On October 5th, 1877, the Nez Perce leader Chief Joseph surrendered his people to the United States Army and agreed to move to a reservation in Idaho. This was the last big battle between free Native Americans and the United States. (But there were a lot of smaller battles up to about 1900.) It’s important to realize that there were a lot of Native Americans who still controlled their own land, that was not part of the United States, right up into the time of people who were still alive when I was born.
Early history of the Nez Perce
The Nez Perce fight the United States
All our American history articles
But it wasn’t the end of the Nez Perce. Today many Nez Perce still fish for salmon and raise horses on their traditional land. While they control much less land than they did before the Europeans invaded, there are more Nez Perce today than ever before: about 18,000 Nez Perce live on the reservation today.