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ICT [2006/01/16]��Nez Perce bury ancestors' remains

ICT [2006/01/16]��Nez Perce bury ancestors' remains: "Nez Perce bury ancestors' remains Email this page Print this page
Posted: January 16, 2006
by: Jack McNeel / Indian Country Today

LAPWAI, Idaho - The Nez Perce Tribe recently received the remains of three warriors killed during the Nez Perce War of 1877 that had been held at the Smithsonian Institution for many years. One was buried at the Bears Paw Battlefield in Montana in October during the annual memorial to that battle. The other two were buried at Lapwai on Dec. 23 and 24.

Tribal Executive Committee Chairman Rebecca Miles said it had been about 10 years since the tribe was notified of the remains of the three men, one of whom was killed at the Bear Paw Battlefield, another at the Battle of the Big Hole and a third at Fort Lapwai.

Nez Perce members live on both the Colville and Umatilla Confederated reservations in addition to the Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho, and disputes between the groups delayed the return of the remains to the tribe. The Smithsonian wouldn't make a resolution on where the remains were to go until tribal members themselves agreed.

Shortly after Miles' election last May, discussions again commenced. ''The push from the executive committee was to speak to the other leaders at the highest level and resolve those disputes in the best interest of the remains. For me personally, it was to build bridges with those descendants at the other reservations - to begin working together,'' she said.

Miles, Charley Moses of the Colville reservation and Armand Minthorn of the Umatilla reservation eventually reached an agreement so the remains of one warrior could be returned in time for the annual Bears Paw Memorial and, later, to bury the other two at Lapwai. ''In my mind and in my heart, that was the"


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