The area now called Washington State has been inhabited for over 11,000 years.
The first people in the region were likely the descendants of Asians who had crossed a land bridge to North America at the end of the last ice age.
At the time of the Europeans' arrival, there were two major native groupings. One was located on the Columbia Plateau to the east of the Cascade Mountain Range and included such tribes as the Cayuse, Nez Percé, Okanogan, Palouse, Wenatchee and Yakima. Those Indians were semi-nomadic and sometimes had difficulty feeding themselves during long periods of adverse weather. The other group lived close to bodies of water — major rivers, Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean. They included the Chinook, Clallam, Clatsop, Makah, Nisqually, Puyallup, Quinault, Salish and Snohomish.
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