Chief Joseph, known by his people as Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt
(Nez Perce: “Thunder Rolling Down the Mountain”).
One of America’s greatest leaders, a Northwest native son, and the inspiration for this song.
“I have heard talk and talk, but nothing is done. Good words do not last long unless they amount to something. Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself — and I will obey every law or submit to the penalty.”
“For more than three months, Chief Joseph led fewer than 300 Nez Perce Indians toward the Canadian border, covering a distance of more than 1,000 miles as the Nez Perce outmaneuvered and battled more than 2,000 pursuing U.S. soldiers. During the long retreat, he treated prisoners humanely and won the admiration of whites by purchasing supplies along the way rather than stealing them. Finally, only 40 miles short of his Canadian goal, Chief Joseph was cornered by the U.S. Army, and his people were forcibly relocated to a barren reservation in Indian Territory.”
A great article by Brookie Craig on a visit to Chief Joseph’s grave in the Colville Federation:
Chief Joseph by Brookie Craig
Good Wkipedia site for Chief Joseph:
Chief Joseph link to Wikipedia
Chief Joseph surrender facts on History.com
——– Song Lyrics —————–
He stood at the grave,
by a withered old tree.
said: “a sense of sadness captures me”.
Buried in the Colville federation.
Lies the chief of the Nez Pearce nation.
A wind comes up from the eastern plane,
And sweeps across his humble grave,
He looks to the mountains as sun falls away,
and from that wind he can hear him say.
Send for me,
When the sun ascends from the eastern sky.
When darkness fades and the earth abides.
Send for me,
When we learn to live in harmony.
And truth is more than talking dreams.
Send for me…
A thousand miles of misery,
They marched and fought just to be free.
Just south of the Canada rim,
Near the Bear Paw Mountains they had to give in.
Good men were lost,
they were tired and cold.
he called for his warriors,
to lay down their bows.
Listen my Chiefs,
“From where the sun now stands I’ll fight no more.
Let us find our children and take them home.”
Set us free…
“May serenity circle on silent wings,
and catch the whisper of the winds”
and set us free…