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Lewis and Clark
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image: Yakima Indians
Photograph of a Yakima man by Edward S. Curtis
Yakima Indians

First Noted by Expedition
October 1805

When Lewis and Clark arrived, the Yakima numbered some 1,200 and lived along the Columbia and Yakima Rivers in what is now central Washington State. Salmon returning from the Pacific were so abundant here that the Indians used the dried fish as fuel. Closely related to the Nez Perce, the Yakima dwelled in rectangular houses made of woven-rush mats and poles.

After spending a couple days with the Wanapum and the Yakima on their way down the Columbia in October 1805, the expedition found a huge party on their return trip. The Walla Walla chief had set up a celebration for their return and invited his Yakima neighbors.

The Yakima resisted U.S. government attempts to move them to a reservation, but after years of war, in 1859 they and other bands were resettled on the Yakima Reservation in Washington.

Today many Yakima still fish the waters of the Columbia. The 1990 census counted around 7,500 Yakima, most of whom live on the reservation.
image: Yakima Indians
Photograph of a Yakima woman by Edward S. Curtis

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Yakima Indians
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Columbia River
Columbia Tributary
Fishing the Columbia
Indian Post Office
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