HOME
The Info List - Flathead Indian Reservation





The Flathead Indian Reservation, located in western Montana
Montana
on the Flathead River, is home to the Bitterroot Salish, Kootenai, and Pend d'Oreilles Tribes - also known as the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation. The reservation was created through the July 16, 1855, Treaty of Hellgate, and reservation has land on four of Montana's counties: Lake, Sanders, Missoula, and Flathead.[1] The Flathead Indian Reservation, west of the Continental Divide, consists of 1,938 square miles (5,020 km2) (1,317,000 acres (533,000 ha)) of forested mountains and valleys.[2]

Contents

1 History 2 Geography and ecology 3 Demographics 4 Economy 5 Points of interest 6 Communities 7 See also 8 Further reading 9 References 10 External links

History[edit] Native Americans have lived in Montana
Montana
for more than 14,000 years, based on archaeological findings. The Bitterroot Salish came from the West Coast, whereas the Kootenai lived mostly in the interior of present-day Idaho, Montana, and Canada. The Kootenai left artifacts in prehistoric time. One group of the Kootenai in the northeast lived mainly on bison hunting. Another group lived on the rivers and lakes of the mountains in the west. When they moved east, they could rely less on salmon fishing, but turned to eating plants and bison. During the 18th century, the Salish and the Kootenai tribes shared gathering and hunting grounds.[3] As European-American settlers entered the area, the peoples came into conflict. In 1855 the United States (US) made the Treaty of Hellgate, by which it set aside a reservation solely for the Flathead. Although the tribe opposed European-style allotments and farming, the US Congress passed the 1904 Flathead Allotment Act. After allotments of land to individual households of members on the tribal rolls, the government declared the rest "surplus" and opened the reservation to homesteading by whites. United States Senator Joseph M. Dixon
Joseph M. Dixon
of Montana
Montana
played a key role in getting this legislation passed. Its passage caused much resentment by the Flathead, and the allotment of reservation lands remains "a very sensitive issue". The Flathead would like to regain control of their reservation lands.[4] The area was favorably compared to the Yakima River
Yakima River
Valley in Washington State. Thousands of acres on the reservation were reserved for town sites, schools and the National Bison Range. The Flathead were given first choice of either 80 or 160 acres of land per household. The rest was made open to whites in 1910. A total of 81,363 applications by whites were received for 1,600 parcels of land. The applications were placed in plain brown envelopes, piled onto a pallet, and three young girls drew 6,000 of them, choosing who would have a chance to homestead on the land. The first 3,000 were notified in the spring and the second 3,000 were notified in the fall. But, lottery winners took only 600 tracts, leaving 1,000 tracts still open. These were taken in what the tribe considers a subsequent "land grab". According to their treaty, the tribes have the right to off-reservation hunting, but the state believed it could regulate those activities. State game wardens were responsible for the confrontation that led to four deaths, what is known as the Swan Valley Massacre of 1908.[4][3] Geography and ecology[edit]

On the Flathead Reservation, 1913

All but the northern tip of Flathead Lake
Flathead Lake
is part of the reservation. Flathead Lake
Flathead Lake
lies in the northeast corner of the reservation, with most of the reservation to the south and west of the lake.[5] Part of the Mission Mountains
Mission Mountains
range is on the reservation. The western end of the range is protected by the Mission Mountains
Mission Mountains
Tribal Wilderness and the eastern end of the range is protected by the Mission Mountains Wilderness. Parts of the Bob Marshall Wilderness
Bob Marshall Wilderness
are nearby.[6] Recent years have seen a decline in the numbers of native fish species, which includes: bull trout, westslope cutthroat trout, northern whitefish, and northern pikeminnow. Non-native species includes: yellowstone cutthroat trout, brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout, lake whitefish, black bullhead, kokanee salmon, yellow perch, northern pike, largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass.[7] Hunting furbearing animals is prohibited. Hunting of these birds by non-natives is permitted: Hungarian partridge, pheasants, ducks, geese, mergansers, and coots.[7] Other animals that can not be hunted by non-natives are: elk, white-tailed deer, mule deer, grizzly bear, and moose. Wolves, bison, swans, and falcons are also present.[8] Demographics[edit] The population of the reservation was 28,324 as of the 2010 census, an 8% increase over the 2000 census, but 19,221 non-Indians outnumbered 9,138 Indians by 2-1.[9][10] The largest community on the reservation is the city of Polson, which is also the county seat of Lake County. The seat of government of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation is Pablo.[11] Economy[edit]

KwaTuqNuk resort, Polson

The tribes derive most of their income from selling timber, revenue from Kerr Dam, the KwaTuqNuk ("where the water leaves the lake") resort and casino in Polson, and S&K Holding—an electronics manufacturing firm. Salish Kootenai College
Salish Kootenai College
is located in Pablo and offers two- and four-year degrees.[12][5] Points of interest[edit]

Flathead Indian Museum, St. Ignatius[12][5] Flathead Lake
Flathead Lake
State Park[12][5] The Garden of One Thousand Buddhas Kicking Horse Reservoir Mission Mountains
Mission Mountains
Tribal Wilderness[5] The National Bison Range/Pablo National Wildlife Refuge, Moiese[12][5] Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge
Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge
and State Wildlife Management Area[12][5] St. Ignatius Mission, St. Ignatius[5] The People's Center, Pablo[12]

Communities[edit] There are 26 places (including CDPs) on the reservation that are officially recognized by the Census Bureau. Only 8 of them are majority Flathead. Whites own about 1/3 of the land on the reservation. Previously whites owned most of the reservation but the tribe has been steadily buying back the land over many years.[13]

Arlee Bear Dance (part) Big Arm Camas Charlo Dayton Dixon Elmo Evaro

Finley Point Hot Springs Jette Kerr Kicking Horse Kings Point Lindisfarne Lonepine

Niarada Old Agency Pablo Polson Ravalli Rocky Point Ronan St. Ignatius Turtle Lake

See also[edit]

Jocko Valley Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation

Further reading[edit]

Ronan, Peter (1890). Historical sketch of the Flathead Indian Nation from the year 1813-1890: embracing the history of the establishment of St. Mary's Indian Mission in the Bitter Root Valley, Mont.: with sketches of the missionary life of Father Ravalli and other early missionaries: wars of the Blackfeet and Flatheads and sketches of history, trapping and trading in the early days. Helena, MT: Journal Publishing Co. Retrieved 2014-03-01.  Smead, William Henry (1905). Land of the Flatheads; a sketch of the Flathead Reservation, Montana, its past and present. Missoula, MT: Press of the Daily Missoulian. Retrieved 2014-03-01.  Broderick, Therese (1909). The brand, a tale of the Flathead reservation. Seattle: Alice Harriman
Alice Harriman
Company. Retrieved 2014-03-01.  Jones, Tom (1909). The last of the buffalo: comprising a history of the buffalo herd of the Flathead Reservation, and an account of the Great Round Up, with illustrations. Cincinnati, Ohio: Publisher Scenic Souvenirs. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 

References[edit]

^ "Local and Social Services" (PDF). Lake County, Montana. Retrieved July 15, 2011.  ^ "Flathead Indian Reservation". Online Highways. Retrieved July 15, 2011.  ^ a b "The Montana
Montana
Dinosaur Trail". Montana
Montana
Dinosaur Trail. Retrieved July 15, 2011.  ^ a b "Flathead Reservation Marks Century of White Settlement". The Missoulian. September 26, 2010. Retrieved July 15, 2011.  ^ a b c d e f g h "S'elish-Ktunaxa-Flathead". Visit Montana. Retrieved July 15, 2011.  ^ "The Mission Mountains". Big Sky Fishing. Retrieved July 15, 2011.  ^ a b " Flathead Indian Reservation
Flathead Indian Reservation
Fishing, Bird Hunting, and Recreation Regulations". Montana
Montana
Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. Archived from the original on March 27, 2012. Retrieved July 15, 2011.  includes detailed map of the reservation ^ "Conserving Wildlife (and Culture) on the Flathead Indian Reservation". Montana
Montana
Fish, Wildlife, and Parks via Montana
Montana
Outdoors. Retrieved July 15, 2011.  ^ "Flathead CCD". United States Census Bureau. 2000. Retrieved July 15, 2011.  ^ "Census shows growth at 4 Montana
Montana
reservations". Helena Independent Record. March 28, 2011. Retrieved July 15, 2011.  ^ "Historic Saint Mary's Mission". Saint Mary's Mission. Retrieved July 15, 2011.  ^ a b c d e f "Flathead Indian Reservation". Montana
Montana
Kids. Retrieved July 15, 2011.  ^ "Flathead Reservation". Anishinabe History. Retrieved July 15, 2011. 

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation.

External links[edit]

Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes

Coordinates: 47°29′59″N 114°16′46″W / 47.49972°N 114.27944°W / 47.49972; -114.27944

v t e

Indian reservations in Montana

Blackfeet Crow Flathead Fort Belknap Fort Peck Little Shell1 Northern Cheyenne Rocky Boy Turtle Mountain1

1 No reservation in state, trust lands or legal status only

v t e

Municipalities and communities of Flathead County, Montana, United States

County seat: Kalispell

Cities

Columbia Falls Kalispell Whitefish

CDPs

Batavia Bigfork Coram Evergreen Forest Hill Village Helena Flats Hungry Horse Kila Lakeside Little Bitterroot Lake Marion Martin City Niarada‡ Olney Somers West Glacier

Unincorporated communities

Lake McDonald Polebridge

Indian reservation

Flathead Indian Reservation‡

Footnotes

‡This populated place also has portions in an adjacent county or counties

v t e

Municipalities and communities of Lake County, Montana, United States

County seat: Polson

Cities

Polson Ronan

Town

St. Ignatius

CDPs

Arlee Bear Dance Big Arm Charlo Dayton Elmo Finley Point Jette Kerr Kicking Horse Kings Point Lake Mary Ronan Lindisfarne Niarada‡ Pablo Ravalli Rocky Point Rollins Swan Lake Turtle Lake Woods Bay

Unincorporated community

Proctor

Indian reservation

Flathead Indian Reservation‡

Footnotes

‡This populated place also has portions in an adjacent county or counties

v t e

Municipalities and communities of Missoula County, Montana, United States

County seat: Missoula

City

Missoula

CDPs

Bonner-West Riverside Carlton Clinton Condon East Missoula Evaro Frenchtown Huson Lolo Orchard Homes Piltzville Seeley Lake Wye

Unincorporated communities

Lolo Hot Springs Lothrop Milltown Turah

Ghost towns

Coloma Hell Gate

Indian reservation

Flathead Indian Reservation‡

Footnotes

‡This populated place also has portions in an adjacent county or counties

v t e

Municipalities and communities of Sanders County, Montana, United States

County seat: Thompson Falls

City

Thompson Falls

Towns

Hot Springs Plains

CDPs

Belknap Camas Dixon Heron Lonepine Niarada‡ Noxon Old Agency Paradise Trout Creek Weeksville

Indian reservation

Flathead Indian Reservation‡

Footnotes

‡This populated place also has portions in an adjacent county

.