Chief Joseph was a leader of the Nez Perce tribe who lived in the American Northwest. When white settlers came to take away their lands, Joseph had no choice but to fight for his land. Even so, his wisdom and courage earned him respect. In 1855, the teenager Joseph traveled with his father to an important council meeting between Chiefs and the U.S. government. The government officials told them they had to give up some of their land for settlers. The rest of the land would become a reservation where they could live. Joseph's father signed the treaty because he thought his people and children would be safe living on the land. A few years later, gold was found on the reservation and the government offered the Nez Perce a smaller reservation in Idaho. Joseph was now Chief, taking his father's place. He tried to hold onto their land, but the government said they had to leave. Chief Joseph knew there would be war. They fled after warriors killed white settlers. Eventually, Chief Joseph surrendered and he and his band were sent to Kansas and then moved to a reservation in Oklahoma. In 1899, he visited the Wallowa Valley, his homeland, but he never lived there again. He died at Colville Reservation in 1904. Chief Joseph is remembered for speaking out for justice and freedom for Native Americans. Good photographs accompany the text as well as a timeline, further reading, and websites. 2004, Lerner Publications Company, Ages 8 to 12.
Gr 3-5-These factual and ultimately sad chronicles of four men reveal the life stories of valiant, ingenious chiefs of Native American tribes in the final half of the 19th century. All four biographies follow the same easy format. A brief, single-page introduction precedes five chapters that introduce the life of the man, his people, and his victories and tragic losses. With the exception of Native American names and language, the reading is easy and significantly enhanced by period photographs, maps, paintings, and full-color cartoon illustrations. Highlighted insets provide additional information. All four of the books tell an unremitting story of perfidy, betrayal, broken promises and treaties, and genocide. What comes across in each presentation is the great courage of these chiefs. Although men such as Geronimo and Sitting Bull (who was treacherously murdered while under U.S. government protection) did kill in battle, they did so to defend what they had been taught from birth was their homeland. The books serve as excellent research models for young scholars creating their own biography reports. The authors demonstrate how to unveil a life in chronological fashion and how to accentuate the most dramatic aspects of a person's history.-Jerry D. Flack, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.