First Year Seminar / Discussion
September 29, 2014
The Spokane Indians originate from the Spokane River in Eastern Washington. This tribe has existed since the 1300’s and is still an active tribe on the Spokane reservation. Robert H Ruby, a professor the course "Indians of the Pacific Northwest", wrote a book “The Spokane Indians Children of the Sun” which was published in 1970; this book contains detailed information on The Spokane Indian Tribe discovered during his time spent in Spokane, WA when studying in college. Ruby claimed that the Spokane Indians divided themselves into three divisions along the river: The Lower Spokanes, The Middle Spokanes and the Upper Spokanes, which ironically had no correlation to their location on the river (1970). According to “u-s-history.com”, these tribal members were hunters and gatherers that moved seasonally to meet their needs (“Spokane Indian Tribe”, n. d.). Many aspects of the Spokane Indian Tribe has been influenced by other cultures over the centuries and has developed with the cultures around it.
The Spokane Indian Tribe’s original language is one of the Salish languages. The Spokane Tribe is also recognized as a Salishan tribe. In the Spokane’s dialect of Interior Salish, “Spokane” means “the children of the sun”; therefore, the Spokane tribe is also know as The Children of the Sun or “Sun People” (“Spokane Indian Tribe”, n. d.). Because the tribe has developed from its original practices over the many years, Salish is not the only language spoken on the reservation today.
In the 1700’s the Plain Indians and their new source of travel by horse influenced Spokane Indians (“Spokane Indian Tribe”, n. d.). The Spokane Indians did not locally breed their horses; they are believed to trade them mainly with the Nez Percés, a near by Indian tribe (Ruby & Brown, 1970). The Spokane used horses to widen the range of their hunting searches, create tribal boundaries, and use in warfare (Ruby & Brown, 1970). Another aspect of the Spokane Tribe that was influenced was religion. The Spokane Indians believed in a