CATHLAMET — The Town of Cathlamet will be using a $7,500 grant from the Lewis & Clark Trail Stewardship Endowment to create two interpretive signs honoring Chinook Indian heritage.
The panels will be installed at Elochoman Marina and Queen Sally’s Park. In addition, directional signs will be installed on State Route 4 and inside Cathlamet.
The grant will pay for sign design and construction along with associated costs including consultation with a professional historian, the town said in a press release. Design and placement will be made in consultation with the Chinook Indian Nation.
The Queen Sally site is named for Queen Sally, a Kathlamet tribal member credited with spotting the arrival of the Lewis and Clark Expedition as a girl, and a notable figure in the early history of the town. The Kathlamet are one of the component parts of the Chinook Nation.
“This project is unique in the Lower Columbia area, bringing together for the first time Wahkiakum County jurisdictions and the Chinook Indian Nation, whose indigenous homeland includes the local environs where Wahkiakum and Kathlamet Chinookan bands occupied the land adjacent to the Columbia river in self-governing villages for thousands of years before the arrival of the Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery in 1805,” the town said. The Chinook Indian Nation Tribal Council and local partners have endorsed the project.
The overall project as conceived will create initial signage for a projected Chinook Heritage Trail in the Lower Columbia area, including Wahkiakum and Pacific County in Washington and Clatsop County in Oregon.
Upon receiving notice of grant approval in the maximum amount available, Town of Cathlamet Mayor Dale Jacobson said. “We are very appreciative of the grant support from the Lewis & Clark Trail Stewardship Endowment along with endorsement by the Chinook Nation and our local partners, We hope this will be the start of renewed recognition and celebration of the unique Tribal heritage of Cathlamet, along with the pioneer heritage we have long honored.”
Jacobson was mayor of Long Beach during key phases of Discovery Trail development.