The Kootenai Indians

of Southeastern British Columbia, Idaho and Montana

The Kootenai Indians reside primarily in Idaho.

Map of the Historical Lands of the tribes of North America  
Encounters with non-Indians and traders began in 1795 and early 1800, when they established trade relations with the North West Company. One employee of the company, David Thompson, a trader and explorer, built a trading post and named it Kootenai House.  The Lewis and Clark Expediton reported locating the Kootenai tribe in the Bitterroot Valley  (Montana).

In 1855 The "Hell's Gate" treaty was signed with the Blackfeet, Piegan, Blood, Gros Ventres, Flathead, Pend d'Oreille, and Kootenai tribes and the United States.

The Kootenai later moved to the Flathead and Kootenai reservations.

The Kootenai and Salish tribes living on the Flathead Reservation became the Consolidated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in 1935.

Brief Timeline
1795: Duncan M'Gillivray, a trader encounters the Kootenai tribe.
Early 1800's: David Thompson, explorer, established trade relations for the North West Company. He built a trading post named Kootenai House in 1807.
1806: Lewis and Clark Expedition encounter the Kootenai tribe in the Bitterroot Valley, Montana
1855: "Hell's Gate" Treaty with the Blackfeet, Piagan, Blood, Gros Ventres, Flathead, Pend d'Oreille and Kootenai tribes.
1855: Treaty with the Flathead
move to Flathead reservation
move to Kootenai reservation
1935: the Kootenai and Salish living on the Flathead Reservation incorporate and become the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
1947: approved a constitution


How the Kootenai's fit into our Family Tree

RONDO [RONDEAU], JOSEPH - Rondeau [Rondo in the USA] was born near Montreal, QC, in 1797. At the age of 17 or 18, he enlisted in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company as a voyageur, and was sent to the pacific coast, where he spent several years in the westernmost outposts of the company's dominions. About 1827, he settled at the Red River Colony, near Fort Garry, married Josephine Beauleau (1810 Canada), a half French, half Kootenai Indian, and established a farm.

After enduring the hardships of that settlement for 8 years, he joined the 60 or so refugees who settled near Fort Snelling. Rondo purchased a house to the west of Joseph Turpin, a house that was burned by the military when the settlers were forced out in May of 1840. Like many of the others, Rondo and his family moved up to St. Paul, where he purchased the property and unfinished cabin of Edward Phelan, then serving in prison for the murder of John Hays. They lived there for a season or two while building a more suitable house.

He attended the Stillwater Convention in 1848. He and Josephine had at least 9 children: Mary Ann, Josephine, Lucien (1836 MN) Pierre (1838 MN), Louis Alexis, Philemon (1840 MN), Joseph (1842 MN), Benjamin (1845 MN), Eugene (1848 MN), and Julie (Feb 1850 MN), and their descendants are numerous in St. Paul, Little Canada, White Bear, Centerville, and other northern suburbs. Rondo died in 1895. A very famous street in St. Paul was named for him. His real estate holdings were valued at $500 in 1850. [WM104ff,LR2709, MN50] Check out the Fort Snelling website at or

Links to more information,_Idaho History of Libby Montana
Books available at

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