Descendants Of Native Tribes Driven From The Boise Valley Return For Annual Event

Jun 10, 2016

Castle Rock sticks out of the foothills in northeast Boise. Native Americans called it Eagle Rock and the land below it was considered sacred. But the U.S. Army rounded up the area’s Indians and sent them to reservations to make way for white settlers in the late 1800s. The descendants of those people are gathering Friday in Boise’s Quarry View Park, which is on part of that land below Castle Rock.

Lori Edmo-Suppah says members of several tribes have been visiting the site occasionally for a long time. But six years ago they made it a formal, annual event. Edmo-Suppah is one of the organizers of “Return of the Boise Valley People.”

“Our ancestors are all buried there,” Edmo-Suppah says. “You know, we believe it’s important to go back there and let them know that we’re still thinking about them and we love them and we’re never going to forget.”

She says Friday morning's gathering at 10:30 in the park is open to the public. It features storytelling and cultural demonstrations. But she says it’s also meant to send a serious message about that spot.

“It’s our homeland. And we believe we rightfully still own it,” Edmo-Suppah says. “We still own title to the land because it’s never been relinquished. We never gave up title to the land.”

The tribes involved in the event are now headquartered in Idaho, Nevada and Oregon. They include the Shoshone-Bannocks of the Fort Hall Reservation, where Edmo-Suppah is editor of the local newspaper, as well as the Shoshone-Paiutes of Duck Valley. Edmo-Suppah says their goal is to eventually have a cultural center in Boise.

Find Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam

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