Local Art at Tri-Cities Airport Highlights Native American Culture

Local Art at Tri-Cities Airport Highlights Native American Culture

Pasco, WA – The newest round of local artwork has been installed at the Tri-Cities Airport. The airport’s selections for 2022 were curated by the Airport Art Committee, the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute, and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Themed as “We Were, We Are, and We Will Be,” the exhibit provides a local historical and cultural perspective on Native Americans and their impact on the region while also educating passengers about the existence of the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute, the only museum on the Oregon Trail that tells the story of Western expansionism from a tribal point of view.

“We always appreciate the opportunity to showcase local artists at the airport,” said Buck Taft, Director of Tri-Cities Airport. “This year we’re using the sights and sounds of native cultures to enhance the experience of all our passengers traveling through our airport, giving them a glimpse into how exceptional our region was in the past, is now currently, and will continue to be in the future.”

The displays will be up through the year. Artist statements and sample art pieces are below:


WE WERE: At the Tamastslikt Institute, watch and listen for Spilyáy, the magical Coyote of Legend-Time featured in the stories of the local Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla Tribes. In the SEASONAL ROUND, the Natítayt (people) follow the pre-contact lifestyle of subsistence in the abundant natural world, reflecting its balance and order. Ambient sounds take the visitor to another time, like horses rumbling across the grassy plateau, storytellers in the winter lodge, the bell and worshipers in the church. Visitors will also hear a recreation of the 1855 Treaty Council of Walla Walla in the tribal language.


WE ARE: Resilient Tribal people are featured as soldiers and warriors, players in government and the regional economy, leaders in salmon recovery success, balancing the modern with traditions, and still abiding by the Law of the Salmon. When you enter the exhibit at the Tamástslikt Institute, it is apparent that contemporary Tribes are upbeat and active members of the larger community, major participants in such famed celebrations as the Pendleton Round-Up, and leaders in the region’s economic development. The institute brings the story alive with a 14,000 square foot exhibit space that incorporates artifacts, photography, video, and interactive multi-media in world class exhibits.


WE WILL BE: Achievements, aspirations, and concerns of the tribal community are voiced in this display. Tribal members young and old speak on video about their hopes and plans for a future that holds up the continuum of their unique culture while dealing with the disruption of the past two centuries in a healthful, holistic manner.

About the Airport

Tri-Cities Airport (PSC) is the largest airport in the Southeastern Washington and Northeastern Oregon region

and the third largest air carrier airport in the state of Washington. With connections to several major hubs, the

airport is served by Delta, Alaska, United, Allegiant, Avelo and aha! airlines. For more information about the airport, visit or follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.