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Lewis and Clark
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Wasco Indians

First Noted by Expedition
October 1805

The Wasco lived on the south bank of the Columbia, along a fertile section of the river later known as The Dalles. They shared their dominance of this stretch of water with the Wishram, who lived on the north bank. Like many of the Indians that traded near The Dalles, they sold the expedition members fish, dogs, roots, and acorns.

An 1855 treaty consolidated several bands, including the Wasco, into the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, located along the Deschutes River in Oregon.

One of the greatest challenges these combined bands—Warm Springs (Walla Walla), Wasco, and Pauite—face is the preservation of their language. As of 2001 there were only five remaining speakers of Wasco, each of them an elder. No one under the age of 50 currently speaks this Chinookan language.

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