Thursday Nov 03, 2022

Chief Joseph’s Seattle Sojourn

He was invited to the city to talk about his storied past, but the Nez Perce chief had his eye on the future of his people.

When Chief Joseph arrived in Seattle in 1903, he had a message to deliver and a public interested in hearing it. He had become a kind of celebrity, though the nature of his renown was complicated.

A leader of the Wallowa band of the Nez Perce Tribe, Joseph had joined his people as they were pushed out of their ancestral home in northeast Oregon by the U.S. Army. And he had put up a storied fight against those forces as they attempted to, and eventually did, stop the tribe’s retreat to Canada.

Crosscut’s resident historian Knute Berger told the tale of Joseph’s visit to Seattle in a recent episode of his Mossback’s Northwest video series, but there is more to the story.

For this episode of the Mossback podcast, Berger and co-host Sara Bernard discuss the history of harassment, attempted erasure and resistance that defined Joseph’s life, as well as the forces that brought him to Seattle and how the message he came to deliver still resonates today.

Before listening, we suggest you watch the Mossback's Northwest episode about Chief Joseph here.



Hosts: Sara BernardKnute Berger

Producer: Jonah Cohen

Executive producer: Mark Baumgarten

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