Sophie Moiese's Story

Sophie Moiese

Elderly Indian woman smiling

© 1997 by Barbara Merriam

Sophie Moiese, with the aid of interpreter Louis Pierre, told this story:

When the dried meat was brought to the men, they just looked at it and put it back. It was really good to eat, but they seemed to think it was bark or wood. Also, they didn't know that camas roots are good to eat. . . . Chief Three Eagles told his people that they must not harm the strangers in any way. Since then, no one has ever heard of the Salish tribe and whites getting into battle. During the Nez Perce War, the Nez Perces went through the Bitterroot Valley, but the Salish people stood by the whites at Fort Missoula. They would have fought their own Indian friends to keep them from harming the white people with whom Governor Stevens negotiated the reservation treaty of 1855."



Ella E. Clark, Indian Legends from the Northern Rockies (Norman: Oklahoma University Press, 1966), p. 133. Used by permission.