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.