Spokan or Spokane (both: spōkăn´), Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Salishan branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languages). In the early 19th cent., according to Lewis and Clark (see Lewis and Clark Expedition), they lived in the vicinity of the Spokane River in NE Washington and numbered some 600. Their culture was typical of the Plateau area (see under Natives, North American). Today many Spokan live on the Spokan and the Colville reservations in Washington; others live in Idaho and Montana. In 1990 there were over 2,000 Spokan in the United States.
See R. H. Ruby and J. A. Brown, The Spokan Indians, Children of the Sun (1970).