The Lifeways, Landscapes and Wildlife Interpretive Program is a series of workshops, lectures, demonstrations, hands-on student experiences, and cultural events that interprets and emphasizes the tangible connection between environment and people.  This program aims to facilitate the understanding of the local cultural and historical impacts using the following components:

Artist in Residence Series: The Plankhouse hosts a series of four Artists-in Residence demonstrations of Chinookan arts and culture during the months of April-June.  These artists are available 3 days a week for school groups.  Past artists have demonstrated basket making, traditional foods and preparation techniques, and paint-making with a variety of minerals, ores, and clays.  To coordinate your school group trip to the Refuge with the Artist in Residence Series contact Josie Finley at or call (360) 887-4106.

Second Sunday Series: The Plankhouse hosts a series of presentations on Chinookan culture, archaeology, and natural history the second Sunday of every month from April-October.

Traditional Skills Workshops: Experienced teachers lead workshops on subjects ranging from cattail mat making (including harvesting) to wapato gathering/preparation to flintknapping and basket weaving, to name just a few.

Seasonal Gathering Series: The plankhouse hosts cultural gatherings highlighting significant changes in the seasonal round and focusing on resources and traditions specific to the season.  One of our more notable seasonal gatherings is the Autumn Salmon Bake which is included in the Birdfest festivities in October.

See our calendar for a list of upcoming Lifeways, Landscapes and Wildlife activities in the Plankhouse or contact the Plankhouse Coordinator at (360) 887-4106 for more information.  You can also receive our newsletter and notifications of upcoming events by contacting and requesting to be added to the email list.


2014 Second Sunday Event Series

The weekend of August 9th and 10th, experience traditional tools, technologies, language and art of Chinookan Peoples of the Lower Columbia River. As part of our annual Artist-In-Residence series, on August 9th local artist’s Local artists Greg Robinson (Chinook Indian Nation) and Greg Archuleta (Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde) will be in the Plankhouse demonstrating and exhibiting Chinookan art, basketry, carving and First Foods. Justin Robinson (Chinook Indian Nation) will be teaching and sharing Chinuk Wawa, the heritage language of Chinookan Peoples. On August 10th we will expand our gaze to explore technologies that have been used by Chinookan people and human ancestors around the globe such as archery, atlatl throwing, flintknapping (making arrowheads and other stone tools) and making fire by friction. Greg Robinson, Greg Archuleta, and Justin Robinson will also be in the house showcasing traditional art and language of Chinookan people. There will also be special activities for children all day. Participation in many of these demonstrations is encouraged!
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