Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce Indian tribe is trying to persuade the American people that they should try to change their ways. He does not feel as though they are being treated equally. The American government is pushing them to live in the places they demand. Chief Joseph gives a speech persuading the Americans that it is possible for the two conflicting groups of people to live in peace and get along. He just wants his people to be treated fairly without causing harm and preventing future harm.
There are many different reasons that caused the Americans to continue to govern the Indians in an unfair way. First, they were showing a misuse of authority. They believed they could overpower the Indians and tell them what to do without even considering making peace with them. Also, the Americans had a great deal of ethnocentrism. They believed that their way of ruling was correct without exceptions. Since the Indians were different in their culture and the way they lived, Americans considered them to be “wrong”. So they put forth the effort to change the Indians so they were “right”, which was the way Americans wanted them to live.
I believe that Chief Joseph used many rhetorical appeals and other devices in his speech which helped make it more convincing. His use of logic and emotion makes his point of view very appealing. The use of repetition really helped get his point across and the use of ethos, pathos, and logos made his side a lot more believable because it makes you think and eventually realize that his speech makes sense and it leads you to agree with what he is saying.