July 12, 2012

Kalispel Indian Community of the Kalispel Reservation


The Kalispel Indian Community of the Kalispel Reservation are a federally recognized tribe of Lower Kalispel people, located in Washington.

Official Tribal Name: Kalispel Indian Community of the Kalispel Reservation

Address:  P.O. Box 39, Usk, WA 99180
Phone: (509) 445-1147
Fax:  (509) 445-1705

Official Website: Kalispel Tribe 

Recognition Status: Federally Recognized

Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning:

Common Name / Meaning of Common Name: Kalispell, meaning “river/lake paddlers.”

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Region: Northwest Plateau

State(s) Today: Washington

Traditional Territory: The Kalispel people are thought to have come from British Columbia. In the 18th century, Blackfeet people pushed them from the Great Plains to Pend d’Oreille River and Lake Pend Oreille. In 1809, the North West Company opened a trading post in their territory. A Roman Catholic mission was founded in the 1840s. The Upper Kalispel were forced onto an Indian reservation in Montana, while the Lower Kalispel remained on their homelands in Washington.

Confederacy: Salish 

Treaties: The Lower Kalispel tribe, except for one band,  refused to sign a treaty proposed by the US government in 1872, which would have removed them from their ancestral lands. Non-Natives claimed reservation lands under the Homestead Act, and economic opportunities for tribal members were minimal.The other band of Lower Kalispel, along with the Upper Kalispel were moved to a reservation in Montana.

Reservation: Kalispel Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land

The Kalispel Reservation was formed in 1914.
Land Area:  4,557-acres
Tribal Headquarters:  Usk, Washington
Time Zone:  Pacific

Population at Contact: By  1875, there were only 395 Lower Kalispel.

Registered Population Today:  Over 400 members. About 1/3 live on the Reservation, 1/3 live in Spokane, and 1/3 live throughout the rest of the United States.

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Bands, Gens, and Clans

Related Tribes: Upper Kalispel of Montana

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Clothing: They traditionally made clothing from rabbit pelts and deer hides. They embellished the hides with dyes, paints, beads, and porcupine quills.

Housing: In the summer, they sometimes used tipis. In winter they lived in tule mat huts.

Subsistance: The Kalispel Indians were semi-nomadic hunters, diggers and fishermen.

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US Tribes K to M
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