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Nez Perce elder talks of modern importance of traditional culture


Havre Daily News/Ryan Berry

Silas Whitman, a Nez Perce elder, speaks to a small group of people Sunday at the Blaine County Museum in Chinook. Whitman talked about Nez Perce culture, tradition, use of plants and about the Battle of the Bear Paw Mountains that took place in 1877 south of Chinook.

Several generations after The Battle of the Bear Paws, the cultural practices of the Nez Perce Tribe are still being used and passed down, and they have virtue in modern society, a tribal elder speaking in Chinook said last weekend.

  "We know different things and how to work with things and we'd observe, we were taught all those skills, be patient," Silas Whitman said.

Whitman spoke Saturday and Sunday at the Blaine County Museum, relaying his own life experiences from growing up as a Nez Perce, living on a reservation and the lessons he has learned. These lessons, he said, were passed d...

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