A Longhouse in the Wallowas

We’ve been talking about building a Longhouse on the grounds of the Nez Perce Homeland Project (Wallowa Band Nez Perce Trail Interpretive Center, Inc. is the official name of the organization) outside the town of Wallowa for many years. I can’t remember exactly how many.

For those of you who get these blog posts and do not know about this project, a very brief intro: In the spring of 1877, Young Chief Joseph led the Wallowa, or Wal-lam-wat-kain band of Nez Perce Indians out of their homeland, across the Snake River, intending to join other bands on a reduced reservation in Idaho. Conflict erupted, the Nez Perce War ensued, and after years of exile in Leavenworth and Indian Territory, the Indians returned to the Northwest, but not to the Wallowas.

About 1993, as the big celebration of the Oregon Trail’s 150th anniversary got underway, a group of local people and tribal members from Lapwai, Nespelem, and Umatilla got together and Read The Article

A Day in the Josephy Library


Tuesday Brown Bag lunches at the Library are gaining traction—bigger and more diverse audiences each week—and one never knows who will show up or what the conversation will be. 
This week the theme was the “Nez Perce Homeland Project” in Wallowa. New staffer Mary Hawkins came with brochures and powwow raffle tickets, and Homeland board members Joe McCormack, Ralph Swinehart, and I chipped in with some history of the project.
The project is a 320 acre site just east of the city of Wallowa. We started forming a non-profit about 1990, bought the first 160 acre chunk in 1995 with monies from the Oregon Trail license plates issued on the 150th anniversary celebration of that event and an additional 160 a few years later. Joe and Ralph and I pieced together bits of the story as we went: A powwow and friendship feast at Chief Joseph Days that began in the late
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