The great tribe, NiMiiPu (the People), welcomed the Lewis and Clark Expedition on the Weippe Prairie in 1806. The NiMiiPu are known as Nez Perce tribe. While the term “Nez Perce” is a misnomer attributed to the tribe by the interpreter of the Lewis and Clark expedition team of 1805. The French translated their name as "pierced nose." Even though the Nez Perce didn't pierce their noses, the tribe has kept the name and today pronounces it "Nez Purse."
The great Nez Perce people helped the Lewis and Clark expedition survive. They fed and refreshed the explorers, helped them build canoes, and showed them the way to the Pacific Ocean.
Today the Nez Perce reservation in Idaho totals about 138,000 acres. Approximately 1,800 of the 3,100 enrolled Idaho members live on the reservation itself. The governing body for the reservation is the nine-member Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee. For more information about the Nez Perce Tribe, visit the Nez Perce National Historical Park in Spalding, Idaho, or click here.
The first Europeans to explore the west were trappers and explorers. In their encounters with native people, the explorers often depended on tribes for help in navigating new terrain and in survival including food, clothing, and supplies. It was Sacajawea, a Lemhi Shoshone woman (along with her infant son), who became an indispensable member of Lewis and Clark expedition as they made their way through the west to the Pacific Ocean in 1805.
A Presidential Executive Order established the 1.8 million acre Fort Hall Indian Reservation in 1867, but a survey error reduced the size of the reservation to 1.2 million acres in 1872. Later, encroachments reduced the Reservation to its present size of 544,000 acres. The current reservation can be found in eastern Idaho along Interstate 1-15 and 1-86, a small part of the land that the Shoshone and Bannock Indians have lived on for several thousand years.
Learn more about the Lemhi Shoshone at www.lemhi-shoshone.com
Traditional Salish and Kootenai tribes hunted buffalo, deer, elk, and other wild game in the Great Plains of western Montana. A variety of plant foods such as bitterroot, camas, moss, wild onions, Indian potatoes, and serviceberries were gathered during their seasons and preserved for later use.
The Flathead Indian Reservation (1,244,000 acres) is home to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes. In this confederation, the Salish and Pend d'Orielles members form one tribe and the Kootenai formed another tribe. The tribal headquarters are in Pablo, Montana.
The new tribal museum, the People's Center (cskt.org), is open to the public year-around. It is located about two miles north of the tribal headquarters in Pablo. Eight miles north of there is the KwaTaqNuk Resort, also owned and operated by the tribes.
Source: Char-Koosta News Online