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Chief Joseph as a Famous Native American

Today, there is only a small number of Native Americans that remain on the continent. However, many stories are still related by mouth and written word. They talk of the heroism, nature, and the people that once walked the land on which the US is based now. One of the most famous characters in these stories is Chief Joseph.

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Chief Joseph was a leader in the 19th century, of a tribe called Nez Percé. He was at a point in his life converted to Christianity after he failed in negotiations with the invaders, the current Americans (Chester). In the attempts to return home, this heroic figure negotiated with the American government on numerous occasions, and eventually, he and his tribe relocated to Washington, DC. The free-spirited and determined people were forced to surrender under the relentless power of the colonizers that formed their own country on top of the existing land of the Indians.

The motivation of most of the Native Americans was not to give power to the people from the oversees. Instead, it was simply to live in peace (Chester). It was advised to the Native Americans for them not to fight the more technologically advanced people but to give in hoping for the mercy of invaders. It is unfortunate and unfair that the Native Americans had to be treated so badly by the Europeans that came searching for more land. The only thing the people such as Chief Joseph wanted was freedom of choice and life. According to Chief Joseph, he wanted to be “free to choose his teachers, free to follow the religion of his fathers, free to talk, think and act for himself” (Chester). His striving towards independence is admirable and understandable since he had priorities that lay mostly in being left alone.

Reference

Chester, A. F., (1936) Chief Joseph: The Biography of a Great Indian. Wilson-Erickson, pp. 78-79, 262-63, 281-83.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Chief Joseph as a Famous Native American'. 20 September.

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