The Wanapum are a small band of indigenous people who live on the west bank of the Columbia River alongside the tailrace of Priest Rapids Dam. Most of the residents are collateral descendants of Smowhala, the acclaimed prophet who founded the Washat religion. Smowhala was invited to Fort Stevens in 1855 to attend treaty making discussions, but he did not participate. He insisted that his people were never at war with anyone. He also noted that it would not be possible for him to discuss giving or receiving land that did not belong to him. All of the land his people used and traversed was a gift from the creator, they were only borrowing it, as it belonged to the next generation, and those that would follow from them. Smowhala asked that he and his followers be left alone to practice their religion.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.