A beautiful and informative map featuring the First People of the Methow Valley is now available at the Methow Valley Interpretive Center (MVIC).
The map features trade routes, settlements and important fishing and gathering areas along the main corridor of the Methow Valley, along with 10 informational stops along the way. Users are encouraged to visit the interpretive sites noted on the map: the Methow Monument in Pateros, McFarland Creek Fishing area, the Methow Valley Interpretive Center and Native Plant Gardens on the TwispWorks campus, the Twisp Ponds Discovery Center, the Cottonwood Trail, the new Homestream Park in Winthrop, the Interpretive Loop Trail at Sun Mountain, the Sa Teekh Wa Trail in Winthrop, and Early Winters Campground.
The map includes a geological timeline from when the Methow Valley was covered in glaciers up to a mile thick. As the ice receded, the First People settled throughout the Methow Valley, where food and cultural resources were available. They established several trails and trade routes and traded goods with the coastal and plains regions. The descendants of these First People, the Methow, continue to live in this region — teaching and practicing cultural traditions passed down through hundreds of generations.
Featured on the map is an introduction to the Coyote Story and a large artful representation by Virgil “Smoker” Marchand, filled with images of important plants and animals to the First People. One of the Coyote Stories, as recorded by Ella E. Clark, and featured at the Fort Okanogan Interpretive Center reads, “Old-One told Coyote to teach the Indians the best way to do things and the best way to make things. Life would be easier and better for them when they were no longer ignorant. Coyote then traveled the earth and did many wonderful things.”
The map was created by a talented team of volunteers, professionals and Methow descendants: Randy Lewis, Crystal Miller, Arnold and Gail Cleveland, Chuck Borg, Mary Yglesia, Julie Grialou and myself. Funding came from two private and anonymous donors: one through the Methow Conservancy, and the other through MVIC. MVIC served as fiscal sponsor. The Confederated Colville Tribes (CCT) History/Archaeology program provided oversight and editing. Tara Gregg of Terra Firma Design was the graphic designer. Images and artwork were donated by the History/Archaeology Program of the CCT, MVIC, Methow Conservancy, Okanogan County Historical Society, artist Virgil “Smoker” Marchand, David Moskowitz, Tom Forker, Solveig Torvik, Randy Lewis and the Miller family. The map was approved by the Colville Business Council.
With less than 2,000 copies to distribute, distribution points are limited to a small sampling of school districts, museums and libraries in Okanogan County. The map is available at these locations: Pateros Museum and public library; in Twisp at the MVIC, Methow Arts and the public library; in Winthrop at the Shafer Museum, public library and Methow Conservancy; in Omak and Okanogan public libraries and the Okanogan County Historical museum; at the Fort Okanogan Interpretive Center; and at the Colville Tribal Museum at Coulee Dam.
The First People Map will be distributed to three pilot school districts in Okanogan County, with established MVIC field trip programs. As funding becomes available for more prints, distribution will grow to include all nine school districts in the county. Donations to the MVIC are welcome to help with these efforts.
Visit the MVIC website www.methowvalleyinterpretivecenter.com for information on locations highlighted on the map, including trail descriptions and directions.
The Methow Valley Interpretive Center, located on the TwispWorks campus in Twisp, features in-depth exhibits of the unique geology and natural history of the Methow Valley, and pre-European native inhabitants. While visiting the informational points along the map, please respect the land and personal property. Do not disturb archaeological sites and leave only footprints, take only memories.
The MVIC Map point of contact is David H. LaFever, Methow Valley Interpretive Center education coordinator, (509) 919-0686, email@example.com.