White Bird


White Bird (Peo peo Hix hiix, sometimes referred to as "White Pelican")

White Bird was the head man of the Lam'atta band, located on Whitebird Creek. White bird was one of the most adamant against selling lands on which the Nez Perce resided during the 1863 Treaty proceedings. He was also a prominent, experienced leader among the Non-treaty bands who were involved in the Nez Perce War of 1877. It was the men from the Lam'atta band that killed several settlers in the Salmon River area, which ignited the Nez Perce War of 1877. White Bird was one of the elder men who helped organize and rally the young warriors, which enabled them to retake the encampment that had been overtaken by the devastating initial assault of Gibbon and his forces. The scores of women, children, and fighting men who died as a result of this attack infuriated this proud leader and demanded that the "young men" who wanted to fight so bad to respond. White Bird led a small group of followers from the Snake Creek Battle to the camp of Sitting Bull in the Cypress Hill, then moved west, as talks of returning to Idaho commenced, eventually settling at Pincher Creek with the Northern Piegan. In the evening of March 6, 1892, while still in Alberta a fellow tribesman named Charley Hasenahamahkikt killed him with an axe not far from his house, supposedly for suspicion of sorcery. White Bird's body was buried near the town of Pincher Creek on the Piegan Reserve.

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