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Cathlamet has been awarded of $7,500 from the Lewis & Clark Trail Stewardship Endowment to add heritage signs in town, according to a town press release.

The signs will include two Chinook Heritage signs at Elochoman Marina and Queen Sally’s Park and four directional signs, two on State Route 4 and two in town. According to the press release, the grant will pay for sign design, construction, installation and consultation with a historian.

The release said all work will be done in consultation with the Chinook Indian Nation, and that the Chinook Indian Nation Tribal Council endorsed the project along with Port District 1, the town of Cathlamet and the Wahkiakum County commissioners.

“This project is unique in the lower Columbia area, bringing together for the first time Wahkiakum County jurisdictions and the Chinook Indian Nation, whose indigenous homeland includes the local environs where Wahkiakum and Kathlamet Chinookan bands occupied the land adjacent to the Columbia river in self-governing villages for thousands of years before the arrival of the Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery in 1805,” the press release said.

The signs are the first part of a hoped-for Chinook Heritage Trail that would stretch across Wahkiakum and Pacific County in Washington and Clatsop County in Oregon, the press release said. The trail would represent “the historic indigenous homeland of the Chinook Nation.”

In the press release, Mayor Dale Jacobson said: “We are very appreciative of the grant support from the Lewis & Clark Trail Stewardship Endowment along with endorsement by the Chinook Nation and our local partners. We hope this will be the start of renewed recognition and celebration of the unique Tribal heritage of Cathlamet, along with the pioneer heritage we have long honored.”

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