NEZ PERCE HOMECOMING

Living on Earth
Ever since the U.S. Army forced the Nez Perce people out of their homeland in the Wallowa Valley of northeastern Oregon in 1877, the tribe has been working to get some of that land back. Over the past 120 years Nez Perce leaders have traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with Presidents, Congress and bureaucrats. By the 1930s the effort had become know as "the Nez Perce lost cause". Until now. This spring the Nez Perce took title to ten thousand acres of their old homeland in the Wallowa country and will soon purchase six thousand more acres with plans to convert the former ranch land into a wildlife preserve. In an ironic twist of history, descendants of the settlers who once hated and feared the Nez Perce, are welcoming the tribe back home. Producer Vicki Monks prepared our report.