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Watlala Tribe

Watlala Indians. Watlala Tribe. A division of the Chinookan family formerly living at the cascades of Columbia River and, at least in later times, on Dog (now Hood) river about halfway between the cascades and The Dalles, in Wasco County, Oregon. Early writers mention several tribes at or near the cascades, but as the population of that region was very changeable from the fact of its being a much frequented fishing resort, and as many of the so-called tribes were merely villages, often of small size, it is now impossible to identify them with certainty. After the epidemic of 1829, the Watlala seem to have been the only remaining tribe, the remnants of the others having probably united under that name, though they were commonly called Cascade Indians by the whites. In 1854 they were reported to number 80. In 1855 they joined in the Wasco treaty (Treaty of June 25, 1855) under the name of the “Ki-gal-twal-la band of the Wascoes” and the “Dog River band of the Wascoes,” and were removed to the Warm Springs Reservaton in Oregon, where a few still survive.

The term Watlala is also used by some writers, following Hale, to include all the Upper Chinook. The names given by different writers to the tribes living at or near the cascades, which may have been the Watlala or later have been included under them, are Cathlakaheckit, Cathlathlala, Cathlayackty, Clahclellah, Katlagakya, Yehuh.

For further research see:


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

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