Language: Nez Perce
Family: Shahaptin
Stock: Plateau Penutian
Phylum: Macro-Penutian
Macro-Culture: Northwestern Plateau
Speakers 697    1990 Census (Total language)
     The Palouse were semi-sedentary hunter/gatherer tribes.  They acquired horses early.  They occupied the valley of the Palouse River and the Snake River in proximity to the Palouse.  Their range extended into Idaho.
     They traded with the first Whites but ultimately were considered to be renegades and had conflicts with a the later settlers.  They suffered huge losses to disease.  Though they were included in the 1855 Yakima Treaty, the treaty was never recognized by the tribe.  They have refused to live a reservation life.
Aboriginal Locations (Subdivisions)
WA (5)
Oregon Present Locations
Year History
1700 Acquired horses
1760 Smallpox epidemic
1781 Smallpox epidemic
1805 Lewis and Clark passed through territory, aided by Nez Perce
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
1836 Presbyterian mission established by Rev. Henry Spaulding near the mouth of Lapwai Creek
1841 Influx of Oregon Trail settlers began, conflicts followed
1847 Measles epidemic; fought in Cayuse War against Whites
1855 Major Heller and 100 men routed in with a joint force of Yakimas, Columbias, Wanapams, Wallwallas, Palouse, and Spokanes ... "Toppenish Fight"; Yakima Treaty, tribe included in treaty but refused to recognize the document
1858 Took part in the Spokane/Coeur d'Alene War against Whites
Year  Population Source
1700 5,400 NAHDB calculation
1780 5,400 Mooney estimate
1800 2,000 NAHDB calculation
1805 1,600 Lewis and Clark
1854 500 Swanton
1900 100 NAHDB calculation 
1910 82 Census
2000 200 NAHDB calculation
Other speakers of the same language:
Nez Perce, Wanapam
Palouse Sites:
Appaloosa Breed Information
Army Col. Wright Slaughters 800 Palouse Horses
Battle of Four Lakes
Col. Geo. Wright and Indian Wars
Colville Tribes Represent Palouse
Col. Wright Hangs Yakama and Palouse Prisoners ...
Kamiakin and the Yakima Indian War
Lewis and Clark Visit Palouse
Marmes Rock Shelter Key Site
Native Americans Rout US Army ...
Nez Perce Language
Nez Perce Language
Nez Perce Linguistic Lineage
Oregon Trail
Palouse Narrative
Treaty of Yakima - 1855
Whitman Massacre - 1847
Wolf Necklace - Palouse Chief

Last updated 03/06/05  Copyright 2005 by Four Directions Press