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Kalispel(kăl`ĭspĕl', –pĕl`) or
Pend d'Oreille(pŏn'dərā`), Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Salishan branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languagesNative American languages,
languages of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere and their descendants. A number of the Native American languages that were spoken at the time of the European arrival in the New World in the late 15th cent.
..... Click the link for more information. ). The Kalispel were given the name Pend d'Oreille [Fr., = earring] by the French because of their custom of wearing shell earrings. In the early 19th cent. the Kalispel occupied NW Montana, N Idaho, and NE Washington. They then numbered some 1,600. Their culture was similar to that of the Spokan and other tribes of the Plateau area (see under Natives, North AmericanNatives, North American,
peoples who occupied North America before the arrival of the Europeans in the 15th cent. They have long been known as Indians because of the belief prevalent at the time of Columbus that the Americas were the outer reaches of the Indies (i.e.
..... Click the link for more information. ). Today the Kalispel live on the Kalispel and Colville reservations, both in NE Washington. Descendants of other Kalispel live as part of the confederated Salish and Kootenai tribe on the Flathead Reservation in NW Montana. In 1990 there were 175 Kalispel in the United States.