History of Washington

Native Indian Tribe

Names of the Washington Indian Tribes
Washington is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. There are many famous Native American tribes who played a part in the history of the state and whose tribal territories and homelands are located in the present day state of Washington. The names of the Washington tribes included the Chinook, Clalskanie, Columbia, Makah, Nez Perce (see picture above), Ozette, Palouse, Wallawalla, Wynoochee and Yakima.

Fast Facts about the History of Washington Indians
The climate, land, history, environment and natural resources that were available to the indigenous Indian tribes in Washington resulted in the adoption of the Northwest culture. In Eastern Washington some Indians adopted the Plateau Culture.

  • Name of State: Washington
  • Meaning of State name: Named after George Washington, first President of the United States
  • Geography, Environment and Characteristics of the State of Washington: Mountains and coastal plain
  • Culture adopted by Washington Indians: Northwest Cultural Group. In Eastern Washington some Indians adopted the Plateau Culture
  • Languages: Athabaskan, Algonquian, Siouan, Caddoan and Uto-Aztecan
  • Way of Life (Lifestyle): Hunters and Fishers
  • Types of housing, homes or shelters: Pit houses, tepees, tule-mat lodges

History Timeline of the Washington Indians

  • 10,000 B.C. : Paleo-Indian Era (Stone Age culture) the earliest human inhabitants of America who lived in caves and were Nomadic hunters of large game including the Great Mammoth and giant bison.
  • 7000 BC: Archaic Period in which people built basic shelters and made stone weapons and stone tools
  • 1000 AD: Woodland Period - homes were established along rivers and trade exchange systems and burial systems were established
  • 1688: 1688 - 1763 The French and Indian Wars between France and Great Britain for lands in North America consisting of King William's War (1688-1699), Queen Anne's War (1702-1713), King George's War (1744 - 1748) and the French and Indian War aka the Seven Years War (1754-1763)
  • 1688: (1688-1699) King William's War (part of the French and Indian Wars) between France and the Wabanaki Confederacy and England and the Iroquois Confederacy. Peace Treaty made at Pemaquid. August 11,1693. and was ratified on Jan. 7. 1699
  • 1702: (1702-1713) Queen Anne's War (part of the French and Indian Wars) between the French and Spanish colonies allied with the Wabanaki Confederacy, Mohawk, Choctaw, Timucua, Apalachee and Natchez tribes against the British colonies allied with the Muscogee (Creek), Chickasaw and Yamasee tribes.
  • 1744: (17441748) King George's War (part of the French and Indian Wars) between the French colonies allied with the Wabanaki Confederacy and the British colonies allied with Iroquois Confederacy
  • 1754: 1754 - 1763: The French Indian War is won by Great Britain against the French so ending the series of conflicts known as the French and Indian Wars
  • 1763: Treaty of Paris - England gains control of Vermont after the French and Indian War
  • 1775: 1775 - 1783 - The American Revolution
  • 1776: July 4, 1776 - United States Declaration of Independence
  • 1805: Lewis and Clark enter Washington. Female Shoshone Indian guide Sacajawea (1788-1812) acted as interpreter and negotiator
  • 1812: 1812 - 1815: The War of 1812 between U.S. and Great Britain, ended in a stalemate but confirmed America's Independence
  • 1830: Indian Removal Act
  • 1832: Department of Indian Affairs established
  • 1847: Cayuse Indians attack Whitman Mission in Walla Walla
  • 1853: The Washington Territory is created
  • 1855: Yakima War (18551858)
  • 1855: The Walla Walla Treaty Council
  • 1858: Coeur d'Alene War (aka Spokane, Coeur d'Alene and Palouse Indian war) in the Washington and Idaho areas. Indians attacked and defeated a force of 164 US troops under Major Edward Steptoe.
  • 1861: 1861 - 1865: The American Civil War.
  • 1862: U.S. Congress passes Homestead Act opening the Great Plains to settlers
  • 1865: The surrender of Robert E. Lee on April 9 1865 signalled the end of the Confederacy
  • 1887: Dawes General Allotment Act passed by Congress leads to the break up of the large Indian Reservations and the sale of Indian lands to white settlers
  • 1969: All Indians declared citizens of U.S.
  • 1979: American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed

History of Washington Indians - Destruction and Decline
The history of the European invasion brought epidemic diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera, influenza, measles and smallpox. The Native Indians of Washington had not developed immunities against these diseases resulting in huge losses in population. Exploitation including the leverage of taxes, enforced labor and enslavement were part of their history, taking their toll on the Washington Indians.

History of Native Americans
Native Indian Tribes Index

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Updated 2018-01-01

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