Eight years after the Nez Perce fled their homeland, they were given permission to return home. They entrained at Arkansas City, Kansas. Traveling through Denver, Cheyenne, and Pocatello, the group of 268 people arrived at Wallula Junction on the Columbia River in eastern Washington.
When we reached Wallula, the interpreter asked us, "Where do you want to go? Lapwai and be Christian, or Colville and just be yourself?"
One hundred eighteen Nez Perce opted to go home to Idaho to be with families and friends on the reservation there. Husishusis Kute (Bald Head) acted as the chief for this group. Joseph, however, was not given a choice. Sentiment in Idaho was still strongly against him, indictments were still out on him, and it was feared that he would be killed if he lived in Idaho. So Chief Joseph was exiled to the Colville Reservation in north central Washington. One hundred forty-nine people chose to retain their traditional ways and went with Chief Joseph.
The Nez Perce Flight to Canada - An Introduction
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