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Forum Home - Go Back > Pow Wow Arena > Ask PowWows.com Confederated Tribes? Confederated Tribes?

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Old 05-03-2016, 07:39 PM   #1
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Confederated Tribes?

Hello, I think it's time for another one of my kind of stupid questions. I just finished reading a book called Shadow Tribe (about the Columbia River Indians, very interesting) and realized that I've always assumed 1 tribe = 1 reservation and vice versa. Somehow, the thought that the government would group together tribes who weren't necessarily related never occurred to me. I don't know what I was thinking, assuming the government would sensibly and appropriately corral tribes together!

So I've been looking at the websites for some of our local Pacific NW tribes and most of them are "The confederated tribes" of Warm Springs, Umatilla, etc.

Forgive my idle curiosity, but have confederated tribes kind of become all one tribe? Or do people see themselves as separate groups, with different cultures? I apologize if this is a touchy subject or something I shouldn't be asking. :) Hopefully it isn't, but I will shut up about it if needed!
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:30 PM   #2
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Ahh, the BIA who gave us hyphenated Indians.
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:42 PM   #3
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Ahh, the BIA who gave us hyphenated Indians.
Yes , as a member of 2 tribes that traveled and hunted the same areas , we keep our cultures separate !Southern Cheyenne have their language and ceremonies and the Southern Arapaho have theirs. Our combined tribes work hard to keep BOTH identities.
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:45 PM   #4
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It seems funny to me that The Southern Cheyenne / Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma are combined and The Northern Cheyenne and The Northern Arapaho are separate. And The Northern Arapaho share a rez with the Shoshoni ! Crazy !
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They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !

Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
It's not me....I think you're an idiot !





There's a chance you might not like me ,

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Old 05-04-2016, 10:38 AM   #5
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Yes, the Eastern Shoshone tribe has a reservation established per the 1868 treaty of Ft. Bridger. The Northern Arapaho tribe got "parked" here several years later after their treaty established reservation failed to materialize.

Although both tribes have their own business council, lots of reservation business was handled by the "Joint Business Council". But now that money is tight, lots of programs have split, benefitting the smaller E. Shoshone tribe, and the N. Arapaho council has tried to dissolve the Joint Business Council.

It's a lot of political mess, and more divisive than things have been in a long time. For the most part, there are separate tribal communities, functions, etc...but there's a lot of intermarriage, as well.

On the other end of the spectrum would be the Conferated Salish / Kootenai in Montana (including the Pen d'Oreille) who function as one unit and live harmoniously, MUCH intermarriage, even though there are several places where the different tribal groups tend to live. But in the enrollment process, they track the amount of blood from each separate tribe.

And then there's the ancestral home of my hero, Jacoby Ellsbury, from the Colorado River tribes consisting of Chemehuevi, Mohave, Hopi, and Navajo Indians. Although he is enrolled in the Colorado River Tribe, he makes the distinction of being Navajo.

Very interesting!
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Old 05-04-2016, 05:42 PM   #6
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Check out the Confederated Tribes up on the Colville Rez in Nespelem
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Old 05-05-2016, 02:41 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies! Very interesting...Wow, 12 tribes on the Colville Reservation? And that is where Chief Joseph and his followers ended up too. So many odd twists of history that made things end up the way they are I guess.

I guess I made another assumption - that Natives would have been glommed together and not kept their own distinct culture going. You guys seem pretty good at knowing your history and who you are (probably another generalization, sorry, but hopefully my guesses are getting more accurate!).
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Old 05-05-2016, 06:47 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies! Very interesting...Wow, 12 tribes on the Colville Reservation? And that is where Chief Joseph and his followers ended up too. So many odd twists of history that made things end up the way they are I guess.

I guess I made another assumption - that Natives would have been glommed together and not kept their own distinct culture going. You guys seem pretty good at knowing your history and who you are (probably another generalization, sorry, but hopefully my guesses are getting more accurate!).
The Cupa tribe was force-marched onto the Pala reservation in 1903 after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed that they were swindled out of their land, but waited too long to take legal action. The tribe has been trying to purchase back their ancestral homeland on top of the mountains in San Diego County. The Cupa Cultural museum is located on the Pala reservation.
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Old 05-05-2016, 07:28 PM   #9
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This discussion is interesting. I appreciate everyone replying cuz it never occurred to me to wonder why.

Back in the 1830's, our tribe & the Ho-Chunk signed treaties ceding land so that some of the Oneidas from NY, the Stockbridge-Munsee & the Brothertown could move to Wisconsin. They each had their own rez from the get-go.

I guess, I just figured you 'all got along better with each other (historically & traditionally) & that's why you wanted to live together.

I learn so much from folks here sharing in this post & others. So, thanks!
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Old 05-05-2016, 09:17 PM   #10
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Thanks for the replies! Very interesting...Wow, 12 tribes on the Colville Reservation? And that is where Chief Joseph and his followers ended up too. So many odd twists of history that made things end up the way they are I guess.

I guess I made another assumption - that Natives would have been glommed together and not kept their own distinct culture going. You guys seem pretty good at knowing your history and who you are (probably another generalization, sorry, but hopefully my guesses are getting more accurate!).
Respectfully, why are you interested?
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Old 05-06-2016, 12:02 AM   #11
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Fair question, gilisi. Honestly just pure curiosity and a wish to understand things better. I am overly curious to a fault, I will admit! :) I just like to know how things work.

I also read a lot and it didn't take much reading to realize I there are a lot of things we didn't learn in school. Not just about Indians, but civil rights stuff, Hispanic history in California (where I'm originally from), etc. So I feel like I should learn more.

And full disclosure - there is something about being native to a place that I wish I had, so I probably have more interest in native history than I should, I guess (if that's wrong?). I don't want to BE Indian (not that there's anything wrong with that, haha, but I'm happy just being me). And I know you aren't all a bunch of noble savages but just normal people. And I have no interest in religion or spirits or inner rainbow eagle wolf guides (ok joking on that one). But, being descended from several different groups of Europeans, all of whom wandered endlessly it seems, first in Europe, then in America, I don't really feel tied to a place.

And when I was 19 years old and in college, I visited the nearby Hupa reservation and stood along the river there. There is a spot where the water is dark green and swirls around some rocks close to shore - it's neat. I signed up for a Native American history class by accident (meant to take oil painting!) and we had learned about the Hupa valley being occupied for 10,000 years. And standing there, I thought, wow - 10,000 years... to live in the spot your people have lived for so long. To be exactly where your people have always lived. That is amazing. So I envy that.

Sorry for the long reply! I talk too much too! But yeah, I am interested. But I know I'm not Indian and I don't want to try to be. I just like to learn more. I apologize if I ask questions I shouldn't - just tell me to quit it if needed. :)
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Old 05-06-2016, 02:08 PM   #12
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Fair question, gilisi. Honestly just pure curiosity and a wish to understand things better. I am overly curious to a fault, I will admit! :) I just like to know how things work.

I also read a lot and it didn't take much reading to realize I there are a lot of things we didn't learn in school. Not just about Indians, but civil rights stuff, Hispanic history in California (where I'm originally from), etc. So I feel like I should learn more.

And full disclosure - there is something about being native to a place that I wish I had, so I probably have more interest in native history than I should, I guess (if that's wrong?). I don't want to BE Indian (not that there's anything wrong with that, haha, but I'm happy just being me). And I know you aren't all a bunch of noble savages but just normal people. And I have no interest in religion or spirits or inner rainbow eagle wolf guides (ok joking on that one). But, being descended from several different groups of Europeans, all of whom wandered endlessly it seems, first in Europe, then in America, I don't really feel tied to a place.

And when I was 19 years old and in college, I visited the nearby Hupa reservation and stood along the river there. There is a spot where the water is dark green and swirls around some rocks close to shore - it's neat. I signed up for a Native American history class by accident (meant to take oil painting!) and we had learned about the Hupa valley being occupied for 10,000 years. And standing there, I thought, wow - 10,000 years... to live in the spot your people have lived for so long. To be exactly where your people have always lived. That is amazing. So I envy that.

Sorry for the long reply! I talk too much too! But yeah, I am interested. But I know I'm not Indian and I don't want to try to be. I just like to learn more. I apologize if I ask questions I shouldn't - just tell me to quit it if needed. :)
When you have no culture in which to relate, you become a generic race.

When you can say, "I'm (insert tribe here), or I'm from the Scottish Clan of (insert clan here)", then you KNOW where you are from.

What happens is...people read, or see, or hear...and become that which they read, see or hear.

It's good to be overly curious. You learn that way.
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Old 05-06-2016, 10:24 PM   #13
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Thanks for the reply, Joe's Dad. Generic is a good word for it! It would be nice to feel that connection to a certain place and people, but I also realize that I don't have to deal with a dominant culture taking things from me or oppressing me, so I really can't complain. It's probably easier, I guess? And I don't mind being who I am. It's just not that exciting, haha.

The closest specific ethnicity I have is that my grandfather's parents were Swedish. And they lived in Finland - Swedes apparently moved over to parts of Sweden hundreds of years ago. See what I mean? These people moved around everywhere! It's ironic because I hate traveling and I like to stay in one place.
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Old 05-07-2016, 03:12 PM   #14
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Thanks for the reply, Joe's Dad. Generic is a good word for it! It would be nice to feel that connection to a certain place and people, but I also realize that I don't have to deal with a dominant culture taking things from me or oppressing me, so I really can't complain. It's probably easier, I guess? And I don't mind being who I am. It's just not that exciting, haha.

The closest specific ethnicity I have is that my grandfather's parents were Swedish. And they lived in Finland - Swedes apparently moved over to parts of Sweden hundreds of years ago. See what I mean? These people moved around everywhere! It's ironic because I hate traveling and I like to stay in one place.
Years ago, a friend told me he went back to Norway and found his family name (thus, part of his family history) in a bible that was over 700 years old. Thought it was pretty cool.
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Old 05-10-2016, 01:46 PM   #15
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Forgive my idle curiosity, but have confederated tribes kind of become all one tribe? Or do people see themselves as separate groups, with different cultures? I apologize if this is a touchy subject or something I shouldn't be asking. :) Hopefully it isn't, but I will shut up about it if needed!
DaisyMaisy,

In early American history, tribes were depleted and joined other tribes for survival. Later, tribes were forced on common reservations with other tribes by the US Government and became confederated tribes such as the Colville Confederated Tribes (12 tribes), Confederated Tribes of the Grande Ronde (20 tribes), Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (3 tribes), and Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (3 tribes).

However, throughout the United States there are many tribes that share a tribal government such as the Lumbee tribe of NC, Wichita and Affiliated tribes of OK, The Three Affiliated tribes of ND, etc.

There are many tribes that also have two tribes on one common land base such as the Alabama-Coushatta in TX, Chippewa-Cree in MT and Seneca-Cayuga in OK.

Some tribes still retain their ceremonial culture despite their affiliation. Others share a common culture since intermarriage is so strong.
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Old 05-10-2016, 03:44 PM   #16
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Thanks for the replies! Very interesting...Wow, 12 tribes on the Colville Reservation? And that is where Chief Joseph and his followers ended up too. So many odd twists of history that made things end up the way they are I guess.

I guess I made another assumption - that Natives would have been glommed together and not kept their own distinct culture going. You guys seem pretty good at knowing your history and who you are (probably another generalization, sorry, but hopefully my guesses are getting more accurate!).
I am a member of the Chief Joseph Band of Nez Perce. We have the Tribes name on out Tribal ID cards. The Colville Tribes do that for all Tribal members on their tribal IDs as well, not just the Nez Perce.
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Old 05-16-2016, 06:53 PM   #17
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Thanks for the replies! There is so much I don't know, so I appreciate everyone sharing with me.
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