Native American Tribal Nations Mini-Lesson: Modoc Nation

Native American Tribal Nations Mini-Lesson: Modoc Nation

Posted By Corinne Grey Cloud November 15th, 2018 Last Updated on: November 20th, 2018

If you aren't following me on Instagram already you definitely should if only for this month!

Every day this month in honor of Native American Heritage Month, I am dedicating time in my Instagram stories to learning about a Tribal nation.

These are fun mini-lessons that I get to share with my followers, and will also be sharing a few of them here on the powwows website.

Today we are going to learn about the Modoc Nation in Oregon and Oklahoma.

No that wasn't a typo. The Modoc nation's original tribal lands were in what is now known as Klamath Oregon and extended down into Northern California.

The Modoc existed just south of the Klamath people, but after settler forced them to surrender their lands they were pushed up into Klamath territory.

There were some in the Modoc nation who refused to take the move to Klamath lightly.

A man by the name of Kintpuash (Captain Jack), led a resistance with 53 other warriors at the ridge along their lands. They were able to effectively keep 3,000 invading US Soldiers at bay and defeated them in battle many times.

Their victory wouldn't last, however. “Captain Jack” and the others at the resistance camp were arrested and sent all the way to Oklahoma and put into prison. The Modoc out on the Oklahoma reservation are all descendants of those amazing warriors!

Some Modoc people were not ever a part of the conflict, however, and learned to coexist with the Klamath people. The Modoc still teach and pass along their traditions.

One of their traditional ways of hunting is still taught today and uses a tool called an Atlatl. An Atlatl is a spear that uses a lever action with the human wrist to propel the spear forward.

The spear could travel great distances and because of the lever action was quicker and thrown with greater force than if it were thrown by hand alone.

The sacred lands of the Modoc are now known as Lava Beds National Monument. The park exhibits basket weavings by both the Klamath and Modoc Nations, a cultural practice the Oklahoma Modoc Tribe was not able to continue without their reeds.

Tune in tomorrow to learn about another nation and culture!


Home » Blog » Native American Tribal Nations Mini-Lesson: Modoc Nation

About Corinne Grey Cloud

Corinne Rice (Mohawk/Lakota) has been a writer with powwows.com since 2014. She lives in the state of CA, and enjoys attending and photographing many of the Northern CA powwows and events. She owns her own photography business and is also a Fellow with Changemaker Initiative in partnership with Ashoka.

TAGGED:    california    klamath    modoc    oregon    tribal history  

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John Westfield

Thank you for sharing.

Ellen alspaugh

Iwould like to. Knowabout the Ptawatomee and Mnominee tribes.my grandson is half.

Pablo Barillas

Hey Corrine ,

Awesome articles, love reading about all the different nations! I just wanted to add a correction to this article as “Captain Jack” was never sent to Oklahoma, he and his close resistance companions were tried in a military court and hung in 1873 at Fort Klamath Oregon, only the remainder of the Modoc resistance were sent to Oklahoma.

Looking forward to more articles!




A`HO Grateful for your good works.
Many blessings. Be Well my relatives.
Mitakune Oyasin.
Geoffrey ‘little hawk’ Nielson

Sheryl Walker

So interesting to learn about the people and their history. Thank you for doing this.


Thank you, Corinne. I have been enjoying your articles. Can’t wait to read your next mini history lesson.

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