Yakima Tribe

Yakima Indians, Yakima Nation (Ya-ki-ná, `runaway’). An important Shahaptian tribe, formerly living on both sides of the Columbia and on the northerly branches of the Yakima (formerly Tapteal) and the Wenatchee, in Washington. They are mentioned by Lewis and Clark in 1806 under the name Cutsahnim (possibly the name of a chief): and estimated as 1,200 in number, but there is no certainty as to the bands it eluded under that figure. In 1855 the United States made a treaty with the Yakima and 13 other tribes of Shahaptian, Salishan, and Chinookan stocks, by whit they ceded the territory from the Cascade Mountains to Palouse and Snake Rivers and from Lake Chelan to the Columbia, and the Yakima Reservation was established, upon which all the participating tribes and bands were to be confederated as the Yakima Nation under the leadership of Kamaiakan, distinguished Yakima chief. Before the treaty could be ratified the Yakima War broke out, and it was not until 1859 that the provisions of the treaty were carried into effect. The Paloos and certain other tribes have never recognized the treaty or come on the reservation. Since the establishment of the reservation the term Yakima has been generally used in comprehensive sense to include all their tribes within its limits, so that it is now impossible to estimate the number Yakima proper.  The total Indian population of the reservation was officially estimated at 1,900 in 1909, but of this number probably comparatively few are true Yakima. The native name of the Yakima is Waptailnsim, ‘people of the narrow river,’ or Pa’kiut’lĕma, ‘people of the gap,’ both names referring to the narrows in Yakima river at Union Gap, where their chief village was formerly situated. Other bands were the Setaslema, of Setass creek, and the Pisko, of the lower Yakima. Little is known of the particular customs of the Yakima, but there is no reason to suppose that their life differed greatly from that of the Nez Percé and other Shahaptian peoples.

Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906.

2 thoughts on “Yakima Tribe”

  1. Hi – My GG Grandfather was Frank Mountain, that is all I know about his name. He was the farm foreman on the Kays sheep farm in Mabton 1880 1900? He was the father on Beldon Kays my G Grandfather. I’m trying to find out if he was Lakota Sioux or Yakima. My mothers side of the family has been at Goose Prairie since 1880, we would lamb there in the spring for decades and spend summers at Keystone( had the claim on the mine). I’m a Rasmussen, Kays, Heman. If anyone can remember what happened to Frank Mountain or any info about his background please contact me.

  2. Iam a great grandson of lincoln e. van alstien.my grandmother was the daughter of esther and lincoln.she was born 1933 in seattle washington.my great granmother esther was married to lincoln van alstine.I have a large family history from the beginnings of the town of port orchard wa.and its of a great amount of documents and birth records that i seek to resolve my native history and alleged background.I would like a email answer if someone in the registry could contact me at hounded1@hotmail.com Thank you very much.

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