Hibulb Cultural Center & Natural History Preserve is a museum on 50 acres of forest and wetlands on the Tulalip Reservation in Western Washington, north of Everett and the Snohomish River and west of Marysville. Here, you can experience the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest while learning about the history and culture of the indigenous Coast Salish Tribes.
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History of The Hibulb Cultural Center
The Hibulb Cultural Center & Natural History Preserve opened in 2011, realizing a dream of the Tulalip (pronounced Tuh’-lay-lup) people to preserve and share their rich history and cultural heritage. The Tulalip are successors in interest to the Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Skykomish, and other allied bands signatory to the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott.
The design of the building is inspired by the Tulalip people. The center includes an archaeological repository. It was the first Tribal facility certified by the state of Washington. The collections include historic canoes and archaeology from various sites throughout Snohomish County.
A goal of the museum is to unite the local tribal members through common cultural heritage. A wall features the names of all of the registered tribal members, both past and present. Cultural and educational classes, as well as a variety of events, are offered exclusively to tribal members as a way to facilitate connection.
The museum also facilitates lessons in Lushootseed, one of about 20 of the surviving Salish languages, spoken from northern Oregon to central British Columbia, and from the Pacific coast eastward into Montana and along the British Columbia-Alberta border.
Since opening thousands of visits have come to learn about these Pacific Northwest Indigenous peoples.
Visiting The Hibulb Cultural Center
Sitting on 50-acres of natural beauty, the cultural center is over 20,000 square feet. Among the exhibits, you will also find a replica longhouse.
During your visit, you have the opportunity to explore many aspects of the history, culture, and lifestyle of Coast Salish tribes. To facilitate your learning, there are many hands-on opportunities throughout the museum exhibits and natural surroundings.
You can see–and experience–salmon, cedar, and other natural elements of the Northwest that were important to these tribes. This multi-sensory approach provides a solid understanding of the local geography and how it sustained human life. Visitors can watch salmon during the spawning season, view majestic trees, birdwatch, and connect with nature in the area.
The Snohomish river and surroundings changed as white settlers became entrenched in the area. You can explore how the changes affected the Indigenous peoples. Maps dating as far back as 1854 are available for viewing. An on-site library is available for guest use.
A favorite feature for many is a visit to the museum is the traditional Longhouse replica. Here you can listen to recordings of Tulalip storytellers while sitting in the Longhouse.
The nearby Canoe Hall helps guests understand the importance and history of the canoe for the Tulalip people. Don’t miss the gallery honoring the warrior spirit and those who served in military service. Tribal members who served in the United States military are honored in this exhibit.
Temporary exhibits also rotate throughout the year. Past exhibits have included weaving crafts, Native American art, Coast Salish history, and even an exhibit about the skateboard!
Annual series offered at the center include films, lectures, poetry readings, storytelling, classes, workshops, and special events. The gatherings and presentations help preserve and share Pacific Northwest Indigenous culture and language with everyone.
Finally, in the gift shop, you can find books, home décor, clothing, jewelry, artworks, children’s items, and much more. All items are created by local Indigenous people and your purchases benefit local tribes.
Location: Hibulb Cultural Center & Natural History Preserve, 6410 23rd Avenue NE, Tulalip, WA 98271
When open: Closed Mondays
- HCC Members and Tulalip Tribal Members – FREE
- Adult (18yrs & over) – $10.00
- Senior (50+ yrs) – $7.00
- Student (6-17yrs) – $6.00
- Military & Veterans – $6.00
- Child (5yrs and under) – FREE
- Family (2 adults and up to 4 children) – $25.00
Discount tickets: Admission is FREE the first Thursday of every month, holidays excluded. Group rates are available. Membership is available which grants free access, a discount in the shop, guest passes, membership gifts, and more.
Website: The Tulalip Tribes Hibulb Cultural Center is More Than a Museum
Virtual Hibulb Center
For those who may not be able to visit the center, their website is full of information. Simply browse the photographs, art, videos, educational resources, and much more to learn about . Each section of the website is full of information and they’ve provided lots of external links and resources as well. Make sure to check out the videos section for history videos, lectures, conversations, cultural kits, artifacts appraisals, music, storytelling, dance, and much more. This section of the website provides hours of resources and information.
The Storytelling section of the website is an incredible way to dive into Indigenous culture and history from home. Here you’ll find the seven most important teachings of the Tulalip people complete with artwork. These are a great way to experience the museum even if you’re not able to come to the museum itself.