Main Gallery

In the Museum’s Main Gallery, explore the economic, domestic, and ceremonial lives of Northwest Coast peoples, from ancient times to the 20th century. Learn how transportation played a key role in the economic and political history of the region. Explore the history of regional and global trade, technological, social and artistic change, and the everyday lives of the peoples of the region.

lobby main-gallery monument hall-of-nations ruth-harvey treasures

Northwest Coast and Interior peoples developed an extensive network of trade alliances that facilitated trade across hundreds of miles beginning as early as 9000 years ago. When fur traders arrived on their shores, the coastal peoples used this network to exchange furs for metal, cloth and other domestic goods. While the economy changed, timeless works of ceremonial and performance art continued to be created to demonstrate and dramatize the identity, history and power of a chief and his lineage.