Language: Nez Perce
Family: Shahaptin
Stock: Plateau Penutian
Phylum: Penutian
Macro-Culture: Northwestern Plateau
Speakers 697   1990 Census
     The Wanapam were semi-sedentary hunter/gatherer tribes closely connected to the Palouse.  They lived about the bend in the Columbia River between Priest Rapids at a point below the mouth of the Umatilla, and extended east of the Columbia north of Pasco. 
     They traded with the first Whites but ultimately were considered to be renegades and had conflicts with a the later settlers.  They suffered huge losses to disease.  They have refused to live a reservation life.
Aboriginal Locations (Subdivisions)
WA (2)
Present Locations
WA  Wanapum Indian Tribe, Beverly
Year History
1760 Smallpox epidemic
1781 Smallpox epidemic
1805 Lewis and Clark passed through territory, aided by Nez Perce
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
1841 Influx of Oregon Trail settlers began, conflicts followed
1847 Measles epidemic
1855 Major Heller and 100 men routed in with a joint force of Yakimas, Columbias, Wanapams, Wallwallas, Palouse, and Spokanes ... "Toppenish Fight"; Yakima Treaty, tribe included in treaty but refused to recognize the document
1980 Reduced to four families
Year  Population Source
1700 1,800 NAHDB calculation
1780 1,800 Mooney estimate
1800 1,800 NAHDB calculation
1900 200 NAHDB calculation 
1980 40 Four surviving families
1997 60 Carlotta Collette
2000 50 NAHDB calculation
Other speakers of the same language:
Nez Perce, Palouse
Wanapum Sites:
Columbia River Dams and the Wanapum
East Benton County Historical Society
Gingko/Wanapam State Park 
Harrison, John Comments
Kamiakin and the Yakima Indian War
Lewis and Clark Journals:  Wanapum
Lewis and Clark:  Wanapum
Mid-Columbia's First People  
Nez Perce Language
Nez Perce Language
Nez Perce Linguistic Lineage
Oregon Trail
Reclaiming Hanford
Save Our Dams
Tribe's Tie to Utility Key to It's Survival
Visit with the River People of Hanford Ranch
Wanapum Mat House
Wanapum Native American Discovery Unit
Weaving History

Last updated 03/07/05  Copyright 2005 by Four Directions Press