Kootenai War of 1974

On September 20, 1974 in desperation, the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho declared war on the United States of America. Even though we did not sign the Hellgate Treaty, we lost everything because of it. We could not get funding for Social Services, Housing, Education, Employment, or better Health Care. We were told we couldn’t get help because we did not have a reservation and when the government intended to sell the land we currently occupied, we were forced to take a stance. The 67 members had no other option but to declare a state of war. Roadblocks were set on up both highways and charged a ten cent toll to pass through and War Bonds were sold in order to finance this war. It was a peaceful war, no guns and no violence and it brought the attention sought. The war only lasted a few days and the government agreed to provide us with a good road, sewer, and city water. We got twelve new homes through HUD, access to Education, Employment, and Social Development funds. The Bureau of Indian Affairs place our Mission into trust for the tribe, so finally the tribe had 12.5 acres belonging to it.