According to tribal legend, Nimiipuu, “the people,” were created in north central Idaho at the dawn of time. There is evidence dating back more than 11,000 years of Nez Perce inhabiting the regions surrounding the Clearwater and Snake River valleys. The Nez Perce people are credited for saving the lives of the Corps of Discovery explorers who entered their camp near starvation. Without the food and shelter provided by the Nimiipuu villagers, the Lewis & Clark expedition may have had a tragic ending.

The Nez Perce National Historical Park, 11 miles southeast of Lewiston on state Highway 95, is a complete informational center and museum featuring historical displays and interpretive programs teaching travelers about the rich history and customs of the Nez Perce Tribe. There are 24 separate interpretive sites that constitute the Nez Perce National Historical Park. Pow wows and other community events are hosted in various locations throughout the year. Tribal business enterprises include forest products, limestone quarry operations, two popular casinos, an RV park and convenience store. Visitors are welcomed today just as the Nez Perce welcomed the Corps of Discovery explorers nearly 200 years ago…..come experience their history and culture.

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