Colville Confederated Tribes Museum
The Museum near the Grand Coulee Dam
A day-long loop through the Colville Indian Reservation, with historical and geologic interest, and plenty of surprises along the way. Leave early in the day, and you will have plenty of time to explore.
To start your trip, drive to Coulee Dam. From Spokane, take Hwy 2 east to Wilbur. At Wilbur, take Hwy 174 to Grand Coulee.
The first stop is a museum in Coulee Dam.
This museum is filled with history collected by the Colville Confederated Tribes (Moses/Columbia, Wenatchee, Okanogan, Entiat-Chelan, Methow, Nez Perce, Palus, Nespelem, Colville, San Poil and Lake). A gift center occupies the ground floor, where you can buy Native crafts, quilts, books, cards, posters, etc, all related to Native culture. Jim Boyd's music is sold here. He is ne of our favorite musicians. Especially we like listening to his songs while driving on our small expeditions. There is also a large stock of videos which can be played to explain the geology and history of the area.
Upstairs is the museum. In the entryway, next to a stuffed buffalo, is a well-done mural depicting the Nez Perce Trail. Then there are the photographs. This is a huge, labeled collection of black and white photos not just of the leaders of these tribes, but of other tribal members, and of the land before it was developed.
Inside the main room are displays of basketry, beadwork, clothing and tools from this area. A diorama at the end depicts the traditional salmon fishing so important to the area, and a mural above the door shows Kettle Falls before it was submerged by the dam. Other artwork by local artists is also displayed.
The museum: Don't let the name fool you; this wonderful little museum is not located in Colville. Also don't let anyone tell you it is in Coulee City. Rather, it is in the little town of Coulee Dam, on the
, just across from the Grand Coulee Dam. From the town of Grand Coulee, cross the bridge to Coulee Dam. The road curves past the Casino and a grocery store, and on the left, you will see a large brown A-frame former church that now houses the Tribal Musuem. It's address is 512 Mead Way, Coulee Dam, Washington 99116 Open 10am - 6pm
Roadside Geology of Washington
This book is especially valuable on this trip.