- For other references, see Sanpoil (disambiguation).
(or San Poil
) is one of 12 aboriginal
Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation
. Sanpoil is a native word meaning "unknown"; it is not French. The Yakima know the tribe as Hai-ai'-nlma
. The Sanpoil call themselves Nesilextcl'n
, probably meaning "Salish speaking," and N'pooh-le
, a shortened form of the name. The Sanpoils had a semi-democratic system of government with various chiefs representing each community; though heritidy was not a requirement for chiefs in it sometimes was the case. In later years U.S. Government officials began recognizing on one chief at a time. The last two official recognized chiefs of the San Poil tribe was Skolaskin and Jim James.
Since the 1600s the Sanpoil flourished with a large number of villages along the Sanpoil River
and Nespelem River
, tributaries of the Columbia River
Later, the tribe was placed on Sanpoil and Colville Reservations in Washington state
The San Poil Tribe was incorporated into the Colville Confederacy by executive order from the President of the United States after strong recommendation from the Indian agents noting the San Poils relative peaceful nature towards others (especially white settlers).
The Sanpoil are considered Interior Salish Native Americans, a designation that also includes the Okanagan, Sinixt, Lake, Wenatchee, Nespelem, Spokan, Kalispel, Pend d'Oreilles, Coeur d'Alene, and Flathead peoples.
Ross classifies Nespelem as one of the Okanagan tribes, while Winans classifies them as part of the Sanpoil. (there is barely any difference in culture between the two as they are very closely related to one another)
In 1905, the United States Indian Office counted 324 Sanpoil and 41 Nespelim; in 1910, the census counted 240 and 46; in 1913, after a survey, the Office of Indian Affairs counted 202 and 43.
The Sanpoil were Salish
speaking Plateau Indians
belonging to the inland division of the Salishan languages
, and related most closely to Salishan languages' eastern section.
Legends and stories
List of Sanpoil villages and tribes
- Enthlukaluk, about 1.5 miles north of the mouth of the river.
- Hahsulauk, home of the Shahsulauhuwa, near Plum.
- Hulalst, home of the S-hulalstu, at Whitestone, about 8 miles above Npuiluk.
- Hwatsam, a winter camp, about 3 miles above Snukeilt.
- Kakamkam, on the islands in the Sanpoil River a short distance above the mouth.
- Kathlpuspusten, home of the Kathlpuspustenak, about a mile above Plum, on the opposite side of the river.
- Ketapkunulak, on the banks of the Columbia just east of the Sanpoil River.
- Naak, home of the Snaakau, about a mile below Plum but on the north side of the river.
- Nhohogus, fishing grounds of the S-hulalstu.
- Npokstian, a winter camp, about 2 miles above Hwatsam.
- Npuiluk, home of the Snpuiluk, at the mouth of Sanpoil River, made up of the following camps:
- Snkethlkukwiliskanan, near the present landing of the Keller ferry;
- a branch of the last called by the same name, several hundred yards north of the first between the cliff and the Sanpoil River, on the west side;
- Kethltselchin, on the first bench above the Columbia, west of the Sanpoil River.
- Nthlahoitk, a winter camp of the Snpuiluk, about halfway between Skthlamchin and Naak.
- Saamthlk, home of the Saamthlk, on the opposite side of the river from Kathlpuspusten.
- Skekwilk, on the west side of Sanpoil River about a mile above the mouth.
- Snputlem, on the east bank of Sanpoil River, about .15 miles above the mouth.
- Snukeilt, home of the Snukeiltk, on the west side of Columbia River about 2 miles above the mouth of Spokane River.
- Tkukualkuhun, home of the Stkukualkuhunak, at Rodger's Bar just across the river from Hunters.
- Tsaktsikskin, a winter camp of the Snpuiluk, about a half mile below Naak. Wathlwathlaskin, home of the Swathlwathlaskink, 3 miles up the river from Nthlahoitk.
- Ray, Verne Frederick. Sanpoil Folk Tales. 1933.
- Ray, Verne F. The Sanpoil and Nespelem: Salishan Peoples of Northeastern Washington, by Verne F. Ray. Seattle, Washington: Univ. of Wash. Press, 1932.
- Watson, Ralph W. Appraisal of the Tribal Lands of the Colville Tribe, the San Poil and Nespelem Tribes, the Lakes, the Okanogans, and the Methows As Defined in the Decision of the Indian Claims Commission, Docket 181 on February 29, 1956 : All of Said Lands Being in the State of Washington and the Appraisal Being As of July 2, 1872. Library of American Indian affairs. New York: Clearwater, 1900.