Organized both chronologically and thematically, Encounters with the People is an edited, annotated compilation of unique primary sources related to Nez Perce history—Native American oral histories, diary excerpts, military reports, maps, and more. Generous elders shared their collective memory of carefully-guarded stories passed down through multiple generations. One described the level of attentiveness required to preserve their oral history as “so still to listen that you could hear a bird take a drink of water on the other side of the mountain.” The work begins with early Nimiipuu/Euro-American contact and extends to the period immediately after the Treaty of 1855 held at Walla Walla.
The editors scoured archives, federal document repositories, and state and local historical museums in search of little-known documents related to regional cultural and environmental history. Most of the selected material is published for the first time or is found only in obscure sources. Complete documents are included wherever possible, and any excisions carefully noted. Part of the Voices from Nez Perce Country series, Encounters with the People includes a thorough, up-to-date, annotated bibliography. Those interested in the Nez Perce, Native American Studies, Lewis and Clark, early missionary work, and Inland Northwest settlement will find it an essential reference work.
Illustrations / map / notes / bibliographic essay / index / 544 pages (2015)