Kalispel Tribe of Indians

The traditional homeland of the Kalispel surrounding the Pend Oreille River was vast and abundant. It included the mountains, river, lakes, and prairies that stretch from Lake Pend Oreille in North Idaho to where Paradise, Montana now stands and nor...

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About Kalispel Tribe of Indians


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The traditional homeland of the Kalispel surrounding the Pend Oreille River was vast and abundant. It included the mountains, river, lakes, and prairies that stretch from Lake Pend Oreille in North Idaho to where Paradise, Montana now stands and northwestward across northeastern Washington to the mouth of the Salmo River, just over the international border in British Columbia. It was ntxwe, the Pend Oreille River, which bound together with one end of the Kalispel country to the other, some 200 miles in length.

Like other tribes, the Kalispels have been profoundly influenced by their environment, the greatest cultural influence seem to have come from the environment created by the Pend Oreille River which they call ntxwe, a Kalispel word which, it is said, symbolically reduces all other streams to an inferior status. It was from this river that Kalispel culture arose. Here are people built winter villages and established summer root digging camps. Surely the Kalispel would say The river and we are of one mind, for even today we are known as The People of the Oreille, and we have withstood unimagined hardships to maintain our lives in harmony with ntxwe.

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