First I will like to talk about the Nez Perce people who are Native American people that lived in the Pacific Northwest and their struggles with the early settlers that lead to the Nez Perce war. The Nez Perce are Indians that in the 1800’s occupied parts of Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Idaho. They used the Snake, Salmon, and Clearwater rivers for their water and food sources. They first contacted American settlers in the early 1800’s and for the most part there was a mutual kindness to one another with both sides offering services and trading goods that both needed. Two American explorers named William Clark and Meriwether Lewis and their men were crossing the Bitterroot Mountains and they start running low on food when Clark to six hunters ahead of the group to hunt for food. On September 20, 1805 is when the discovery to place, near the western end of the Lolo Trail. The peace would be short lived as the white man started to take advantage of this situation. In his speech Chief Joseph said, “For a short time we lived quietly. But this could not last. White men had found gold in the mountains around the land of the Winding Water. They stole a great many horses from us and we could not get them back because we were Indians. The white men told lies for each other. They drove off a great many of our cattle. Some white men branded our young cattle so they could claim them. We had no friends who would plead our cause before the law councils. It seemed to me that some of the white men in Wallowa were doing these things on purpose to get up a war. They knew we were not stong enough to fight them. I labored hard to avoid trouble and bloodshed” (Chief Joseph, 1877-1879). The Indians eventually gave up while trying to get to the Canadian border. In doing so the Chief said he lost a great deal of his people to the freezing conditions and to the fight of the pursuing Americans with General Howard being their leader.
This next section will deal with broken peace treaties, another problem that the Indians were faced with. The United States and Canada has had a long history with peace treaties with Indians. What we are going to look at today is the broken treaties of the Lakotas and the Plains Cree. In 1868 there was a treaty between the Lakota and the United States to the Great Sioux War of 1876, and Treaty Six in 1876 between the Plains Cree and Canada until the Northwest Rebellion of 1885. The result is an insightful comparative history of treaty relations that demonstrates the significance of treaties as lenses for evaluating the nature of colonial encounters. According to Canadian Journal of History, “While the US sought to arrest conflicts, settle the Lakota, and start "civilization" measures aiming for Lakota regeneration, the Lakota wanted to protect as much of their lands as possible and sectire hunting rights and compensation for any lands lost. For the Cree, protection and help in subsistence from Canada were the key issues, while Canada's focus was on getting Cree lands as cheaply as possible” (Lahti, 2010). This should that all parties involved had different ideas as to what they all wanted. In both cases the whites approached the negotiations with a sense of superiority. Claiming to act for the good of the Indian people while at the same time projecting images of future ruin if the indigenous people did not comply. This showed why the Indians had a tough time trusting the white man.
Next I will discuss the speech that President Arthur delivered on what he called the “Indian