Native American languages of Idaho

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Idaho, a state in the western region of the United States of America, hosts a large number of Native Americans who have traditionally lived in the northern expanses of the Great Basin and the Rocky Mountains. There are five Native American languages that are spoken by recognized tribes of Idaho, two of which fall under the Uto-Aztecan languages classification, while the other three fall under three other language families that are associated with linguistic regions to the west and east of Idaho.


There are five Native American languages currently spoken in Idaho. Population estimates are based on figures from Ethnologue and U.S. Census data, as given in sub-pages below. The five languages are shown in the table below:

Language Classification Number of Speakers Total Ethnic Population Tribe(s) Included Location(s) in Idaho Significant External Populations
Coeur d'Alene Salishan: Interior: Southern 5 2,000 Coeur d'Alene Coeur d'Alene Reservation
Northern Paiute Uto-Aztecan: Numic: Western Numic 700 5,000 Northern Paiute, Bannock Duck Valley Indian Reservation, Fort Hall Indian Reservation Nevada
Shoshone Uto-Aztecan: Numic: Central Numic 2,000 12,300 Western Shoshone, Northern Shoshone Duck Valley Indian Reservation, Fort Hall Indian Reservation Nevada, Wyoming, Utah
Nez Perce Plateau Penutian: Sahaptian 100 3,000 Nez Perce Nez Perce Indian Reservation Washington
Kootenai Language Isolate 100 2,000 Ktunaxa: Lower Kootenay Kootenai Indian Reservation British Columbia, Montana, Washington

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