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Background History

The Nez Perce tribe homeland extended through central Idaho, southeast Washington and northeast Oregon. These were there land where they collected camas and biscuit root, fished, hunted and held their tribal meeting while raising their families. Nez Perce Historical trail was established in 1986. The Historic Trail Stretches from Wallowa Lake, through Oregon, across Idaho to the Bear Paw Historic Tail in Chinook, Montana prairie.

In previous year’s settlers, missionaries, farmers, fur trappers moved into their lands. In May of 1877 U.S. government ordered Chief Joseph and his tribe to move and relocate to the new reservation by June 14. The new treaty would reduce their reservation by 90 percent of its original size. Chief Joseph and tribesman rejected the new treaty, violence erupted it was decided that the Nez Perce and the Toohoolhoolzote would fee to Canada. Two-thirds of their children, women, elderly, were sick, with their families and 2,000 of the Nez Perce horses began to leave their lands. The U.S Government sent 2,000 U.S. Cavalry soldiers began to pursuer the tribes through Oregon. [1]

The Nez Perce had slipped into the Absaroka mountains and onto the prairie, the Nez Perce ran their houses in circles to confuse Cavalry scouts before moving into Wyoming flatlands. Archaeologist has been trying to solve the mystery of the trail. Teams of Archaeologists have walked the trail from Montana-Wyoming border, with rattlesnake, and over rugged terrain to find the exact route. The U. S. Cavalry pursuers the Nez Perce Indian tribes over 1,100 miles until their finally surrendered at Bear Paw, Montana, just shy of the Canadian border. [2]

U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of land Management -

Archaeologists, volunteers work to solve Nez Perce trail mystery -

Wikipedia -


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