Members of the Nez Perce Indian Nation will present the annual Chief Redheart memorial ceremony from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 22 at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site (612 E. Reserve Street). The event is free to the public, donations are welcome.
Now in its 25th year, the ceremony pays tribute to tribal ideals, honors tribal ancestors and helps to heal old wounds. Activities include singing, speeches, a drum circle and recognition of all U.S. military veterans. The event is hosted by the Nez Perce Nation in cooperation with the City of Vancouver, The Historic Trust, the Community Military Appreciation Committee and the National Park Service.
During the Nez Perce War of 1877, as the U.S. Army was attempting to remove tribal members from ancestral lands, 33 members of Chief Redheart’s band were captured under the direction of General O.O. Howard. Even though the band neither fought in Indian Wars nor committed any crimes, they were held prisoner at Fort Vancouver through the winter of 1877-78. An infant member of the band died during this imprisonment.
Attendees should bring blankets or lawn chairs; parking is available on 5th Street.