Idaho Governor Butch Otter is dead wrong in quibbling over Chief Joseph’s ties to Oregon and Idaho and questioning Oregonians’ choice of him for a Washington D.C. monument.
Joseph was the leader of a band of Nez Perce Indians that lived for millennia in the valleys and canyons of the Wallowa Country in what is now Northeast Oregon. In 1855, Old Joseph, the father of the chief who became a national figure during and after the War of 1877, along with leaders of many bands of Nez Perce and other plateau tribes, went to Isaac Stevens’ Walla Walla Treaty Council, where Joseph and most Nez Perce band leaders signed the Nez Perce Treaty of 1855. He returned peacefully to the Wallowa homeland, which was included in its boundaries.
The Nez Perce fared well in that first treaty, being the only tribe not to be “confederated” with neighboring tribes, and retaining a substantial amount of land that stretched from the Wallowas Read The Article