Nez Perce Country

Nez Perce Country

Alvin M. Josephy Jr.
With an introduction by Jeremy FiveCrows

196 pages
13 photos, map, index

Paperback

December 2007

978-0-8032-7623-9

$14.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

The rivers, canyons, and prairies of the Columbia Basin are the homeland of the Nez Perce. The Nez Perce, or Nimiipuu, inhabited much of what is now north central Idaho and portions of Oregon and Washington for thousands of years. The story of how western settlement drastically affected the Nimiipuu is one of the great and at times tragic sagas of American history.
 
Renowned western historian Alvin M. Josephy Jr. describes the Nimiipuu’s attachment to the land and their way of life, religion, and vibrant culture. He also chronicles the western expansion that displaced them, beginning with the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1805 and followed by the influx of traders and trappers, then miners and farmers. Josephy traces the ill fortune of the Nez Perce as their homeland was carved up by treaties, creating an atmosphere of hostility that would culminate in the Nez Perce war of 1877 and conclude with Chief Joseph’s famous pronouncement: “I will fight no more forever.”
 
Despite the challenges of the past, the Nimiipuu have maintained their ties to the land. In his introduction to the book, Jeremy FiveCrows details how the tribe has fought for self government to undo the damage wrought by shortsighted practices.

Author Bio

Alvin M. Josephy Jr. (1915–2005) was a leading historian of the American West and author of many award-winning books, including Red Power: The American Indians’ Fight for Freedom, available in a Bison Books edition. Jeremy FiveCrows is a member of the Nez Perce Tribe and serves as the tribal liaison and publications editor at the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. Prior to working for the commission he was the editor of the Nez Perce tribal newspaper, the Tats Titoqan.

Praise

“FiveCrows’ insight into the ‘still-vibrant heritage’ of the tribe is a valuable addition to Josephy’s traditional historical commentary.”—Booklist

“Particularly poignant are the accounts of how tribal leaders were divided during treaty negotiations. . . . By contextualizing Chief Joseph properly, Josephy illuminates other Nez Perce leaders whose efforts have been largely ignored. . . . The introduction by Jeremy FiveCrows vibrantly brings the Nez Perce story to the present.”—John Burch, Library Journal

"This book's attention to place, its careful handling of some of Nez Perce country's best-known stories, as well as its focused, traditional narrative structure will excite those readers looking to refine their knowledge of Nez Perce country."—Nathan E. Roberts, Pacific Northwest Quarterly

Table of Contents

Introduction

Welcome to Nez Perce Country

The People of the Plateau

            1. Before the White Man

            2. Omens of Change

            3. The Fur Traders

            4. Agents of Change

            5. Time of Crises

            6. The Gathering Storm

            7. War Comes to the Non-Treaties

            8. Aftermath

9. Today

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