Local Coast Salish

The Anacortes Museum is in the historic Carnegie Library Building at 1305 8th Street in the City of Anacortes, located in the homeland of the Samish People. On exhibit are some artifacts and interpretive panels containing photos and information created collaboratively with Coast Salish representatives of the Samish Indian Nation and the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community

“We’re Still Here” was a resonant title for a 2013 exhibit focused on the “since time immemorial” history and continued presence and vitality of Samish and Swinomish people on Fidalgo Island. For thousands of years, local Coast Salish Tribes maintained a culture centered around abundant saltwater resources such as salmon, shellfish and marine mammals, and upland resources such as cedar, camas, berries and wild game. They lived in large winter villages and in summer encampments that followed the seasonal cycle of resource gathering from the mouths of rivers and streams, to coastal shorelines, marine waters, and inland forests.

We’re Still Here: The Survival of Washington Indians, was an exhibit created by the Washington State Heritage Center and shown in Anacortes in 2013. It follows Washington's original inhabitants through a war over land, a clash over culture and a revival of Native tradition today. To enhance local context, Anacortes Museum staff worked closely with representatives of the Samish and Swinomish Tribes to develop exhibit panels interpreting the experiences of Fidalgo Island’s first people.

Samish interpretive panel and Swinomish interpretive panel from Anacortes Museum’s installation of the “We’re Still Here” exhibit:

Image of an Anacortes Museum exhibit panel about the Swinomish Tribe's history Image of an Anacortes Museum exhibit panel about the Samish Tribe's culture Opens in new window