July 13, 2012

Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation


Twelve bands or tribes make up the federally recognized Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation indian tribe. Before the reservation era, each of these were separate tribes with their own culture and language.

The Nez Perce tribe is probably the best known tribe in Pacific Northwest history. Chief Joseph’s band of Nez Perce were the last tribe sent to the Colville reservation in Washington state and are now part of the Colville Confederacy, while the other Nez Perce bands were assigned primarily to the Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho and recognized by the US Government as a separate tribe. There are also a few Nez Perce in the present day Coeur d’Alene Tribe.

The other tribes included in the confederation on the Colville Reservation are the Colville Indians, the Wenatchee (Wenatchi) Indians, Nespelem Indians, Moses-Columbia (Sinkiuse-Columbia) Indians, Methow Indians, Okanogan Indians, , San Poil Indians, Entiat Indians, Chelan Indians, and the Lake (Sinixt) tribes.

In common conversation, the long official name Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation is often shortened, and they are referred to simply as the Colville tribe, to collectively mean all twelve tribes on this reservation.

Official Tribal Name: Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation

Address:  515 Birch, Coulee Dam, WA 99116
Phone and Email: Contact Directory

Official Website: 

Recognition Status: Federally Recognized

Alternate names:

Alternate spellings / Mispellings:

Name in other languages:

Region: Plateau

State(s) Today: Washington

Traditional Territory:

Confederacy: Colville Confederated Tribes, Salish 


Reservations: Colville Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land
Land Area:  
Tribal Headquarters:  Nespelem, WA
Time Zone:  Pacific

Population at Contact:

Registered Population Today:

Tribal Enrollment Requirements:

Genealogy Resources:


Name of Governing Body:  Colville Business Council
Number of Council members:   14 council members, including the executive officers.
Dates of Constitutional amendments: 
Number of Executive Officers:  A Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Secretary are appointed from within the 14 council members.


Staggered elections are held each year, with 7 council positions filled each year for a two year term. There is a Primary election in May and the General Election in June.

Language Classification 

Language Dialects:

Number of fluent Speakers:



Bands, Gens, and Clans

Related Tribes:

Traditional Allies:

Traditional Enemies:

Ceremonies / Dances:

Modern Day Events & Tourism:

Legends / Oral Stories:

Art & Crafts:






Economy Today:

Religion & Spiritual Beliefs:

Burial Customs:

Wedding Customs

Newspapers: Colville Tribal Tribune  

Historical Leaders:

Chief Joseph – Famous Nez Perce chief

Chief Moses –





Drum Groups:


Other Famous Contemporary People: 

Catastrophic Events:

Tribe History:

In the News:

Further Reading:

A Necessary Balance: Gender and Power Among Indians of the Columbia Plateau – Examine the balance of power and responsibility between men and women within each of the eleven Plateau Indian tribes who live today on the Colville Indian Reservation.  

US Tribes C to D
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