NOVEMBER 18, 1895


The Nez Percé reservation was created in 1855 and was officially established by the Treaty of June 9, 1863 and by subsequent agreements in 1887 and 1893. The reservation, as originally formed, took in parts of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. The Dawes Severalty Act of 1887 led first to allotment of the reservation and eventually to Proclamation 381 of November 8, 1895, issued by President Grover Cleveland, which opened the reservation for general settlement. Thousands rushed to grab land on the reservation, staking out their claims even on land owned by Nez Percé families. An original tribal land base of about 13 million acres in 1800 reached a point of less than 80,000 acres by 1975. Since 1980, a tribal land acquisition program has increased Nez Percé ownership to about 110,000 acres. Still, the tribe owns only 12% of its own reservation. 

 “Proclamation 381—Opening of Nez Perce Indian Lands to Settlement, Idaho,” The American Presidency Project.  Retrieved 6/1/2022, Proclamation 381—Opening of Nez Perce Indian Lands to Settlement, Idaho | The American Presidency Project (
Deward E. Walker, Jr. and Peter N. Jones, “The Nez Perce,” American Indians of the Pacific Northwest Collection.  Retrieved 6/1/2022, American Indians of the Pacific Northwest Collection ::: (
Flag:  Nez Percé Tribe, early 20th century.  Flag of the Nez Percé Tribe. Public Domain.

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