In his 1877 speech, Chief Joseph let the US Army know that the Nez Perce tribe would not fight anymore and leave for the planned reservations outside the East Coast as the Native American population was tired of violence.


One of the reasons for Chief Joseph to come up with his 1877 speech was the removal of the Native American population from western lands that was forcefully completed by the Army of the United States. The original Act for Indian Removal was signed by President Jackson in 1830, where he intended to force Native Americans out of the East Coast locations.

Given that Native Americans were not accustomed to living in planned reservations, they went on to generate a robust rebellion. Ultimately, the Act limited all Native Americans in terms of where they could go without any restrictions, which led to Chief Joseph’s surrender speech.

The audience of the speech were the members of the Nez Perce tribe and the members of the US Army. The reason behind having both Native Americans and US Army representatives in one place was to frame the idea that the tribe would actually give in to the Act for Indian Removal and avoid any hostility aimed at the US Army in the future.

As the quote from the original proclamation suggested, Chief Joseph was “tired of fighting” against other humans. Being sick of all the conflicts and hostility of the US Army, Chief Joseph decided to have the whole New Perce tribe surrender to the military pressure and leave the area.

The most important message that Chief Joseph sent with his 1877 speech was that he did not want to maintain the loop of violence and fight against other people when a peaceful decision could prevent the majority of violence and human victims.