Colville Confederated Tribes

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Cultural History

The tribe has led nomadic lifestyle, traveling to where food can be found and meeting several other indigenous native people. Their connection to these people has added color to their speech and culture. The tribe moved continuously in search of food resources, water and their other needs. The tribe has been living in many different areas until the arrival of the Europeans who sought to establish permanent residencies.
The trading industry was introduced to the Colville Confederated Tribes along the Columbia River in 1807. The trading industry continued up to 1820 when the Kettle Falls, the center of trading was taken in control by the Hudson Bay Company. A good number of the tribe had to stay in Canada when the Canadian border was declared. The first real invasion in their territory was in the middle of the eighteenth century when the settlers, non-Indians and traders sought to compete with the other traders. Fur trading was the main source of income for the ancestors as well as trading of other supplies.
President Filmore, in 1853, signed a bill that declared the Washington Territory. The new territory included the State of Washington along with Northern Idaho as well as Montana. Major Isaac Stevens was appointed as the Governor and it was him who first communicated with the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to settle the land issues with the Indians. 
Governor Stevens acted out his responsibility well by considering the suggestion of the Commissioner to create reservations for the Indians who were settling in the Washington Territory. Commissioner Manupenny proposed the establishment of the Indian reservations asking the government to grant the lands to the natives without asking for anything in return from the Indians. Together with Governor Stevens, they negotiated with the natives to quench the Indian claims in assurance of a reservation area.
The tribes were given their opportunity to choose a reservation that would fit their needs. This happened in 1854 when each of the tribal leaders was asked to mark and claim a specific reservation boundary. The division of the land area was enacted by the government to ensure that the Indians would not be fooled in giving out payments for their lands. Several other treaties followed like the Point Elliott Treaty singed in January of 1855, Yakama Treaty which was ratified in June of the same year and the Hells Gate Treaty in July of 1855.
Today, the tribe owns 1.4 Million Acres of land. There are twelve bands that comprise the Colville Confederated Tribes. These tribes are the Wenatchee, Nespelem, Moses-Columbia, Methow, Collville, Okanogan, Palus, San Poil, Entiat, Chelan, Nez Perce and Lake. There are 8,700 tribe enrollments and the tribe is engaged in the Colville Tribal Enterprise Corporation. It is now the largest and most diverse Native American business in Washington State. It has over 1,000 employees and has estimated $120 million revenues every year.

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