WETXUUWÍITIN​ – Returned home after a period of captivity

The renaming of the Spalding-Allen Collection

A Historic Event for the Nimiipuu

the renaming of the Spalding-Allen Collection

WETXUUWÍITIN

“returned home after a period of captivity”

On June 26, 2021, Katy Nesbitt and I traveled from the “Wallowa Homeland” to the Nez Perce National Historical Park outside of Lapwei, Idaho, to witness a historical event for the Nimiipuu, aka Nez Perce.
I was one of two hired photographers to cover the event. It was not only an honor to be invited, but it was also another tremendous opportunity to learn more about the culture and traditions of the Nez Perce whose ancient homeland I have been calling my home since 2002.
I have been studying the culture and traditions of the tribe since 2002, but no book can replace the words and stories that come directly from tribal members. It has had a profound impact on my life on a personal and professional level. 

Below is a brief compilation from different sources with information and quotes that preceded this incredible event. The below poster and videos featured from the event are ©productions and design by the Nez Perce. Gallery pictures are copyright ©Angelika Ursula Dietrich. A news account written by my dear friend Katy Nesbitt will follow later. 

Click on image to view poster

A "Renaming Celebration"
of the Spalding-Allen collection

marked a defining moment for the Nez Perce Tribe on June 26, 2021, at the Nez Perce National Historical Park outside of Lapwei, Idaho. 
Against all odds, the tribe was able to regain ownership over a collection of artifacts that were originally removed over 185 years ago by Reverend Henry H. Spalding.
The Spalding-Allen Collection came together during work to split the Nez Perce people from their traditional ways of life. It was collected by Presbyterian missionary Henry Spalding, who arrived in the Lapwai area in 1836 to convert the Nez Perce to Christianity. In 1846, Spalding shipped an array of Nez Perce clothing, accessories and horse gear to a supporter, Dr. Dudley Allen of Kinsman, Ohio, in exchange for materials for his mission (Source: Inland360). 
In 1995, Pinkham and her 3 1/2-year-old daughter, Temi Cree Meninick, posed for a photo that was used as part of the national campaign to raise $608,100 to buy back the collection. (Source: Inland360) 

 

Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee Chairman, Samuel N. Penney said in an earlier press release

“On this day, we will bestow a much more appropriate name to a collection that was taken from us in the 1840’s. This renaming will be the final act toward truly and completely re-connecting these amazing pieces of material art to the Nimiipuu people. An appropriate Nimiipuu name will bring the connection full circle”.

“Our gratefulness is so immense; it is simply hard to put into words. As we move forward from here, we anticipate that many Nez Perce artists will utilize this collection in developing their own unique patterns and designs, while still incorporating these treasured and timeless Nez Perce designs as well,” continued Chairman Penney.

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By Angelika Ursula Dietrich

Nakia Cloud-Williamson, Nez Perce Tribal member and Director of the Nez Perce Tribe Cultural Resource Program explains, “The re-naming of the collection is a significant step to shed the colonial legacy that has been the reality of the historical circumstances that this collection was originally made and the parallel disruption that Nimíipuu society has endured.

It is indeed, a powerful assertion of an enduring world view and value system, that has overcome systematic oppression, devaluation and ultimately genocide. Bringing out a name is a thoughtful process and is not only a means to identify, but also to confer certain qualities and aspirations.

It is with this understanding, that this collection of cultural items is re-contextualized within context of the community and the land which it originates, with the hope that this collection will continue to symbolize the values which define our identity and the resiliency of the Nimíipuu.”.

Renaming the Spalding-Allen Collection.

Created by the hands of our Nimiipuu ancestors. Collected and given away by a missionary. Moved across the country and passed from father to son then to college and museum. Rediscovered decades later, the fight began to reclaim these treasured items back into the hands of the people who created them.
 

“The re-naming of the collection is a significant step

to shed the colonial legacy that has been the reality of the historical circumstances that this collection was originally made and the parallel disruption that Nimíipuu society has endured.”
~ Nakia Cloud-Williamson, Nez Perce Tribal member and Director of the Nez Perce Tribe Cultural Resource Program

On a personal note:
Putting together the featured compilation of pictures, videos, and third-party sources was like painting a picture. A picture that should not only reflect my first assignment by the Nez Perce tribe but even more importantly, a piece of History that shall not be ignored.

My heart and soul go out to a People who have, like many others, including my mother’s family after WWII, endured injustice on incomprehensible levels.

We cannot change the past, but we can educate people of the present with more than empty platitudes written by those with “no ears and eyes.” Colonialism and genocide have no color but that of blood. Self-assigned supremacy of any creed, race, ethnic group, or religion has led to nothing but death and destruction for thousands and thousands of years.

Based on my mother’s heritage and backed by personal experiences in life, my purpose has always been that of humanitarian efforts and affairs. I shall continue to take part in this mission assigned to me by my Creator with the gift of photography and writing.

If you are reading this I want to thank you for taking the time to read and view this important piece of what is now American history. 

~Angelika Urusla Dietrich – Wild Horses Thunder
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Owner, Publisher, Visual Artist at | wildhorsesthunder@gmail.com | Website | + posts

ANGELIKA URSULA DIETRICH, owner and publisher of Wild Horses Thunder and Wild Horses Media Productions is a professional Photographer, Visual Artist, Publisher, Writer, Social Media Consultant, and Website Developer.

Angelika's photography work has been displayed in Cowboys & Indians (2016 & 2018), Nimiipuu Tribal Tribune (2021), and various Oregon, Washington, and Idaho publications, Chief Joseph Days Rodeo Program and website (2010-2020), at Art Gallery Festivals, private businesses, as well as for display advertisement for many clients in and out of Wallowa County including the Wallowa County Chieftain (2003-2007)

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Nez Perce Tribe
Nez Perce Tribe | 208-843-2253 | nptec@nezperce.org | Website | + posts
The Nez Perce Tribe is a federally recognized tribe in north-central Idaho with more than 3,500 enrolled citizens. Headquartered in Lapwai, ID, the Nez Perce Reservation spans about 770,000 acres.The current governmental structure is based on a constitution adopted by the tribe in 1948. The tribe is governed by a nine-member elected executive committee, known as the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee or NPTEC. The NPTEC is obligated to protect the health and welfare of the Nez Perce people. This means protecting and preserving treaty rights and tribal sovereignty, Nez Perce culture, and the general environment of the reservation.For more information visit: https://www.nezpercecultural.org/

History

The Nimiipuu people have been connected to the lands and waters of modern-day Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and Montana long before the creation of the Nez Perce Reservation.

Culture

Today, the Nez Perce Tribe upholds many traditional lifeways, including fishing, hunting, gathering, and traditional ceremonies and celebrations.

Language

The Nimipuutímt language is an integral part of Nez Perce culture. Our language program offers learning tools to keep the language thriving.

Inland360
(208) 743-9411 | editor@inland360.com | Website | + posts

Inland 360 is an alternative weekly publication and website covering art, music, and culture in the Quad Cities of Moscow, Pullman, Lewiston, and Clarkston and their surrounding region. It’s a varied landscape, from the rolling hills and universities of the Palouse, to the river playgrounds of the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley, to the bucolic prairie and mountain communities beyond.

We’re a local, independent, family- and employee-owned website and publication. Our focus is to highlight the people, places, and events in our region and to provide our readers with an engaging and colorful weekly guide to what’s happening.

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