Plateau Native Americans


The Plateau Native Americans are the tribes and groups that lived between the Rocky Mountains and the Cascade Mountains. The climate in the area is harsh with winter temperature well below zero and summer temperature rising to as high as 100 degrees. Located between the Native Americans from the coast and those in the interior the natives of this area benefited from trade from other trades. During the cold winters most of the tribes lived in permanent settlements, while during the summer months they lived in smaller groups in temporary settlements. Villages were relatively large with as many as a thousand people in some of the larger villages. Initially most of the houses were pit houses built below ground. In later years mat covered surface houses replaced the pit houses in many of the villages.

Native Americans of the Plateau region were primary hunters and gathers. The rivers were filled with fish, and the forests were filled with small game including deer elk bear and caribou. Wild plants and berries were also an important source of nutrients for the natives. The Indians of the region shared the same general beliefs as Native Americans did throughout North America a belief in animism that everything was connected to the spirit world and village shamans could make the connection.

The major tribes of the region were:
Cayuse Tribe
Coeur d'Alene
Modoc Tribe
Nez Perce
Palouse Tribe
Spokane Tribe
Walla Walla