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Transcript of Spokane Indians
The Spokane tribe is part of the Salish linguistic group.
Spokane, translated from Salish to English, means "Children of the Sun."
The Spokane are in Northwest Plateau region of the US
The population as of 2007 was 2,209 people
28.7% of people in the Spokane reservation are below the poverty level
Spokane can also be spelled Spokan
While some modern-day Spokane are either Protestant or Catholic, lots of Spokane will combine Christianity with their traditional beliefs. Medicine men are also very respected and are used as healers. Amotkan is a man with a white beard and connections to the sun and considered the giver of life. The opposite and evil version of Amotkan is The Black One. The Spokane also have spirits for animal guardians, wind, and thunder.
The Legend of the Spokane
The character Coyote can be found in many Spokane folk tales along with Kalispel and Flathead Salish mythology. Coyote is considered a trickster but has his heart in the right place. In many stories, Coyote humorously dies only to be brought back to life by his friend Fox. Coyote was also known to have special powers, and some stories say that Coyote is the creator of man.
A long time ago, the area where the original Spokane were was a very large lake. Food was abundant and life was good. Soon earthquakes and tsunamis wreaked havoc on the earth. Game died, villages were destroyed, and lives were lost. Some people escaped to Mount Spokane (or Little Sun Mountain) while the large lake was sucked into the earth. Those who lived came down from the mountain and followed a small stream to what is now Spokane. The people barely survived until spring when the snow melted and the stream became a river. Then the people thrived.
The Salmon Ceremony
The Salmon Ceremony is a ceremony the men of the tribe attend. One man cuts a pre-caught fish into seven pieces. Then all the men would eat it. The salmon would return the following year, according to legend, if the ritual was followed. Rituals for the first roots, berries and fruits are held similarly.
The Origin of Spokane Falls
One day, Coyote and Fox were talking when Coyote told his friend that he wanted a wife. He wanted his wife to be from the Pend d'Orielle tribe. When the two reached the tribe, they talked with the chief, and Coyote asked which wife should be his. The chief told Coyote that he did not allow tribes to intermarry and did not allow Coyote to have a woman from the tribe be his wife. After Coyote and Fox left, the disappointed bachelor ranted to his friend. He was so mad that he used his powers to create a waterfall that would prevent the salmon from reaching the Pend d'Orielle tribe. The falls were made and became known as Spokane Falls.
The Spokane Indians
The Spokane Indian reservation was created by President Rutherford B. Hayes in January of 1881. The reservation is located in Wellpinit, Washington. Today, the reservation roughly covers about 159,000 acres. There is about 2,708 people who belong to the Spokane reservation.
A baseball team, the Spokane Indians, have had many people believe the team's logo and even name is racist among the Spokane Indian Tribe. Even with the name, the team's "S' in Spokane resembles the "S" in the Salish language. They also have two feathers in their logo, which can be closely related to the feathers they wear for ceremonial purposes. Even with many testimonies saying they aren't being racist toward the Spokane tribe, people still say otherwise
Arts of the Spokane
Today, hunting, fishing and collecting roots are still practiced. The language, Salish, is still taught to the younger members by the elders and through schools. Oral history is still an important way to keep history preservation.
By Haley Blazek, Jenna Danninger, and Andrew Mota
Originally, the Spokane tribe lived along the Spokane River and were split into three separate parts: the upper, middle and lower Spokane Indians. Tribe members hunted, fished and collected berries. They also collected roots too. They did this to feed their families during the year.
Modern day Spokane tribe during Pow Wow.
Older picture depicting the Spokane River
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Map of the reservation
Baseball team's symbol.
About 73.2% who live the the Spokane Reservation are American Indian alone, 18.2% are white, 4.3% are Hispanic, 3.3% are two or more races, 0.6% are Asian, 0.3 are black alone, and 0.05% are Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander alone.
About 74.6% have a high school education or higher, 7.9% have a Bachelor's degree or higher, 3.0% have a graduates or professionals degree or higher, 19.9% are unemployed, and the mean travel time to work is 24.5 minutes.
25 years or older
Spokane Art: Then and Now
The art of the Spokane
was much like other tribes in the Northwest Plateau region. Some of the things they made were baskets, blankets, carvings, and clothing. Cedar tree roots were used to make baskets with geometric shapes and animals on them, while colorful blankets with zig-zag designs were made with goat wool and twine. Carvings of animals and people were made out of rock, bones, and antlers by the Spokane too. Beads and paint were
used to decorate clothing.
Many past art
traditions still remain on the Spokane Reservation today, although art has also modernized. Things such as drawing and painting have become more popular than these past arts. Traditions haven't completely disappeared from the Spokane region though, painted and beaded outfits are still used for Powwows and bowls and blankets are made for events.
Today, the popular music in the Spokane Reservation is a mash-up of the sort of things we listen to and what we would stereotype as Native American music. Lots of songs have lyrics referencing the tribe and legends converted into the type of pop music we hear daily. Traditional music with drums are used for things such as the Spokane Tribe of Indians Labor Day Powwow, which is held every year. There's also music from the same classic rock, pop, and indie artists we listen to everyday.