Honoring the Past to Ensure the Future...
The Flathead Indian Reservation is home to three tribes,
the Bitterroot Salish, Upper Pend d’Oreille, and the
Kootenai. “Confederated Salish” refers to both the
Salish and Pend d’Oreille tribes. The territories of
these three tribes covered all of western Montana and
extended into parts of Idaho, British Columbia and
Wyoming. The Hellgate Treaty of 1855 established the
Flathead Reservation, but over half a million acres
passed out of Tribal ownership during land allotment
that began in 1904.
The subsistence patterns of our Tribal people
developed over generations of observation,
experimentation and spiritual interaction with the
natural world, creating a body of knowledge about the
environment closely tied to seasons, locations and
biology. This way of life was suffused with rich oral
history and a spiritual tradition in which people
respected the animals, plants and other elements of the
natural environment. By learning from our Elders and
teaching our children, those Tribal ways of life
continue to this day.