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Lewis and Clark Native American Tribes

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Lewis and Clark Expedition for kids: Lewis and Clark Native American Tribes
The outward and return journey of the Lewis and Clark expedition covered over 7000 miles, across ten modern states. Their journey began on May 14, 1804 and ended on September 23, 1806. The journey took over two years and it was inevitable that they would encounter many Native American tribes along the way.

List of Native American Tribes encountered by Lewis and Clark
The List of Native American Tribes encountered by Lewis and Clark are detailed as follows, together with the areas that they lived in.

Alsea - Hunters and Fishers in Oregon
Amahami (Wattasoon) - lived along the upper Missouri River
Arikara - Great Plains tribe
Assiniboine - Great Plains tribe
Bannock - Great Basin, Idaho
Blackfeet - North Dakota and South Dakota
Cathlamet or Kathlamet- Along the Columbia River, Washington state
Cayuse - Oregon
Chehalis - Washington State
Cheyenne - Great Plains
Chinook - Along the Columbia River in present-day Oregon and Washington
Clackamas - Oregon
Clatskanie - Oregon
Clatsop - Along the Columbia River, Oregon
Cowlitz  - Washington State
Crow - Montana and into North Dakota
Flathead (Salish) - Columbia River tribes who lived between the Cascade Mountains and Rocky Mountains
Gros Ventre - Great Plains tribe
Hidatsa - Montana
Kickapoo - Great Plains tribe
Klickitat (Klikitat) - Along the Columbia River
Kootenai Columbia River tribes who lived between the Cascade Mountains and Rocky Mountains
Mandan - Great Plains tribe
Minitari (Minnetaree) - also known as Hidatsa tribe of Montana
Missouri - Great Plains tribe
Multnomah - Oregon
Nez Perce - Columbia River Plateau
Omaha - Nebraska
Otoe - Great Plains tribe
Palouse - Washington / Idaho / Oregon
Pawnee - along the Missouri River, Nebraska
Quinault - Washington State
Shoshone (Snake) - Idaho, Oregon
Siletz - Oregon
Siuslaw - Oregon
Skilloot - Columbia River, Washington
Tenino - Oregon
Teton Sioux (Lakota Sioux) - Great Plains
Tillamook - Oregon
Umatilla - Oregon
Umpqua - Oregon
Wahkiakum - Washington
Walla Walla - Oregon
Wanapum - Columbia River, Washington
Wasco - Washington
Wishram - Washington
Yakima - Washington
Yankton Sioux (Nakota) - Dakotas and northern Iowa

Lewis and Clark Native American Tribes: The Gifts
The Lewis and Clark expedition had been tasked to learn as much as possible about the customs and culture of the Native American Indian tribes that they encountered. In order to establish good relations with the Native American tribes they carried a supply of gifts to be presented to the Native Indians. The list of gifts for the Native American tribes included beads, sewing thread, tobacco, scissors, brass thimbles, knives, sewing needles, brass kettles, armbands, ear trinkets, handkerchiefs, ivory combs, silk ribbons, pipe-tomahawks, red face paint, bright colored cloth and pocket mirrors.

Encounters with Native American Tribes: The Teton Sioux (Lakota Sioux)
On September 25, 1804 the Lewis and Clark expedition had a confrontation with a hostile party of Teton Sioux (Lakota) with whom they had a difficult stand-off. The situation was diffused when the Native Indians were given gifts.

Encounters with Native American Tribes: The Hidatsa Tribe and Sacagawea
The Lewis and Clark encountered the friendly Mandan and Hidatsa Native American Tribes in what is now North Dakota and built a small fort in Mandan territory. It was here that they met Toussaint Charbonneau and his Shoshone wife Sacagawea. The presence of Sacagawea as a guide and interpreter was a notable addition to the group of explorers.

Encounters with Native American Tribes: The Shoshone Native Indians
Sacagawea was invaluable when the Corps of Discovery reached the lands of the Shoshone Native Indians in mid-August 1805 in modern day Idaho and Montana.  Her brother, Cameahwait, had become the new chief of the Shoshone tribe and with her plea, her brother agreed to sell some of the horses to the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Encounters with Native American Tribes: The Salish Native Indians
The Lewis and Clark expedition also encountered the Salish (Flathead) Indian tribe in August 1805. The Salish were a friendly people and provided more horses for the Corps of Discovery and gave them some helpful advice and directions through the arduous terrain of the Bitterroot Mountains.

Encounters with Native American Tribes: The Nez Perce
The next encounter was with the Nez Perce Native American tribe. Another friendly and hospitable people who provided shelter for the exhausted explorers and provided medicines for the sick members of the expedition. The Nez Perce also helped the Corps of Discovery build some new canoes so the explorers could continue their journey by water. Meriwether Lewis described the Nez Perce Native American tribe as "the most hospitable, honest and sincere people that we have met with in our voyage."

Encounters with Native American Tribes: The Clatsop Native Indians
The expedition then met the friendly Clatsop Native American tribe along the Columbia River in present-day Oregon. The Corps of Discovery built Fort Clatsop which they named in honor of the helpful tribe.

Encounters with Native American Tribes: The Blackfoot Native Indians
The only violent incident that occured during the long journey was on July 27, 1806 when the expedition fought with a party of Blackfoot Native Indians. The members of the Corps of Discovery were not seriously injured but two of the Native American Indians were killed.

Encounters with Native American Tribes: The Lakota Sioux
On August 30, 1806 the Corps of Discovery had another unsettling confrontation with a band of 80-90 Lakota warriors led by Black Buffalo. Captain Clark told them that the Corps would have nothing to do with them and would kill any Lakota Sioux who attempted to approach their camp.

Lewis and Clark Native American Tribes: The Gifts
This article provides a small sample of the encounters the Lewis and Clark expedition had with Native American Tribes. The vast majority of their encounters were friendly and they achieved the goal set by President Thomas Jefferson to learn about the custums and culture of many Native American Tribes.

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