Today, like the rest of America, Quileute people live modern lives, whether they live on or off the reservation. While stereotypes often show Indians in headdresses living in tipis, tribes in Western Washington lived in cedar longhouses. Most of these tribes still have longhouses today, but many use them strictly for community events and ceremonies (potlatches) for the purpose of name giving, marriages, and memorials and actually live in houses much like mainstream American families.
Though Quileutes have iPods, xBoxes, and BlackBerries, they also have an ancient language and a worldview shared among community members that reaches back to a time when the “animals were people.” It’s hard for some people to imagine that both modern life and traditional teachings can co-exist. They can and do.
Many visitors to La Push are disappointed to find ordinary people living very familiar lives. Many "twihards" have so little knowledge of modern Indian people that they don’t know what to expect on an Indian reservation. The Quileute are welcoming and have listed their calendar of events on their website. Come out for drum circle and dance and talk with the real Quileute people. But don’t expect Jacob and Billy Black to be there attending a Tribal Council meeting at First Beach.