My friend Charlie texted me this morning to remind me that President Biden will announce today that he has ended America’s “longest war.” Charlie says that the Indian wars went on longer, that his people’s war, what we call the Nez Perce War, was one of the last of a continuing string of them, and that the suffering caused by Indian Wars cannot be measured. Read The Article
This is a regular “Main Street” newspaper column for the Wallowa County Chieftain, a column that I have been writing every other week for about 24 years. It will also appear on the Oregon Days of Culture web site (OregonDaysofCulture.org). As you will see in the column, dealing with political issues in Indian Country can be tricky–waters run deep. I hope I have done justice to all parties, but especially to the Nez Perce.
The “Oregon is Indian Country” exhibit currently showing at Stage One in Enterprise was put together by the Oregon Historical Society and the “nine federally recognized tribes of Oregon.” Fishtrap and its Josephy Library, the local hosts, have invited elementary student groups for special programs, and are bringing in speakers to address issues suggested by the exhibit.
Most of the young students have quickly identified the Indians who once lived here, in the Wallowas, as Nez Perce. Few could name other Oregon tribes—even Read The Article