Until the mid-1800s, the ancestors of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (CTCR) were nomadic, following the seasons from place to place to occupy fishing sites and harvest berries and native plants.
The CTCR have survived many trials and tribulations since the creation of the original Colville Indian Reservation in 1872 when 12 bands or tribes of indigenous native people were ordered to live within the boundaries of a tract of land located in what was then called Washington Territory.
At its inception by a Presidential Executive Order on April 9, 1872, the former Colville Indian Reservation was in a different location and covered several million acres of their aboriginal territory. Another Presidential Executive Order issued on July 2, 1872, moved the Colville Indian Reservation to its present location on the west side of the Columbia River and diminished its size to less than three million acres.
On July 1, 1892, the north half of the Colville Indian Reservation was ceded to the United States by an Act of Congress, reducing the reservation to 1.4 million acres. Other significant Congressional Acts and federal policies have directly influenced the destiny of the Colville Indian Reservation such as the Reservation Allotment Act of 1887, the McLaughlin Agreement of 1905, two Presidential Proclamations in 1900 and 1916 and further federal decisions in 1935 and 1956.
Today, the Colville Indian Reservation covers 2,100 square miles of tribal government and tribal member-owned lands held in federal trust and thousands of non-trust status acres owned by others. The reservation homelands are diverse with natural resources such as standing timber, varied terrain, streams, rivers and lakes plus native plants, fish and wildlife.
The CTCR Fish & Wildlife Department seeks to maintain and protect viable populations of native and desired non-native species of fish and wildlife and their supporting habitats, while providing sufficient numbers to meet the cultural, subsistence, recreational and economic needs of the tribal membership.
In 1997 and 1998, the Colville Confederation celebrated the anniversary of the Colville Indian Reservation in recognition of 125 years of survival with a prayer to the Creator that some day when the CTCR will hold all of its lands in trust for its people, they will truly be able to claim the beautiful nation as theirs once again.