MARCH 16, 1916


Kenmille, born near Arlee, Montana (MT), through her mother was a descendant of Chief Charlo’s band of Salish. Agnes did her first beadwork when she was 11 years old–a 4-leaf clover on a small purse for a July 4th celebration.  Orphaned at age 13, she was married at age 14 to a Kootenai man and moved to Elmo, MT, where she became a fluent speaker of the Kootenai language. Kenmille also became an expert in hide tanning and bead work and taught these arts for more than a decade at Salish Kootenai College before retiring in 2008. Additionally, Agnes offered instruction in the Salish language at the tribal high school. She received numerous, prestigious honors and awards, including the National Endowment for the Arts in 2003 and the Montana Governor’s Award for Art. She also received an honorary bachelor’s degree from Salish Kootenai College. Agnes loved war dances and was the head war dance woman for the Arlee and Standing Arrow Powwows. She died February 11, 2009, in Ronan, MT.

  “Agnes ‘Oshanee’ Kenmille,” National Endowment for the Arts, 2003.  Retrieved 6/11/2021, Agnes "Oshanee" Kenmille | National Endowment for the Arts
“Agnes Oshanee (Cullooyah) Kenmille,” Foster Funeral Home & Crematory.  Retrieved, 6/11/2021,  Agnes (Cullooyah) Kenmille Obituary - Foster Funeral Home & Crematory (
Photo: National Endowment for the Arts, 2003.  Public Domain.

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