Published on August 28, 2013 by Amy
The Colville tribe is a Native American tribe of the Pacific Northwest. The name Colville comes from association with Fort Colville, named after Andrew Colvile of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Earlier, outsiders often named the Colville Scheulpi or Chualpay; the French traders called them Les Chaudières (“the Kettles”) in reference to Kettle Falls.
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The tribe was originally located in eastern Washington on the Colville River and the area of the Columbia River between Kettle Falls and the town of Hunters. The tribe’s history is tied with Kettle Falls, an important salmon fishing resource, and an important post of the Hudson’s Bay Company, which brought the advantages and disadvantages of contact with people of European heritage. In 1846, the Jesuit mission of St. Paul was established. Through its influence nearly all the upper Columbia tribes were Christianized. In 1872, the Colville tribe was relocated to the Colville Indian Reservation, an Indian reservation in eastern Washington, inhabited and managed by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, which is a federally recognized tribe comprising twelve bands. The twelve bands are the Methow, Okanogan, Arrow Lakes, Sanpoil, Colville, Nespelem, Chelan, Entiat, Moses-Columbia, Wenatchi, Nez Perce, and Palus.
Mooney (1928) estimated the number of the Colville at 1,000 as of 1780, but Lewis and Clark placed it at 2,500, a figure also fixed upon by Teit (1930). In 1870, there were 616; in 1900, 298; in 1904, 321; in 1907, 334; and in 1937, 322.
The Colville belong to the Interior Salishan linguistic stock and to that branch of the latter which included the Okanagan, Sanpoil, and Senijextee (Sinixt).