200 (1997 H. Aoki), decreasing. Spoken fluently only by a handful of elders on Nez Perce and Colville Reservations. 30–40 semispeakers, mostly in Idaho (Golla 2007). Ethnic population: 2,700 (1997 H. Aoki); 612 (2000 census).
Upriver dialect: North central Idaho, Nez Perce Reservation, Kamiah and Lapwai; eastern Washington, Colville Reservation. Downriver dialect: Oregon, Umatilla Reservation.
Shifting to English [eng]. Older adults.
Conversational Nez Perce taught in Nespelem, Washington. There is a formal program of Nez Perce language instruction at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho as well as an independent program run by the tribe itself on the Idaho reservation, in Lapwai, Kamiah, and Orofino, Idaho.