NEZ PERCE - Kamiah, Idaho
Supporting california camp's kitchen by brinGing traditional food AND herbs for medicinal use

I don't know if there's really a easy answer why anybody comes here…. I think there's something that’s in our hearts that's making us come.

My daughter is a big reason I had to come. She's a bridge-builder and maybe there's something we can do to help. I'm here to show support…. To share some really fabulous foods that we brought: elk, moose, deer, some salmon. We brought some of our medicines like kaos kaos, we brought some of our mountain tea. It's really a good healing tea. It's medicine tea.

We drove from the Nez Perce Reservation, homelands. I don't like calling it a reservation; it's our homelands. I’ve grown up there my whole life.

I think what we need, we need to just quit hiding our heads in the sand, I guess as a culture of people in America….[as if] the past didn't happen. It happened, and there's a lot to be ashamed of, and there's a lot we have to embrace too. We have to be able to stand up to be who we are as Indian people. 

Sunset at Oceti Sakowin Camp. Photo by Heather Wilson

I know with the Nez Perce there is little over 4,000. When you think about that, there are some congregations of church that are larger than that. But I've told my kids, you know, you guys are born of a really special people. One of my elders he took me for a long ride and I felt like I was in twilight zone because time was just like gone. And he says the blood that you come from, it was traumatized. And every ounce of blood that comes through still has that trauma in it and you will feel it. And that's how I understand when they say it's in your blood. It really is.

I think most of us feel like it's a helpless thing one-by-one but as a group in unity we can do something.  

How do we find common ground? I don't know. But I know that the water is what we're all here for today. And that's why I am here.