Fort Spokane Visitor Center

Culture / Visitor Center

Spokane, WA

A dramatic confluence of two rivers and two cultures.

Fort Spokane, part of Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, is located at the joining of the Columbia and Spokane Rivers. The fort that formerly stood on the site once kept the peace between encroaching Euro-American culture and Native Americans who had made this their home for millennia.

Our exhibits for the fort use immersive vignettes to tell two stories—one about historical Fort Spokane and its role in Euro-American settlement of the West, the other of its later use as the Fort Spokane Indian Boarding School. The boarding school was part of a nationwide effort to remove children from their homes and forcibly assimilate them into mainstream culture. Created in consultation with the Spokane and Colville Confederated tribes, these exhibits are the first at a National Park site to interpret this troubling chapter of American history.