We’ve been traveling through Northeastern California and Oregon over the past few days, taking a little vacation. Yesterday we were in Bend, so we went out to see the High Desert Museum. I was very impressed by the exhibit showing Indian Nations of the Columbia River Plateau. Far too many of the museums that I’ve visited focus almost entirely on Indian cultures before European contact, helping to perpetuate the “Vanishing Indian” myth that should itself have vanished long ago. This exhibit devotes most of its space to showing how Indian societies have adapted from the time the Europeans first arrived until the present, preserving some parts of their cultures while changing others. Surviving though numerous changes in both White social attitudes and government policies, it was the Indians themselves who decided how to adapt to new technologies and new ways of life without losing their identity in the process. This exhibit appears to have been designed in close cooperation with the various tribes of the Plateau region. The next time you’re near Bend, it’s definitely worth a stop.