Language: Spokane
Family: Southern Interior Salish
Stock: Interior Salish
Phylum: Salishan
Macro-Culture: Northwest Plateau
Speakers 200   1997 SIL
     The Spokane were hunter/gatherer tribes of the Northwestern Plateau.  Prehistorically, the tribes were driven south from Canada by the Cree and Athapaskan tribes.  This language group was comprised of three divisions; the Lower Spokane located about the mouth and the lower course of the Spokane River, the Upper or Little Spokane located along the Little Spokane River into Idaho, and the Middle Spokane located on the lower part of Hangman's Creek.
     They traded with the first Whites to arrive, but ultimately had conflicts with the suffered from the later settlers.  They were defeated in the Spokane War taking heavy losses in the Battle of Four Lakes.
Aboriginal Locations (Subdivisions)
WA (3)
Oregon Present Locations
ID   Flathead Reservation, Dixon
WA Spokane Reservation, Wellpinit
Year History
1781 Smallpox epidemic
1805 Visited by Lewis and Clark
1809 David Thompson established Kullyspell House trading post on Lake Pend d'Orielle
1810 David Thompson established Spokane House
1811 David Thompson explored the length of the Columbia River
1812 Astor built Fort Spokan trading post which only remained in business one year
1819 Grate sickness
1836 Protestant missionary Samuel Parker visited Spokanes
1841 Influx of Oregon Trail settlers began, conflicts followed
1842 Tribe visited by Catholic missionary Fr. de Smet
1848 Measles epidemic
1853 Smallpox epidemic
1855 Major Heller and 100 men routed in with a joint force of Yakimas, Columbias, Wanapams, Wallwallas, Palouse, and Spokanes ... "Toppenish Fight"
1858 Spokane War (Coeur 'd'Alene War), heavy losses at Battle Four Lakes, forced to sign harsh treaty
1872 Some joined Colville
1880 Fort Spokane built to protect settler from Indian attacks
1881 Spokane Reservation established by President Hayes Executive Order, 154,000 acres
1892 Most of Upper Band moved to Coeur d'Alene Reservation, while some moved to Flathead Reservation; most of the Middle Band moved onto the Spokane Reservation.
1911 First Catholic church built for tribe
Year U.S. Population MT WA Source
1700 1.400 1,400 NAHDB calculation
1800 1,000 1,000 NAHDB calculation
1900 600 100 500 NAHDB calculation 
1905 595 US Indian Office
1909 647 US Indian Office
1910 643 Census
1923 669 US Indian Office
1937 847 US Indian Office
1981 1,921 BIA
1989 1,450 Spokane Res. only
2000 2,700 600 2,100 NAHDB calculation 
2004 2,153 IHC (Spokane Res. only)
Other speakers of the same language:
Spokane Sites:
Alexie, Sherman
Bird, Gloria
Fort Spokane Indian Boarding School
Fur Trader David Thompson Explores the Rend d'Orielle River - 1809
Intertribal Bison Cooperative
Northwest Plateau Culture and Ethnobotany
Oregon Trail
Scalp Dance
Spokane Authors
Spokane Constitution and Bylaws
Spokane Encampment
Spokane Flag
Spokane History
Spokane House
Spokane Indian Reservation
Spokane Indians
Spokane Indians, Life and Times
Spokane Indian Tribe
Spokane Language
Spokane Linguistic Lineage
Spokane Salish Language
Spokane Tribal Profile
Spokane Tribe
Spokane Tribe of Indians

Last updated 03/06/05  Copyright 2005 by Four Directions Press