Language: Okanogan
Family: Southern Interior Salish
Stock: Interior Salish
Phylum: Salishan
Macro-Culture: Northwest Plateau
Speakers 500    1977 SIL
     The Okanogan were a semi-sedentary hunter/gatherer confederacy and dialectic group the Northwestern Plateau.  They lived in Washington on the Okanogan River above the mouth of the Similkameen to the Canadian border, and around Lake Okanogan in British Columbia.  They traded with the first Whites to arrive, but ultimately had conflicts with and suffered from the later settlers.  
      The Okanogan were driven southward by Athapaskans, but later extended into Similkameen and north to displace the Shuswap.  The establishment of the U. S. and Canada international boundary divided their territory and ultimately the tribe gathered in Canada.  The U.. S. Okanogan finally settled on and confederated into the Colville Reservation, and are no longer enumerated separately.
Aboriginal Locations (Subdivisions)
BC (29), WA (11)
Oregon Present Locations
BC    Lower Similkameen, Keremeos
         Osoyoos, Oliver
         Westbank, Westbank
WA  Colville Reservation, Nespelem
Year History
1782 Smallpox epidemic
1809 David Thompson established Kullyspell House trading post on Lake Pend d'Orielle
1810 David Thompson established Spokane House
1811 David Thompson explored the length of the Columbia River
1841 Influx of Oregon Trail settlers began, conflicts followed
1846 Tribe divided by international boundary, most migrated north
1872 Colville Reservation established
1884 Canadian Pacific Railroad completed
Year Total Population BC WA Source
1700 2,000 1,500 500 NAHDB calculation
1780 2,000 Mooney estimate
1800 2,000 1,500 500 NAHDB calculation
1900 1,500 1,500 NAHDB calculation (WA had confederated into Colville) 
1905 1,516 CDIA
2000 650 650 NAHDB calculation
2004 688 688 Indian Life Online
Other speakers of the same language:
Okanogan Sites:
Anisiche Bill's Artificial Nose
Changing Columbia Basin
Colville Confederated Tribes Profile
Colville Reservation ...
Coyote Tales
Cultures Clash:  The Land Grab
Emerson, Elaine Timentwa
Ethnobotany of Middle Columbia Native Americans
Lower Similkameen Indian Band
Lower Similkameen Indian Band
Mourning Dove (Christine Quintasket)
Mourning Dove (Okanogan)  (1888-1936)
Northwest Plateau Culture and Ethnobotany
Okanogan Indian Tribe
Okanogan Language
Okanogan Linguistic Lineage
Okanogan Native
Oregon Trail
Osoyoos Indian Band
Retired Indian Affairs Leader Dies
Thompson, David ...
Westbank Indian Band

Last updated 03/10/05  Copyright 2005 by Four Directions Press