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Quick Pics: Remembering Battle of the Bear Paws


October 9, 2017

Havre Daily News/Floyd Brandt

Members of the Nez Perce Tribe sit in the cold weather Saturday at Bear Paw Battlefield south of Chinook during a ceremony in the 140th commemoration of the Battle of the Bear Paws. The site about 15 miles south of present-day Chinook was the end of a 1,170-mile flight of the Nez Perce from Wallowa Lake, Oregon, through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and back into Montana ending just 40 miles short of the tribe's goal of Canada. The Nez Perce left Oregon after they lost hope to peacefully move to the Lapwai Reservation when gold was discovered on their ancestral homeland. Nearly 750 men, women and children fled along what is now called The Nez Perce Trail, pursued by the U.S. Cavalry. Col. Nelson Miles, leading the 5th Mounted Infantry with elements of the 7th and 2nd cavalries intercepted the band Sept. 30. After a five-day siege, one band of Nez Perce managed to escape and flee to Canada but the remainder surrendered to the Cavalry Oct. 5, 1877, after Chief Joseph gave his famous speech, "Hear me, my chiefs I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."


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