Nez Perce

Nez Perce Quotes

Chief Joseph (1840-1904) Leader known for his integrity and honor

It does not require many words to speak the truth.

No man can think for me.

The earth and myself are of one mind.

I believe much trouble and blood would be saved if we opened our hearts more.

Too many misinterpretations have been made ... too many misunderstandings.

I am tired of talk that comes to nothing.

The Earth is the mothers of everyone, and everyone should have equal rights upon it.

You might as well expect the rivers to run backward than to believe that any man who was born free should be contented to be penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases.

Native American Wisdom

The Nez Perce originally lived in the region where the borders of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington meet. They formed small villages near salmon-filled streams, and lived in large lodges that housed many families together. In the 1700s, many of them acquired horses and became bison hunters, and also developed a war related culture.

In the mid 1800s, gold was discovered on their lands, and caused their community to be disrupted by white miners and settlers. This led to the Nez Perce War of 1877, where the Nez Perce troops were outnumbered twenty to one, and surrendered after several months of bloodshed. About 4,000 Nez Perce currently live in America, many of whom reside in an Idaho reservation.