The Kootenai tribe had settled in the Kootenai River area by 1500, and there is evidence that they are descended from the area’s prehistoric inhabitants. Their original range included the northwestern corner of Montana and adjacent areas of Alberta and British Columbia. As a people, the Kootenai are closely related to Indians of the Columbia Basin, although they speak a language seemingly unrelated to other languages of the area.
The Kootenai share the Flathead Reservation with the Flathead and Pend d’Oreille Indians. Approximately 1,500 Kootenai Indians presently live on the reservation.
© W.C. McRae & Judy Jewell from Moon Montana, 7th Edition