Shoshone Indians

The Shoshone Indians are a tribe of Native Americans who traditionally lived in the western half of what would become the United States. They were a large tribe that are seen to be split up into three parts, the Western, Eastern, and Northern Shoshone, and their territory consisted of areas of Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, California, and Montana. The majority of them lived in the area of the Snake River in Idaho, leading to their nickname of the "Snake Indians," however Shoshone actually means "The Valley People."

Their lifestyles changed dramatically with the arrival of Europeans, with the expansion of white men into the west claiming more land. Settlers in Ohio caused some fighting, leading to the Shoshone being pushed back and restricted to less and less area, even into lands that had never traditionally been their own. American expansion continued, however, and soon the Shoshone were pushed all the way to Idaho, where they fought back harder than ever. The Bear River Massacre, in 1863, saw the United States Army attacking the Shoshone, leading to the death of at least two hundred Shoshone. In 1878 the Bannock War was the last straw and the last of the Northern Shoshone surrendered soon after.

The Shoshone were given a plot of reservation land in Idaho known as the Lemhi Indian Reservation in 1875, among other reservations in surrounding areas. The Western Shoshone were particularly stubborn in regards to obeying the orders of the United States, declaring their own sovereignty, and because of this there are many Shoshone who are still waiting for their tribe to become federally recognized. Their pre-contact population was approximately 8,000, though there are now at least 30,000 Shoshone in the United States.

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