The Chief Joseph Foundation was founded in 1991. The seeds for the organization were sown when a New Mexico Appaloosa horse breeder who understood the historical and cultural connections the breed had to the Nez Perce tribe donated 13 mares to the Nez Perce people. Allen Vernon Pinkham and Bonnie Ewing knew first hand about the special bond that occurs between and rider and together they co-founded the Chief Joseph Foundation to provide area youth with the opportunity to experience this unique partnership with the horse. The Appaloosa horse is the focal point of the Chief Joseph Foundation. Learning to ride and care for the Appaloosa horse reconnects youth and their families to Nez Perce heritage, culture and traditions.
Some years ago the Chief Joseph Foundation received a donation from The Disney Foundation. These funds were used towards the purchase of 12 acres of flat fertile land in the Lapwai Valley. The land located in the heart of the Nez Perce Reservation is the home of the Chief Joseph Foundation. Located just 13 miles from Lewiston, Idaho (population: 50,000) the programs at the Chief Joseph Foundation serve all area youth.