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This was written for Columbia Hi/Chief Jo alumni
  by Sandra Genoway (62)

Chief Joseph was a warrior and he signed the famous
peace treaty with the U.S. Government, from which comes
the famous statement:

At his surrender in the Bear Paw Mountains, 
October 5, 1877  (40 miles from the Canadian border)

"Tell General Howard that I know his heart. What he
told me before I have in my heart. I am tired of
fighting. Our chiefs are killed. Looking Glass is dead,
Tu-hul-hil-sote is dead. the old men are all dead. It
is the young men who now say yes or no.  He who led the
young men [Joseph's brother Alikut] is dead. It is cold
and we have no blankets. The little children are
freezing to death. My people -- some of them have run
away to the hills and have no blankets and no food. No
one knows where they are -- perhaps freezing to death.
I want to have time to look for my children and see how
many of them I can find.  Maybe I shall find them among
the dead. Hear me, my chiefs, my heart is sick and sad.
From where the sun now stands I will fight no more
against the white man."

Joseph's fame did him little good. Although he had
surrendered with the understanding that he would be
allowed to return home, Joseph and his people were
instead taken first to eastern Kansas and then to a
reservation in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma)
where many of them died of epidemic diseases. Although
he was allowed to visit Washington, D.C., in 1879 to
plead his case to U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes,
it was not until 1885 that Joseph and the other
refugees were returned to the Pacific Northwest. Even
then, half, including Joseph, were taken to a non-Nez
PercÚ reservation in northern Washington, separated
from the rest of their people in Idaho and their
homeland in the Wallowa Valley.

In his last years, Joseph spoke eloquently against the
injustice of United States policy toward his people and
held out the hope that America's promise of freedom and
equality might one day be fulfilled for Native
Americans as well. An indomitable voice of conscience
for the West, he died in 1904, still in exile from his
homeland, according to his doctor "of a broken heart."

Since Chief Joseph decided to save his people by not
continuing to fight the U.S. Government, he was not
only a warrior through peace, but a hero to his people
and all Americans. He tried to keep his tribe on their
home land, according to a first treaty that was written
and agreed to, then later, a second treaty was written,
after gold was discovered in the Wallowa Valley. This
second treaty taking away this land is what Chief
Joseph fought against.