"You white people measure the Earth and divide it. The Earth is part of my body, and I never gave up the Earth. I belong to the land out of which I came. The Earth is my mother."
"We do not wish to interfere with your religion, but you must talk about practical things. Twenty times over you have repeated the Earth is your mother. and that chieftenship is from the Earth. Let us hear it no more, but come to business at once."
General Oliver O. Howard
The events of 1877, as one Nez Perce elder suggests, can be remembered as "our people's painful and tragic encounter with 'Manifest Destiny'". The series of engagements between certain bands of Nez Perce, their allies and the U.S. Army, in the summer of 1877 are events that still resonnate in the hearts and minds of the Nez Perce. Many of the sites of conflict are protected and preserved by the park and serve as reminders of the sacrifices of those who died.