The Nez Perce and the Battle of Bear Paw Mountains

Battle of Bear Paw Mountains pic

Battle of Bear Paw Mountains
Image: friendsnezpercebattlefields.org

Tom Redmond, the founder of Aussie hair products, has a history of giving back to his community. In addition to supporting several local charitable organizations while running the Aussie company, he was involved in returning 19th century Nez Perce artifacts to current members of the Native American tribe. The Boston Historical Society owned the artifacts, but when the society decided to sell the collection in 1990, Tom Redmond contributed money to the effort to return these items to their rightful owners.

The Nez Perce occupied large portions of the Pacific Northwest. At the time of the Lewis and Clark expedition in the early 1800s, the Nez Perce claimed about 17 million acres covering portions of modern-day Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

Members of the Nez Perce tribe engaged in battle with the United States over their refusal to leave their native land and move to a reservation. Following weeks of conflict in the fall of 1877, the tribe camped along the Snake Creek, 40 miles from the safety of the Canadian border. Scouts discovered the location of the camp, and fighting, led by Colonel Nelson Miles, resumed.

After several days, Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce surrendered, stating, “Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.”

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