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Lapwai is a city in the northwest United States, in Nez Perce County, Idaho. Its population was 1,137 at the 2010 census, and it is the seat of government of the Nez Perce Indian Reservation.
The area that is today Lapwai was the home of Hin-ma-tute-ke-kaikt, also known as Big Thunder and later as James. It was here that Henry Spalding established a Protestant mission among the Nez Perce in 1836. This was also the general region that Bill Craig settled, since his wife was James' daughter.
The city's predecessor, Fort Lapwai, operated on the site from 1863 to 1884. The village of Lapwai was incorporated in 1911, with a model rural school.
The word "Lapwai" means place of the butterflies, as the area had thousands in early summer in earlier years.
Lapwai is part of the Lewiston, ID-WA Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Lapwai is located at 46°24′16″N 116°48′16″W (46.404388, -116.804376)., at an elevation of 955 feet (291 m) above sea level
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.81 square miles (2.10 km2), of which, 0.80 square miles (2.07 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.
The city is served by the BG&CM Railroad, a freight carrier which operates on the former Second Subdivision line of the Camas Prairie Railroad.
The public schools in Lapwai are operated by Lapwai School District #341, led by Lapwai High School.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,137 people, 369 households, and 272 families living in the city. The population density was 1,421.3 inhabitants per square mile (548.8/km2).