Every year, my family takes a trip to Joseph, Oregon. I got Kaya in third grade after learning some history on Native Americans. Every yea, I bring her to Joseph to visit Chief Joseph’s memorial. It’s special to know that I have a connection with the place Kaya lived in her story.
Some facts about the area are:
In the Nimíípuu language, Wallowa means “land of the winding waters”
The Nimíípuu bred Appaloosa horses in the 18th century, making them the dominant people of the Columbia Plateau
French explorers and trappers indiscriminately used and popularized the name "Nez Percé" for the Nimíipuu and nearby Chinook. The name translates as "pierced nose”, but only the Chinook used that form of body modification.
(Source: Wikipedia https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nez_Perce)
Here is Chief Joseph’s story for anyone who is interested:
Before settlers came to Oregon, The land of Wallowa county was owned by the Nez Perce, or the Nimíipuu. At the time the settlers arrived, Chief Joseph was the Chief. The whites wanted all of the land of Wallowa to themselves. ( btw, Wallowa means land of the winding waters) The settlers proposed a land treaty that would take the Nimíípuu's land from them. Chief Joseph refused to sign the treaty, and said that they could share the land peacefully. But the settlers wanted the land all to themselves. The Nimíípuu has no choice but to flee North. When Chief Joseph and his tribe were about 40 miles from the border to Canada, him and his tribe were captured and placed on a reservation for the rest of his life. (also, Joseph isn't his real name, it was given to him when he was baptized as a child.) The town of Joseph, Oregon is named after him. The Nimíípuu recently reclaimed some land near the fairgrounds, which is a big step forward for them.
Here are some pictures from our trip:
I hope that you learned something from this post!
(Also, if you are ever in Lostine, near Joseph, I recommend the smoothie shop blue banana!)