Excerpt 11

In the years that followed the Lewis and Clark expedition, the world of the Salish was nearly obliterated but it was not wiped out. Partly because, throughout that time, the Salish, the Pend d'Oreille, and the Kootenai Nations—and also a number of non-Indians in the region—continued to work for a relationship built on mutual respect and the honoring of solemn obligations.

And so, despite the misunderstanding, the injustice, the loss, and the tragedy reflected in these pages, there is also hope to be taken from this history. That hope depends on us continuing to work together to create a deeper understanding of our history.

The event proved that the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition can be about something other than blind celebration. The pageant, like this book, was motivated by a simple idea: that an unflinching reconsideration of that first encounter, and of the past two centuries, is essential if we are to reach for a different relationship—if our descendents are to look back in the year 2205, and see the next two hundred years as an era of greater respect, and of deeper understanding.