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History of Historic Native American Indians

Chief Joseph, Nez Perce (Nimiputimt) History

Chief Joseph, known by his people as In-mut-too-yah-lat-lat (Thunder coming up over the land from the water), was best known for his resistance to the U.S. Government's attempts to force his tribe onto reservations. The Nez Perce were a peaceful nation spread from Idaho to Northern Washington. The tribe had maintained good relations with the whites after the Lewis and Clark expedition. Joseph spent much of his early childhood at a mission maintained by Christian missionaries.

In 1855 Chief Joseph's father, Old Joseph, signed a treaty with the U.S. that allowed his people to retain much of their traditional lands. In 1863 another treaty was created that severely reduced the amount of land, but Old Joseph maintained that this second treaty was never agreed to by his people.

A showdown over the second "non-treaty" came after Chief Joseph assumed his role as Chief in 1877.

After months of fighting and forced marches, many of the Nez Perce were sent to a reservation in what is now Oklahoma, where many died from malaria and starvation.

Chief Joseph tried every possible appeal to the federal authorities to return the Nez Perce to the land of their ancestors. In 1885, he was sent along with many of his band to a reservation in Washington where, according to the reservation doctor, he later died of a broken heart.

Eagle Chief (Letakos-Lesa) Pawnee History

The Pawnee (sometimes Paneassa) are a Native American tribe that historically lived along the Platte River in what is now Nebraska. In the 18th century they were allied with the French and played an important role in limiting Spanish expansion onto the Great Plains defeating them decisively in a battle in 1720.

Chief Seattle, chief of the Suquamis History

Saeth'tl, probably born on Blake Island in Puget Sound, son of the Duwamish chief Schweabe, was the principal chief of the Duwamish, whose original homeland today comprises an industrial area immediately south of downtown Saettle. The Duwamish and the Suquamish formed an alliance that ringed central Puget Sound. Seath'tl took a wife, La-da-ila, and became chief of the Duwamish-Suquamish alliance at the age of 22. The city Seattle was named with an anglicized version of the chief's name.

Crazy Horse/Tashunkewitko, Oglala History

Crazy Horse (Tashunkewitko) was born on the Republican River about 1845. He was killed at Fort Robinson, Nebraska, in 1877, so that he lived barely thirty-three years.

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