Friday, April 11, 2008

The Nez Perce Native Americans: New Book by Alvin M. Josephy, Jr.

Nez Perce Countryby Alvin M. Josephy, Jr.

Reviewed by Darby C. Stapp, PhD, Richland, WA

Nez Perce Countrypresents a synthesis of Nez Perce Indian history and culture. The Nez Perce are an American Indian group indigenous to the Snake and Clearwater river drainages in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The Nez Perce are among the most written about American Indian groups in North America. The high level of recognition among the dominant society is primarily due to the national exposure gained in the late 1870s when the U.S. Army chased the men, women, and children of the Wallowa Band of Nez Perce though the mountains of Idaho and Montana. The Wallowa Band had not signed the 1863 revision to the 1855 treaty with the U.S. Government and therefore wanted to remain in their homeland; the U.S. Government disagreed and sent the Army to force them on to new boundaries of the Nez Perce Reservation. Given the hundred of books written about the Nez Perce since that time, we must ask, what is the contribution that Alvin Josephy Jr.’s Nez Perce Countrybrings to those of us interested in indigenous peoples and issues?

Nez Perce Countryprovides basic information on the prehistory of the Snake and Clearwater River region, the culture of the Nez Perce, and the history of the people since the arrival of the White Man to the Pacific Northwest. It is a highly readable text, but the book contains little more than words; only fourteen illustrations are included. An introduction by tribal member Jeremy FiveCrows provides a 21st century Nez Perce perspective on the land and its importance to the people today.

Read the rest of the review on Indigenous Peoples Issues & Resources: Nez Perce Country.

Buy Secure on Amazon or the Publisher.

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