Native American Tribal Nations Mini-Lesson: Modoc Nation

Posted By PowWow Articles November 15th, 2018 Last Updated on: January 20th, 2022

Every day this month in honor of Native American Heritage Month, we're dedicating time to learn about a Tribal nation.

We 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 settlers 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 » Native American Articles » Native American Culture » Native American Tribal Nations Mini-Lesson: Modoc Nation

TAGGED:    california    klamath    modoc    oregon    tribal history  
5 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
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.

Free Email Series: What to Expect at Your First Pow Wow