History of Washington

Nez Perce Warrior

This illustrated article provides interesting facts, information and a history timeline of the Native American Indians of Washington.

The climate, land, history, environment and natural resources that were available to the indigenous Indian tribes in Washington resulted in the adoption of the Northwest culture. In Eastern Washington some Indians adopted the Plateau Culture

Discover the history, interesting facts and information about the way of life of the Washington Indians before the arrival of the white European settlers and colonists.

History of Native Americans
Native Indian Tribes Index

History of Washington Indians
Factors that contributed to the history of the state are detailed in the History Timeline. The history timeline shows the impact of the new comers to the state.

Stone Age History of Washington
The American Native Indians who lived in what is now the present state of Washington led a Stone Age lifestyle - they only had stone tools and weapons, had never seen a horse and had no knowledge of the wheel. The history of the Washington Indians are detailed in this article.

Map of Washington
The map of Washington provides a bird's eye view of the location of the tribal territories and homelands of the Washington Indians in relation to the present day United States of America. The map indicates the location of the State and the American Native Indians of Washington.


State Map of Washington

State Map showing location of Washington

State Map showing location of Washington Indians


Names of the Washington Indian Tribes
Washington is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. There are many famous Native American tribes who played a part in the history of the state and whose tribal territories and homelands are located in the present day state of Washington. The names of the Washington tribes included the Chinook, Clalskanie, Columbia, Cowlitz, Makah, Nez Perce (see picture above), Ozette, Palouse, Wahkiakum, Wallawalla, Wynoochee and Yakama.

Fast Facts about the History of Washington Indians
The way of life and history of Washington Indians was dictated by the natural raw materials available in the State of Washington. The natural resources and materials available provided the food, clothing and houses of the Washington Indians. Fast facts about the history, culture and life of the State of Washington Indians. Discover facts and information about the history of the State of Washington Indians.

  • Name of State: Washington
  • Meaning of State name: Named after George Washington, first President of the United States
  • Geography, Environment and Characteristics of the State of Washington: Mountains and coastal plain
  • Culture adopted by Washington Indians: Northwest Cultural Group. In Eastern Washington some Indians adopted the Plateau Culture
  • Languages: Chinookan, Athapaskan, Penutian
  • Way of Life (Lifestyle): Hunters and Fishers
  • Types of housing, homes or shelters: Pit houses, tepees, tule-mat lodges, plankhouses

History Timeline of the Washington Indians
The history and the way of life of Washington Indians was profoundly affected by newcomers to the area. The indigenous people had occupied the land thousands of years before the first European explorers arrived. The Europeans brought with them new ideas, customs, religions, weapons, transport (the horse and the wheel), livestock (cattle and sheep) and disease which profoundly affected the history of the Native Indians. For a comprehensive History timeline regarding the early settlers and colonists refer to the
Colonial America Time Period. The history of the State and of its Native American Indians is detailed in a simple History Timeline. This Washington Indian History Timeline provides a list detailing dates of conflicts, wars and battles involving Washington Indians and their history. We have also detailed major events in US history which impacted the history of the Washington Indians.

Washington History Timeline

History Timeline of the Native Indians of Washington

10,000 BC: Paleo-Indian Era (Stone Age culture) the earliest human inhabitants of America who lived in caves and were Nomadic hunters of large game including the Great Mammoth and giant bison.

7000 BC: Archaic Period in which people built basic shelters and made stone weapons and stone tools

1000 AD: Woodland Period - homes were established along rivers and trade exchange systems and burial systems were established

1688: 1688 - 1763 The French and Indian Wars between France and Great Britain for lands in North America consisting of King William's War (1688-1699), Queen Anne's War (1702-1713), King George's War (1744 - 1748) and the French and Indian War aka the Seven Years War (1754-1763)

1688: (1688-1699) King William's War (part of the French and Indian Wars) between France and the Wabanaki Confederacy and England and the Iroquois Confederacy. Peace Treaty made at Pemaquid. August 11,1693. and was ratified on Jan. 7. 1699

1702: (1702-1713) Queen Anne's War (part of the French and Indian Wars) between the French and Spanish colonies allied with the Wabanaki Confederacy, Mohawk, Choctaw, Timucua, Apalachee and Natchez tribes against the British colonies allied with the Muscogee (Creek), Chickasaw and Yamasee tribes.

1744: (17441748) King George's War (part of the French and Indian Wars) between the French colonies allied with the Wabanaki Confederacy and the British colonies allied with Iroquois Confederacy

1754: 1754 - 1763: The French Indian War is won by Great Britain against the French so ending the series of conflicts known as the French and Indian Wars

1763: Treaty of Paris - England gains control of Vermont after the French and Indian War

1775: 1775 - 1783 - The American Revolution.

1776: July 4, 1776 - United States Declaration of Independence

1805: Lewis and Clark enter Washington. Female Shoshone Indian guide Sacajawea (1788-1812) acted as interpreter and negotiator

1812: 1812 - 1815: The War of 1812 between U.S. and Great Britain, ended in a stalemate but confirmed America's Independence

1830: Indian Removal Act

1832: Department of Indian Affairs established

1847: Cayuse Indians attack Whitman Mission in Walla Walla

1853: The Washington Territory is created 

1855: Yakima War (18551858)

1855: The Walla Walla Treaty Council

1858: Coeur d'Alene War (aka Spokane, Coeur d'Alene and Palouse Indian war) in the Washington and Idaho areas. Indians attacked and defeated a force of 164 US troops under Major Edward Steptoe.

1861: 1861 - 1865: The American Civil War.

1862: U.S. Congress passes Homestead Act opening the Great Plains to settlers

1865: The surrender of Robert E. Lee on April 9 1865 signalled the end of the Confederacy

1887: Dawes General Allotment Act passed by Congress leads to the break up of the large Indian Reservations and the sale of Indian lands to white settlers

1969: All Indians declared citizens of U.S.

1979: American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed

History Timeline of the Native Indians of Washington

State of Washington History Timeline

History of Washington Indians - Destruction and Decline
The history of the European invasion brought epidemic diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera, influenza, measles and smallpox. The Native Indians of Washington had not developed immunities against these diseases resulting in huge losses in population. Exploitation including the leverage of taxes, enforced labor and enslavement were part of their history, taking their toll on the Washington Indians.


  • History of Washington Indians
  • Interesting Facts and information about the Washington Culture and History
  • Names of indigenous Washington tribes of Indians
  • Fast Facts, History Timeline and info
  • Map of Washington
  • History Timeline of the Washington Indians

State of Washington Indians - Additional Pictures and Videos
State of Washington Indian History. Discover the vast selection of pictures and videos of Native Americans. The pictures show the clothing, weapons and decorations of various Native American tribes that can be used as an educational history resource for kids and children. We hope that this article on the History of Washington Indians  will assist in your studies or homework and that you will enjoy watching the videos featuring many pictures of the Native Americans. A great historical educational resource for kids on the subject of the History of Washington Indians..


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