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Painting - NEPE 34566
Heart Bag - NEPE4699
We did not travel here; we are of this land. We did not declare our independence; we have always been free.
Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee
Beginning in the 1920s, with the formation of a tribal council, the Nez Perce Tribe created the foundations for a tribal government. From the 1930s through the 1950s there was a continual push and pull between self-government and the termination of treaty rights. Despite the swings in federal policy, a constitution was written in 1948 and since 1975, the Nez Perce Tribe has asserted itself as a sovereign body. It took over healthcare, land management, education, law enforcement, and natural resource management functions from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Together with a stronger tribal government, traditional cultural practices have been reinvigorated. There are active language programs and traditional Nimiipuu art forms are being revived to keep the material culture of the past alive.

The objects in the collection of Nez Perce National Historical Park are a tangible link that connects the past with the present and future. The park provides visitors with a portal to experience a people who have been part of this landscape since time immemorial. For the Nimiipuu, these objects embody a beauty and power essential to maintaining their beliefs and identity. The objects transcend space and time. They allow all Nimiipuu, regardless of where they live, to reconnect with their culture and carry it forward to the twenty-first century.
Tie - NEPE 693 Purse - NEPE 9792 Baseball cap - NEPE 33913 Painting - NEPE 33926 Dance bustle - NEPE 33941 "Medicine Buffalo' - NEPE 33605 Bag - NEPE 34057 Doll - NEPE 34484 Arm bands - NEPE CD 73-9
Hat - NEPE 74-14