Cowlitz Indian Tribe


Last Updated: 1 year

The Cowlitz Indian Tribe is a federally recognized tribe of ancient Northwest Coast Salish people in Southwestern Washington state.

Official Tribal Name: Cowlitz Indian Tribe

Address:  1055 9th Avenue Suite B, Longview, WA 98632
Phone: (360) 577-8140
Email: Contacts – Choose a department, then click on a name for their email address

Official Website: 

Recognition Status: Federally Recognized

Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning:  Upper Cowlitz: Taidnapam, and Lower Cowlitz: Kwalhiokwa 

Common Name / Meaning of Common Name:

Alternate names / Alternate spellings / Mispellings:

Name in other languages:

Region: Pacific Northwest

State(s) Today: Washington

Traditional Territory:

The Cowlitz tribe was historically based along the Cowlitz and Lewis Rivers, as well as having a strong presence at Fort Vancouver. 

Confederacy: Salish 


Reservations: The Cowlitz Reservation was established in 2010  near La Center, in Clark County, Washington.
Land Area:  
Tribal Headquarters:  Longview, Washington
Time Zone:  Pacific

Population at Contact:

Registered Population Today: Over 2,000.

Tribal Enrollment Requirements:

Genealogy Resources:


Name of Governing Body:  
Number of Council members:   16, plus executive officers
Dates of Constitutional amendments: 
Number of Executive Officers:  Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer


Language Classification:

Salishian -> Tsamosan -> Inland -> Cowlitz

Language Dialects:

The Cowlitz people were originally two distinct tribes: the Lower Cowlitz and the Upper Cowlitz. Only the Lower Cowlitz (Northwest Coast)  spoke Cowlitz; the Upper Cowlitz, (east of the Cascade Mountains),  were a Sahaptin speaking tribe, and spoke a dialect of Yakama.

Number of fluent Speakers:



Bands, Gens, and Clans

Related Tribes:

Other Cowlitz people are enrolled in the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation and the Quinault Indian Nation.

Traditional Allies:

Traditional Enemies:

Ceremonies / Dances: Smelt, Salmon and River Ceremonies 

Modern Day Events & Tourism:

The Cowlitz Pow-Wow is one of the largest in southern Washington. 

Legends / Oral Stories:

Art & Crafts:

The Cowlitz produced fully imbricated (scalloped or overlapping edges), coiled baskets with strong geometric designs. These were made of bear grass, cedar root, horse tail root and cedar bark and were used to gather berries and fruits. Such baskets were often repaired and kept through many generations. 






Economy Today:

Religion & Spiritual Beliefs:

Burial Customs:

Wedding Customs


Salish Chiefs and Leaders:

Chief Scanewea
Chief How-How (Circa 1815)
Chief Kiscox (Circa 1850)
Chief Umtux (Circa 1850)
Chief Scanewa (Circa 1855)
Chief Richard Scanewa (Circa 1860)
Chief Antoine Stockum [Atwin Stokum] (1878)




Debra Iyall –  Lead singer for the new wave band Romeo Void.


Drum Groups:


Other Famous Contemporary People:

Catastrophic Events:

Tribe History:

In the News:

Further Reading: