Colville (kŏlˈvĭl) [key], indigenous people of North America whose language belongs to the Salishan branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languages). Once one of the largest Salish tribes, they were reduced to a few hundred by 1872. They were placed on a reservation in NE Washington and since that time have markedly increased, so that by 1990 there were 7,140 Colville in the United States. Many still live on the Colville reservation.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.