Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve in Tulalip is a great opportunity to learn about the culture of the Native peoples of Western Washington.
We happened to stumble across the center on the first Thursday of the month, which is their free admission day, but general admission rates can be found here. Currently it is $10 for adults, $6 for students, and 5 and under free, with a $25 family rate.
The visit starts with a movie in the Tulalip Longhouse, a beautiful theater room featuring the recorded tales of tribal storytellers. There are some special treats in store here, as the room interacts with the video to keep kids engaged.
Canoe Hall Exhibits
The first Hibulb Cultural Center exhibit after the movie is in honor of the warriors of the area people. The gallery shows the men and women of local tribes who have served our country in the military, drawing parallels between the warrior spirit of many years ago and that of today.
We spent some time looking at the pictures and learning the stories before moving on to more interactive exhibits. It was a good opportunity to discuss the U.S. history of conflicts with our nine-year-old.
Next is a walk through the canoe hall, focusing on the importance of the canoe in the culture of the Tulalip people. Models small and large show the various types of canoes used for different purposes on the local waterways.
A large model gives kids a chance to get inside and paddle their way down the river, using their imaginations to pretend they are on a local river. There is also a table with coloring sheets to keep the littlest members of your party entertained.
When we visited Hibulb Cultural Center, the temporary exhibit hall was hosting “Interwoven History: Coast Salish Wool,” which we loved! We are definitely fans of textiles, so we were excited to learn about the wool weaving tradition.
The exhibit offered many opportunities to get hands-on and explore how textiles play a role in the history of the Coast Salish people.
The main gallery features a beautiful history of the Tulalip people. With just the right mix of art, stories, and interaction, this museum is a great educational spot for all ages.
For those with tribal ancestry, there is even a chance to trace your lineage at the end! What a great way to keep connected with your roots and see where you come from.
Another favorite of ours in the Permanent Exhibits at Hibulb Cultural Center was the area where visitors can hear the story of the first basket in both English and the native language of the region.
The Tulalip Tribe is made up of successors in interest to the Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Skykomish, and other allied tribes and bands signatory to the 1885 Treaty of Point Elliott. You can learn more about their people here.
Plan Your Visit
The Hibulb Cultural Center is set on a 50-acre natural preserve which includes streams, wetlands, and stands of trees representative of the culture of the Tulalip Tribes. There is much to explore on a nice day!
Be sure to check out the event calendar, because there are frequent opportunities to see crafters, music, and storytellers. Without special events, plan for the 20,000 square foot museum to be about a 30-60 minute family stop.