About the Nez Perce Reservation
The Nez Perce Reservation is located in Lapwai, Idaho. Lapwai, which means Land of the Butterflies, is the capital city for the Nez Perce tribe. It is a very kind and welcoming community about two hours south of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The Nez Perce tribe is known for raising Appaloosa horses, the horses combined with the area’s incredibly colorful rolling farm land and rivers provide beautiful and scenic surroundings. The General Allotment Act of 1887 gave every tribal family a plot of land and the remaining land was sold to Caucasian families who were looking to settle in the West, many of whom came during the gold rush. Many states have since returned the land back to the tribes; however, Idaho is one of the few states that has not, so the Nez Perce remains a diverse population that is both native and Caucasian. The tribal government is passionate about maintaining hunting and fishing rights in the area, as well as protecting sacred sites from the construction of pipelines.
Serving in the Nez Perce Reservation
• Serve through painting, cleaning, yard work or other simple work projects.
• Plan and lead kids programming for children in the community, including Bible lessons, games, crafts and reading.
• Students will have the opportunity to participate with each of the above service sites during the week.
Your group will love kids through facilitating a Kids Club program and also partnering with a local school feeding program to help children get a good meal each day. In addition, you will serve in Lapwai through home improvement and painting projects, and you may also have the opportunity to volunteer with a local food bank or nursing home. In the evenings, your group will experience a worship service with a local church, visit the Wolf Education & Research Center and attend a community cookout.
Our partnership with the Nez Perce tribe started in the spring of 2012 when we were first invited into Lapwai, with our first groups arriving in the summer of 2013. We are very excited to be working directly with the tribe to set up meaningful opportunities for our participants to learn and engage in. While we have relationships with several churches in the area, we are also glad to be working with the Tribal Council, who continues to speak into what we do and how we do it. They have welcomed us warmly into their community and have supported YouthWorks’ ongoing presence there.