Confluence Listening Circle at Chief Timothy Park
“When we look at this place, we reflect back in time, not just 200 years but deeper, we look at it from the different cultures that have lived here as well as the ecological history of these places.”
– Maya Lin
Here, near the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers, Nez Perce people lived and fished long before Lewis and Clark arrived in 1805. Today, the Listening Circle honors native traditions in a landscape that today remains similar to what the explorers described in their journals. Visitors will experience the Listening Circle and focus their attention on the breeze through the trees, the gentle sound of the water, and the muted browns, greens, and yellows of the enduring landscape that surrounds them.
1–The Listening Circle
The Listening Circle is a basalt amphitheater inspired by the Nez Perce blessing ceremony that took place here in 2005 where the women faced north, the men faced south, the elders faced east, and no one passed behind them. From above the arced basalt seating resembles ripples of water.
The Chief Timothy Park site was completed and dedicated in a Nez Perce ceremony in 2015.
Chief Timothy Park was chosen as a Confluence Project site by Nez Perce elders and Maya Lin. With collaboration from the Nez Perce Tribe, the Listening Circle was designed by Maya Lin with support from Maya Lin Studio, Greenworks Landscape Architecture and JE John Construction, with permitting from the US Army Corps of Engineers – Walla Walla The project was funded by the State of Washington – Department of Commerce, Asotin County with promotional support from Visit Lewis Clark Valley. Chief Timothy Park is owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers and managed by Northwest Land Management.
Directions to Chief Timothy Park
Chief Timothy Park is an island just off Highway 12, 9 miles west of Clarkston, WA. After passing through the park entrance, drive to the T and turn left. The trail to the Confluence Listening Circle begins at the north end of the farthest parking lot.
Watch “Stories from the River: The Nez Perce Wars” on Confluence’s Digital Library.
Confluence connects you to the history, living cultures, and ecology of the Columbia River system through Indigenous voices. We are a community-supported nonprofit that works through six art landscapes, educational programs, and public gatherings in collaboration with northwest tribes, communities, and the celebrated artist Maya Lin.