People looking at an exhibition at the Whatcom Museum

People of the Sea and Cedar: A Journey Through the Tribal Cultures and History of the Northwest Coast

Lightcatcher Building

Ongoing, Lightcatcher

People of the Sea and Cedar, in the second floor gallery of the Lightcatcher building, shares the history and art of the Northwest Coast people, blending both historical and contemporary perspectives. This exhibit features artifacts from the Museum’s collection, such as Coast Salish artwork and carvings, woven blankets, hand-made tools, cedar hats, clothing, and baskets. The exhibit provides hands-on learning experiences, a Lummi language interactive, and videos showcasing Lummi and Nooksack weavers and carvers. Themes of cultural knowledge, art and symbolism, lifestyles, and community present the Northwest Coast tribes as vibrant, living cultures who honor their past while building cultural and economic futures for their people.

The Whatcom Museum has been making connections with linguistics and Native speakers throughout the Pacific Northwest to expand the Native language component of People of the Sea and Cedar. We will continue to develop our Lummi language translations and recordings together with Lummi Nation instructor Smak i’ya’, Matt Warbus, tribal elders, and Lummi Nation students. We look forward to sharing more.