On Saturday, August 11th, 2012, come learn about the culture and history of the Wanapum people with the Wanapum Native American Discovery Unit (WNADU) at Whitman Mission National Historic Site from 10:00am to 4:00pm. This event is free, and all ages are encouraged to attend.
The Wanapum live at Priest Rapids on the Columbia River, near the site of the old Priest Rapids Village and present-day Vantage, WA. Traditionally, they resided in tule mat lodges. Their successful salmon fisheries made them an important part of the network of trade and cultural exchange on the Columbia Plateau that included the Cayuse living in the Walla Walla Valley. The old village was flooded after the construction of the Priest Rapids and Wanapum dams in 1953, but the Wanapum's cultural identity remains strong.
The Wanapum Heritage Center now presents and preserves Wanapum culture. The WNADU, the Heritage Center's traveling component, is a custom trailer that will show park visitors the Wanapum way of life.
Enjoy learning about the Wanapum by exploring artifacts from the time before the dams were built, viewing a model of the old Priest Rapids Village, discovering the traditional foods and practices important to the tribe's modern culture, and speaking with members of the tribe.