One Chief And His Granddaughter.

chief and giurl

 Chief Charlo (Claw of the Little Grizzly or Small Grizzly-Bear Claw) and granddaughter western Montana 1940, Charlo was the chief of the Bitterroot Salish in Montana.

Chief Charlo had three children from his marriage to Margaret: Martin, Ann Felix, and Victor. Victor became head chief upon the death of Chief Charlo on January 10, 1910.

A speech printed in 1876 by Montana newspapers expressed the frustration and betrayal felt by Chief Charlo towards the white settlers and the U.S. military and government representatives. In part it read:

Since our forefathers first beheld him…[the whiteman] has filled graves with our bones…His course is destruction. He spoils what the Spirit who gave us this country made beautiful and clean. But that is not enough. He wants us to pay him besides his enslaving our country…and…that degradation of a Tribe who never were his enemies. What is he? Who sent him here? We were happy when he first came…To take and to lie should be burned on his forehead, as he burns the sides of my horses with his own name. Had heaven’s Chief burnt him with some mark, we might have refused him. No, we did not refuse him in his weakness. In his poverty we fed, we cherished him-yes, befriended him, and showed the fords and defiles of our lands…We owe him nothing. He owes us more than he will pay…His laws never gave us a blade of grass nor a tree nor a duck nor a grouse nor a trout…You know that he comes as long as he lives, and takes more and more, and dirties what he leaves.


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