Kalispel Tribe

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 39
Usk, WA 99180

Contact Information





Cultural History

The Kalispel Tribe has worked on the preservation of their community since the late nineteenth century. They were struggling to keep their natural traditions despite the plethora of the White Settlers who were trying to elude them. The Roman Catholic Priests were the first one who tried to work on the tribe since 1844. The Upper Kalispel Tribe decided to give up their territory to relocate in the Jocko Reservatin in Montana upon the request of the United States Government. On the other hand, the Kalispel Tribe members of today are the remaining descendants of the lower Kalispel who refused to give up their homelands. This was the tribe who worked on the treaties which allowed them to live harmoniously on their current dwellings.
It was in the eighteenth century when the reservations were being built for the Indians are part of the government’s schemes to gain the territories of these tribes. Despite this fad, the Kalispel Tribe did not have direct contact with the federal government of the United States. The Congress did not recommend a treaty until in 1872 when the first reaty proved to have poor terms so the tribe did not sign the treaty. It was in 1874 when the Congress got tired of offering treaties with the Indian Tribes. It was when the Kalispel Tribe did not have a concrete treaty with the federal government and so they were left out without legal protection. In 1875, their population had declined to three hundred ninety five. The tribe’s territories were being taken away by the White invaders are time passed by. The tribe witnessed their lands being taken but was too weary to fight for it. They could not do anything because of the lack of legal protection from the government. The White settlers soon filed for homesteads which resulted in them owning most of the tribal lands. They were then considered as the legal owners instead of the tribes because of the lack in the contract. This was then the beginning of the scattering of the tribe, and their family units soon broke down. 
The lives of the Kalispel people were not easy. They did not have many resources unlike the other tribes. Only two houses in their area had the blessings of running water and there was only one telephone line running for the whole tribe. Also, only $1,400 was the median income of a tribal member.
The tribe was then drowned into factors that revolved around their rural area such as unemployment, inadequate housing, limited economic opportunities and even chauvinism. The tribe tried to find ways to survive, despite the many factors affecting their growth.  The tribe was able to survive, thanks to the innovative thinking, their diligence and the unwavering belief that they will succeed. As of today, they are still in the brink of survival yet every year, their lives become more and more ideal. The tribe is working altogether in achieving economic and personal growth through the extension of opportunities. Their current enterprises include those of Northern Casino, the Cams Institute, the Kalispel Case Line and the Kalispel Agricultural Enterprise.

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