Next time you are hiking or biking the 40-mile loop trail north of Troutdale Airport, stop and take in the interpretive sign resulting from our partnership with local native american tribes. In September, we celebrated the unveiling with members of the Grand Ronde tribes.
The sign honors the tribal history and cultural significance of the confluence of the Sandy River delta and Columbia River system. This convergence of rivers provided food and trade for the original Chinookan peoples and was one of the areas used by various tribes in their seasonal rounds of fishing, gathering and preparing food for consumption and trade. Smelt and salmon ran the rivers; elderberries and camas filled the wetlands; and wapato bulbs rooted into the rivers’ banks. Close to here, Nechacolee Village, meaning “Stand of Pines,” was located where Blue Lake Regional Park is today.
Over the years, we have consulted with local tribes about cultural resources found on our land, creating valuable relationships. Today, Chinookan peoples continue to use this area for fishing and other resources, preserving cultural traditions and keeping heritage alive.