Native Son

Album: Into The Fire (1987)

Songfacts®:

  • This was an attempt by Bryan Adams and his frequent collaborator Jim Vallance to make a statement about the treatment of native Indians by the early white settlers. It was inspired by Chief Joseph, chief of the Nez Perce ("nose pierced") tribe from the 1800s.
  • Adams had the song name for a couple of years, but had trouble finding a lyrical theme to go with the title. It was Vallance's friend Duris Maxwell (who is of Native American heritage), who suggested Chief Joseph. Vallance recalled on his website: "I went to the Vancouver library and read everything I could find on Joseph, which turned out to be a truly fascinating story. I wrote a page of notes at the library, most of it direct quotes from Joseph's speeches. With a little modification those notes became the basis for the song."

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