The Colville Indian Reservation is an Indian reservation in the north-central part of the state of Washington . This area is inhabited and managed by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation . The reservation is located in the southeastern section of Okanogan County and the southern half of Ferry County , but there are pieces of trust land in Eastern Washington, including lands located in Chelan County , just to the northwest of the city of Chelan .
In 1854 &quot;negotiations&quot; were conducted, &quot;particularly in the vicinity of white settlements, toward extinguishment of the Indian claims to the lands and the concentration of the tribes and fragments of tribes on a few reservations naturally suited to the requirement of the Indians, and located, so far as practicable, so as not to interfere with the settlement of the country.“ The photo is Home of Chief Joseph on Colville Reservation. The photo was taken in 1900.
During this time, continued settlement resulted in the Yakima War , which was fought from 1856 to 1859. Negotiations were unsuccessful until 1865, at which time Superintendent McKenny commented: &quot;From this report, the necessity of trading with these Indians can scarcely fail to be obvious. They now occupy the best agricultural lands in the whole country and they claim an undisputed right to these lands. White squatters are constantly making claims in their territory and not infrequently invading the actual improvements of the Indians. The state of things cannot but prove disastrous to the peace of the country unless forestalled by a treaty fixing the rights of the Indians and limiting the aggressions of the white man. The fact that a portion of the Indians refused all gratuitous presents shows a determination to hold possession of the country here until the government makes satisfactory overtures to open the way of actual purchase.&quot;
President Grant issued an Executive Order on April 9, 1872, to create an &quot;Indian Reservation&quot; consisting of several million acres of land, containing rivers, streams, timbered forests, grass lands, minerals, plants and animals. People from 11 tribes, including the Colville, the Nespelem, the San Poil, Lakes, Palus, Wenatchi, Chelan, Entiat, Methow, southern Okanogan, and the Moses Columbia, were &quot;designated&quot; to live on the newly created Colville Indian Reservation. The Presidential Executive Order issued on July 2, 1872 moved the Colville Indian Reservation west of the Columbia River, and reduced the size from several million to 2,852,000 acres. The Tribes' native lands of the Okanogan River, Methow Valley, and other large areas of the Columbia and Pend d'Orielle Rivers, along with the Colville Valley, were excluded. The areas removed from the reservation were some of the richest.
Twenty years later Congress ceded the north half of the reservation under the Dawes Act . The federal government paid only $1.00 an acre. On October 10, 1900 1,449,268 acres were opened to homesteading . Finally, in 1914, the south half of the Reservation was ceded. The reservation encompasses 2,116.802 sq miles in land area, consisting of: tribally owned lands held in federal trust status for the Confederated Tribes, land owned by individual Colville tribal members, and land owned by other tribal or non-natives, described as fee property and taxable by counties.
According to the 2000 census , the reservation is occupied by 7,587 residents both Colville tribal members and their families and other non-Colville members, living either in small communities or in rural settings. An interesting fact; approximately fifty percent of the Confederated Tribes membership live on or adjacent to the reservation to this day. Major towns include Omak , Nespelem , Inchelium , Keller , and Coulee Dam .
The reservation's name is adapted from that of Fort Colville , which was named for Andrew Colville , a London governor of the Hudson's Bay Company and had been founded before the region became part of the United States. The full origin of the adoption of the name &quot;Colville&quot; tribe are unknown since the name only goes back to the founding of the reservation (Tribal members may also find it offensive to be called Colville). Outsiders often named the Colville Scheulpi or Chualpay ; the French traders called them Les Chaudières (&quot;the kettles&quot;) in reference to Kettle Falls .
Buckskin clothing was the norm until white traders came to the area. Beaver and bear furs were favored for winter cloaks, robes, and blankets, and later buffalo hides after they acquired horses. The warriors also adorned themselves with animal feathers, fur, teeth, and claws representing their connection to their guardian spirits. Elaborate adornments for the horses are also characteristic of Nez Percé society, including brightly colored beaded collars and saddlebags, appliquéd with brass tacks and bells added for decorative purposes. The men wore robes during the cold months, but only a breechclout and moccasins for an ordinary day. The main purpose of leggings was so the person would not get hurt by sharp brush. War shirts were sometimes worn into battle, and on important or ceremonial occasions.
The women wore dresses, leggings and moccasins made of buckskin before the introduction of fabrics. The Nez Perce and many other Plateau women usually made their clothes out of the skins of deer or mountain sheep or goats, but they could be made out of woven bark fibers. It was considered wealthy to have buckskin diapers, so often very young children went naked during warm months. Early Plateau Indians wore sandals woven of tule reeds wherever traveling through sharp stones or thorns. Later they wore moccasins. Moccasins most often were made from deer hide, but occasionally from salmon skin. You could tell what tribe a person was from by the style of their moccasins.
During celebrations all Plateau Indians, even children, wore decorative and fancy clothes. Men wore fancy pants and shirts and moccasins. Women wore fancy dresses and moccasins with leggings. Both sexes wore necklaces. Ceremonial clothing was decorated with painted symbols using ochre, intricate porcupine quillwork, and later beadwork. Among some groups clothing was decorated with dentalia shells.
Most people lived in large, permanent villages during the winter. They relied largely on stored food. The winter village was usually located in a lower valley near a river. From spring through fall, these large winter groups would break up into smaller groups that moved from place to place to fish, hunt, gather roots, and conduct other activities. Summer houses, called longhouses, were lighter structures of tule (pronounced too-lee) matting over wood frames. Each longhouse usually housed an extended family. In the summer they also lived in temporary brush houses before they acquired the horse. After they acquired the horse, the Plateau Indians became even more mobile, and adapted to many of the habits of the Plains Indians, including hunting buffalo and adopting the tipi as a portable home.
The Plateau Indians were semi-nomadic hunter/gatherers. Deer was the primary big game animal, but the culture and economy of the tribe centered on fishing, especially for salmon, steelhead, trout, sturgeon, suckers, and lampreys. Rabbits, squirrels, beaver, marmot, ducks, geese, and grouse were also important small game animals. They also hunted for bear, goat, elk, and later buffalo after they acquired the horse.
During the spring they gathered the abundant sunflowers, bitterroot, and camas, which they ate fresh or dried for later use. Bitterroot and bulb-like roots were dug with a pica or a root digging stick with the top of which was sometimes made of the antler of an elk or deer. The roots were then gathered into woven baskets. They also gathered roots, berries, pine nuts, and medicinal herbs. One hundred thirty-five plant species formed a vital component of the diet. Camas was the most important root. Women used wooden digging sticks to harvest roots and bulbs.
Each April was bitterroot digging time along with other important roots. These roots were boiled and dried to be pounded into cakes. The people demonstrated their thankfulness with the root feast each spring. The first roots gathered were ceremonially distributed and eaten by all in reverence to the Creator. Camas and biscuit roots were dug in June and July. Kouse had a parsnip-like flavor when fresh. The common method of preparation involved drying the roots, then grinding them into a meal. Mixed with water, the meal was then formed into cakes, and partly baked for storage. These cakes tasted like stale biscuits, giving the plant the common name of biscuitroot.
While hunting, the men were armed with double-curved or a flat type bow and arrows; they also used spears, clubs, bolts, and slings. The bow and arrow constituted the primary weapon for hunting and war, until Europeans introduced guns. To trap the animals the men used nets, deadfalls, snares, lassos, pits, and game corals. Indians also drove game over cliffs, stampeded them with fire, or drove them into water to be speared from a canoe.
Arrowheads, knives, and scrapers were made from obsidian, bone, and antlers. The Plateau Indians had a variety of useful knives. One knife was the utility knife. These people also had stone knives that were used for many different purposes. The obsidian knife was extremely sharp. Delicate scalpels made from obsidian could make delicate cuts so fine that nothing compared to them until modern surgery lasers were invented.
One of the tools the Plateau Indians used was the Pebble Tool. It was a smooth and water-worn tool. There are ten general types of pebble tools. Large ones are used for heavy-duty work such as cutting, chopping, crushing, cracking, shredding, pulping, scraping, and smoothing.
Another well-used tool was the ulna tool. It was made from the bone of a deer, the Wapiti and small mammals. The ulna tool was made in a variety of shapes and sizes. The knife was used for splitting open herring and cedar bark for bisecting and other uses. They were pointed to serve as an awl. Sharpened scapula bones from large animals were used as scrapers to scrape and prepare hides for tanning.
Songs were important in traditional Plateau life, and were used by individuals to summon religious and magical powers. Singing was sometimes accompanied by bird-bone whistles, rattles of deer hooves, and sticks being struck on boards, but mainly by hide-covered wooden-frame drums. One type of song still known and widely performed today is the stick-game song, sung while playing an indigenous gambling game involving 2 opposing teams.
The most common of the indigenous language spoken on the reservation is a Salishan language. Here are a few examples of our language words and the Colville Indians.
The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation have year round hunting rights on the northern portion of the Colville Reservation. The Boldt Decision in 1974 also affirmed Indian fishing access rights. The Chelan Indians have the Mill Bay Casino on Lake Chelan and are heavily involved in the tourist industry. The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation also owns two other casinos, a sawmill and veneer plant, and various other timber and agriculture industries managed by a tribal business council.
The Confederated Tribes and the Colville Indian Reservation are governed by the Colville Business Council. From its administrative headquarters located at the Bureau of Indian Affairs Agency at Nespelem, the Colville Business Council oversees a diverse, multi-million dollar administration that employs from 800 to 1,200 individuals in permanent, part-time, and seasonal positions. The Colville Business Council is composed of members who are elected to a renewable two-year term of office. There are four council members for each district, except for the Keller District (which has two). Each year, half of the Business Council seats in each district are up for election. Elections are held mid-June, with votes cast in person at polling sites at a predesignated location (usually the local community center) or by absentee ballot.
References: American Indians of the Pacific Northwest. retrieved November 2011 from. http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/connections/pacific/file.html Colville Business Council, Confederation Tribes of the Colville Reservation. retrieved November 2011 from. http://www.aaanativearts.com/colville-tribe/colville-indians.htm Colville Confederated Tribes. retrieved November 2011 from. http:// www.fhwa.dot.gov/tribal/tribalprgm/govts/colville.htm Colville Indian Reservation, Wikipedia retrieved November 2011 from. http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colville_Indian_Reservation Colville Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land, Washington, United States Census Bureau. retrieved October 2011 from. http://www.bia.gov/idc/groups/xieed/documents/text/idc013967.pdf Nez Perce Tribe & Confederated Tribes of Colville. retrieved October 2011 from. http://www.aaanativearts.com/colville-tribe/colville-reservation.htm Native Languages, Washington retrieved November 2011 from. http://www.native-languages.org/washington.htm The History Place, retrieved November 2011 from. http://www.historyplace.com/specials/calendar/july.htm