Native American Who Waged "War" Against U.S. in Idaho Dies


The Kootenai Native American tribe is mourning the loss of a former leader, a woman who declared war on the U.S. government in 1974.

Amelia Trice died last week after a long battle with cancer.

On Sept. 20, 1974, Trice ordered her tribal members to set up barriers on U.S. Highway 95 near Bonners Ferry. Trice said the land ultimately belonged to the tribe and not the U.S. government.

"The state police came with mace and sawed-off shotguns," Trice said at the time. "The closest thing we had to a weapon in our tribal office was a fly swatter."

The standoff lasted several weeks, resulting in negotiations in Washington, D.C. When all was settled President Gerald Ford signed a law transferring 12.5 acres of federal land to the Kootenai Tribe.