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Arjun Rajesh
02/09/2010 14:18

Chief Joseph could have meant many things when he said this significant quote. For one he was furious for the deaths of his people. Many people were telling him that his people would not be harmed any more and nothing happened. Joseph was rightfully upset that these people were just talking and not taking any action themselves. The "good words" were all the promises that Joseph's people would not be killed. The "broken promises" are talking about the promise to keep the natives safe which was broken. I think that Chief Joseph had a good reason to say this quote. Like Joseph I think that words are worthless unless action is put behind it. Joseph was also upset that the white people were being cruel to his people. He says that it is unfair to do this to an innocent race.

http://www.ilhawaii.net/~stony/joseph.html
http://www.footnote.com/page/1250_chief_joseph_of_the_nez_perce/

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Jessica Reed
02/10/2010 21:00

When Chief Joseph said this he was probably referring to the acts and treaties that the US government made with the Native Americans but then broke. For example, the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 promised that the Black Hills in South Dakota were to be part of Sioux land and settlers could not go on the land. Yet, when gold was discovered in 1874 and settlers entered the Sioux land, a promise was broken. There is an abundance of other stories similar to this one. The US government would promise to keep off Native American land, and the Native Americans would be very happy about the peace they would get. In fact, in some cases the Native Americans would give up their hunting rights just to reserve their own land. However, the settlers would not listen, or disregarded the treaties and moved onto the tribes’ land. As Chief Joseph was saying in his quote, the treaties sounded good, but in reality they were only there to make peace for awhile and then to be forgotten.

I think that the US government and settlers were both wrong in how they treated the Native Americans and their land. First, the government shouldn’t have promised something they would not stand by. Furthermore, the settlers should not have ignored the treaties and restrictions that were set in place. What the American government and settlers did caused many later conflicts that could have been avoided.

Sources:
Textbook
http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/american_originals/sioux.html
http://www.nebraskastudies.org/0700/frameset_reset.html?http://www.nebraskastudies.org/0700/stories/0701_0141.html

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Molly Buring
02/15/2010 18:25

I think the main thing that Chief Joseph meant by this quote is the reference to the promises being made and broken about is nation and people. I guess he was fed up with the promises being broken and him and his people suffering because of that. When he says "good words", he probably meant that he remembered all of the good words, like good promises and he wanted them to come back. Instead they were all being broken not being "good words" anymore. One example, like what Jessie talked about is when the Sioux people were promise that their land was their land and nobody else go onto it. But when the gold was discovered, the government totally broke that promise. Like all of the settlers went onto the Sioux's property without permission, so that probably mad the Sioux people mad, including Chief Joseph!

sources:
my head
Jessie and Arjun's posts
http://www.ilhawaii.net/~stony/joseph.html

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Arjun Rajesh
02/20/2010 08:40

The USA government made many peace treaties with Joseph saying all these nice things. They told him things like his people won't be harmed any more, his people won't have to leave their land, there will be no more wars, together we will have peace, and many other things bascially saying that everything's fine we will leave you alone. However the USA government didn't follow through with the promises in the treaties. They still sent people to kill the Native Americans, the American government still kept on asking the natives to move, there we more wars, and the Native Americans were definitley not at peace with their white neighbors. The American government acted to soon when they made their promises. After promising the natives land gold was found there. In that case the natives were forced to move. If I was Chief Joseph I would also be very upset. I think if you intentionally break your promises you shouldn't make any at all.

Textbook

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