People Group Highlights

“All nations will come and worship before you."

- Revelations 15:4

Yakima of United States

People Group Info

Total Population: 10,200

ROP3 Code: 110937
IMB Affinity Group: American Peoples
Affinity Bloc: North American Peoples
People Cluster: North American Indigenous
Language: Yakama - (yak)
Religion: Christianity
Country of Origin: United States

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Majority Located Where

  Yakima, WA - 1,540

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Brief Profile

The Yakima, self named the Waptailmim (“People of the Narrow River”), are a Native American people belonging to the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. In 1993, the nation's tribal council voted to change their name from Yakima to Yakama.

Historically, they lived along the Columbia, Yakima, and Wenatchee rivers in what is now the south-central region of Washington state.

Their language, Yakama, is related to Sahaptin languages. The majority of Yakima converse in English. Some Yakima, especially elders, residing on the reservation are still able to converse in Yakama. They conduct classes on the reservation to promote the preservation of the language.

The Yakima have a lot in common with the Nez Perce, Tenino, Columbia River Sahaptin, and the Northeast Sahaptin in that they all shared cultural traditions centered around salmon.

Today, the river and its salmon continue as a crucial focal point for cultural traditions and the entire region. Salmon feasts and ceremonies have taken place next to the Columbia River for thousands of years. To call salmon a staple of the tribal diet would be an understatement. Historically, the typical tribal member ate almost a pound of salmon every day, but salmon represented much more than a source of nutrition. It also shaped their society and religion.

Religiously, they are Washat (Seven Drum), Shakers, or several Christian denominations including Baptists, Pentecostals, etc.

Washat or the Seven Drum religion is a indigenous religion of the Columbia Plateau. It combines elements of the Prophet Dance with some older Native traditions and some Christian elements. Its interwoven components include vision quests, spiritual power, shamanistic curing, and tribal behavioral norms and morality.

For more information about the Yakima, visit the Yakama Nation website.

Prayer Points

  • Pray that God will work in the hearts and minds to understand and receive the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Pray for evangelical Yakima to share the message of Christ both in word and deed.

People Group Resources

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Learning Resources

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This book delineates five disciplines Christians should develop in order to effectively reach the nations. More specifically, it will guide Christians to develop an engagement strategy in their locale.

Other Resources

Prayer Guide for Unreached Peoples
A 30 day guide to pray for unreached people groups.

Prayer Guide using the GOSPELS acronym
A prayer guide that utilizes the acronym GOSPELS to pray for workers among diaspora.

Displaying 1-1 of 1 result.
Country City Metro Area Name State / Prov. Baseline Population
United StatesToppenishYakimaWA1,540

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