Those who escaped the battlefield headed north, going towards Canada. Several villages were scattered along the Milk River including those of the Assiniboin and Gros Ventres who live today on the Fort Belknap Reservation, just east of Chinook. Some Red River Metis, or mixed-blood French Chippewa as they were sometimes called, also lived along the river.

It was again snowing as I rode on to the north. Toward evening I crossed the Milk River which was almost dry. Here I stopped for the night; my horse was too tired to go on. I had no food, no blankets except the one I used for the horse's saddie-blanket Along came an Indian, and when we "threw the signs". I discovered he was a friendly Cree. He was kind and generous, for he gave me a pair of moccasins and some food.

(Shirt On)
ten years old

There was some inches snow. With my moccasins bad wom, I thought, -'This will kill me!' I kept going. Headed for a canyon where one horse was hid. A lot of Nez Perces were somewhere ahead of me. I must find them! I got the horse and went on.

Came full morning, but I saw no one anywhere. Later, I noticed signs of people. I came to the half bloods on Milk River. They treated me fine. Boys watched my horse while he grazed. Knowing I was hungry, they gave me food aplenty. They gave me new moccasins, for my feet were part naked. They directed me how to find my people.
I traveled on....

Yellow Wolf

In 1877 several villages were strung along the Milk River. Cree, Assiniboin, Gros Ventres, and Metis— in the camps of these peoples the fleeing Nez Perce found either respite or death.

Four suns in all we are.hiding, no food, starving and cold. No moccasins, am barefooted.... After that time some other men came. They council and say, "Why do we stay here and nothing to eat? We better start for Sitting Bull right away'

Then we travel toward Sitting Bull's camp. Moving that fifth day, towards evening the men killed a buffalo bull. A fire is built. Meat is cooked by roasting, and we have supper, but my throat is dry. The meat sticks in my throat. I eat very little....

Next day we come to some Chippewa [Metis] Indians. They are nice people. They give us food. I am given a pair of moccasins. Then I felt better. But never forget that I was five suns without food....

(Helping Another)

1 rode away in the darkness. I was freezing, with only the breechclout. AII night did not sleep. Coming the daylight, saw a soldier approaching. I thought, "This is my chance. I will freeze without clothing.'" Then I killed that soldier and took all his clothes. Putting them on I felt more warm. Another soldier came riding to me thinking I was one of their men. I shot that soldier also, and gave his clothes to Indians who needed them. The Crees traded me some of their clothes for my soldier clothes. They told me I would be killed if found wearing soldier uniform.

Husis Owyeen
(Wounded Head)

Identified as White Bird, this Nez Perce is probably a nephew of the Chief White Bird who escaped to Canada.



The Nez Perce Flight to Canada - An Introduction

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