Sheepeater Band of Shoeshone

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History[edit | edit source]

The Sheepeater Indians are a part of the Shoshone Tribe and were also known as the Mountain Shoshone. Their name may have come from the fact that they were hunters and eaters of Rocky Mountain sheep.

The Mountain Shoshone or Sheepeaters were located in the Yellowstone and northern Rocky Mountains along the Idaho-Montana border. Some of them settled in the Lemhi Valley near Tendoy, Idaho. A reservation was established for them in 1875, called the Lemhi Reservation, and approximately 700 Shoshone, Sheepeater, and Bannock were placed on that reservation.

The Lemhi Reservation was never very successful and in 1906, 474 Native Americans from the Lemhi Reservation were moved to Fort Hall Reservation in eastern Idaho. Some of the Shoshone, especially those under Chief Tendoy remained in the central Idaho area near Salmon. Chief Tendoy died in May 1907 and was buried near Tendoy, Idaho[1][2].

Brief Timeline[edit | edit source]

Reservations[edit | edit source]

Lemhi Reservation

Additional References[edit | edit source]

A brief history of the Sheepeater and the Sheepeater Indian War of 1879 is available online.

Bands and Groups of Sheepeaters[edit | edit source]

  • Chief Tendoy's Band

Records[edit | edit source]

The majority of records of individuals were those created by the agencies. Some records may be available to tribal members through the tribal headquarters.They were (and are) the local office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and were charged with maintaining records of the activities of those under their responsibility. Among these records are:

Many of the records of the Sheepeaters, 1875-1906, are included in the records of the Lemhi Reservation. Subsequent records mostly are at the Fort Hall Reservation, where many of the descendants of the early Sheepeaters now live.

There is also an Indian burial ground on a bench near Tendoy, Idaho.

Agency Records[edit | edit source]

Correspondence and Census[edit | edit source]

Tribe Agency location of Original Records

Pre-1880 Correspondence

M234 RG 75 Rolls 962

Roll Number




Post-1885 Census

M595 RG 75 Rolls 693

Roll Number




Sheepeater Lemhi Agency, 1885, 1887-1906 Seattle - - 248 FHL Film: 576937

Important Websites[edit | edit source]

"Sheepeater Indian War" article in Wikipedia.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "History: The Mountain Shoshone or Sheepeater Indians," Salmon-Challis National Forest, Leadore Ranger District available online
  2. Idaho State Historical Society Reference Series No. 24 "The Sheepeater Indians" available online

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

Tribe[edit | edit source]

  • Dominick, David. "The Sheepeaters." Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 36, No. 2 (1964), pp. 131-168.

Reference[edit | edit source]