“Suppose a white man should come to me and say, “Joseph, I like your horses. I want to buy them.” I say to him, “No, my horses suit me; I will not sell them.” Then he goes to my neighbor and says, “Pay me money, and I will sell you Joseph’’s horses.” The white man returns to me and says, “Joseph, I have bought your horses and you must let me have them.” If we sold our lands to the government, this is the way they bought them. “
“If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian, he can live in peace. Treat all men alike. Give them a chance to live and grow. “
— Chief Joesph
Chief Joesph, of the Nez Perce Indians, believed that the ways white men dealt with negotiations and relationships were absurd. Due to the westward expansion, millions of acres of the Plains Indian’s land were taken from them. Due to that, they were also “robbed” of their identity, culture, and freedom.
The white men offered American citizenship to those who gave up their land. Natie American families were given a chance to be a full plegded American citizen. However the Nez Perce Indians, along with many other tribes, did not want to be assimlated into that. They wanted to keep their own traditions and live freely without interuptions from the “white men”.