Public invited to Nez Perce memorial event

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The annual Nez Perce memorial to Chief Redheart’s band will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 19 at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, 1501 Evergreen Blvd.

The free ceremony will be across Fifth Street from the reconstructed Fort Vancouver.

After the ceremony, the public is encouraged to attend a traditional Native American meal, prepared and served by the Northwest Indian Veterans Association in the Artillery Barracks at 600 E. Hatheway Road.

The ceremony pays tribute to 33 members of Chief Redheart’s band captured in 1877 under the direction of Gen. O.O. Howard and kept as prisoners at Fort Vancouver. An infant member of the band died.

Ceremonial activities include singing, speeches, a Riderless Horse ceremony and passing of the peace pipe. All U.S. military veterans are invited to join the ceremonial circle and be recognized.

Visitors are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs.

Donations are welcome, and refreshments during the ceremony will be provided by Meals on Wheels.