Battle of White Bird Canyon – June 17, 1877

Tribal Veterans Commemorate White Bird Battle

Nez Perce National Historical Park News Release
(Copied in toto from that release, dated 12 June 2015)

Nez Perce Tribe military veterans will conduct a pipe circle and empty saddle ceremony at 10:00 a.m. June 17 at the White Bird Battlefield.  The observance will be at the intersection of Free Use Road, approximately two miles north of White Bird, Idaho on Old U.S. Highway 95.

The public, particularly veterans, is invited and should bring lawn chairs, water, sunscreen, and hats to the outdoor activity.

The observance commemorates the June 17, 1877 Battle of White Bird Canyon. The attack by U.S. cavalry on White Bird’s village accompanied the forced relocation of non-treaty Nez Perce from Oregon’s Wallowa country to a vastly-reduced 1863 treaty reservation in Idaho.

The battle was a defeat for troops commanded by Gen. Oliver O. Howard.  It led to the Nez Perce war and flight, which culminated October 5, 1877 in the surrender of surviving Nez Perce under Chief Joseph at the Bear Paw battlefield in Montana.

White Bird and Bear Paw battlefields are sites of Nez Perce National Historical Park.

This commemoration coincides with the park’s 50th year as a unit of the National Park System.

On May 15, 1965 Congress authorized Nez Perce National Historical Park to “facilitate protection and provide interpretation of sites in the Nez Perce Country . . . that have exceptional value in commemorating the history of the Nation.”

Information is at , , and by calling the park at 208-843-7009.