Difference between revisions of "Shoshone Indians"

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*Waldman, Carl. ''Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes''. New York, New York: Facts on File, 2006. 3rd ed. [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/14718193?referer=list_view WorldCat 14718193]; {{FHL|1465222|title-id|disp=FHL book 970.1 W146e 2006}}.
*Waldman, Carl. ''Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes''. New York, New York: Facts on File, 2006. 3rd ed. [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/14718193?referer=list_view WorldCat 14718193]; {{FHL|1465222|title-id|disp=FHL book 970.1 W146e 2006}}.
[[Category:Indian_Tribes_of_the_United_States]] [[Category:Indian_Tribes_of_North_America]] [[Category:California_Indian_Tribes]] [[Category:Idaho_Indian_Tribes]] [[Category:Nevada_Indian_Tribes]] [[Category:Utah_Indian_Tribes]] [[Category:Wyoming_Indian_Tribes]]
[[Category:California_Indian_Tribes]] [[Category:Idaho_Indian_Tribes]] [[Category:Montana Indian Tribes]] [[Category:Nevada_Indian_Tribes]] [[Category:Oregon Indian Tribes]] [[Category:Utah_Indian_Tribes]] [[Category:Wyoming_Indian_Tribes]]

Revision as of 13:22, 24 May 2012

To get started in American Indian Research

Indians of Idaho > Shoshone Indians
Indians of Montana > Shoshone Indians
Indians of Nevada > Shoshone Indians
Indians of Oregon > Shoshone Indians
Indians of Utah > Shoshone Indians
Indians of Wyoming > Shoshone Indians

{{#if: Bannock|
Shoshoni - Pocatello-1913.jpg
1990 abt 9,215 
1900 abt 7,000 
??? ??? 

Regions with significant populations
Ancestral Homelands: west of Rocky Mountains and east of the Sierra Nevada. The Eastern Shoshone lived near Grand Teton and Wind River Mountains. The Northern Shoshone ranged through southern Idaho, eastern Oregon and northern Nevada. The Southern Shoshone lived in Nevada, Wyoming and Utah. Later a Western Shoshone group was recognized in 1982.

Fort Hall Reservation in Idaho and numerous reservations and colonies in Nevada and Oregon.


Federally recognized

Linguistic Group

not yet researched

Cultural Group

not yet researched

Other Related Ethnic Groups


Alternate Names: Shoshoni

Tribal Headquarters

Duckwater Shoshone:

Duckwater Shoshone Tribe of the Duckwater Reservation
P.O. Box 140068
Duckwater, Nevada 89314
Telephone: 1-702-863-0227
Fax: 1-702-863-0301

Ely Shoshone:

Ely Shoshone Tribe
16 Shoshone Circle
Ely, Nevada 89301
Telephone: 1-702-289-3013

Fallon Band of Paiute-Shoshone

Fallon Band of Paiute-Shoshone
8955 Mission Road
Fallon, Nevada 89406
Telephone: (=1-702-423-6075
Local call from the Reno area: 323-3780


Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation
P.O. Box 306
Fort Hall, ID 83203-0306

South Fork Shoshone

South Fork Shoshone
HC 30 Box B-13
Elko, Nevada 89801
Telephone: 1-702-744-4273

Wells Shoshone

Wells Shoshone
P.O. Box 809
Wells, Nevada 89835
Telephone: 1-702-752-3045

Yomba Band of Shoshone

Yomba Band of Shoshone
HC 61 Box 6275
Austin, Nevada 89310
Telephone: 1-702-964-2463


The ancestral homeland of the Shoshone was in the Mountain West. At an early point in history the tribe sub divided into:The Eastern Shoshone, Northern Shoshone and the Southern Shoshone. The Eastern Shoshone lived near Grand Teton and Wind River Mountains. The Northern Shoshone ranged through southern Idaho, eastern Oregon and northern Nevada. The Southern Shoshone lived in Nevada, Wyoming and Utah.

The tribes early contact with non-Indians included the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Jedediah Smith and fur traders and trapers at the Rocky Mountain rendezvous. The first rendezvous was promoted by Jedediah Smith in 1825. A prominent Shoshone: Sacajawea joined the Lewis and Clark Expedition-1803-06

In 1841 immigrants began moving to the west and northwest by way of the Oregon and California trails. Both of these trails cut through the homeland of the Shoshoni and Bannock tribes. Problems occured as the resourses of the area were drained by many immigrants going west. These trails provided a "hightway" for over twenty years serving the fourty-niners and silver seekers headed to California, Nevada and the northwest.

A military campaign of 300 soldiers led by Colonel Patrick Conner in January of 1863, killed 224 Indians this became known as the Bear river Massacre.

In 1863 four treaties were ratified, with the Eastern Shoshone, Shoshone-Northwestern Bands, Western Shoshoni and the the Shoshoni-Goship.

The Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroad completed their lines and came together at Promontory Point, Utah in 1869.

1860-70 assigned to reservations

Brief Timeline

  • 1782: Smallpox epidemic
  • 1803-06: Lewis and Clark Expedition
  • 1825: Jedediah Smith
  • 1825: First Rocky Mountain rendezvous at Green River in Wyoming
  • 1841-1869: The Oregon and California Trails both go right through the homeland of the Shoshoni and Bannock.
  • 1847: Mormons settled in the Great Salt Lake valley
  • 1849: Gold was discovered in California
  • 1855: Treaty
  • 1857: Comstock Lode - Silver in Nevada
  • 1862: Colonel Patrick Conner founded Fort Douglas Salt Lake City
  • 1863: January 29, Bear River Massacre, Campaign lead by Colonel Patrick Conner, 300 soldiers, 224 Indians killed; only 22 soldiers killed
  • 1863: July, Treaty
  • 1868: Treaty
  • 1869: Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroad met at Promontory Point, Utah
  • 1860-1870: all Shoshone bands assigned to reservations
  • 1870s lack of sufficient rations continuing problem at Fort Hall
  • 1878: Bannock War
  • 1878: a band - Sheepeaters, including Bannock and Shoshone Indians, were part of an uprising in the Salmon River Mountains of Idaho.
  • 1880s: Railroad Rights-of-Way
  • 1982: Western Shoshone federally recognized

Bands, Groups and Subdivisions of Shoshone Indians and Their Reservations

The term or designation of Shoshone Indians is a very broad categorization of several bands and/or federally recognized tribes within the group so named. For the most part, they have historically lived in the Great Basin area, and have ranged from Oregon and Idaho on the north to Arizona and southern California on the south, and from Wyoming on the east to northern California on the west. They were often referred to as the Snakes. Some of the tribes, bands, or groups of Shoshone, with their colonies or reservations, include:

Battle Mountain Band -- Battle Mountain Colony (Nevada)
Elko Band -- Elko Colony (Nevada)
South Fork Band -- South Fork Reservation (Nevada)
Wells Band -- Wells Colony (Nevada)

Famous Tribal Members


Additional References to the History of the Tribe




The following agencies of the Bureau of Indian Affairs had jurisdiction over the Shoshone 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 individual Indians under their jurisdiction. For details, see the page for the respective agency.

Census Records

The 1900 federal census included population schedules for the Shoshone Indians of Northern Utah. These schedules were not classified in the Bureau of Census records as a separate district, but were simply included in District 207, Portage Precinct in Box Elder County, Utah. However, the Shoshone Indians in this precinct are recorded on Indian Population Schedules

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.

1894 Census of the Bannock and Shoshone Indians of Fort Hall, Idaho. by Thomas Benton Teter. FHL Book Q970.1 Al#1 or FHL Film: 928110-928115

The following table lists the census rolls for the Shoshone Indians:

Tribe Agency Location of Original Records

Post 1885-Census

M595 RG 75 Rolls 693




Shoshone Wind River Agency, 1873-1952 Denver 167, 498-504, 631, 663 FHL Films: 581873-581879
Shoshone Fort Hall, 1885-87, 1890-91, 1894-1939 Seattle 138-44, 498-504 FLH Films: 576493-576499
Shoshone Lemhi Agency, 1885, 1887-1906 Seattle 248 FHL Film: 576494
Shoshone, Western Western Shoshone Agency, 1897-1916 San Francisco 646-48 FHL Films: 583105-583107
Shoshone Carson School, 1909-39 San Francisco 18-21 FHL Films: 573864-573867


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 Shoshone Indians were a part were:

  • 1855 June 9, referred to in Wallawalla Treaty
  • 1863 July 2, at Fort Bridger, with Eastern Shoshone
  • 1863 July 30, at Box Elder Shoshone-Northwestern Bands 
  • 1863 October 1,at Ruby Valley with Western Shoshoni 
  • 1863 October 12, at Tuilla Valley with Shoshoni-Goship
  • 1868:at Fort Bridger Eastern Band Shoshoni and Bannock

Tribal Office Records

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

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 Shoshone Indians include:

Important Web Sites




  • Carlson, Paul H. The Plains Indians. College Station, Texas: Texas A M University Press, c1998. FHL book 970.1 C197p


  • 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.
  • Madsen, Brigham D, The Northern Shoshoni. The Caxton Printers, Ltd. Caldwel, Idaho. C. 1980. ISBN 0-87004-289-0  
  • 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