Series 3, Program 3: Nez Perce (Nimiipuu) Tribe*


Elder Wisdom Feature: Horace Axtell:

Brian Bull introduces us to Horace Axtell, the spiritual leader of the Nez Perce tribe, who has experienced reconciliation and friendship with his father, and has contributed to the recovery of his peoples' spiritual practices.

Speaking Native:

Don Addison speaks of the Nimiipuu language as a member of the Sahaptian language family which is spoken in Idaho and eastern parts of Washington and Oregon. Nimiipuu is related to languages spoken by neighboring Yakama and Umatilla peoples.

Sacred Landscape:

Judy Bluehorse Skelton speaks to us about the many gifts of the cedar tree which for basket making, medicine and other uses. She tells of a personal experiencing of gathering bark from a forest soon to be logged, and then sharing the bark, along with its story, with her students.

Tribal Rhythms:

Nico Wind tells us of the wax cylinder collection recorded between 1909 and 1912 by a Nez Perce Indian named Sam Morris, or Horse Blanket which preserved the traditional music of the Nez Perce. This collection was recently restored by Ethnomusicologist Loran Olsen for the tribe and others.

Health and Healing:

Rose High Bear features Valerie Albert who promotes the tribe's exercise and health program at the Nimiipuu health clinic in Lapwai, Idaho. An enthusiastic warrior in the battle against diabetes, Valerie introduces us to a cheerful woman named Karen Zachary, who has struggled with diabetes for more than twenty years.

Artist's Circle

Bruce Crespin shares the stories of Nez Perce artist Kevin Peters who lives and works as a curator and park interpreter at the Nez Perce National Historic Park in Spalding, Idaho, and is devoted to reviving traditional arts of flute- playing and flute-making.

Turtle Island Storytellers

Tribal storyteller Allen Pinkham takes us on a journey with coyote, sharing with us the creation story of his people who once lived and still live along Idaho's Clearwater River.

* Segment transcripts and participant biographies can be found on the Wisdom of the Elders Web site.