The 1878 eclipse brought the Nez Perce War to public eye and allowed them to secretly return home from Canada. At the same time, the Bannock were cleared out of Malheur by the Army. Canneries profited from the eclipse.
A prairie plant dug up by women and children, the Camas bulb was an important part of Columbia basin diets. Grazing animals on camas lands by settlers led to skirmishes between the Army and the Bannock tribes.