Nespelem woman, photo by Curtis, 1911
|Regions with significant populations|
|United StatesUnited States (Washington)|
|English, Salishan, Interior Salish|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Colville, Sanpoil, Sinixt, Palus, Wenatchi, Entiat, Methow, Southern Okanagan, Sinkiuse-Columbia, and the Nez Perce of Chief Joseph's band|
The Nespelem people belong to one of twelve aboriginal Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation in eastern Washington. They lived primarily near the banks of the Nespelem River, an Upper Columbia River tributary, in an area now known as Nespelem, Washington, located on the Colville Indian Reservation. Alternate spellings include Nespelim or Nespilim.
Ross classifies Nespelem as one of the Okanagan tribes, while Winans classifies them as part of the Sanpoil.
Nespelem villages and tribes
- Haimisahun, a summer settlement of the Suspiluk, on the north bank of Columbia River about a half mile above the mouth of Nespelem River.
- Masmasalimk, home of the Smasmasalimkuwa, approximately a mile and a half above Skik.
- Nekuktshiptin, home of the Snekuktshiptimuk, at the site of the present Condon's Ferry, on the north side of the river.
- Nspilem, home of the Snspiluk, on the lower Nespelem from the falls to the mouth of the river.
- Salkuahuwithl, home of the Wallakazam, across the river from the present town of Barry.
- Skik, home of the Skik, about a mile above Salkuahuwithl on the same side of the river.
- Skthlamchin, fishing grounds of the Salkuahuwithlau, across the river from the mouth of the Grand Coulee.
- Ray, Verne Frederick. The Sanpoil and Nespelem: Salishan Peoples of Northeastern Washington. Seattle, Washington: University of Washington press, 1933.
- Schmidt, Wilhelm. 1934. Die Sanpoil und Nespelem, Stämme der Nordost-Selish. Ursprung Der Gottesidee. Band V, 2. Abt. Die Religionen Der Urvölker IV. (in German)
- Watson, Ralph W. Appraisal of the Tribal Lands of the Colville Tribe, the San Poil and Nespelem Tribes, the Lakes, the Okanogans, and the Methows As Defined in the Decision of the Indian Claims Commission, Docket 181 on February 29, 1956 : All of Said Lands Being in the State of Washington and the Appraisal Being As of July 2, 1872. Library of American Indian affairs. New York: Clearwater, 1900.
- Curtis, Edward S. Nespilim Man (The North American Indian). Evanston, Ill: Northwestern University. Library, 1999.
- Curtis, Edward S. Nespilim Woman (The North American Indian). Evanston, Ill: Northwestern University. Library, 1999.
- Curtis, Edward S. Nespilim Girl (The North American Indian. Evanston, Ill: Northwestern University. Library, 1999.
- Spectators watching Nespelim Indian ceremonial dance on Colville Indian Reservation. 1911.