Chiefs of the Kootenai Tribe

Chiefs of the Kootenai Tribe

Taken from "The Boundary County History Book," published by the Boundary Co Historical Society, 1987.

BIG CHIEF - earliest reported chief.

NEW BIG BLANKET - the son of Big Chief; he and his wife were killed and scalped by a marauding band of Indians from another tribe near Kootenai Lake. His son, Little Big Blanket, and a daughter were taken as slaves. Some years later they escaped, and with the guidance of the older sister both returned to the Kootenai Valley.

LITTLE BIG BLANKET - while chief, was known as THREE MOONS. He was elected in 1775 and held this position for 65 years. Known as the greatest Lower Kootenai chief of known records. He was age 100 at his death in 1840, and buried on Pine Island. Three Moons was the first Kootenai chief of the Bonners Ferry band to own horses.

CHIEF BLIND (due to loss of vision), or BIG GUNNER or BIG HUNTER (according to interpretation) - the son of Chief Three Moon. His half brother CHIQUI (Caterpillar) was a chief in joint leadership. In 1844 Chief Blind met the Catholic priest Peter DeSmet on his visit to the Kootenai valley. Chief Blind and many of his band were baptized, and given Bibical names. He was thereafter known as Chief Thomas (Tomas) Blind. He died 19 Feb 1864.

CHIEF ABRAHAM - the son of Chief Thomas Blind. Through his cooperation, the Edwin L. Bonner party acquired ferry rights on the Kootenai River. The most respected and influential chief since the arrival of non-Indians in the Kootenai Valley. He is said to have offered seven horses in trade for the first house cat brought to the ferry, because he thought it was a tame cougar. Chief Abraham died 28 Jan 1887.


CHIEF ISADORE CHIQUI - died 2 Aug 1916.

CHIEF NARCISSE ISADORE - died 29 Apr 1935.

CHIEF PIERRE ANDREW - died 9 Dec 1950.

CHIEF SIMON DAVID - died 9 Feb 1957.

CHIEF ENEAS ABRAHAM - died 17 Feb 1973.

CHIEF MOSES (CHIQUI) JOSEPH - died 13 dec 1975.

CHIEF RAYMOND ABRAHAM - a descendant of Chief Three Moon.

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