This is the home to the Salish and Kootenai tribes. Unlike the other tribes in Montana, the Salish migrated from the west. The Kootenai are native to the state. Archaeological evidence shows that Indians inhabited Montana more than 14,000 years ago.
The Kootenai inhabited the mountainous terrain west of the divide, venturing only seasonally to the east for buffalo hunts. The Salish occupied territory in Washington, Idaho, and western Montana, but ventured as far east as the Big Horn Mountains. With the signing of the Hellgate Treaty, the massive traditional lands of the tribes were reduced to the fertile grounds of this reservation.
The Flathead Indian Reservation is an area of 1,250,000 acres of forested mountains and valleys just west of the Continental Divide in Montana. The reservation includes the southern half of Flathead Lake, which provides excellent fishing and recreational opportunities.