Kutenai in United States

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People Name: Kutenai
Country: United States
10/40 Window: No
Population: 500
World Population: 1,700
Primary Language: Kutenai
Primary Religion: Christianity
Christian Adherents: 65.00 %
Evangelicals: 2.00 %
Scripture: Unspecified
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: North American Indigenous
Affinity Bloc: North American Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Kutenai culture combined elements from the plains and the plateau tribes. Like the plains Indians they rode horses and lived in teepees. They engaged in communal fishing like the plateau tribes. Their leadership structure was informal, with a council of elders. They took captive women and children from other tribes; eventually there was intermarriage. Today First Nation tribes are often blended by region.

The Kutenai lived in Canada’s British Colombia province and the American states of Montana and Idaho.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Kutenai never signed a peace treaty with the US. In 1974 they “declared war” on the US government, which meant they blocked Highway 95 and charged a toll for motorists. Eventually there was an agreement, and there was no bloodshed.

Like other First Nations people, the Kutenai have either assimilated into the dominant culture or they have struggled to have their needs met. Those who have assimilated often own businesses like golf courses, resorts, housing developments and casinos. Others work in land management or in fire prevention. At home, they try to maintain their traditional culture.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Traditionally the Kutenai were animistic, and they worshipped the sun. They also had shamans. Today most are officially Christian.

What Are Their Needs?

The Kutenai need opportunities to make a good living in the 21st century. They need good schools and educational opportunities.

Prayer Points

Pray for a spiritual hunger that will lead Kutenai elders to seek and find Jesus Christ.

Pray for them to put all their faith in the one who came to give life to the full.

Pray for Kutenai disciples to make more disciples.

Text Source:   Joshua Project