Chief Joseph (Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekht), Nez Perce leader
confederated tribes of the colville reservation nezperce tribe okanogan tribe chelan tribe
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 Chief Joseph (Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekht), Nez Perce leader

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Chief Joseph (Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekht), Nez Perce leader




Chief Joseph was the leader of the Wallowa Band of Nez Perce. He lead the Nez Perce people on a four month journey covering 1600 miles in the Nez Perce War of 1877. Decendents of Chief Joseph's band are now members of the Confederated tribes of the Colville Reservation.

Source: As told by Charles Alexander Eastman (Ohiyesa)

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.

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What's New:
Nespelem Oral History
The town of Nespelem, situated on the Colville Indian Reservation derived its name from an Indian word meaning "large meadow beside a stream."



Sinixt Lake indians
Most Sinixt or Lake indians are now part of the Colville tribe in Washington state, but once roamed both Washington and British Columbia.

Chelan Indians
The Chelan Indians were historically located at the outlet of Lake Chelan in Washington State.

Marriage and Wedding Customs
Men of the Plateau Tribes usually had at least two wives at the same time, more if they were wealthy.

Burial Customs of the Colville
Burial / Funeral Traditions of the Plateau Indians

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