This is an audio & words running commentary by Q’Orianka Kilcher.., who reads Chief Joseph’s account of his 1879 trip to Washington, DC. This part of a reading of “Voices of a People’s History of the United States” (Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove).
Hinmahtooyahlatkekt (or Hinmatóowyalahtq̓it in Americanist orthography), popularly known as Chief Joseph or Young Joseph (March 3, 1840 – September 21, 1904), was a leader of the Wal-lam-wat-kain (Wallowa) band of Nez Perce, a Native American tribe of the interior Pacific Northwest region of the United States, in the latter half of the 19th century. He succeeded his father Tuekakas (Chief Joseph the Elder) in the early 1870s.
This video only has a certain amount of excerpts from the Lincoln Hall address, given by Chief Joseph in Washington D.C., 1879.
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I thank “Na’qalac’” (Grandfather) Joseph..in Spirit..,
his family…, “Voices of a People’s History of the United States”..; Q’Orianka Kilcher..; Indian Calling “Prayer For My Relatives”..;
Maxy Sound …and all the other brothers and sisters who have saved some great photos of Grandfather Joseph….
Qe’ciyew’yew’/ Many Blessings & Thanks / Chi Miigwetch!….
*Set video to 720p HD, for best viewing.
[Laughter] the lands in the nez perce stretch through Oregon Idaho but in the 1860s the federal government seized millions of acres crowded them in small parts of their former territories Chief Joseph led the resistance to the colonization of Nez Perce lands but as people came under fierce attack and in 1877 he and his followers were defeated Joseph was sent to the Indian territories of Oklahoma where he continued to speak out against the crimes of the US government as he did in the visit to Washington in 1879 which he recalls in this speech and last I was granted permission to come to Washington and bring my friend yellow bull and our an interpreter with me I'm glad I came I've shaken hands with a good many friends but there are some things I want to know which no one seems able to explain I cannot understand how the government sends a man out to fight us as it did general miles and then breaks his words such a government has something wrong about it I cannot understand how so many chiefs are allowed to talk so many different ways and promised so many different things I have seen the Great Father chief and many other law chiefs and they all say they are my friends and that I shall have justice but while all their mouths talk right I do not understand why nothing is done for my people I have heard talk and talk but nothing is done words do not pay for my dead people they do not pay for my country now overrun by white men they do not protect my father's grave they do not pay for my horses and cattle good words do not give my children back good words will not make good the promise of your war chief general miles good words will not give my people good health and stop them from dying good words will not give my people a home where they can live in peace and take care of themselves I'm tired of talk that comes to nothing it makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and all the broken promises there's been too much talk by men who had no right to talk if the white man wants to live in peace with the Indians he can live in peace there need be no trouble treat all men alike give them the same laws give them all an even chance to live and grow all men were made by the same grapes fair chief they are all brothers if you tie a horse to a stake do you expect she will grow fat if you pen and ink enough on a small spot of Earth and compel him to stay there he will not be contented nor will he grow and prosper I have asked some of the great white Chiefs where they get their authority to say to the Indian that she shall stay in one place while he sees the white men going where they please they cannot tell me when I think of our condition my heart is heavy I see many of my own raves treated as outlaws and driven from country to country or shot down like animal I only ask of the government to be treated as all other men are treated we only ask an even chance to live as other men live we ask to be recognized as men we ask that the same law shall work alike on all men if an Indian breaks the law punish him by the law if a white man breaks the law punish him also let me be a free men free to travel free to stop free to work free to train where I choose free to choose my own teachers free to follow my religion of my father's free to talk think and act for myself and I will obey every law or submit to the penalty whenever than what white men treats the engines as they treat each other then we shall have no more Wars we shall be all alike brothers of one father and mother with one sky above us and one country around us and one government for all then the great spirit chief who rules above will smile upon this land and sing send rain to wash out the bloody spots made by brothers hands upon the face of the earth you