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Sanpoil Indians

Sanpoil Indians. A native word in spite of its French aspect; meaning unknown. Also called:

Sanpoil Connections. The Sanpoil belonged to the inland division of the Salishan linguistic stock, and were related most closely to its eastern section.

Sanpoil Location. On Sanpoil River and Nespelem Creek and on the Columbia below Big Bend. They were later placed on Sanpoil and Colville Reservations.

Sanpoil Villages

The Nespelim of Nespelem Creek were often given independent status. Ray gives the following villages and camps:

Sanpoil Population. Mooney (1928) estimates 800 Sanpoil Indians in 1780 but Ray (1932) raises this to 1,600-1,700, and considers that there were about 1,300 immediately following the middle of the nineteenth century. In 1905 the United States Indian Office returned 324 Sanpoil and 41 Nespelim; in 1910 the census gave 240 and 46; in 1913, as the result of a survey, the Office of Indian Affairs returned 202 and 43.

Connection in which the Sanpoil have become noted. Sanpoil River, a northern tributary of the Columbia, perpetuates the name of the Sanpoil. Nespelem River is named for the subgroup, and a town.