Coast Salish Style Longhouse


In partnership and close collaboration with Coast Salish tribal nations and the Native American Student Union at Western Washington University (WWU), the university seeks to build a traditional Coast Salish style longhouse. The longhouse will honor the historic importance of place which WWU occupies. WWU acknowledges its responsibility to promote educational opportunities for Native students. Working in partnership with tribal nations, the presence of a longhouse on the Western campus will help the university increase recruitment of Native students and enhance their retention and graduation.

Building Design

  • The longhouse will reflect traditional Coast Salish architecture and design.
  • The longhouse will support Native students by providing a gathering and ceremonial space to promote cultural exchange and understanding.
  • Longhouse structure will include a gathering hall, indoor and outdoor kitchens, and student lounges.
  • The University will assemble a group which will include Native students, faculty, staff, alumni and tribal community members who will advise on the design for the longhouse.
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The vision for a Coast Salish longhouse on WWU’s campus originated from the Native American Student Union, as Native students sought to find ways for the University to address current and historical issues faced by American Indian students on WWU’s campus. The longhouse style concept has gained momentum with the establishment of the WWU Office of Tribal Relations.

  • WWU Tribal Relations advises the President on legislative and policy matters of concern to tribes and First Nations.

  • The Tribal Relations office functions as support for fostering working relationships with the twenty-nine federally recognized tribes across the state of Washington.

  • The Tribal Relations office recognizes
    the partnership opportunities with tribal communities as a way to enhance the support and success of Native students.

  • The Tribal Relations office works to encourage the development of programs, events, and activities designed to educate the campus community and increase capacity to serve American Indian, Alaska Native, and First Nation communities.

To learn more about how you can support the creation of WWU’s longhouse, please contact Tribal Liaison Laural Ballew at or (360) 650-3110.