Kalispel Tribe of Indians

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Alternate Names: Pend d'Oreille, Kalispel Indian Community of the Kalispel Reservation, Washington (the official federally-recognized name)

Kalispel (also known as Pend'd Oreilles) home of the Kalispel.jpg
1990 210 
1905 837 
1805 abt. 1,600 
1780 abt. 1,200 

Regions with significant populations
Ancestral Homelands: Northwestern Montana and northeastern Washington

Kalispel Reservation in Washington and the Flathead Reservation in Montana.


Federally recognized

Linguistic Group


Cultural Group

not yet researched

Other Related Ethnic Groups

Flathead, Pend d'Oreilles,

Tribal Headquarters[edit | edit source]

Kalispel Indian Community
P.O. Box 39
Usk, WA 99180
Phone: 509-445-1147
Fax: 509-445-1705

History[edit | edit source]

Tribal Groups: The Upper Kalispel, Lower Kalispel and Chewelah (who live west of the Chewelah Mountains in Upper Colville Valley) are collectively known as Pend d'Oreille Indians.

The Kalispel Tribe acquired horses early, from the Spanish or other tribes.

For over twenty years 1760-1780 the Kalispel Indians were in conflict with the Blackfeet, Apsaroke, and Sioux tribes. Their raids for horses against the Nez Perce and Yakima increased the conflict. They sought allies with the Spokan Tribe during this time.

The Jesuits established a mission among the tribe in 1841.

In 1855 the tribe ceded land and moved to Jocko Reservation in Montana Territory. Later the tribe was assigned to Kalispel Reservation in Washington.

Brief Timeline[edit | edit source]

  • 1730: The Tribe acquired horses
  • 1760-1781: Conflict with the Blackfeet, Apsaroke and Sioux - allies with the Spokan Tribe
  • raids for horses - Nez Perce and Yakima
  • 1841: Jesuits establish a mission
  • 1855-1856: Yakima War
  • 1855: July 16, Treaty
  • 1858: Coeur d'Alene War
  • 1872: Reservation established for the Coeur d'Alene, Kalispel
  • 1880: Encroachments of non-Indians
  • 1884: Chief Victor sought compensation of lost land and a separate reservation for the Lower Kalispel
  • 1895: Indian Commissioner ordered Kalispel lands surveyed
  • 1914: Kalispel Reservation was established

Additional References to the History of the Tribe[edit | edit source]

Frederick Webb Hodge, in his Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, gave a more complete history of the Kalispel tribe, with estimations of the population of the tribe at various time periods.

Records[edit | edit source]

The majority of records of individuals were those created by the agencies. Some records may be available to tribal members through the tribal headquarters. They were (and are) the local office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and were charged with maintaining records of the activities of those under their responsibility. Among these records are:

Agencies:[edit | edit source]

The following agencies of the Bureau of Indian Affairs had jurisdiction over the Kalispel for the time periods indicated. BIA agencies were responsible to keep such records as census rolls, allotment (land) records, annuity rolls, school records, correspondence, and other records of individuals under their jurisdiction. For details, see the page for the respective agency.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

The Bureau of Indian Affairs compiled annual Indian Census Rolls on many of the reservations from 1885 to 1940. They list the names of individuals, their age, and other details about each person enumerated. For more information about these records, click here.

The following table lists the census rolls for the Kalispel:

Tribe Agency Location of Original Records

Post -1885 Census

M 595 RG 75 -- 692 Rolls

Roll Number

FHL Film Number
Pend d'Oreille (Kalispel)

Flathead Agency,1886-1905

Washington, DC 703-713 Films: 575799-575470

Enrollment Records[edit | edit source]

In 1905, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs assigned Special Agent Thomas Downs to investigate the enrollment of the Indians of the Flathead Reservation. The National Archives has microfilmed the resulting documents as their Microcopy M1350, consisting of 3 rolls of microfilm. These records are available at the National Archives and their Regional Archives, and at other research institutions, including the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The records include census rolls for 1903, 1905, and 1908, as well as applications for enrollment and Agent Downs' field notes. It includes members of all tribes then living on the Flathead Reservation, including the Flathead, Kootenai, Pend d'Oreille, Kalispel, and Spokane tribes.

Treaties[edit | edit source]

During the latter part of the 18th Century and most of the 19th Century, treaties were negotiated between the federal government and individual Indian tribes. The treaties provide helpful information about the history of the tribe, but usually only include the names of those persons who signed the treaty. For more information about treaties, click here.

Treaties to which the Kalispel were a part were:

  • 1855 October 17, with the Blackfeet
  • 1855 July 16, at Hell Gate, with the Flatheads, Etc.,

Tribal Office Records[edit | edit source]

The Tribal Office is responsible for enrollment records, vital records, tribal police records, tribal court records, employment records and many others. They are an entirely different set of records from those kept by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Most of them remain in the Tribal Office. For details, contact that office at the address for the Tribal Headquarters listed above.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Prior to the Indian Reorganization Act, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, through their agencies, may have recorded some vital events. Some were recorded on health forms, such as the "Sanitary Record of Sick, Injured, Births, Deaths, etc." Others were recorded as supplements to the "Indian Census Rolls." Some were included in the unindexed reports and other correspondence of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Some vital records for the Kalispel include:

Important Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

Kalispel[edit | edit source]

General[edit | edit source]