Wilfred and Bessie Scott: Night Raids over Fishing

Wilfred Scott (or Scotty) is a respected Nez Perce elder and veteran. Wilfred Scott became involved in the early days of Confluence Project. At that time he was on the Nez Perce Tribal Council (NPTC). Scotty grew up in Montana and was in the Navy between 1951-72. He is ½ Nez Perce on his father’s side. He became interested in Nez Perce culture as a young man and later became involved in tribal politics. He is still involved in fishing issues through CRITFC. Scotty was instrumental in initiating the Red Heart Band Memorial ceremony at Fort Vancouver, that honors and mourns the loss of the Nez Perce who were imprisoned there.

Bessie is his high school sweetheart and wife. She speaks Nez Perce and is part of the staff for the Nez Perce Language program keeping the language and culture alive.


“Well we stayed with him a couple of times, we’d come down. The only place we had to sleep was right in the kitchen and the living room and her and I and all of our kids were in there sleeping. And then all the sudden the lights went on and we heard people hollering around. I looked up, finally adjusted my eyesight, and here were a bunch of Oregon State Police. They’re all in there, ‘Where’s Jess Green! Where’s Jess Green!’ I don’t know where he’s at, they started running around, they were checking every room and everybody’s looking for Jess Green. And that was because of fishing on the river, they were after him, they were going to haul him in or whatever, I don’t know, I don’t know if they ever caught him or not. By the time they got done and left, we just rolled over and went back to sleep. They were some of the things that — a lot of people don’t experience or see.”

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