The first to settle in the area were the Methow Indians. Although they moved frequently in summer to take advantage of various foods (berries, deer and roots), they usually wintered less than one mile from the mouth of the Methow River. Source: Wapato Heritage by Tom Hackenmiller
The Indians called the river "xantci'n" meaning little rock gate. It was an important salmon fishery and the Methow Indians used weirs to collect fish. The weirs were a method of blocking off most of the river with fencing to force fish through a small opening where they could be caught. They were then smoked or dried.
Horses were introduced in this area around 1730. The local Indians talked with and assisted David Thompson, the first white explorer, in 1811. They also provided him with horses.
About 50 Indian lodges were in the Pateros area when Lee Ives arrived in 1886. In the late 1800's, a newspaper account noted the following Indians in Pateros: Captain Joe, Pinto Tom, Sam Miller (Miller still has relatives here), Old Narrsiciss, and Crooked Mouth Bob (who was pinned to a floor with an arrow through his face, which made his mouth crooked).