Nez Perce Indian Tribe
Indian Tribes
Native American Indian Nations
Abenaki  Acoma  Algonquin  Anishinaabe  Apache
  Arapaho  Assiniboine  Athabascan  Aztec  Blackfeet  
Blackfoot  Caddo  Cayuga  Cheraw  Cherokee
  Cheyenne  Chickasaw  Chicora  Chinook  Chippewa
  Choctaw  Chumash  Coeur d'Alene
  Comanche  Costanoan  Cree  Creek (Muskogee)  Crow  
Dakota  Delaware  Dene  Edisto  Euchee  Flathead
  Gros Ventre  Gwitchan  Haida  Haudenosaunee  
Havasupai  Hidatsa  Ho-Chunk
  Hopi  Huron  Iowa  Iroquois  Kaw  Kawaiisu
  Kickapoo  Kiowa  
Lakota  Lenape  Lumbee  Maliseet  Mandan  Mattaponi
  Maya  Menominee  Metis  MicMac  Mojave  Mohawk  
Mohegan  Mohican  Monacan  Muscogee  Nanticokes
  Narragansett  Navajo  Nez Perce  
Nipmuc  Odawa  Ohlone  Ojibwe  Omaha  Oneida
Onondaga  Osage  Paiute  Pima  Ponca  Potawatomi  
Powhatan  Pueblo  Quapaw  Sac  Salish  Seminole
  Seneca  Shawnee  Shinnecock  Shoshone
Sioux  Tsalagi  
Tuscarora  Ute  Wea  Wichita  Winnebago  Wyandot
  Yavapai  Yokut  Zuni  
" I was born upon the prairie where the wind blew free, and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures, and where everything drew free breath. I want to die there, and not within walls." - Ten Bears, Comanche Chief


Family Tree Search


Free Genealogy Search


Free People Search









  Cherokee Indians!


Register for our FREE Newsletter!
Enter your E-mail Address
Enter your First Name
Subscribe    Un-Subscribe  
Received Newsletter Format: Plain Text HTML
This information will not be used for any other purpose
or made available to others for any reason what so ever.
Newsletter includes: American Indian Issues, Genealogy,
Website News, Updates, Etc.





 American Indian Tribes Map & Encyclopedia



Click here to visit Comanche Lodge!




The Nez Perce are a tribe of Native Americans who inhabited the Pacific Northwest region of North America and adjoining regions at the time of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Nez Perce is a misnomer given by the interpreter of the Lewis and Clark expedition at the time they first encountered the tribe in 1805. It is from the French, "pierced nose." This is an inaccurate description of the tribe. They did not practice nose piercing or wearing ornaments. The "pierced nose" tribe, though related to the Nez Perce, actually lived on and around the lower Columbia River, and in other areas of the Pacific Northwest.

The Nez Perce's name for themselves was Nee-me-poo, which means simply "the People." This is perhaps the most common self-designation of aboriginal peoples the world over.

The Nez Perce territory at the time of Lewis and Clark was approximately 17,000,000 acres (69,000 kmē). It covered parts of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, in an area surrounding the Snake River and the Clearwater River. The Nez Perce, like many western Native American tribes, were migratory and would travel with the seasons, according to where the most abundant food was to be found at a given time of year. They were known go as far east as the Great Plains, hunting American Bison and fishing for salmon at Celilo Falls on the Columbia River. They relied heavily on quamash or camas gathered in the region between the Salmon and Clearwater River drainages as a food source.

Probably the best known leader of the Nez Perce was Chief Joseph, who led his people in their struggle to retain their identity in the face of American encroachments on their land.

The Nez Perce language is a branch of the Sahaptian family, which also includes several dialects of Sahaptin (note the spellings, -ian vs. -in). Together, these languages are grouped into the larger Penutian family, which also includes languages such as Cayuse, Klamath, and Chinookan. The organization of this linguistic family can be compared to often more familiar examples such as the Indo-European or Romance families, though presumably Penutian is in no way historically related to Indo-European languages.