Curriculum Expressions

(These are the curriculum expressions that are the backbone for Shana Brown (Yakama)’s unit, “A Thousand Celilos: Tribal Place Names along the Lewis and Clark Trail.”)

Big Ideas

Encountering Indigenous Peoples

Compare the differing perspectives of the encounter of Indigenous Peoples at Celilo, “The Great Mart.” See “Washington History” website to compare L&C accounts to tribal accounts Sahaptin Place Names: What Can They Teach Us? Eugene Hunn, University of Washington.

Unity through History

Since the introduction of non-­native people and industry to the area surrounding Celilo Falls, how has that area changed? See books AND stories: When the River Ran Wild! Celilo Tales and Celilo Storypath (inundation).

Traces of the Past Observed Today

What was life at Celilo like before Lewis & Clark? What is being done today to keep traditions alive?

See Celilo Storypath and Oregonian’s “Always Celilo: No Falls, Fewer Fish, Marginal Land. Why Stay?”


Enduring Understandings

  • The Columbia River tribes have made significant contributions to the region over time and continue to do so today.
  • Knowledge of tribal cultural, environmental, political, social, and economic factors affects how we understand the significance of an inundated waterfall.
  • Celilo Village has been affected by past, present, and future events occurring locally, regionally, nationally, and globally.
  • The decisions that were made about Celilo Falls before and after March 10, 1957 will affect the status of that place for years to come.


Essential Questions

Traces of the Past Observed Today—What was life like before Lewis and Clark?

  • How does the concept of “since time immemorial” relate to the world in the past, present, and future?
  • What are the creation stories of this place? How are these stories pertinent to understanding the world today?
  • What are the ancestral sites and scope of territory of American Indian tribes who have inhabited this place?
  • How have relationships between people and the natural and built environment of this place been viewed?
  • How have American Indian peoples traditionally
    • named, described, and interpreted this place?
    • interacted with and contributed to the natural environment of this place?
    • built relationships and communicated with each other in this place?
    • created and organized a built environment in this place?
    • transported themselves and goods through this place?
  • Why did other groups of people come to this place?

Encountering Indigenous Peoples—What happened during the Lewis and Clark journey?

  • How did members of the Lewis and Clark expedition describe and interpret this place?
  • How did American Indian peoples describe encounters with members of the Lewis and Clark expedition?

Unity through History—What happened during the last two hundred years?

Since the time of the Lewis and Clark expedition

  • Why did various groups of people come to this place?
  • What political changes have occurred in this place?
  • What changes in the natural environment have occurred in this place?
  • What changes in lifeways, social interaction, and communication among peoples have occurred in this place?
  • What changes in the traditional cultures and languages have occurred in this place?
  • What economic changes have occurred in this place?
  • How has the health and wellbeing of tribal peoples been affected?

What are we going to do in the future?

  • What does the future hold for this place?
  • How might tribal cultures, languages, cultural landscapes, place names, sacred sites, and communities of this place be preserved and sustained?
  • How can tribal peoples and other stakeholders work together to forge their future?