The Paleo-Indian times date back more than nine thousand years.

Indigenous peoples used Kettle Falls as a base for food gathering and fishing. The people of this period used the natural resources of laminated quartzite (for chopping) and black argillite (for small tools).

The Ksunku period began about 6000 years ago. Archaeological evidence shows them to be accomplished hunters of fish and wildlife, and gatherers of native plants. About 2000 years ago, the Salish speaking people came to Kettle Falls. Over a period of one thousand years, it’s believed that their numbers increased substantially.

The Shwayip period brings us up to the 19th century. Several tribes populated the area, moving their encampments to make best use of the seasons and resources at their disposal. The Spokane Tribe, for instance, dispersed their winter camps into smaller groups in the Spring. By summer time, salmon fishing, hunting and root digging were central to their existence. Come fall, there was berry picking and intertribal social activities. By early winter, the smaller units regrouped to form winter camps along the river and creeks.

The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation relate a similar account of how their ancestors lived. They refer to their ancestors as “… nomadic: following the seasons and sources of food and moving from place to place to occupy fishing sites and to harvest berries and native plants. In their travels, our ancestors met other indigenous people of different speech and cultural practices.”