The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are a federally recognized tribe which includes the Bitterroot Salish, the Pend d’Oreille and the Kootenai tribes. Their aboriginal territory exceeded 20 million acres at the time of the 1855 Hellgate Treaty.
These people never practiced head flattening, but the Columbia River tribes who shaped the front of the head to create a pointed appearance spoke of their neighbors, the Salish, as “flatheads” in contrast.
Official Tribal Name: Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation
Address: 42487 Complex Blvd., PO Box 278, Pablo, Montana 59855
Phone: (406) 675-2700 Ext. 1228
Fax: (406) 675-2806
Email: [email protected]
Recognition Status: Federally Recognized
Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning: Salish, meaning “the people.”
Common Name / Meaning of Common Name:
Alternate names / Alternate spellings / Mispellings:
Name in other languages:
Region: Great Plains
State(s) Today: Montana
The original territory of the Salish included western Montana, parts of Idaho, British Columbia and Wyoming. The Flatheads lived between the Cascade Mountains and Rocky Mountains. The Salish (Flatheads) initially lived entirely east of the Continental Divide but established their headquarters near the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. Occasionally, hunting parties went west of the Continental Divide but not west of the Bitterroot Range. The easternmost edge of their ancestral hunting forays were the Gallatin, Crazy Mountain, and Little Belt Ranges.
Treaties: Hells Gate Treaty of 1855
Reservation: Flathead Reservation
Land Area: 1.317 million acres
Population at Contact:
Registered Population Today:
The tribe has about 6,800 members with approximately 4,000 tribal members living on the Flathead Reservation as of 2013
Tribal Enrollment Requirements:
Charter: This tribe was the first to organize a tribal government under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934.
Name of Governing Body: Tribal Council
Number of Council members: 10, including the executive officers.
Dates of Constitutional amendments:
Number of Executive Officers: Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer.
Number of fluent Speakers:
Bands, Gens, and Clans
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Legends / Oral Stories:
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Religion & Spiritual Beliefs:
Education and Media:
Tribal College: Salish Kootenai College
People of Note:
Corwin Clairmont – artist and educator
Marvin Camel – boxer, WBC & IBF Cruiserweight Champion
Debra Magpie Earling – author
D’Arcy McNickle (1904 – 1977) – noted writer, Native American activist and anthropologist
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, artist
In the News: