Colestah was one of the five wives of Chief Kamiakin (1800–1877) of the YakamaNative American tribe. She is described as being a medicine woman, a psychic, and a warrior. In 1858 she accompanied Kamiakin to the Battle of Four Lakes (or Battle of Spokane Plain), armed with a stone war club, vowing to fight by his side. When Kamiakin was wounded, Colestah carried him off and used her skills in traditional tribal medicine to nurse him back to health.
Kamiakin moved to the Palouse River, between today's St. John and Endicott, in 1860, where his family followed its "seasonal rounds of root-digging, berry-gathering and salmon fishing." Colestah had a new son with Kamiakin in 1865, but "soon became ill and died."