1805 and 1806 - Lewis and Clark Expedition
1812-1820’s - Fur Trading
By 1812 - Hudson’s Bay Company were in the Bitter Root Valley trapping beaver
1820 Hudson’s Bay Company brings Iroquois Tribal members from Canada. Some remain and are adopted into the Salish Tribe.
Iroquois introduce Christianity to the Salish and Nez Perce.
Between 1831 and 1839 Salish Chief Tjolzhitsay (Big Face, baptized Paul) sent four delegations to St. Louis requesting the Blackrobes as their teachers.
September 24, 1841, Father Pierre Jean DeSmet, together with his fellow Jesuit missionaries, Fathers Gregory Mengarini and Nicolas Point, and three Lay Brothers arrived in the Bitterroot valley.
Late in 1841, Chief Tjolzhitsay dies at 90. Victor becomes Chief of the Salish (Little Bear Claw, Slem-cry-cre)
Problems began with the white settlement of the Valley and the Salish joined other tribes in the negotiations of the Hellgate Treaty of 1855 (aka Council Grove Treaty)
Hellgate treaty was understood by the Salish to mean the Bitter Root Valley would stay in the hands of the Salish and white settlement would be limited.
Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Isaac Stevens, voiced his intent to obtain cession of ownership by the Salish in favor of expanded settlement by "Americans".
Chief Victor resisted and language was inserted that defined the Bitter Root Valley as a "conditional reservation". Victor made his mark, believing that the treaty would support "The People" in what they considered their homeland and would limit settlement by others in the Valley.