Okanogan or Okinagan (both: ōkənäˈgən) [key], confederation of Native North Americans of the Salishan branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languages). In the late 18th cent. they numbered some 2,500. In the early 19th cent. they occupied an area extending from the west side of the Okanagan River in Washington N to British Columbia. In winter the Okanogan lived in semisubterranean earth lodges and in summer in mat or bark lodges. They fished, hunted, and gathered roots and berries. The Okanogan land claims were never adjusted. Today about 2,300 Okanogan live in British Columbia; others live with the Colville (a related tribe), on the Colville Reservation in Washington.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.