Spokane Tribe

The Indian Health Service owns and operates the David C. Wynecoop Memorial Clinic (DCWMC), a comprehensive ambulatory care facility in Wellpinit on the Spokane Reservation. The DCWMC is dedicated to the memory of David C. Wynecoop, Sr. He was a member of the Spokane Tribe of Indians and he served as Service Unit Director until 1985. Mr. Wynecoop had a very significant effect upon the health and welfare of the people of the Kalispel and Spokane Tribes.

The 7,700 SF facility was built in the 1970’s and expanded in 1984. The DCWMC was built in 1970 and in 2001 the Indian Health Service and the Spokane Tribe of Indians completed a collaborative construction project of a new ambulatory primary health care addition to the DCWMC. The clinic expansion more than doubled the available facility space.
The clinic is JCAHO accredited The Indian Health Service also operates the Contract Health Services Program. The Tribe’s Contract Health Service Delivery Area (CHSDA) is Ferry, Lincoln, and Stevens counties.

The clinic provides comprehensive medical, dental, and pharmacy services to the Spokane and Kalispel tribes. The clinic bills Medicaid for services provided to Medicaid eligible patients, and private insurance for those patients who have coverage. In addition to the IHS operated clinic, the Spokane Tribe operates several health programs under IHS funded P.L. 93-638, Title I contracts. These include the community health representative program, emergency medical services, alcohol and substance abuse, and mental health. Through other funding sources the Tribe also operates: Indian Child Welfare, WIC, senior nutrition, CHAPS, Headstart FAS/FAE, drug elimination, home health care, emergency shelter, daycare, and COPES programs.


The Spokane (or Spokan) are a Native American people in the northeastern portion of the U.S. state of Washington. The Spokane Indian Reservation, at 47°55′42″N 118°02′45″W, is located in eastern Washington, almost entirely in Stevens County, but includes two very small parcels of land (totaling 1.52 acres) and part of the Spokane River in northeastern Lincoln County.

The Spokane Tribe of Indians are of the Interior Salish Group, which has inhabited northeast Washington, northern Idaho and western Montana for many centuries. The city of Spokane, Washington takes its name, which means “children of the stars or the Star People”, from them.

The Spokane Tribe’s reservation consists of 154,000 acres in eastern Washington of which 90% is held in trust by the federal government. The Spokane Indian Reservation was established by an Executive Order of President Hayes. According to Lewis and Clark, in the early 19th century they lived in the vicinity of the Spokane River and numbered around 600. They call themselves Sqeliz – “The People”. The Spokane Tribe comprises five bands: sntu/t/uliz, snzmeme/, scqesciOni, sl/otewsi, hu, sDmqeni.

For thousands of years the Spokanes lived near the Spokane River, living by hunting and gathering.[citation needed] Spokane territory once sprawled out over three million acres of land. The Spokanes constructed permanent villages for the winter by the river for fishing and huts in the mountains for gathering. Other Indian people began to influence the Spokanes introducing them to horses and plank houses. The first white men to contact the Spokane were explorers and fur traders. A trading post known as Spokane House was constructed near the confluence of Spokane and Little Spokane Rivers around 1810. The Spokanes suffered from introduced diseases, including smallpox. Land-grabbing by white settlers was exacerbated by a lack of legal controls to prevent injustice. By the 1860s, settlers were driving into the West pushing out the original inhabitants, such as the Spokanes. The Spokane Indians, among many other Indians, were given English names. The Spokanes made a number of agreements with the federal governments in the late 19th century. In 1877 the Lower Spokane relocated to the Spokane Reservation which was declared a reservation in 1881. In 1887 the Upper and Middle Spokane agreed to move to the Flathead Reservation and Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation.


The reservation is on the north bank of the Spokane river northwest of Spokane; the west end is directly across the Columbia River from southeast corner of Colville Reservation. Both rivers are backed up as part of Roosevelt Reservoir behind Grand Coulee Dam. The clinic is located on the Spokane Indian Reservation in the northeast section of Washington State occupying the southern portion of Stevens County. Geographically, the northern border is the 48th latitude with the Spokane River the southern border and the Columbia River its western border. It is mountainous region covered with timber and varies in elevation from 1,000 feet to 4,000 feet. On plateaus and valleys, farm land is relatively extensive while mountain areas are heavily timbered with frequent scattering of lakes, streams and ponds.
Principal industries: Wood products, mining, metals processing.

Native Language

Their language belongs to the Interior Salishan family. The language they spoke is closely related to Okanagan and others in the area.

Salish-Spokane-Kalispel language is an Interior Salish language spoken in three dialects in Northern America, particularly in the northwestern areas of the United States. It is one of five Southern Interior languages, belonging to a larger group of Salish languages that includes Lushootseed and Squamish (both are Central Coast Salish). The three dialects of Spokane-Kalispel include Spokane, Kalispel (sometimes known as Pend d’Orielle), and Flathead (sometimes known as Montana Salish or Salish proper). As of 2008, there were 70 speakers of the three dialects on reservations in Montana, Idaho and Washington state. Specifically, there were two fluent first-language speakers of Spokane, a married couple both over 70; 60 fluent first-language speakers of the Flathead dialect, most over the age of 65; and a few speakers of Kalispel, where there is little known information.

There are several revitalization efforts for the Spokane-Kalispel dialects. Those promoted through the internet focus on revitalization through language schools and immersion programs. One such effort is the Salish School of Spokane, which offers language immersion to children between the ages of three and eight. The program is a full-time school that operates Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in addition to before- and after school care for children. Additionally, the school offers free Spokane classes to community members one night a week, with the option of scheduling further classes on an individual basis.


Uranium was discovered on the reservation and mined from an open pit 1956-1962 and 1969–1982, at the Midnite Mine. The now inactive mine is on the list of Superfund cleanup sites with contaminates including metals, radionuclides and acidic drainage.

Tribal membership as of April 2011 is 2708, strong and growing. As in the past, national resources are protected by the Spokane Indians. Today, the Spokane Indian Reservation has: 108,874 acres of forest land, 8,552 acres of agricultural land, 10,328 acres of lakes, and 25 maintained camp sites.

Principal industries: Wood products, mining, metals processing.


The tribe’s governing body is a five-member business council elected at large by the tribal membership. The tribe maintains an economic development plan.


Fast Info

Tribal website: https://www.spokanetribe.com/

Administration Phone: (50) 458-6500

Clinic website: https://www.ihs.gov/Portland/healthcarefacilities/wellpinit/

Clinic Phone: (509) 258-4517

Contact Information

Spokane Tribe
David C. Wyncoop Memorial Clinic
PO Box 100
Wellpinit, WA 99040
Phone: 509-258-4517 | 1-888-848-1832
Fax: 509-258-6757
Webpage: http://www.spokanetribe.com
Department of Health and Human Services
6228 Old School Road
PO Box 540
Wellpinit, WA 99040
Phone: 509-258-7502
Fax: 509-258-7029
Hours of Operation: 7:30am-4:00pm, Monday-Friday
6228 E. Old School Rd.
PO Box 540
Wellpinit, WA99040
Phone: 509.258.7502
Fax: 509.258.7029
Dental Clinic: WELLPINIT
Phone: 509-258-4517 ext: 127
Fax: 509-258-7152
Address: BOX 357
State: WA
Zip: 99040
Street Address:
Address: 6203 AGENCY LOOP ROAD
State: WA

Member Tribes

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