Northern Shoshoni



Language: Central Numic
Family: Numic
Stock: Uto-Aztecan
Phylum: Aztec-Tanoan
Macro-Culture: Great Basin
Speakers 2,284 in US incl Northern      1990 Census
     The Northern Shoshoni were nomadic hunter/gatherer tribes from whom the Comanche fissioned.  They were differentiated form the Western Shoshoni in they were essentially mounted plateau/plains tribes.  The Northern Shoshoni had bands in central Idaho about the affluents of the Salmon River, in southeastern Idaho on Bannock Creek, northeastern Utah in Cache, Ogden, Weber, and Salt Lake Valleys, and in Montana on Red Rock Creek.  They had previously removed from permanent habitation of the Wyoming plains, though they continue to hunt those territories.
     Northern Shoshoni woman Sacajewea guided Lewis and Clarks to the tribe, marking their meeting with Whites.  The Blackfeet were their greatest enemies, who for a considerable period of time held an advantage over the Northern Shoshoni .. until the tribes were finally armed by Jim Bridger.
     Though at first the tribes were unusually friendly toward the Whites and participated in the mountain man rendezvous, they later had numerous conflicts, particularly with the Mormons.
Aboriginal Locations
Subdivisions:  ID (6), MT (1), UT (4)
Present Locations
ID     Fort Hall Reservation
WY  Wind River Reservation
Year History
1650 Approximate arrival of the Arapaho and Blackfeet onto the Northern Plains, conflicts began
1730 Mounted Shoshoni routed Piegan Blackfeet who soon acquired guns and retaliated
1781 Passed smallpox onto Piegan Blackfeet who attacked a dyning Shoshoni village
1805 Met Lewis and Clark, provided horses to Corps of Discovery
1812 Reported death of Sacajewea [?]
1824 Beginning of mountain man fur trade era with annual rendezvous being held in Northern Shoshoni country
1832 Battle of Pierre's Hole after rendezvous, mountain men, Northern Shoshoni, and Kalispel routed Gros Ventre
1833 Smallpox epidemic
1840 End of mountain man fur trade era
1841 Influx of Oregon Trail immigrants began, conflict followed
1843 Sacajewea? arrived at St. Vrain's Fort with a mountain man, he was killed prior to the arrival of John C. Fremont, Fremont escorted Shoshoni woman to near Ft. Bridger in Northern Shoshoni country where she left the group to join he people
1847 Mormons arrived in Utah
1848 Smallpox epidemic
1849 Tribe armed by Jim Bridgeer
1851 Smallpox epidemic, passed disease to Crow
1859 Chief Washakie killed Crow Chief Big Robber in a duel
1862 Gold discovered in Montana adding to White conflicts, Mormons took over Cache Valley, expelling Bear Hunter's Northern Shoshoni band
1863 Bear River Massacre, 250 of Bear Hunter's band slaughtered by California Volunteers, tribe gathered onto reservations by treaty, Box Elder Agreement, Northwestern Shoshoni eventually settle at Fort Hall, ID
1869 Transcontinental railroad completed through territory
1876 Allied with Gen. Crook in Sioux battle at Rosebud
1879 Sheepeater Indian campaign
Year Total Population ID MT UT WY Source
1700 2,500 1,250 250 500 500 NAHDB calculation
1800 2,500 1,250 250 500 500 NAHDB calculation
1845 4,500 Mooney estimate (included 2,000 Northern Paiute)
1868 2,000 Reservation rolls
1900 2,000 800 0 0 1,200 NAHDB calculation
1910 2,000 Census
1917 2,200 US Indian Office
1937 3,650 U. S. Indian Office
1989 8,400 NAHDB estimate using BIA data
2000 9,400 5,100 0 0 4,300 NAHDB calculation
Other speakers of the same language:
CA Koso, ID/WY Western Shoshoni, OK Comanche
Northern Shoshoni Sites
Abrahamson, Rose Ann
Ancient Altered States
Arapaho and Shoshoni of Wind River
Archeological Resources
Archeology Around Yellowstone Lake
Black the West poem by Sunderland
Gray's Lake NWR
Historic Fort Hall
Madison Buffalo Jump
Northern Shoshoni People of the Snake River Plain
NW Band of Shoshone Nation Big on Smart Sites
... Pictographs at Little Lost River Cave, Idaho
Rocky Mountain Culture and Ethnobotany
Sacajewea Before the Expedition
Sacajewea Coin Design
Sacajewea, Her Childhood
Sacajewea Revisited
Sacajewea's Tribe Teaches Survival
Shoshone/Bannock of the Fort Hall Reservation
Shoshone/Bannock Tribes
Shoshone Bibliography
Shoshone Map
Shoshone/Paiute Bibliography of Anthropological Research
Shoshone/Paiute Tribes History/Links
Shoshoni Indians
Shoshoni Indians
Shoshoni Indians
Shoshoni Indians
Shoshoni Language
Shoshoni Linguistic Lineage
Unresolved Claim to Great Camas Prairrie
Wolf Protector of Women

Last updated 02/1405  Copyright 2005 by Four Directions Press