Quapaw – A Siouan tribe, closely related to the Kanza, Omaha, Osage, and Ponca, their name translates to “Downstream People,” so-called from a tradition that they went down the Missouri River while the rest of the Sioux went upriver. The Quapaw people historically resided on the west side of the Mississippi River in what is now the state of Arkansas. They are identical to the Arkansa Nation. When they were encountered by the DeSoto expedition (1539-43), they were living in a fortified, walled city. In the larger villages, well-crafted lodges were seen with most people living in longhouses with domed roofs covered in bark. They practiced extensive agriculture, and in art, they were particularly noted for their pottery designs. Ironically, the Quapaw and French had an amicable relationship, for the French were usually at war with most other native tribes. In 1833, the Quapaw signed were forced out of Arkansas, relocating to Oklahoma where they remain today.
Quileute – A Chimakuan tribe who lived on the coast of Washington. There was formerly an eastern division of the family, the Chimakum, who occupied the territory between Hood’s Canal and Port Townsend, which is now extinct. In customs, the Quileute resembled the Makah and Nootka; all were whalers. The language is now severely endangered. It is spoken by a few people south of the Makah on the western coast of the Olympic Peninsula south of Cape Flattery.
– One of the few Indian tribes that continue to live upon their native lands, the Quinault are located on the Pacific coast of Washington, primarily in northwestern Grays Harbor County. Like many Northwest Coast Indians, Quinault relied on fishing from local rivers and the Pacific Ocean, hunting, and berry picking for food. The lived in long wooden houses situated up and down the Quinault River and also used the forest trees for making canoes and bark for clothing. The tribe remained isolated from white settlers until they were first visited by a Spanish vessel in 1775. Lewis and Clark also came in contact with them during their famed expedition in 1803. By the 1820s, more and more white trappers, traders and settlers began to visit and make their homes in the area and before long, fishing and lumber communities dotted the region. The Quinault were initially friendly, friction began to occur as the new settlers heavily utilized the area resources. In January 1856, a treaty was signed to create a 10,000-acre reservation that included not only the Quinault but other area tribes including the Quileute, Queets, and Hoh. Wanting to accommodate more coastal tribes, including the Chehalis, Chinook, and Cowlitz, the government expanded the reservation by some 200,000 acres in 1873. Today, the Quinault Indian Nation accommodates about 1,400 residents, operates a casino and seaside resort at Ocean Shores and a high-quality seafood packing business at Taholah, Washington.
Rappahannock – In 1607, the Rappahannock were the dominant tribe of the Rappahannock River valley, maintaining thirteen villages along the north and south banks of the river that bears their name. The Rappahannock People first met Captain John Smith at their capital town “Topahanocke” on the banks of the river bearing their name, in December 1607. In an effort to solidify their tribal government in order to fight the state for their recognition, the Rappahannock incorporated in 1921. In 1998, they elected the first woman chief to lead in Virginia since the 1700s, Chief G. Anne Richardson. Currently, the tribe is working on acquiring Federal Recognition, with six other Virginia tribes.
Ree – See Arikara
Rogue River – A Native American group originally located in southern Oregon. This was not a single tribe, but rather a group of tribes that French Canadian employees of the Hudson Bay Company called “coquins,” meaning “rogues.” The principal tribes commonly grouped under the generic name of Rogue River Indians were the Takelma, Shasta and different subtribes of the Coquille. After the Rogue River Wars in 1856, bands of the Rogue River were split between the Confederated Tribes of Siletz and the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon, relocating to either the Siletz Indian Reservation north of the tribe’s traditional lands or to the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation.
Compiled by Kathy Weiser-Alexander, updated February 2020.