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Lewis and Clark
SHOWING RECORD: 7 of 16   Cowlitz Indians
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Cowlitz Indians



First Noted by Expedition
While wintering at Fort Clatsop, November 1805 to March 1806
 

Overview
The Cowlitz were a small Chinookan-speaking tribe who lived north of the Columbia River in houses made of wooden planks. Like their neighbors the Chehalis, they were frequent visitors to the Corps of Discovery at Fort Clatsop.

By the time they met Lewis and Clark, the Cowlitz were already in a decline, which accelerated during the rest of the 19th century.

An epidemic wiped out much of the population around 1829-30, leaving about 500 Cowlitz. The population rebounded slightly, and today most of the 1,400 remaining Cowlitz live near their ancestral lands. However, they are not currently recognized as a tribe by the U.S. government. It is also likely that in recent years their language has become extinct.
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