• Nez Perce National Historical Park. Front Page banner photograph is of Heart of the Monster, an ancient place where the Nez Perce creation story originates. The secondary page photograph is of Nez Perce beadwork.

    Nez Perce

    National Historical Park ID,MT,OR,WA

Lewis and Clark and the Nez Perce

Lewis and Clark Expedition Drawing by Roy Anderson, ca. 1983

Lewis and Clark met the Nez Perce in September of 1805. They saved the expedition from starvation and formed a bond of friendship.

NPS Image, NEPE-HI-1773.

Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark crossed Nez Perce country in the fall of 1805 and again in the spring of 1806. With the exception of their winter encampments, the Corps of Discovery spent more time among the Nez Perce than any other group they encountered in their journey. After some initial apprehension, the Nez Perce embraced the expedition, providing aid during a very trying time and reminded friendly to Lewis and Clark when they returned in 1806. In the aftermath of the expedition's departure, the promises of a productive relationship with the United States government proved to ring hollow. In a generation, the flight of 1877 would tear asunder any notions of lasting peace and friendship.

An interpretive bulletin is available for Lewis and Clark sites in Nez Perce NHP.

Did You Know?

A Nez Perce family

Family is so important to the Nez Perce that they have one hundred and eighty different words for relatives.