Historical Introduction: The Salish/Kootenai
with Arlie Neskahi
Welcome to Wisdom of the Elders. I’m Arlie Neskahi.
The first snow already whitened the upper Bitterroot Valley. A large band of Salish people were camped on their way to buffalo country. Families sat close to the lodge fires and talked quietly, ate boiled roots and chokecherry cake. Suddenly, a group of people on horseback emerged from the timber and stood an arrow’s shot from camp. Quickly, elders formed a delegation to greet the travelers. One of the elders, named Three Eagles, had been on the trail observing the travelers since morning. He was puzzled by their appearance. They wore no blankets even in the freezing weather. Perhaps they had been robbed by the Blackfeet. The elders decided to treat them as guests and help them on their way.