|Wallowa Band Nez Perce Indians of north-eastern Oregon traditionally followed fish, game, wild plants and seasons to the headwaters and high mountains of the Wallowas in the summer and deep into the canyons of the Snake River and its tributaries in the winter.
Wallowa lands were left to the Nez Perce in an 1855 treaty, but gold and settlement caused the US Government to make new treaties, and although the Wallowa Band never signed them, government and settler pressure eventually convinced Young Chief Joseph that he must comply and move to an Idaho reservation.
In 1877 the band of about 250 men, women, and children, with horses and cattle and all of their possessions, crossed the Snake River and joined other non-treaty bands on the way to the reservation. A few young warriors, distraught and angry, killed some white settlers. Joseph and other chiefs, their handsforced, then led their people on a 1,400 mile fighting retreat that ended in capture in Montana, just 40 miles from the Canadian border.
- Wallowa County Chamber