Clyde Dixey blesses the site where many Boise Valley ancestors were buried at Quarry View Park on Saturday, June 16.
By ROSELYNN YAZZIE
BOISE — The Return of the Boise Valley People event had a full agenda starting with sunrise ceremonies and cultural presentations throughout the day into the evening.
The Shoshone-Paiute Tribe hosted the first sunrise ceremony at Quarry View Park on Friday, June 15 with Murray Sope saying the prayer.
Friday was set for tribal demonstrations and cultural presentations. The tribes and their departments in attendance set up tables of information to share.
The BLM Morley Nelson Birds of Prey Exhibit brought an eagle named Slim, an owl and a hawk to share. The public was able to answer questions and take photos with the birds.
Singers at the Shoshone-Bannock sunrise ceremony.
After lunch, Democratic Candidate for Idaho Governor Paulette Jordan arrived to speak to participants. She also took part in the Tribal Walking Parade where Boise Valley participants and veterans did a grand entry with their tribal flags.
Jordan acknowledged the veterans for their attendance and for fighting for the freedoms the people continue to talk about today and is the reason she is running for Governor of Idaho.
“She said these reasons are constantly a target,” she said.
She said her grandfather, who was a World War II veteran would remind her that veterans were not only fighting and serving politics, but they were fighting and serving the land and people.
“So that not only could we be free and continue to practice and sing our songs, to live our sovereign way of life, so that we would be reminded that were all related,” she said. “It’s our culture as a people that keeps us significant, keeps us unique and special, that we have to remind ourselves it’s about exclusivity. So as indigenous people of this land that we have always taken care of for thousands of years, we also remind everyone around us that they are part of us, just as much as we are a part of them.”
She related Brig. Gen. Mike Garshak as a brother to tribal people.
In closing she asked the people to look at the children and said her message of freedom and hope is they continue to fight and continue to ensure they are at the forefront as a leader, as a chief executive officer of the state of Idaho.
“Because it is about community, it’s about family, and building one Idaho, regardless of your age, your gender, or the color of your skin. We fight for the land, first and foremost and for our children’s future.”
Paulette Jordan speaks to ROBVP participants during Friday's walking parade.
The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Culture Committee talked about the Ghost/Circle dance. Louise Dixey explained they were prayers songs that were for new growth and to acknowledge the ancestors and all they fought and died for.
“It’s to begin anew, everything that we depend on, the water, the air, the land, all of our Indian foods, they will flourish,” explained Dixey. She asked everyone to come out and dance as Lathaniel Nappo sang four songs with a hand drum. She asked Kermit Bacon to lead the dance. She said one shouldn’t carry babies during the songs because when they do the songs the ancestors are dancing with them.
The evening was set for the Blackhawk naming ceremony at Gowen Field. A dinner followed and was hosted by the Fort McDermitt and Burns Paiute tribes.
The participants later convened at the host hotel where they shared oral histories of the region and stories passed down to them of the area.
Shoshone-Bannock Tribal member Clyde Dixey led the sunrise ceremonies on Saturday and Sunday. He had the assistance of Lathaniel Nappo saying the prayer on Saturday. Dixey said the ground was sacred and was fought for by tribal leaders like Kesley Edmo, when people wanted to develop it. He said there were human bones in the area and they were dug up and taken to the dump.
Dixey was told by his grandfather that his great grandmother was buried under a rock under Eagle Rock. She was buried 15 feet under the ground because the Taivos used to come along and cut their hair off and sell it for $10 and also loot their regalia. He said it really hurts when you think about things like that.
Dixey said once gold and silver were found in the area the people were marched out of the area during the wintertime. It took them over 20-something days to get to Fort Hall. He said the settlers abused the women and got away with it.
Dixey brought water to share from the Fort Hall Bottoms springs. He said all you people are having a taste of the same thing the people drank a long time ago.
Fort Hall Business Council Sergeant at Arms Lee Juan Tyler said he’s returned to the area many times and it always brought a good feeling. He thanked the Eagle Rock singers for signing from their heart, for their prayers.
Shoshone-Bannock elder Lionel Boyer was asked to speak, since he was formerly on council and is a chairman of the Culture Committee. Boyer said many have been to the event for years and have heard the stories and is trying to pass them on to those who haven’t heard them. He said the young are the ones who need to know what they’re talking about so they know what’s coming into the future.
Boyer said, “You have to know who you are, you have to know where you’re from, you have to know why you’re here on this Mother Earth. You’re apart of the future of our people.”
FHBC Vice-Chairman Ladd Edmo said it’s an honor to be at the event and it was a powerful feeling being there. He encouraged people to enjoy their day.
FHBC council member Kevin Callahan said it was his first time to the event and he brought his family along to learn and take part. He felt blessed to hear all the stories of things that have happened. He hoped to see the event grow for next year.
Shoshone-Paiute Chairman Ted Howard talked about how people in the area had a hard time hearing about the things that happened long ago, but it’s history and it can’t be changed. He also talked about young people and their responsibility to carry on.
Shoshone-Paiute council member Arnold Thomas also spoke.
Lucy Suppah (right) and Kaycee Dixey do traditional salmon preparation for
A walk/run took place with three routes, including a half-mile race to Eagle Rock, a three-mile race to Table Rock and a four-mile race along the Boise River Green belt.
The first place winner to Eagle Rock was Jacob Noche from Fort Hall; he was the only participant to run all three routes. Second place was Jenna Crutcher of McDermitt; third place was Aaron Owyhee from Owyhee.
The first place winner to Table Rock was Lance Owyhee from Owyhee, second place was Martin Demoss from Fort Hall and third place was Linden Howard of McDermitt.
The Boise River Green Belt first place winner was Kelan Jones of Owyhee; second place was Sandra Jack of Owyhee and Braden Smith of Owyhee.
The event moved over to Gowen Field where people had the opportunity to visit and share stories on the microphone.
A rock chuck cooking demonstration took place in the morning and was served at lunch.
The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and Shoshone-Bannock Tribes did traditional salmon preparation; participants were required to wear wing dresses, work moccasins and bandanas. The salmon cooks were Lori Ann Edmo, Lucy Suppah, Kaycee Dixey and Rosie Tom.
In the meantime STAR base gave a demonstration to youth about bottle rockets, which the kids had fun launching into the field.
The crowd enjoyed Indian games like shoe kick, foot races, tug-o-war and more.
An auction took place in the evening. The funds made from the auction are set to go to next year’s event. Announcing for the auction was Lionel Boyer, with the help of Brian Thomas.
The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and Confederated Tribes jointly hosted the dinner, which consisted of salmon, meat loaf, potato salad, vegetables, Bannock Bread and desserts.
The evening concluded with a hand drum contest. First place winner was Gaylen Kelly who won $50, second place was Nelson Racehorse, he won $30 and third place went to Lathaniel Nappo, who won $20.
Sunrise over a teepee at Quarry View Park.