How the West was Lost
The Nez Perce are Native American people who were created in and remain to live in the Pacific Northwest region (Columbia River Plateau) of the United States. An anthropological interpretation says they descended from the Old Cordilleran Culture, which moved south from the Rocky Mountains and west in Nez Perce lands. The Nez Perce Nation currently governs and inhabits within the exterior boundaries of the reservation in Idaho. The Nez Perce's name for themselves is NimÃipuu, meaning, "The People."
They speak the Nez Perce language or NiimiipuutÃmt, a Sahaptian language related to the several dialects of Sahaptin. The Sahaptian sub-family is one of the branches of the Plateau Penutian family (which in turn may be related to a larger Penutian grouping).