Palouse/Palus – Living along the Palouse River in what is now eastern Washington, northeast Oregon, and north-central Idaho, the Palouse, were culturally related to the Nez Perce. When Lewis and Clark encountered them in October 1805, they called them “Pallotepellows” and estimated their number at around 1,600. The Palouse people were semi-sedentary hunter/gatherers. Acquiring horses early, they were expert horsemen, breeders, and horse traders. The Appaloosa horse, with its distinctive spotted coat, speed, and stamina, takes its name from the tribe. Like other tribes on the Columbia Plateau, they also depended heavily on fishing in the many rivers of the region.
Though they initially traded with white fur traders and settlers, they soon came into conflict with them as the Palouse people suffered from diseases. In 1847, after a measles epidemic, they fought with the Cayuse in the Cayuse War. In 1855, they were recognized in the Treaty with the Yakama, but the treaty was never recognized by the tribe and they refused to lead the reservation life. However, when that treaty was immediately broken, they joined forces with the Yakama and other tribes in the Yakima War in 1855 and the Coeur d’Alene War of 1858. Some individuals eventually joined reservations. Their descendants today are called “Palouse” by the Yakama Nation and “Palus” by the Colville Confederated Tribes.
Papago – Originally located in the desert regions of the northern Senoran Desert, the Papago are thought to be descendants of the prehistoric Hohokan Culture. These peoples were a semi-nomadic tribe that sometimes relied on farming but did not use irrigation systems. The Papago are today primarily located in three reservations in southern Arizona and continue to farm but have turned more to raising cattle as the major source of income. Over the years, the Papago tribe has had little involvement with white settlers, a tradition that continues today, allow them to preserve many of their aboriginal traits.
Pascagoula – A small tribe of Indians formerly living on the Pascagoula River in south Mississippi, in intimate connection with the Biloxi, but now extinct as a separate division. Their name was derived from the Choctaw who called them the “bread people”. They were first documented by Canadian naval officer Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville who along with his older brother explored the Mississippi River Valley in 1699. At that time they were living near the Pascagoula River, but later moved to the Gulf Coast. In 1764 they and the Biloxi left the Gulf coast area and in 1784 they were reported living on the east side of the Mississippi River about 10 miles above the Tunica River. Sometime before 1791 they moved up the Red River into Louisiana and by 1795 had settled near the Biloxi River. Their numbers declined over the years and those who were left probably joined with them after they moved Biloxi and Choctaw tribes.
Passamaquoddy – The Passamaquoddy nation was a member of the Wabanaki Confederacy that controlled much of New England and the Canadian Maritimes. The Passamaquoddys are original natives of the area between Maine and New Brunswick. They lived on both sides of the border before the two nations became countries. Passamaquoddy refers to a traditional way of catching pollock (a kind of fish) by using a spear. Fishing is still important to Passamaquoddy culture today. Now, most Passamaquoddy people live on the US side of the border, in Maine; however, one band lives in Canada.
Pawnee – The Pawnee were a North American Plains Indian tribe who lived on the Platte River, Nebraska, from before the 16th century to the latter part of the 19th century. In the 1800’s, the Pawnee tribe was composed of relatively independent bands; the Kitkehahki, Chaui, Pitahauerat, and the Skidi. See full article HERE.
Pecos – Formerly the largest and most populous of the pueblos of New Mexico in historic times, these people built the Pecos Pueblo situated on an upper branch of Pecos River, about 30 miles southeast of Santa Fe. At the time of the arrival of the first Spaniards under Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, in 1540, the tribe had become concentrated in the great communal structure known as Pecos Pueblo. See article HERE.
Penobscot – The Penobscot nation was a member of the Wabanaki Confederacy that controlled much of New England and the Canadian Maritimes. The Penobscots themselves are original natives of Maine. They still live there today, on a reservation at Indian Island.
Peoria – An Algonquian people, whose ancestors came from what is now Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio, their history goes back as far as once part of the Cahokia culture of Mound builders. The name “Peoria” come from their name for themselves in the Illinois language, Peewaareewa, meaning “Comes carrying a pack on his back. Their ancestral lands were in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Missouri, but most began to migrate into Missouri Territory by the mid 1700’s. In 1818, the Treaty of Edwardsville forced them to cede their lands in Illinois and the Treaty of Lewisville, in 1832, ceded their Missouri lands in exchange for land in Kansas, near the Osage River.
Disease and war drastically reduced the tribe’s numbers, so the members of the Kaskaskia, Peoria, Piankeshaw, and Wea tribes formed a confederacy under the Peoria name in 1854. After the Civil War, most of the confederated tribe signed the 1867 Omnibus Treaty, which purchased land from the Quapaw tribe and relocated the majority of the tribe from Kansas to Indian Territory. Today, the federally-recognized tribe is based in Miami, Oklahoma and has more than 2800 tribal members.
Pequot – An Algonquian tribe of Connecticut, their name means “destroyers,” and before European settlers arrived, they had earned the title, as they were the most dreaded of the southern New England tribes. However, this same ferocity almost to their annihilation when their enemies joined with the English to defeat them during the Pequot War. By 1910, they numbered only 66 people. However, today there are two small independent Pequot tribal nations in Connecticut – the Mashantucket Pequot and the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation.
continued next page