To get started in American Indian Research
The Sheepeater Indians are actually a part of the Shoshone Tribe and were also known as the Mountain Shoshone. Their name may have come from the fact that they were hunters and eaters of Rocky Mountain sheep.
The Mountain Shoshone or Sheepeaters were located in the Yellowstone and northern Rocky Mountains along the Idaho-Montana border. Some of them settled in the Lemhi Valley near Tendoy, Idaho. A reservation was established for them in 1875, called the Lemhi Reservation, and approximately 700 Shoshone, Sheepeater, and Bannock Indians were placed on that reservation.
The Lemhi Reservation was never very successful and in 1906, 474 Indians from the Lemhi Reservation were moved to Fort Hall Reservation in eastern Idaho. Some of the Shoshone, especially those under Chief Tendoy remained in the central Idaho area near Salmon. Chief Tendoy died in May 1907 and was buried near Tendoy, Idaho.
Additional References to the History of the Tribe
A brief history of the Sheepeater Indians and the Sheepeater Indian War of 1879 is available online.
Bands and Groups of the Sheepeater Tribe
- Chief Tendoy's Band
Many of the records of the Sheepeaters, 1875-1906, are included in the records of the Lemhi Reservation. Subsequent records mostly are at the Fort Hall Reservation, where many of the descendants of the early Sheepeaters now live.
There is also an Indian burial ground on a bench near Tendoy, Idaho.
Correspondence and Census
|Tribe||Agency||location of Original Records||
M234 RG 75 Rolls 962
M595 RG 75 Rolls 693
|Sheepeater||Lemhi Agency, 1885, 1887-1906||Seattle||-||248||FHL Film: 576937|
Important Web Sites
"Sheepeater Indian War" article in Wikipedia.
- "History: The Mountain Shoshone or Sheepeater Indians," Salmon-Challis National Forest, Leadore Ranger District available online
- Idaho State Historical Society Reference Series No. 24 "The Sheepeater Indians" available online
- Dominick, David. "The Sheepeaters." Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 36, No. 2 (1964), pp. 131-168.
- Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives; Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
- Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1906 Available online.
- Klein, Barry T., ed. Reference Encyclopedia of the American Indian. Nyack, New York: Todd Publications, 2009. 10th ed. WorldCat 317923332; FHL book 970.1 R259e.
- Malinowski, Sharon and Sheets, Anna, eds. The Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes. Detroit: Gale Publishing, 1998. 4 volumes. Includes: Lists of Federally Recognized Tribes for U.S., Alaska, and Canada – pp. 513-529 Alphabetical Listing of Tribes, with reference to volume and page in this series Map of “Historic Locations of U.S. Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Canadian Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Mexican, Hawaiian and Caribbean Native Groups” Maps of “State and Federally Recognized U.S. Indian Reservations. WorldCat 37475188; FHL book 970.1 G131g.
- Vol. 1 -- Northeast, Southeast, Caribbean
- Vol. 2 -- Great Basin, Southwest, Middle America
- Vol. 3 -- Arctic, Subarctic, Great Plains, Plateau
- Vol. 4 -- California, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Islands
- Sturtevant, William C. Handbook of North American Indians. 20 vols., some not yet published. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978– .
- Volume 1 -- Not yet published
- Volume 2 -- Indians in Contemporary Society (pub. 2008) -- WorldCat 234303751
- Volume 3 -- Environment, Origins, and Population (pub. 2006) -- WorldCat 255572371
- Volume 4 -- History of Indian-White Relations (pub. 1988) -- WorldCat 19331914; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.4.
- Volume 5 -- Arctic (pub. 1984) -- WorldCat 299653808; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.5.
- Volume 6 -- Subarctic (pub. 1981) -- WorldCat 247493742; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.6.
- Volume 7 -- Northwest Coast (pub. 1990) -- WorldCat 247493311
- Volume 8 -- California (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 13240086; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.8.
- Volume 9 -- Southwest (pub. 1979) -- WorldCat 26140053; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.9.
- Volume 10 -- Southwest (pub. 1983) -- WorldCat 301504096; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.10.
- Volume 11 -- Great Basin (pub. 1986) -- WorldCat 256516416; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.11.
- Volume 12 -- Plateau (pub. 1998) -- WorldCat 39401371; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.12.
- Volume 13 -- Plains, 2 vols. (pub. 2001) -- WorldCat 48209643
- Volume 14 -- Southeast (pub. 2004) -- WorldCat 254277176
- Volume 15 -- Northwest (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 356517503; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.15.
- Volume 16 -- Not yet published
- Volume 17 -- Languages (pub. 1996) -- WorldCat 43957746
- Volume 18 -- Not yet published
- Volume 19 -- Not yet published
- Volume 20 -- Not yet published