Cowlitz people are an indigenous people of the Northwestern Plateau. Today they are enrolled in the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, a federally recognized tribe. 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, or Kawlic.
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 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 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.
Further reading 
- Fitzpatrick, Darleen Ann. We Are Cowlitz: A Native American Ethnicity. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2004. ISBN 0-7618-2609-2.
- 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.