook Indian Nation, whose indigenous homeland includes the local environs where Wahkiakum and Kathlamet Chinookan bands occupied the land adjacent to the Columbia river in self-governing villages for thousands of years before the arrival of the Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery in 1805. The Chinook Indian Nation Tribal Council has endorsed the project, together with local partners including Port District #1 and the Town of Cathlamet. The Wahkiakum County Board of Commissioners also supported the town’s grant application.

The project as conceived will create initial signage for a projected Chinook Heritage Trail in the lower Columbia area, including Wahkiakum and Pacific County in Washington and Clatsop County in Oregon, representing the historic indigenous homeland of the Chinook Nation. Both confirmed sites are already under public ownership, including the Elochoman Marina (an existing Lewis & Clark heritage site) and Queen Sally’s Park (owned by the town) where oral history recounts that the Corps of Discovery drew water in November, 1805, during their journey downriver to the Pacific Ocean. The Queen Sally site is named for Queen Sally, a Kathlamet tribal member credited with spotting the arrival of the Corps as a girl, and a notable figure in the early history of the town.

Upon receiving notice of grant approval in the maximum amount available, Mayor Dale Jacobson stated: “We are very appreciative of the grant support from the Lewis & Clark Trail Stewardship Endowment along with endorsement by the Chinook Nation and our local partners. We hope this will be the start of renewed recognition and celebration of the unique Tribal heritage of Cathlamet, along with the pioneer heritage we have long honored.”


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