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Tribes and Bands of Washington

Many tribes and bands of Indians have historically resided in the Pacific Northwest. The following list of American Indians who have lived in Washington has been compiled from Hodge's Handbook of American Indians...[1] and from Swanton's The Indian Tribes of North America[2]. Some are simply variant spellings for the same tribe.

Tribes: Chathlamet, Cathlapotle, Cayuse, Chehalis, Chelan, Chinook, Chilluckittequaw, Clallam, Chimakum, Clackamas, Clallum, Clapsop. Coeur d'Alene, Colum, Colville, Copalis, Cowlitz, Duwamish, Hoh, Humptulip, Kalispel, Klallam, Klickitat, Kwaiailk, Swalhioqua, Lummi, Makah, Methow, Mical, Muckleshoot, Neketemeuk, Nespelem, Nez Perce, Nisqually, Nooksack, Ntlayapamuk, Okanagon, Ozette, Palouse, Pshwanwapam, Puyallup, Queets or Quitso, Quileute, Quinault, Quillayute, Sahehwamish, Salish, Sanpoil, Satsop, Semiahmoo, Senijextee, Sinkaietk, Sinkakaius, Skagit, Sinkiuse-Columbia, Skagit-Suiattle, Skitswish, Skilloot, Skin, Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Spokane, Squaxon or Squakson, Suquamish, Suiattle, Swallah, Swinomish, Taidnapam, Topnish, Tulalip, Twana, Wallawalla, Wanapum, Wasco, Watlala, Wauyukma, Wenatchee, Wishram, Wynoochee, Yakima

Confederated Tribes: Colville, Okanogan, Lakees, San Poil, Methow, Nespelem, Entiat, Wenatchee, Moses, Nez Perce, Palouse

Reservations

Many of the reservations in Washington are small, with one agency of the Bureau of Indian Affairs having responsibilities for the tribes residing on several reservations. Most of the records kept by the federal government about the tribes will be found in the appropriate agency.

From the mid-1800s, the official policy of the United States government toward the American Indian was to confine each tribe to a specific parcel of land called a reservation. Agencies were established on or near each reservation. A government representative, usually called an agent (or superintendent) was assigned to each agency. Their duties included maintaining the peace, making payments to the Native Americans based on the stipulations of the treaties with each tribe, and providing a means of communication between the native population and the federal government.

Sometimes, a single agency had jurisdiction over more than one reservation. And sometimes, if the tribal population and land area required it, an agency may have included sub-agencies.

The boundaries of reservations, over time, have changed. Usually, that means the reservations have been reduced in size. Sometimes, especially during the later policy of "termination," the official status of reservations was ended altogether.

The following list of reservations has been compiled from the National Atlas of the United States of America[3], the Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America[4], and other sources. Those reservations named in bold are current federally-recognized reservations, with their associated agency and tribe(s). Others have historically been associated with the state or are not currently recognized by the federal government.

  • Chehalis Reservation -- Federal, under the jurisdiction of Olympic Peninsula Agency, Tribes: Chehalis
  • Colville Reservation -- Federal, under the jurisdiction of Colville Agency, Tribes: Confederated Tribes
  • Hoh Reservation -- Federal, under the jurisdiction of Olympic Peninsula Agency, Tribe: Hoh
  • Jamestown Reservation
  • Kalispel Reservation -- Federal, under the jurisdiction of Spokane Agency, Tribe: Kalispel
  • Lower Elwha Reservation -- Federal, under the jurisdiction of Olympic Peninsula Agency, Tribe: Clallam
  • Lummi Reservation -- Federal, under the jurisdiction of Puget Sound Agency, Tribes: Lummi and Nooksack
  • Makah Reservation -- Federal, under the juisdiction of Olympic Peninsula Agency, Tribe: Makah
  • Muckleshoot Reservation -- Federal, under the jurisdiction of Puget Sound Agency, Tribe: Muckleshoot
  • Nez Perce Reservation -- Part of this reservation historically was in Washington. See Indians of Idaho for additional information.
  • Nisqually Reservation -- Federal, under the jurisdiction of Puget Sound Agency, Tribe Nisqually
  • Nooksack Reservation
  • Ozette Reservation -- Federal, under the jurisdiction of __________,  Tribe:_______
  • Port Gamble Reservation -- Federal, under the jurisdiction of Puget Sound Agency, Tribe: Clallam
  • Port Madison Reservation -- Federal, under the jurisdiction of Puget Sound Agency, Tribe: Suquamish
  • Puyallup Reservation -- Federal, under the jurisdiction of Puget Sound Agency, Tribe Puyallup
  • Quileute Reservation -- Federal, under the jurisdiction of Olympic Peninsula Agency, Tribe: Quileute
  • Quinault Reservation -- Federal. under the jurisdiction of Olympic Peninsula Agency, Tribe: Quinault
  • Saulk-Suiattle Reservation--State, under the jurisdiction of Olympic Peninsula Agency, Tribe:
  • Shoalwater Reservation -- Federal, under the jurisdiction of Olympic Peninsula Agency, Tribes: Quinault, Chinook, and Chehalis
  • Skokomish Reservation -- Federal, under the jurisdiction of Olympic Peninsula Agency, Tribe: Skokomish
  • Spokane Reservation -- Federal, under the jurisdiction of Spokane Agency, Tribe: Spokane
  • Squaxin Island Reservation -- Federal, under the jurisdiction of Olympic Peninsula Agency, Tribe: Squaxin Island
  • Stillaguamish Reservation, State, under the jurisdiction of Puget Sound Agency, Tribe:_____
  • Swinomish Reservation -- Federal, under the jurisdiction of Puget Sound Agency, Tribe: Swinomish
  • Tulalip Reservation -- Federal, under the jurisdiction of Puget Sound Agency, Tribe: Snohomish
  • Upper Skagit Tribe
  • Yakama Reservation -- Federal, under the jurisdiction of Yakima Agency, Tribe Fourteen Confederated Tribes from the Yakima Nation

Agencies of the Bureau of Indian Affairs

Agencies and subagencies were created as administrative offices of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and its predecessors. Their purpose was (and is) to manage Indian affairs with the tribes, to enforce policies, and to assist in maintaining the peace. The names and location of these agencies may have changed, but their purpose remained basically the same. Many of the records of genealogical value were created by these offices.

The following list of agencies that have operated or now exist in Washington has been compiled from Hill's Office of Indian Affairs...[5], Hill's Guide to Records in the National Archives Relating to American Indians[6], and others.

Indian Schools

The Office of Indian Affairs (now the Bureau of Indian Affairs) established a network of schools throughout the United States, beginning with Carlisle Indian School, established in 1879. Some of these schools were day schools, usually focusing on Indian children of a single tribe or reservation. Some were boarding schools which served Indian children from a number of tribes and reservations.

In addition, other groups such as various church denominations established schools specifically focusing on American Indian children. (read more...)

The following list of Indian Schools in Washington has been compiled from Hill's Office of Indian Affairs...[7], Hill's Guide to Records in the National Archives Relating to American Indians[8], and others.

Indian Health Facilities

Family History Library

A wealth of genealogical information is available for the various Indian tribes in Washington. Besides published histories, the Family History Library has microfilm copies of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) records of births, marriages, deaths, censuses, schools, land allotments, heirships, and family records. They are available from about 1887 to 1952 from agencies such as the Colville, Puyallup, Taholah, Tulalip, and Yakama. The original documents are at the National Archives—Pacific Northwest Region (Seattle).

An especially useful source is the collection, Family Index Cards, 1938-1950, created by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Portland Area Office (Family History Library films 1028470 item 4 to 1028471).

Records of American Indians are also listed in the Subject section of the Family History Library Catalog under the names of the agency or tribe. Some of these tribes are the Nez Perce, Yakama, and Chinook.

See Also:

Washington-Church for a list of Missions

Washington-History for a calendar of events

Washington-Military for a list of forts

Web Sites

National Archives: http://www.archives.gov/pacific-alaska/seattle/

Bureau of Indian Affairs: http://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/075.html

Washington State Tribal Directory: http://www.goia.wa.gov/Tribal-Directory/TribalDirectory.pdf

References

  1. Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington D.C.:Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethonology, Bulletin #30 1907. Available online.
  2. Swanton John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin #145 Available online.
  3. National Atlas of the United States of America -- Federal Lands and Indian Reservations Available online.
  4. Isaacs. Katherine M., editor. Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America. U.S. Data Sourcebook, Volume 11 Appendices, Bureau of Indian Affairs List of American Indian Reservations, Appendix E, Indian Reservations. Omnigraphics, Inc., 1991.
  5. Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches, Clearwater Publishing Co., Inc. 1974. (Family History Library book 970.1 H551o.)
  6. Hill, Edward E. (comp.). Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1981. (FHL book 970.1 H551g.)
  7. Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches, Clearwater Publishing Co., Inc. 1974. (Family History Library book 970.1 H551o.)
  8. Hill, Edward E. (comp.). Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1981. (FHL book 970.1 H551g.)

 

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