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Colville Confederated Tribes seeking input on potential name change


The Colville Confederated Tribes are considering changing their name and are welcoming input on the decision.

A new section on the CCT’s website, titled “Reclaim The Name” at, has information on the name change, videos of tribal members weighing in on the topic, as well as a form to suggest a new name, or voice comments.

So far about 60 people have submitted their thoughts on the matter, according to Meghan Francis, the public affairs officer for the CCT.

The reason for the name change is that the current name, Colville, comes from Andrew Colvile, a European who owned part of the Hudson Bay Trading company, but had never been in the area. Fort Colville (with an added ‘l’) was named after him, and the native Americans who lived near the fort were referred to by that name.

Changing the name is a means of honoring their tribal culture, rather than the culture of the Hudson Bay Trading Company.

One of the leading names being considered is “The 12 Confederated Tribes of the Big Water Nation,” referring to the tribes’ shared culture of living on and near the Columbia River, its tributaries, and eating salmon from its waters.

“Big River” is being considered instead of “Big Water,” and the tribe has yet to release other suggested names. The final name will be written in English as well as in traditional languages of the tribes.

“I think it is a step toward reclaiming identity and reclaiming political power,” said tribal member Sandra Warriors-Pistolbullet, in a video discussion of the issue.

Tribal members will be receiving registration forms in the mail to register to vote on the issue 30-60 days prior to the vote.

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