The Pend Oreille River Valley and surrounding region is the traditional homeland of the Kalispel people, which included the mountains, river, lakes, and prairies that stretch from Lake Pend Oreille in North Idaho to where Paradise, Montana now stands; then northwestward across northeastern Washington to the mouth of the Salmo River, just over the international border in British Columbia.
The Pend Oreille River, which is known by the Kalispel as “ntxwe” bound together one end of Kalispel country to the other, some 200 miles in length. It was from this river that Kalispel culture arose. The Kalispel built winter villages and established summer root digging camps in this region. Surely, the Kalispel would say “The river and we are of one mind”, for even today we are known as “The People of the Oreille.”