“The Puyallup People: First on the Waterway” – exhibit at Foss Waterway Seaport

The Foss Waterway Seaport proudly presents “The Puyallup People: First on the Waterways”, an exhibit exploring the history of the Puyallup People and their intimate connection to the Salish Sea and the Puyallup River. The exhibit opens Feb. 15 on the free Third Thursday.
Photo of the Puyallup People's exhibit at the Foss Waterway Seaport
Photo Credits: Puyallup Tribe- Historic Preservation Department

The Foss Waterway Seaport proudly presents “The Puyallup People: First on the Waterways”, an exhibit exploring the history of the Puyallup People and their intimate connection to the Salish Sea and the Puyallup River. With significant support from the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, this exhibit is sure to expand your knowledge about the tribe through a variety of exciting artifacts, interpretative panels, and multimedia installations.

The exhibit opens on February 15, 2018 from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. at the Foss Waterway Seaport, 705 Dock Street in Tacoma. Because the exhibit’s grand opening will occur during Third Thursday, admission will be free during that time.

“The Foss Waterway Seaport maritime museum is located on Puyallup land, and this is an important story to tell,” said Seaport Museum Executive Director Wesley A. Wenhardt.

The exhibit shows the historical and traditional connections between the Puyallup people and the waterways, how the tribe persevered in maintaining those connections, and what the relationship looks like today. The exhibit highlights the life of the Puyallup People in the South Sound, including canoe building and fishing technique, resource utilization, diet, recreation, world view, and contact with other tribes and later explorers.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the exhibit as it was being curated in December 2017:

Sponsors and financial support

This special exhibit has received financial support from the City of Tacoma Landmarks Preservation Commission’s 2016 Heritage Project Grant, The Puyallup Tribe, TOTE Maritime, Port of Tacoma, Bruce Dees & Associates, Connelly Law Offices, Foss Waterway Development Authority, Frederickson Power LP, Georgio’s Catering Company, P n J Machining, Inc., Pro Call Center, Inc., Sound Glass Sales, Inc., T.R. Trucking, Inc., Tacoma Community College, and Foss Waterway Seaport. The exhibit was curated by Chris Erlich and fabricated by KelTech Plastics of Tacoma.

For more information

  • Press release on the “Puyallup People: First on the Waterway” exhibit by the Foss Waterway Seaport, a TWA member.

Photo of the Puyallup People in a canoe by the Puyallup Tribe- Historic Preservation Department. Provided to TWA by the Foss Waterway Seaport. Information provided by the Foss Waterway Seaport – thank you!

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