Chief Moses


An oval matted black and white portrait of Chief Moses with hankerchief vest and jacket

Chief Moses
Cultural Narrative: 

Chief Moses in White clothing, probably taken on his trip to Washington D.C.

Traditional Knowledge: 

Tribal Histories

Chief Moses served his people as a warrior during his younger years and later tried to protect his people through diplomacy as the leader of the Moses-Columbia.

Chief Moses was the lead representative for a confederacy of tribes consisting of Moses-Columbia, Wenatchi, Entiat, and Chelan. Moses attempted to negotiate the creation of a reservation in the Moses-Columbia homeland. His proposal was rejected, but he was able to settle an agreement to establish a reservation extending from the northern half of Chelan lands, north through Methow and Okanogan territory to the Canadian border. Many of the Moses-Columbia did not relocate to this reservation, but instead stayed on the Colville Reservation. Eventually, mining interests on the Moses-Columbia Reservation led to it's dissolution, forcing those who had relocated to that reservation to move or accept allotments on the Colville Reservation.

The traditional territory of the Moses-Columbia consisted of approximately 4.3 million acres. Roughly it's north and west borders were the Columbia River, south to the Potholes area and east to the Ritzville area. 

Daily Life

One of the Moses-Columbia's main villages was located near Rock Creek Island, this location was selected for it's protection from the cold winter winds. During the summer months they would move to other locations for gathering, fishing, and hunting.


Chief Moses attended some school in Spalding and met Chief Joseph there also. They grew to consider each other brothers.

Chief Moses