Northwest Plateau Culture

Northwest Plateau Cultural Traits

1.   Semi-sedentary hunter/fisher/gatherers
.   Fish an important food source, particularly salmon
.   Acorns an important food source
.   Ventures east of the Rockies to hunt buffalo
2.   Practiced Northwestern Washat Seven Drum religion
.    Salmon Ceremony
.    First Food Feast
.    Shaman based
3.   Occasionally at war
4.   Communal
5.   Excellent basket weavers 
6.   Lived in tipis and more substantial winter houses
7.   Traded extensively 
8.   Chiefs

Northwest Plateua Culture languages and tribes:

Phylum / Stock / Family / Language Tribe
Macro-Penutian / Cayuse / Cayuse / Cayuse Cayuse
                          /  Molalla / Molalla / Molalla Molalla
                          /  Plateau Penutian / Shahaptin / Klickitat Klickitat
                                                                       / Nez Perce Nez Perce
                                                                       / Palouse Palouse
                                                                       / Tenino Tenino
                                                                       / Umatilla Umatilla
                                                                       / Wallawalla Wallawalla
                                                                       / Yakama Yakama
Mosan / Salishan / Northern Interior Salish / Lillooet Lillooet
                                                                 / Shuswap Shuswap
                                                                 / Thompson Thompson
                           / Southern Interior Salish / Coeur d'Alene Doeur d'Alene
                                                                 / Columbia/Wenatchee Columbia (Sinkiuse)
                                                                  / Kalispel-Pend d'Orielle Kalispel
Pend d'Orielle
Salish (Flathead)
                                                                  / Okanogan Colville
                                                                  / Spokane Spokane
Northwest Plateau Ethnobotany (Most certainly incomplete) 
Common Name Scientific Name Use Comment
Arrowleaf Balsamroot Balsamorhiza sagittata (Pursh) Nutt. Food Young immature flower stems peeled and eaten raw, seeds roasted, ground, grease added, mixture eaten
Bigseed Buscuitroot Lomatium macrocarpum (Nutt. ex Torr. & Gray) Coult. & Rose Food Roots pit cooked and eaten
Balck Chokecherry Prunus virginiana var. melanocarpa (A. Nels.) Sarg. Drink Branches used ot make beverage
Food Fruit eaten fresh  or dried, berries mashed, mixed with dried salmon into a pemmican, formed into cakes, dried and stored
Black Hawthorn Crataegus douglasii Lindl. Food Berries eaten raw or boiled, dried, and stored
Blue Elderberry Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea (Raf.) R. Bolli Food Berried eaten fresh
Broadleaf Cattail Typha latifolia L. Food Roots eaten
Clothing Leaves woven together to make raincoats
California Hazelnut Corylus cornuta var. californica (A. DC.) Sharp Food Nut meat eaten whole or pulverized before use, nut stored without removing shells
Canadian Mint  Mentha arvensis L. Drink Leaves and stems boiled, liquid strained and drunk
Common Sunflower Helianthus annuus L. Food Seeds parched until brown, pulvereized and eaten, stems eaten raw, roots dried and stored for later use
Clustered Thistle Cirsium brevistylum Cronq. Food Large taproots peeled and eaten raw or cooked, flower heads chewed to get the nectar.
Clothing Down spun with yellow cedar inner bark and used for baby clothing.
Columbian Hawthorn Crataegus douglasii var. douglasii Food Whole berries eaten fresh or mashed in a mortar
Common Beargrass Xerophyllum tenax (Pursh) Nutt. Basketry New sprouts used to make baskets, especially for designs, grass used as a border pattern in baskets.
Edible Thistle Cirsium edule Nutt. Food Young shoots eaten as greens, roots boiled and used for food, roots dried and stored for future use, dried roots rehydrated, scraped, chopped, and cooked in stews.
Edible Valerian Valeriana edulis Nutt. ex Torr. & Gray Food Roots used for food
Evergreen Huckleberry Vaccinium ovatum Pursh Food Fresh berries used for food or dried and stored
Fernleaf Buscuitroot Lomatium dissectum (Nutt.) Mathias & Constance Food Roots pit baked and eaten
Field Horsetail Equisetum arvense L. Food Young shoots used as food.
Grayleaf Red Raspberry Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus (Michx.) Focke Food Fresh berries used for food or dried and stored
Hoary Balsamroot Balsamorhiza incana Nutt. Food Thick roots eaten raw
Hollyleaf Barberry Mahonia aquifolium (Pursh) Nutt. Food Berries eaten fresh
Idaho Gooseberry Ribes oxyacanthoides ssp. irriguum (Dougl.) Sinnott Food Berries eaten fresh
Indianhemp Apocynum cannabinum L. Cordage Stalks dried, made into fibers, used to make rope
Kinnikinnick Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng. Food Berries dried in bags, mixed with oil and eaten., dried berries used in soup
Meadow Thistle Cirsium scariosum Nutt. Food Roots eaten raw or pit baked
Mountain Alder Alnus incana (L.) Moench Dye Bark used to make orange or reddish-brown dye
Oregon Bitterroot Lewisia rediviva Pursh Food Roots mixed with service berries, grease or fat added and boiled into a congealed mass
Oregon Crab Apple Malus fusca (Raf.) Schneid. Food Fruits stored in baskets until soft and used for food.
Oregon White Oak Quercus garryana Dougl. ex Hook. Food Acorns stored up to one year, ground, leached, cooked into mush, soup, cakes, bread; acorns placed with grass and dirt in pit, into which Indians would urinate from time to time ... thus marinated, the acorns were cooked in different pits and eaten "Chinook olives" considered a delicacy
Ovalleaf Blueberry Vaccinium ovalifolium Sm. Food Berries eaten fresh or dried and stored for later use
Pacific Monardella Monardella odoratissima Benth. Drink Leaves and stems boiled, liquid strained and used as a hot or cold beverage
Pacific Serviceberry  Amelanchier alnifolia var. semiintegrifolia (Hook.) C.L. Hitchc. Food Berries dried whole or mashed, formed into cakes and dried, berries eaten raw or cooked with salmon
Ponderosa Pine Pinus ponderosa P.& C. Lawson Adhesive   Pitch used as glue
Lighting Pitch used to make torches
Food Cambium layer eaten raw, pine nuts eaten without special preparation
Plains Pricklypear Opuntia polyacantha Haw. Food Berry pits roasted, after spines burned off and removed, and used for food
Red Huckleberry Vaccinium parvifolium Sm. Food Fresh berries used for food or dried and stored
Salal Gaultheria shallon Pursh Food Fresh berries used for food or dried and stored, made into cakes
Salmonberry Rubus spectabilis Pursh Food Berries eaten fresh, sprouts cooked in a pit and eaten with dried salmon.
Scouringbush Horsetail Equisetum hyemale L. Basketry Roots used to imbricate bags and baskets
Sitka Spruce Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr. Basketry Roots used to make the horizontal weave in coarse baskets used for drying foods in the smoke house.
Small Cranberry Vaccinium oxycoccos L. Food Berries eaten fresh or dried in cakes and later used for food
Snow Raspberry Rubus nivalis Dougl. ex Hook. Food Berries eaten raw or stewed and used for food
Subalpine fir Abies lasiocarpa (Hook.) Nutt.
Ceremony Boughs used in sweathouse
Thinbleberry Rubus parviflorus Nutt. Food Berries eaten fresh
Virginai Strawberry Fragaria virginiana ssp. platypetala (Rydb.) Staudt Food Berries eaten fresh
Wavyleaf Thistle Cirsium undulatum (Nutt.) Spreng. Food Young roots roasted and eaten, roots dried and stored for future use, dried roots rehydrated, scraped, chopped and cooked in stews.
Wac Currant Ribes cereum Dougl. Food Berries eaten raw
Western Dogwood Cornus sericea ssp. occidentalis (Torr. & Gray) Fosberg Food Berries eaten fresh
Western Larch Larix occidentalis Nutt. Weapons Wood used to make bows
Food Gum collected from stump of burned or fallen larch used for food
Western Redcedar Thuja plicata Donn ex D. Don Basketry Roots used to make baskets
Building Used to make leant-to houses and sub-terranean houses
Boats Wood hollowed with fired, smoothed, trimmed and used to make canoes
Cradle Boards Wood used to amke cradle boards
Whitebark Raspberry Rubus leucodermis Dougl. ex Torr. & Gray Food Berries eaten fresh or dried in cakes and later used for food
Wild Mint Mentha arvensis L. Drink Stems used to make tea
Woods' Rose Rosa woodsii var. ultramontana (S. Wats.) Jepson Food Pips (sic) eaten in times of famine
     Hart, Jeff 1992 Montana Native Plants and Early Peoples. Helena. Montana Historical Society Press
     Ray, Verne F. 1932 The Sanpoil and Nespelem: Salishan Peoples of Northeastern Washington. University of Washington Publications in Anthropology, Vol. 5
     Turner, Nancy J., R. Bouchard and Dorothy I.D. Kennedy 1980 Ethnobotany of the Okanagan-Colville Indians of British Columbia and Washington. Victoria. British Columbia Provincial Museum