Chief Joseph

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Chief Joseph
Chief Joseph by Edward Sheriff Curtis.jpg
Portrait by Edward Sheriff Curtis, 1903
Born(1840-03-03)March 3, 1840
Wallowa Valley, Nez Perce territory (claimed as Oregon Country by the United States and as the Columbia District by the United Kingdom)
DiedSeptember 21, 1904(1904-09-21) (aged 64)
Colville Indian Reservation, Washington, U.S.
Resting placeChief Joseph Cemetery, Nespelem, Washington
48°10′6.72″N118°58′37.69″W / 48.1685333°N 118.9771361°W / 48.1685333; -118.9771361
Other names
  • Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt
  • In-mut-too-yah-lat-lat
  • Joseph the Younger
  • Young Joseph
Known for Nez Perce leader
Predecessor Joseph the Elder (father)
Heyoon Yoyikt
(m. 1880)
  • Springtime
  • 2 brothers, including Ollokot
  • 4 sisters
Chief Joseph signature.svg
Original Nez Perce territory (green) and the reduced reservation of 1863 (brown) Nezperce01.png
Original Nez Perce territory (green) and the reduced reservation of 1863 (brown)

Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt (or hinmatóowyalahtq̓it in Americanist orthography; March 3, 1840 – September 21, 1904), popularly known as Chief Joseph, Young Joseph, or Joseph the Younger, was a leader of the wal-lam-wat-kain (Wallowa) band of Nez Perce, a Native American tribe of the interior Pacific Northwest region of the United States, in the latter half of the 19th century. He succeeded his father tuekakas (Chief Joseph the Elder) in the early 1870s.


Chief Joseph led his band of Nez Perce during the most tumultuous period in their history, when they were forcibly removed by the United States federal government from their ancestral lands in the Wallowa Valley of northeastern Oregon onto a significantly reduced reservation in the Idaho Territory. A series of violent encounters with white settlers in the spring of 1877 culminated in those Nez Perce who resisted removal, including Joseph's band and an allied band of the Palouse tribe, fleeing the United States in an attempt to reach political asylum alongside the Lakota people, who had sought refuge in Canada under the leadership of Sitting Bull.

At least 800 men, women, and children led by Joseph and other Nez Perce chiefs were pursued by the U.S. Army under General Oliver O. Howard in a 1,170-mile (1,900 km) fighting retreat known as the Nez Perce War. The skill with which the Nez Perce fought and the manner in which they conducted themselves in the face of incredible adversity earned them widespread admiration from their military opponents and the American public, and coverage of the war in U.S. newspapers led to popular recognition of Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce.

In October 1877, after months of fugitive resistance, most of the surviving remnants of Joseph's band were cornered in northern Montana Territory, just 40 miles (64 km) from the Canadian border. Unable to fight any longer, Chief Joseph surrendered to the Army with the understanding that he and his people would be allowed to return to the reservation in western Idaho. He was instead transported between various forts and reservations on the southern Great Plains before being moved to the Colville Indian Reservation in the state of Washington, where he died in 1904.

Chief Joseph's life remains an iconic event in the history of the American Indian Wars. For his passionate, principled resistance to his tribe's forced removal, Joseph became renowned as both a humanitarian and a peacemaker.


Chief Joseph was born Hinmuuttu-yalatlat (alternatively Hinmaton-Yalaktit or hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt[ Nez Perce: "Thunder Rolling Down the Mountain"], or hinmatóoyalahtq'it ["Thunder traveling to higher areas"]) [1] in the Wallowa Valley of northeastern Oregon. He was known as Young Joseph during his youth because his father, tuekakas, [2] was baptized with the same Christian name and later become known as "Old Joseph" or "Joseph the Elder". [3]

While initially hospitable to the region's white settlers, Joseph the Elder grew wary when they demanded more Indian lands. Tensions grew as the settlers appropriated traditional Indian lands for farming and livestock. Isaac Stevens, governor of the Washington Territory, organized a council to designate separate areas for natives and settlers in 1855. Joseph the Elder and the other Nez Perce chiefs signed the Treaty of Walla Walla, [4] with the United States establishing a Nez Perce reservation encompassing 7,700,000 acres (31,000 km2) in present-day Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. The 1855 reservation maintained much of the traditional Nez Perce lands, including Joseph's Wallowa Valley. [5] It is recorded that the elder Joseph requested that Young Joseph protect their 7.7-million-acre homeland, and guard his father's burial place. [6]

In 1863, however, an influx of new settlers, attracted by a gold rush, led the government to call a second council. Government commissioners asked the Nez Perce to accept a new, much smaller reservation of 760,000 acres (3,100 km2) situated around the village of Lapwai in western Idaho Territory, and excluding the Wallowa Valley. [7] [8] In exchange, they were promised financial rewards, schools, and a hospital for the reservation. Chief Lawyer and one of his allied chiefs signed the treaty on behalf of the Nez Perce Nation, but Joseph the Elder and several other chiefs were opposed to selling their lands and did not sign. [9] [10] [11] [12]

Their refusal to sign caused a rift between the "non-treaty" and "treaty" bands of Nez Perce. The "treaty" Nez Perce moved within the new reservation's boundaries, while the "non-treaty" Nez Perce remained on their ancestral lands. Joseph the Elder demarcated Wallowa land with a series of poles, proclaiming, "Inside this boundary all our people were born. It circles the graves of our fathers, and we will never give up these graves to any man."

Leadership of the Nez Perce

Joseph the Younger succeeded his father as leader of the Wallowa band in 1871. Before his death, the latter counseled his son:

"My son, my body is returning to my mother earth, and my spirit is going very soon to see the Great Spirit Chief. When I am gone, think of your country. You are the chief of these people. They look to you to guide them. Always remember that your father never sold his country. You must stop your ears whenever you are asked to sign a treaty selling your home. A few years more and white men will be all around you. They have their eyes on this land. My son, never forget my dying words. This country holds your father's body. Never sell the bones of your father and your mother." [13]

Joseph commented: "I clasped my father's hand and promised to do as he asked. A man who would not defend his father's grave is worse than a wild beast."

The non-treaty Nez Perce suffered many injustices at the hands of settlers and prospectors, but out of fear of reprisal from the militarily superior Americans, Joseph never allowed any violence against them, instead making many concessions to them in the hope of securing peace. A handwritten document mentioned in the Oral History of the Grande Ronde recounts an 1872 experience by Oregon pioneer Henry Young and two friends in search of acreage at Prairie Creek, east of Wallowa Lake. Young's party was surrounded by 40–50 Nez Perce led by Chief Joseph. The Chief told Young that white men were not welcome near Prairie Creek, and Young's party was forced to leave without violence. [14]

An 1889 photograph of Joseph speaking to ethnologist Alice Cunningham Fletcher and her interpreter James Stuart Alice Fletcher2.jpg
An 1889 photograph of Joseph speaking to ethnologist Alice Cunningham Fletcher and her interpreter James Stuart

In 1873, Joseph negotiated with the federal government to ensure his people could stay on their land in the Wallowa Valley. But in 1877, the government reversed its policy, and Army General Oliver O. Howard threatened to attack if the Wallowa band did not relocate to the Idaho reservation with the other Nez Perce. Joseph reluctantly agreed. Before the outbreak of hostilities, General Howard held a council at Fort Lapwai to try to convince Joseph and his people to relocate. Joseph finished his address to the general, which focused on human equality, by expressing his "[disbelief that] the Great Spirit Chief gave one kind of men the right to tell another kind of men what they must do." Howard reacted angrily, interpreting the statement as a challenge to his authority. When Toohoolhoolzote protested, he was jailed for five days.

The day following the council, Joseph, White Bird, and Looking Glass all accompanied Howard to examine different areas within the reservation. Howard offered them a plot of land that was inhabited by whites and Native Americans, promising to clear out the current residents. Joseph and his chieftains refused, adhering to their tribal tradition of not taking what did not belong to them. Unable to find any suitable uninhabited land on the reservation, Howard informed Joseph that his people had 30 days to collect their livestock and move to the reservation. Joseph pleaded for more time, but Howard told him he would consider their presence in the Wallowa Valley beyond the 30-day mark an act of war.

Returning home, Joseph called a council among his people. At the council, he spoke on behalf of peace, preferring to abandon his father's grave over war. Toohoolhoolzote, insulted by his incarceration, advocated war. In June 1877, the Wallowa band began making preparations for the long journey to the reservation, meeting first with other bands at Rocky Canyon. At this council, too, many leaders urged war, while Joseph continued to argue in favor of peace. While the council was underway, a young man whose father had been killed rode up and announced that he and several other young men had retaliated by killing four white settlers. Still hoping to avoid further bloodshed, Joseph and other non-treaty Nez Perce leaders began moving people away from Idaho.

Nez Perce War

Map of the flight of the Nez Perce and key battle sites Flight of the Nez Perce-1877-map.jpg
Map of the flight of the Nez Perce and key battle sites

The U.S. Army's pursuit of about 750 Nez Perce and a small allied band of the Palouse tribe, led by Chief Joseph and others, as they attempted to escape from Idaho became known as the Nez Perce War. Initially they had hoped to take refuge with the Crow Nation in the Montana Territory, but when the Crow refused to grant them aid, the Nez Perce went north in an attempt to obtain asylum with the Lakota band led by Sitting Bull, who had fled to Canada following the Great Sioux War in 1876. In Hear Me, My Chiefs!: Nez Perce Legend and History, Lucullus V. McWhorter argues that the Nez Perce were a peaceful people that were forced into war by the United States when their land was stolen from them. McWhorter interviewed and befriended Nez Perce warriors such as Yellow Wolf, who stated, "Our hearts have always been in the valley of the Wallowa". [15]

Robert Forczyk states in his book Nez Perce 1877: The Last Fight that the tipping point of the war was that "Joseph responded that his clan's traditions would not allow him to cede the Wallowa Valley". [16] The band led by Chief Joseph never signed the treaty moving them to the Idaho reservation. General Howard, who was dispatched to deal with Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce, tended to believe the Nez Perce were right about the treaty: "the new treaty finally agreed upon excluded the Wallowa, and vast regions besides". [17]

For over three months, the Nez Perce deftly outmaneuvered and battled their pursuers, traveling more than 1,170 miles (1,880 km) across present-day Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. One of those battles was led by Captain Perry and two cavalry companies of the U.S. Army led by Captain Trimble and Lieutenant Theller, [18] who engaged Chief Joseph and his people at White Bird Canyon on June 17, 1877. The Nez Perce repelled the attack, killing 34 soldiers, while suffering only three Nez Perce wounded. The Nez Perce continued to repel the Army's advances, eventually reaching the Clearwater River, where they united with another Nez Perce chief, Looking Glass, and his group, bringing the size of their party to 740, though only 200 of these were warriors. [16] The final battle of the Nez Perce War occurred approximately 40 miles (64 km) south of the Canadian border where the Nez Perce were camped on Snake Creek near the Bears Paw Mountains, close to present-day Chinook in Blaine County, Montana. A U.S. Army detachment commanded by General Nelson A. Miles and accompanied by Cheyenne scouts intercepted the Nez Perce on September 30 at the Battle of Bear Paw. After his initial attacks were repelled, Miles violated a truce and captured Chief Joseph; however, he would later be forced to exchange Chief Joseph for one of his captured officers. [16]

General Howard arrived on October 3, leading the opposing cavalry, and was impressed with the skill with which the Nez Perce fought, using advance and rear guards, skirmish lines, and field fortifications. Following a devastating five-day siege during freezing weather, with no food or blankets and the major war leaders dead, Chief Joseph formally surrendered to General Miles on the afternoon of October 5, 1877. The battle is remembered in popular history by the words attributed to Joseph at the formal surrender:

Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before, I have it in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed; Looking Glass is dead, Too-hul-hul-sote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets; the little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are—perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, to see how many I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever. [19]

The popular legend deflated, however, when the original pencil draft of the report was revealed to show the handwriting of the later poet and lawyer Lieutenant Charles Erskine Scott Wood, who claimed to have taken down the great chief's words on the spot. In the margin it read, "Here insert Joseph's reply to the demand for surrender". [20] [21]

Although Joseph was not technically a war chief and probably did not command the retreat, many of the chiefs who did had died. His speech brought attention, and therefore credit, his way. He earned the praise of General William Tecumseh Sherman and became known in the press as "The Red Napoleon". However, as Francis Haines argues in Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce Warrior, the battlefield successes of the Nez Perce during the war were due to the individual successes of the Nez Perce men and not that of the fabled military genius of Chief Joseph. Haines supports his argument by citing L. V. McWhorter, who concluded "that Chief Joseph was not a military man at all, that on the battlefield he was without either skill or experience". [22] Furthermore, Merle Wells argues in The Nez Perce and Their War that the interpretation of the Nez Perce War of 1877 in military terms as used in the United States Army's account distorts the actions of the Nez Perce. Wells supports his argument: "The use of military concepts and terms is appropriate when explaining what the whites were doing, but these same military terms should be avoided when referring to Indian actions; the United States use of military terms such as 'retreat' and 'surrender' has created a distorted perception of the Nez Perce War, to understand this may lend clarity to the political and military victories of the Nez Perce." [23]


Chief Joseph and family, c. 1880 Chief Joseph and family.JPG
Chief Joseph and family, c. 1880
Oliver O. Howard and Chief Joseph (1904) Oliver O. Howard and Chief Joseph (1904).jpg
Oliver O. Howard and Chief Joseph (1904)

By the time Joseph had surrendered, 150 of his followers had been killed or wounded. Their plight, however, did not end. Although Joseph had negotiated with Miles and Howard for a safe return home for his people, General Sherman overruled this decision and forced Joseph and 400 followers to be taken on unheated rail cars to Fort Leavenworth, in eastern Kansas, where they were held in a prisoner of war campsite for eight months. Toward the end of the following summer, the surviving Nez Perce were taken by rail to a reservation in the Indian Territory (now Oklahoma); they lived there for seven years. Many of them died of epidemic diseases while there.

In 1879, Chief Joseph went to Washington, D.C. to meet with President Rutherford B. Hayes and plead his people's case. Although Joseph was respected as a spokesman, opposition in Idaho prevented the U.S. government from granting his petition to return to the Pacific Northwest. Finally, in 1885, Chief Joseph and his followers were granted permission to return to the Pacific Northwest to settle on the reservation around Kooskia, Idaho. Instead, Joseph and others were taken to the Colville Indian Reservation in Nespelem, Washington, far from both their homeland in the Wallowa Valley and the rest of their people in Idaho.

Joseph continued to lead his Wallowa band on the Colville Reservation, at times coming into conflict with the leaders of the 11 other unrelated tribes also living on the reservation. Chief Moses of the Sinkiuse-Columbia, in particular, resented having to cede a portion of his people's lands to Joseph's people, who had "made war on the Great Father".

In his last years, Joseph spoke eloquently against the injustice of United States policy toward his people and held out the hope that America's promise of freedom and equality might one day be fulfilled for Native Americans as well. In 1897, he visited Washington, D.C. again to plead his case. He rode with Buffalo Bill in a parade honoring former President Ulysses Grant in New York City, but he was a topic of conversation for his traditional headdress more than his mission.

In 1903, Chief Joseph visited Seattle, a booming young town, where he stayed in the Lincoln Hotel as guest to Edmond Meany, a history professor at the University of Washington. It was there that he also befriended Edward Curtis, the photographer, who took one of his most memorable and well-known photographs. [24] Joseph also visited President Theodore Roosevelt in Washington, D.C. the same year. Everywhere he went, it was to make a plea for what remained of his people to be returned to their home in the Wallowa Valley, but it never happened. [25]


Chief Joseph in a group photo the year before his death Chief Joseph Group Photo.png
Chief Joseph in a group photo the year before his death

An indomitable voice of conscience for the West, still in exile from his homeland, Chief Joseph died on September 21, 1904, according to his doctor, "of a broken heart". [26] [27] [28] Meany and Curtis helped Joseph's family bury their chief near the village of Nespelem, Washington, [29] where many of his tribe's members still live. [27]


The Chief Joseph band of Nez Perce who still live on the Colville Reservation bear his name in tribute.

Notable dramatic works

Literary works

A wall-mounted quote by Chief Joseph in The American Adventure in the World Showcase pavilion of Walt Disney World's Epcot Wall quote from Chief Joseph.jpg
A wall-mounted quote by Chief Joseph in The American Adventure in the World Showcase pavilion of Walt Disney World's Epcot

Why I got lost once, an' I came right on Chief Joseph's camp before I knowed it ... 't was night, 'n' I was kind o' creepin' along cautious, an' the first thing I knew there was an Injun had me on each side, an' they jest marched me up to Jo's tent, to know what they should do with me ... Well; 'n' they gave me all I could eat, 'n' a guide to show me my way, next day, 'n' I could n't make Jo nor any of 'em take one cent. I had a kind o' comforter o' red yarn, I wore rund my neck; an' at last I got Jo to take that, jest as a kind o' momento. [31]

Memorials and commemorations

Multiple man-made items and geographic features have been named for Chief Joseph, such as:

On November 4, 1968, the U.S. Post Office issued a commemorative stamp in honor of Chief Joseph Chief Joseph, 6c, 1968 issue.jpg
On November 4, 1968, the U.S. Post Office issued a commemorative stamp in honor of Chief Joseph
A statue of Young Chief Joseph in Enterprise, Oregon Young Chief Joseph.jpg
A statue of Young Chief Joseph in Enterprise, Oregon

Tributes in music

Bryan Adam's song "Native Son", from his 1987 album Into the Fire is based on Chief Joseph's story. [37]

In 2014, Micky and the Motorcars released the album Hearts from Above, which included the song "From Where the Sun Now Stands". The song contains several references to his famous speech.

Swedish country pop group Rednex sampled a part of his famous speech in their 2000 single The Spirit of the Hawk, which became a worldwide hit.

In his 2000 release Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed...And Some Blues, Dan Fogelberg mentioned Chief Joseph in the song "Don't Let That Sun Go Down," which was recorded live in 1994 in Knoxville, TN.

In 1983, Fred Small released "The Heart of the Appaloosa".

Halls of fame

In 1973, he was inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. [38]


In June 2012, Chief Joseph's 1870s war shirt was sold to a private collection for the sum of $877,500. [39]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nez Perce</span> Indigenous peoples of North America

The Nez Perce are an Indigenous people of the Plateau who still live on a fraction of the lands on the southeastern Columbia River Plateau in the Pacific Northwest. This region has been occupied for at least 11,500 years.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wallowa County, Oregon</span> County in Oregon, United States

Wallowa County is the northeastern most county in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2020 census, the population was 7,391, making it Oregon's fifth-least populous county. Its county seat is Enterprise. According to Oregon Geographic Names, the origins of the county's name are uncertain, with the most likely explanation being it is derived from the Nez Perce term for a structure of stakes used in fishing. An alternative explanation is that Wallowa is derived from a Nez Perce word for "winding water". The journals of Lewis and Clark Expedition record the name of the Wallowa River as Wil-le-wah.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nez Perce War</span> 1877 armed conflict between the U.S. Army and Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest

The Nez Perce War was an armed conflict in 1877 in the Western United States that pitted several bands of the Nez Perce tribe of Native Americans and their allies, a small band of the Palouse tribe led by Red Echo (Hahtalekin) and Bald Head, against the United States Army. Fought between June and October, the conflict stemmed from the refusal of several bands of the Nez Perce, dubbed "non-treaty Indians," to give up their ancestral lands in the Pacific Northwest and move to an Indian reservation in Idaho Territory. This forced removal was in violation of the 1855 Treaty of Walla Walla, which granted the tribe 7.5 million acres of their ancestral lands and the right to hunt and fish on lands ceded to the U.S. government.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nez Perce National Historical Park</span> Series of federally protected historic sites in the northwestern United States

The Nez Perce National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park comprising 38 sites located across the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, which include traditional aboriginal lands of the Nez Perce people. The sites are strongly associated with the resistance of Chief Joseph and his band, who in June 1877 migrated from Oregon in an attempt to reach freedom in Canada and avoid being forced on to a reservation. They were pursued by U.S. Army cavalry forces and fought numerous skirmishes against them during the so-called Nez Perce War, which eventually ended with Chief Joseph's surrender in the Montana Territory.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Palouse people</span> Ethnic group

The Palouse are a Sahaptin tribe recognized in the Treaty of 1855 with the United States along with the Yakama. It was negotiated at the 1855 Walla Walla Council. A variant spelling is Palus. Today they are enrolled in the federally recognized Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation and some are also represented by the Colville Confederated Tribes, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and Nez Perce Tribe.

The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation is the federally recognized tribe that controls the Colville Indian Reservation, which is located in northeastern Washington, United States. It is the government for its people.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Battle of Bear Paw</span> United States historic place

The Battle of Bear Paw was the final engagement of the Nez Perce War of 1877. Following a 1,200-mile (1,900 km) running fight from north central Idaho Territory over the previous four months, the U.S. Army managed to corner most of the Nez Perce led by Chief Joseph in early October 1877 in northern Montana Territory, just 42 miles (68 km) south of the border with Canada, where the Nez Perce intended to seek refuge from persecution by the U.S. government.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Big Hole National Battlefield</span> Historical battlefield in Montana, United States

Big Hole National Battlefield preserves a battlefield in the western United States, located in Beaverhead County, Montana. In 1877, the Nez Perce fought a delaying action against the U.S. Army's 7th Infantry Regiment here on August 9 and 10, during their failed attempt to escape to Canada. This action, the Battle of the Big Hole, was the largest battle fought between the Nez Perce and U.S. Government forces in the five-month conflict known as the Nez Perce War.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nez Perce National Historic Trail</span>

The Nez Perce (Nee-Me-Poo) National Historic Trail follows the route taken by a large group of the Nez Perce tribe in 1877 to avoid being forced onto a reservation. The 1,170-mile (1,883 km) trail was created in 1986 as part of the National Trails System Act and is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The trail traverses through portions of the U.S. states of Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana and connects sites across these states that commemorate significant events of the Nez Perce War that took place between June and October 1877, as several bands of the Nez Perce tried to escape capture by the U.S. Cavalry. The sites are among the 38 that are part of the National Park service's Nez Perce National Historical Park, managed over all by the National Park Service, with some sites managed by local and state affiliated organizations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sahaptin</span> Ethnic group

The Sahaptin are a number of Native American tribes who speak dialects of the Sahaptin language. The Sahaptin tribes inhabited territory along the Columbia River and its tributaries in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Sahaptin-speaking peoples included the Klickitat, Kittitas, Yakama, Wanapum, Palus, Lower Snake, Skinpah, Walla Walla, Umatilla, Tenino, and Nez Perce.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Battle of White Bird Canyon</span> Part of the 1877 Nez Perce War

The Battle of White Bird Canyon was fought on June 17, 1877, in Idaho Territory. White Bird Canyon was the opening battle of the Nez Perce War between the Nez Perce Indians and the United States. The battle was a significant defeat of the U.S. Army. It took place in the western part of present-day Idaho County, southwest of the city of Grangeville.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Looking Glass (Native American leader)</span> Nez Percé War leader

Looking Glass was a principal Nez Perce architect of many of the military strategies employed by the Nez Perce during the Nez Perce War of 1877. He, along with Chief Joseph, directed the 1877 retreat from eastern Oregon into Montana and onward toward the Canada–US border during the Nez Perce War. He led the Alpowai band of the Nez Perce, which included the communities of Asotin, Alpowa, and Sapachesap along the Clearwater River in Idaho. He inherited his name from his father, the prominent Nez Percé chief Apash Wyakaikt or Ippakness Wayhayken and was therefore called by the whites Looking Glass.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">White Bird (Native American leader)</span> Native American leader

White Bird, also referred to as White Pelican, was leader, war chief and tooat of the Lamátta or Lamtáama band of the Nez Perce tribe with the Lamata village along the Salmon River. His band and the village took its name from Lahmatta, by which White Bird Canyon was known to the Nez Perce.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Old Chief Joseph</span> Nez Percé leader

tuekakas, commonly known as Old Chief Joseph or Joseph the Elder, was a Native American leader of the Wallowa Band of the Nez Perce. Old Joseph was one of the first Nez Percé converts to Christianity and a vigorous advocate of the tribe's early peace with whites. In 1855 he aided Washington's territorial governor and set up a Nez Percé reservation that expanded from Oregon into Idaho. The Nez Perce agreed to give up a section of their tribal lands in return for an assurance whites would not intrude upon the sacred Wallowa Valley.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wallowa Lake</span> Lake of Oregon, United States

Wallowa Lake is a ribbon lake 1 mile (1.6 km) south of Joseph, Oregon, United States, at an elevation of 4,372 ft (1,333 m). Impounded by high moraines, it was formed by a series of Pleistocene glaciers. On the south end of the lake is a small community made up of vacation homes, lodging, restaurants, as well as other small businesses. Wallowa Lake has been used for recreation since at least 1880. The Wallowa Lake State Park is at the southern tip of the lake.

The Colville people, are a Native American people of the Pacific Northwest. The name Colville comes from association with Fort Colville, named after Andrew Colvile of the Hudson's Bay Company. Earlier, outsiders often called them Scheulpi, Chualpay, or Swhy-ayl-puh; the French traders called them Les Chaudières in reference to Kettle Falls. The neighboring Coeur d'Alene called them Sqhwiyi̱'ɫpmsh and the Spokane knew them as Sxʷyelpetkʷ. Their name in nselxcin, sx̌ʷýʔłpx, refers to "sharp pointed trees".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Old Chief Joseph Gravesite</span> United States historic place

The Old Chief Joseph Gravesite, also known as Nez Perce Traditional Site, Wallowa Lake, Chief Joseph Cemetery and Joseph National Indian Cemetery is a Native American cemetery near Joseph, Oregon. The area was also a traditional campsite of the Nez Perce and may be archaeologically significant. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1985, listed as Wallowa Lake Site. It is a component of the Nez Perce National Historical Park.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yellow Wolf (Nez Perce)</span> Nez Perce warrior

Yellow Wolf or He–Mene Mox Mox was a Nez Perce warrior who fought in the Nez Perce War of 1877. In his old age, he decided to give the war a Native American perspective. From their meeting in 1907 till his death in 1935, Yellow Wolf talked annually to Lucullus Virgil McWhorter, who wrote a book for him, Yellow Wolf: His Own Story. He is notable as one of the few members of the defeated Nez Perce to talk openly to strangers and tell their story to the world.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ollokot</span> Nez Perce Indian war leader

Ollokot, was a war leader of the Wallowa band of Nez Perce Indians and a leader of the young warriors in the Nez Perce War in 1877.

The Chief Joseph Trail Ride is an annual horse trail ride that follows the route the Nimiipuu took during the Nez Perce War in 1877. The trail in its entirety is 1,300 miles long, separated into thirteen separate rides, which take place sequentially. The ride is on a 13-year cycle. The trail ride was started in 1965 by the Appaloosa Horse Club.


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  28. ""The Napoleon of Indians," Whom Gen. Miles Finally Subdued". The New York Times. September 24, 1904. Retrieved December 6, 2017. The end came as the chief was sitting by his campfire on the Colville Reservation. Suddenly he toppled over to the ground, and before aid reached him his heart had ceased to beat.
  29. Egan, Timothy (2012). Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis . New York City: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
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  32. 1 2 3 4 5 "Individual – What I Savings Bonds Look Like". U.S. Department of the Treasury, December 27, 2007. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
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  35. "Chief Joseph Middle School - Bozeman Public Schools" . Retrieved June 14, 2024.
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Further reading