Flathead Reservation

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Ravalli 59863,Missoula Area

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Historical Markers/Interpretive SignHistoric Sites
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General info

Location: West of Ravalli

The Native Americans on this reservation belong to the Salish, Kalispel, Spokane, Kootenai and Pend d’Oreille tribes. Lewis and Clark met the Salish in 1805 and described them and their allies, the Nez Perce, as being friendly and exceptional people. “Flathead” was a misnomer applied to the Salish by Lewis and Clark. No one knows for sure where it came from, but like many early names for tribes, it stuck. It seems that the whites almost always had a handle to hang on a tribe before they met anyone who could tell them their own name for themselves.

The Flatheads frequently crossed the mountains to the plains to hunt buffalo and there clash with the Blackfeet, their hereditary enemies. Many of the French and Scotch names amongst them came from marriage with the Hudson Bay Co. trappers and traders in the early fur days.

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