by J. Gerlach
In part eight of the Simple History zine series, J. Gerlach takes a good hard look at the Nez Perce Indians, also known as the Nimiipuu (or "the real people.")
Over the course of 48 heavily illustrated pages we see the Nez Perce not as cigar store caricatures but as walking, talking, flesh and blood human beings with an ethical culture and a strong desire for freedom and autonomy. One of the tribes oft ignored by mainstream history books, the Nez Perce were centered in what is now Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Gerlach and illustrator Kate Van Cleve focus their story on a rebellious band of Nez Perce who decided to say enough is enough when asked to give up their land. Their story is one of betrayal and land rights, of extreme bravery and terrible violence. In the face of Manifest Destiny this group of Nez Perce chose to stand up for themselves and the resulting tale is harrowing, inspiring, and, in the end, important to tell. So in this spirit of courage and defiance we present the latest installment of the Simple History series...