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Nez Perce
Expedition Culture Geography People Maps Nature

Eagle-feather Staff: the Indian Flag, at the Big Hole Battle Site, 2001

The Nimíipuu have elected not to utilize this categorical heading in the organization and presentation of our cultural story and history. We feel that the elements of "nature," the flora and fauna of the landscape are elements of our culture that are thoroughly integrated throughout the Nimíipuu way of life. It is difficult to identify and isolate them for discussion outside their cultural context. We would prefer to discuss camas and salmon, for example, within the context of the "seasonal round" or our contemporary tribal programs concerned about natural resource management and restoration.

In addition, many of the plants and animals we have relied upon since time immemorial are now being threatened with extinction. We have experienced individuals from outside our community who have identified some of our sacred plants, and then gathered and marketed those plants over the Internet for their own personal profit. The prairies within which are grandmothers continue digging the camas for our families are few and limited without further adding to this burden of exploitation to our landscape. It is for this reason that we had decided not to identify many of our plants and their growing locations.

We welcome your visitation to our country, but we ask that while you are traveling through Nimíipuu country, you observe and respect, without disturbing, the rich plant and animal life which still abounds and upon which the Nimíipuu way of life depends.

© Nez Perce Tribe 2002

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