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Spokan Tribe

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Spokan Indians. A name applied to several small bodies of Salish on and near Spokane River, north east Washington.  According to Gibbs the name was originally employed by the Skitswish to designate a band at the forks of the river, called also Smahoomenaish.  by the whites it was extended to cover several nearly allied divisions, which Gibbs enumerates as follows: Sin-slik-ho-ish, Sintootoolish, Sma-hoo-men-a-ish (Spokenish), Skai-schil-t’nish, ske-chei-a-mouse, Schu-el-stish, Sin-poil-schne, Sin-shee-lish.  The last two were claimed by the Okinagan also.  All of them are now held to be separate divisions and not bands of one tribe.  The population was estimated by Lewis and Clark in 1805 at 600 in 30 houses, and by Gibbs in 1853 at 450. In 1908 there were 301 “lower Spokan” and 238 “Upper Spokan” under the Colville agency, Washington, and 95 Spokan on Coeur d’Alene Reservation, Idaho; total 634.  In 1909 the entire number of Spokan in Washington was 509, while those in Idaho numbered 104.

 

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