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Ceremony to make amends was the first at the Battlefield


October 10, 2018

Saturday morning, fifteen miles south of Chinook, descendants of the Nez Perce tribe and Sioux speakers from Fort Peck, Montana and Eagle Butte and Pine Ridge South Dakota and of Nakota, Lakota and Dakota decent joined each other at the sight of the historic speech made by Chief Joseph prior to his surrender to General Nelson Miles on October 5, 1877.

The gathering was meant as a peaceful way to make amends between the tribes, while also asking for forgiveness from all parties involved.

"Here me, my chiefs: My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever," are still as powerful today as they were 141 years ago. Chief Joseph led his people on a journey to Idaho following the U.S. government breaking a land treaty with the tribe.

Shortly into there journey Chief Joseph learned of a band of white settlers that had been attacked by three warriors angry at the loss of there homeland. As a result Chief Joseph feared retaliation from the U.S. Military and began his historic retreat, hoping to reach Canada with his people.

The Nez Perce were able to avoid the soldiers, that numbered nearly 2,000 for most of the 1,000 mile trek. During the journey Chief Joseph won the respect of the many settlers along the way, buying supplies and treating captured soldiers humanly.

Eventually General Miles through the aid of the Nakota, Lakota and Dakota scouts caught up with the Nez Perce just 40 miles south of the Canadian Border.

While ceremonies and gatherings have been held at the Battlefield for many years, this weekends events marked the first time that the Nez Perce people welcomed the Sioux speakers into the ceremony.

The spirit of the gathering was to heal and forgive and make amends and pray for all people including General Miles and the Calvary. The gathering was quit a sight to see and very touching.


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