"Us Indians Don't Want Our Reservation Opened"


"Us Indians Don't Want Our Reservation Opened"

Documents of Salish, Pend d'Oreille, and Kootenai Indian History, 1907–1911

Edited by Robert Bigart and Joseph McDonald

360 pages
39 illus., 2 maps, and index


September 2021


$29.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

The written records of Salish, Pend d’Oreille, and Kootenai Indian history between 1907 and 1911 are dominated by continued complaints against allotting and opening the reservation. A long string of letters and a series of delegations to Washington, DC, left no doubt that the Indian leaders and tribal members opposed the opening. Tribal members recognized that the allotment policy was driven by white men’s greed and desire to get tribal assets at bargain prices. Most of the complaints that made it to the Indian Office files are from, or were initiated by, Sam Resurrection.

To make matters even worse, in 1908 Senator Joseph Dixon secured funding for the Flathead Irrigation Project. The project would destroy most of the private irrigation ditches the Indian farmers had dug over the years and make the tribes pay for the construction of the irrigation project, which mainly benefited white homesteaders. The tribes fervently protested against this use of their assets—the land—to reward Dixon’s political backers. The allotment and opening of the Flathead Reservation devastated the new tribal economy based on livestock and agriculture.

Author Bio

Robert Bigart is librarian emeritus at the Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Montana. Joseph McDonald is president emeritus at the Salish Kootenai College.


"Much tribal, reservation, and Montana history can be learned from these documents, and they will easily surpass expectations for historical researchers. In these times of increasing ancestral land acknowledgements, with growing organizational and personal interest in tribal histories, these collections provide readers with engaging details about Salish, Pend d’Oreille, and Kootenai Indians that would have remained difficult to access in their archival forms. The volumes provide this easy access to primary resources, and anyone with an interest in understanding Montana, the land, and its people more personally will benefit from this series."—Fred Noel, Tribal College Journal

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