You cannot travel to the far west of the United States without feeling and absorbing the spirit of the great peoples who inhabited this intensely vast land perhaps for thousands of years before us pale face folks even knew this land existed. Everywhere images of the American Indians dominate monuments, roadside historic sites, curio shops, travel literature, cafÃ© art and paintings loosely hung from noisy rural bar walls. It is as if the white man is saying, with true reverence, “We respect your heritage, your culture and your land which admittedly we took unjustly from you.”
I will leave it to the historians and anthropologists to vote on which very specific tribe was God granted millions of acres which they roamed, and unabashedly claimed, at the time the whites arrived. But, I will vote independently when the U.S. government made Congress approved treaties, negotiated fairly between the parties customary at the time, and then blatantly and arrogantly, grossly violated these same treaties in order to pander to the greed of a few. This is wrong!
Such seems to be the case of the Nez Pearce tribe. I will reflect upon then, honor them, and shed a tear as I wobble through the next 200 miles of “their” land.