Educators doing an exercise and discussion at the Idaho Indian Education Summit.
By ROSELYNN YAZZIE
FORT HALL — The Idaho Indian Education Summit Southeast Regional focused on Readdressing Cultural Capital from the Indigenous perspective.
It took place July 16 & 17 at the Shoshone-Bannock Hotel and Event Center.
Participants were welcomed with a grand opening ceremony on Monday morning. Medicine Thunder was there to sing for the occasion. Jessica James, Chairperson of the Planning Committee and Co-Chair of Idaho Indian Education Committee and Sho-Ban Tribes Tribal Youth Education manager welcomed all attendees. Other speakers were Kevin Satterlee, J.D. President of Idaho State University and Selena Grace, Vice Provost of Academic Affairs at ISU.
There were many presentations and workshops throughout the day, meant to teach educators from a tribal view.
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Policy Analyst Yvette Tuell gave a historical review of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes to give educators a better understanding of the tribal people in the area.
Tuell said it was important to understand why there is lack of tribal interpretation. She said for years the tribal people have been reluctant to share their history mainly due to the enforced assimilation forced upon the people. Another reason not a lot of information is out is due to protection on the tribal people’s inherent rights. She said there’s also inaccurate history out there that is biased.
Tuell said over 150 years of displacement of removals is what we’re facing as members of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. She hoped the educators would hear the silence of the children and come to understand the true tribal history.
“You can learn more about us and be more aware to understand some of our frustrations,” she said.
Louise Dixey, from the Language and Cultural Preservation Department also gave a presentation on the cultural perspective of the people of Fort Hall. She mentioned the teachings of gathering foods, like roots, berries, and nuts. Also preparing hides and making clothing, learning survival skills and learning the traditional roles of females and males.
The Language and Cultural Preservation Department staff conducted another presentation on cultural sensitivity training. The session discussed the significance of eagle feathers and brought up the issue of Pocatello School District denying students to wear one during graduation. Other issues brought up were clarifying regalia should not be referred to as costumes; mascots debate that hits home with the Pocatello Indians and Salmon Savages; removing stereotypes, to name a few.
A tour was also given to participants led by Public Affairs Manager Randy’L Teton, and a presentation of how culture informs science was given by Dr. Larry Murillo from the $77 EET Program, another session specified on making lesson plans for Native students and the Idaho national laboratories also did a presentation.
The first day’s events ended with a Historical Clothing Show put on for educators to teach them about tribal history through clothing. The event was only half of what they usually show and a full show will be during the Bannock Gathering.