Kalispel pŏnˌdərāˈ [key], Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Salishan branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languages). The Kalispel were given the name Pend d'Oreille [Fr., = earring] by the French because of their custom of wearing shell earrings. In the early 19th cent. the Kalispel occupied NW Montana, N Idaho, and NE Washington. They then numbered some 1,600. Their culture was similar to that of the Spokan and other tribes of the Plateau area (see under Natives, North American). Today the Kalispel live on the Kalispel and Colville reservations, both in NE Washington. Descendants of other Kalispel live as part of the confederated Salish and Kootenai tribe on the Flathead Reservation in NW Montana. In 1990 there were 175 Kalispel in the United States.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: North American indigenous peoples