|Despite being dispossessed of their homeland in 1863, the Nimiipuu bands of the Wallowa Valley in northeastern Oregon remained there until 1877. Several attempts to create a separate reservation allowing them to stay in the Wallowa area came to nothing. In spring of 1877, General Oliver O. Howard gave an ultimatum to the Wallowa bands and their allies to relocate to the Nez Perce Reservation. The Wallowa bands complied.
En route from Wallowa to Lapwai, they stopped at Tepahlewam or Tolo Lake, a traditional gathering place on the Camas Prairie. Pent-up frustration over decades of injustice and racism spilled over. A few warriors led by Wetyetmas Wahyakt (Swan Necklace) raided homesteads along the Salmon River. The raids triggered an immediate response from the US Army. On June 17, 1877, two companies of the First Cavalry and some volunteers clashed with the Nimiipuu near present day Whitebird, Idaho. The cavalry quickly lost control of the battle and were routed with heavy loss of life. The Nimiipuu suffered no causalities.