Chief Joseph–Idaho Governor Otter is wrong!

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

Another Indian statue

We have a new statue of Chief Young Joseph, or Young Chief Joseph as he is now mostly called, on Main Street in our town of Joseph—the town is named after him of course. It’s all irony, as he was of course hounded out of here in the War of 1877, and not allowed to return when he and his band came back from Indian Territory in 1895. He and most of them ended up in Nespelem, Washington, among Indians of other languages and cultures. He is said to have died there of a “broken heart” in 1904.  

But his picture is on the masthead of our local newspaper, and, in addition to the town, the annual rodeo celebration and a day camp for local children are named after Chief Joseph.  (Another irony is that Joseph probably gave up that Christian name along with the religion it represented as his people went to war with the United States. He would
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