Kootenays, a tribe of Indians in the northwest of the United States, with some bands in British Columbia. They form a distinct family, as shown by their language, from the Flatheads, with whom they have long been allied. They comprise the Kootenays and the Flatbows, and are known through the country as the Skalzi. They are gentle, amiable, honest, but cowardly, indolent, and indisposed to labor or to adopt civilized ideas. They live on fish, camash and other roots, grain, fruit, and berries, and are very poor. They roamed chiefly on the head waters of the Clark and McGilvray rivers, seldom hunted buffalo, but took elk, deer, Rocky mountain sheep, birds, and fish. They welcomed Father De Smet, and built a large chapel on the Tobacco Plain, but from their thriftless life have made little progress, except a few under Eneas, who reside somewhat permanently on Flathead lake. In 1872 there were 320 Kootenays in Montana, with the Flat-heads and Pend d'Oreil-les, sharing their vicissitudes and removal to Jocko; 400 in Idaho, 400 in British Columbia, and some in Washington territory.
Those in Idaho, by executive order of June 14, 1867, were removed to a reservation of 250,000 acres set apart for them.