Part historical narrative, part travelogue, and part environmental plea, this book recounts an astonishing journey. Joseph, chief of the peaceable Nez Perce band in Oregon's Wallowa Valley, had long sworn to uphold the dying words of his father: "This country holds your father's body. Never sell the bones of your mother and your father." Yet, in 1877, as the U.S. government confined the tribe to ever smaller reservations, the fateful decision of several young Nez Perce warriors to attack the settlers set an exodus in motion. For eleven weeks, seven hundred men, women, and children traveled 1,700 miles, pursued by the U.S. Army. Just forty miles from the Canadian border, the tribe survived a calamitous five-day siege until Joseph could no longer bear his people's suffering and surrendered. This book intercuts the Nez Perce's fight for survival with the author's own travels across the same yet altered terrain, the mountains, forests, badlands, and prairies of modern-day Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana.--From publisher description.