- Curiously enough, the Indians to whom the term was applied, the so called
Salish Flatheads, never practiced the flattening of the head. They
occupied the Bitterroot country in western Montana and were believed to
have been of Algonquian stock, until later they were placed in a classification
of their own - the Salishan family.
In the buffalo season when the Flatheads
journeyed to the Plains to hunt, they lived in teepees. They were
bitter enemies of the Crow and Blackfoot in whose territory they hunted.
In 1834 four chiefs of this tribe made
a 2,000 mile journey to St Louis to look for the white man's "medicine
book," the Bible. one version is that some Iroquois fur hunters from
New York, who lived with the Flatheads, had told them about the christening
of children and of the white man's religious beliefs. The Iroquois
urged the Flatheads to get a Christian teacher. jason Lee, a methodist,
was first sent, and later Father Pierre J. de Smet, a Catholic priest,
went to live among them.
With Pend d'Oreille and some Kutenai, the
Flatheads today live on a reservation in Montana, Flathead or Selish
Lake, Flathead Pass, and Flathead County, all in Montana, derive their
names from the Salish or Flatheads.
within this Site
][ Kutenai ][ Pend