Traditional Cowlitz territory
|Regions with significant populations|
|United States ( Washington)|
|traditional tribal religion|
|Related ethnic groups|
Cowlitz people are a southwestern Coast Salish indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest. Today they are enrolled in the federally recognized tribes: Cowlitz Indian Tribe and Quinault Indian Nation.
Their traditional homelands are in western Washington state in the United States. The Cowlitz tribe consists of two distinct groups: the Upper Cowlitz, or Taidnapam, and the Lower Cowlitz and Kwalhiokwa.
The original language of Cowlitz tribes, the Cowlitz language, belonged to the Salishan family of languages among Northwest Coast indigenous peoples. Later, the Upper Cowlitz adopted the Sahaptin language from east of the Cascade Mountains.
The Cowlitz Indian Tribe were federally recognized on February 14, 2000, and their acknowledgement was reaffirmed in 2002. They are now recognized officially by the United States federal government, and are in the process of establishing federally recognized tribal lands (such as on a reservation) near Longview, Washington. The tribal offices are in Longview, Washington.
The Cowlitz political system evolved:
"from a strong system of chiefs, to an elective presidential system in the early 20th century; and a constitutional elective Tribal Council system after 1950. Chief How-How (Circa 1815), Chief Kiscox (Circa 1850), Chief Umtux (Circa 1850), Chief Scanewa (Circa 1855), Chief Richard Scanewa (Circa 1860) and Chief Antoine Stockum [Atwin Stokum] (1878) led the Cowlitz in the 19th century. Twentieth century figures include Chief Baptiste Kiona (1912), President Dan Plamondon (1921), President John Ike Kinswa (1922), Chairman John B. Sareault (Circa 1925), Chairman Jas. E. Sareault (Circa 1930), Chairman Manual L. Forrest (1950), Chairman Joseph Cloquet (1959), Chairman Clifford Wilson (1961) and Chairman Roy Wilson (1974)."
The Cowlitz produced fully imbricated, coiled baskets with strong geometric designs. These were made of bear grass, cedar root, horse tail root and cedar bark and were used to gather berries and fruits. Such baskets were often repaired and kept through many generations.
The Cowlitz tribe was historically based along the Cowlitz and Lewis Rivers, as well as having a strong presence at Fort Vancouver. The first European-American known to have contacted the Cowlitz was Simon Plamondon of Quebec. He eventually married Chief Scanewea's daughter, Thas-e-muth.
Notable Cowlitz people
- "Cowlitz Tribe." Center for World Indigenous Studies. Retrieved 29 Sept 2013.
- "Cowlitz." Ethnologue. Retrieved 29 Sept 2013.
- "Tsamosan." Ethnologue. Retrieved 29 Sept 2013.
- "People of the Quinault." Quinault Indian Nation. Retrieved 24 Sept 2013.
- Wilson, Roy I. Rochon (2012-07-06). "The Long View: History of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe". The Chronicle (Centralia, WA). Retrieved 2013-08-15.
- "Cowlitz Tribe". Center for World Indigenous Studies. 1994–2013. Retrieved 2013-08-15.
- Fitzpatrick, Darleen Ann. We Are Cowlitz: A Native American Ethnicity. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2004. ISBN 0-7618-2609-2.
- Ray, Verne F. Handbook of Cowlitz Indians. Seattle: Northwest Copy Company, 1966.
- Cowlitz Indian Tribe, official website
- United States. Cowlitz Indian Tribe Distribution of Judgement Funds Act: Report (to Accompany H.R. 2489) (Including Cost Estimate of the Congressional Budget Office). Washington, D.C.: U.S. G.P.O., 2003.