Learning Targets 

  • I can identify the original Indigenous tribes of the Northwest Coast.
  • I can name several sacred Indigenous spaces in the United States, and I can explain their importance to the Indigenous people.
  • I can identify Catherine Troeh’s role in Indigenous history.

Key Terms

  1. Cedar
  2. Guardian
  3. Bella Coola 
  4. Chinook
  5. Bentwood
  6. Sacred
  7. Pacific Ocean
  8. Petroglyphs
  9. Red Butte
  10. Blythe Intaglios
  11. Bear Butte 
  12. Devils Tower

Northwest Coast Tribes

Learn more about the original Northwest cost tribes:


Cedar houses


Bentwood box, wall plaques, and more.


Fish, berries, roots

Spiritual Practices

Guardian Spirit


Zenith, Sun god, additional deities.


 Issues in the Communities

Just like the structures, temples and churches that are sacred to many of the world’s major religions, many places in nature have been very-long regarded as sacred places by the Indigenous peoples who reside in their proximity. These sacred places can be seen in many different natural forms like rock formations, petroglyph sites, valleys, streams, and mountains.

Unfortunately, there exists a major lack of knowledge about these sacred sites to the general public, as well as a long history of disrespect by those seeking their abundant natural resources. Many industries, especially industries like the mining industry that disrupt the natural environment. 


Prominent Indigenous

Indigenous Story


Discussion Questions

  1. How are Indigenous sacred spaces similar to the sacred spaces from many of the world’s major religions like temples for Islam and churches for Christianity? Why is this important to take note of?

Writing Prompts

  1. What were Catherine Troeh’s contributions to the Indigenous Peoples of the U.S.? 
  2. Describe a place that is sacred to you. What makes a place sacred?
Work Cited

“Catherine Herrold Troeh (1911-2007) – Find a…” Find a Grave,

“Catherine Troeh.” Academic Influence, 

Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne. An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States. Beacon Press, 2015. 

Gottardi, Francesca. “Sacred Sites Protection and Indigenous Women’s Activism: Empowering Grassroots Social Movements to Influence Public Policy. A Look into the ‘Women of Standing Rock’ and ‘Idle No More’ Indigenous Movements.” MDPI, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 23 July 2020,

Krol, Debra Utacia. “How Legal and Cultural Barriers Keep Indigenous People from Protecting Sacred Spaces off Tribal Land.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 17 Aug. 2021,

“Sacred Sites.” Association on American Indian Affairs,