Bannock language teachers honored, from left, Zelphia Towersap, Daisy Dixey, Louida Ingawanup, Merceline Boyer and Maxine Edmo. Ramona Walema (not pictured) was also recognized. Louise Dixey (right) announces.
By LORI ANN EDMO
FORT HALL — Bannock language teachers were honored and presented with Pendleton blankets August 6 at the Bannock Gathering at Sho-Ban High School.
“Tammi ti tenichuivwavi pisha suyekwi,” was the theme that translates “We appreciate our teachers.”
They include Merceline Boyer, Daisy Dixey, Maxine Edmo, Zelphia Towersap and Louida Ingawanup. In addition, Ramona Walema was also presented with a blanket.
The teachers took time to take a photo with summer youth workers that attended the event. The youth took time to shake the teachers hands afterward.
Irving Pokibro spoke in the Bannock language about “Honoring our Bannock Treaty signers” and the Tribes Culture and Language Program showed a video about the Fort Bridger Treaty Reenactment.
Merceline Boyer explained the history of the Bannock language program and students spoke in the language about what they’ve learned.
Afternoon workshops included Rosie Tom teaching how to make cornhusk pouches (see separate story) and Ardith Peyope did a presentation on making Indian saddles.
August 7 began with a sunrise ceremony. Beulah Morgan from the Shoshone-Paiute language program gave an interactive presentation on the Paiute language with handouts.
Bobette Haskett and Carolyn Smith did a presentation on gathering traditional foods.
That afternoon Louise E. Dixey did a PowerPoint presentation on the history of Bannock prisoners of war in Oregon and Washington. She explained that Bannock and Paiutes were imprisoned at two different facilities after being involved in different wars for example the Rogue River Wars, the Yakima Wars, Modoc War, Nez Perce War, along with the Bannock Paiute Wars of 1878 and the Shoshone War of 1879. Fort Vancouver was a place of incarceration for Native people captured in the region, many whom resisted efforts to be placed on reservations. By 1881, 53 American Indian prisoners – men, women and children as young as three years old from the Shoshone and Bannock Tribes were held at the Vancouver barracks. Male prisoners did roadwork while female prisoners sewed. Ancestors of Yakama, Warm Springs, Colville, Nez Perce, Shoshone-Bannock and Umatilla, along with other tries were passed through the Vancouver barracks.
Weiser Indians were also taken to Fort Vancouver after being blamed for atrocities committed by other hostile Indians. They were also taken to Fort Simcoe, Wash.
Dixey explained how the late Irene Testivo Preacher told about the march from Fort Harney where they were held. The had their braids tied together and chains on their legs. She said if they fell and couldn’t walk anymore, the chain was cut and they were left there in the middle of winter. Many women and children also died along the way. Irene was a daughter of Tsegetivo whose mother was Haniwopi. Haniwopi was a wife of Eagle Eye, leader of the Weiser Band of Shoshone.
Prisoners of the Sheepeater campaign – there were 51 individuals taken to Fort Vancouver. Six of them Warjack, Weiser Jack, Weiser Sam, Abitze, Timbitze were hired by the Army as scout to go back into central Idaho with Lieut. Edward Farrow to see if there was still an Indian presence in that area. Fourteen Umatilla scouts were also hired in 1880 to travel with them.
In 1878, Vancouver troops were reported rounding up Warm Springs and Columbia River Indian who were off the reservation. Fort Vancouver also administered the Bannock War. Shoshone-Bannocks, northern Paiutes, Klamath, some Columbia River Indians and some Umatilla’s were involved. At the end of the hostilities captives were said to include 11 ringleaders of Bannock and Paiutes sent to Vancouver barracks while another 543 Paiutes and Bannocks were sent to the Yakama agency for resettlement arriving there in February 1879 in a forced march suffering extreme deprivations. Some of the prisoners died including three children.
In March 1881, Sarah Winnemucca wrote a plea for freedom for the prisoners. The group was released but escorted to the Fort Hall Indian Reservation.
Fort Simcoe, Wash. – The U.S. Indian Service at the Malheur Agency census in July 1877 indicated that Oits band was sent to Yakima. On February 14, 1878, the Malheur Indian Agent reported those present for rations included Paddy Caps with five in his family. Most of Paddy Caps bands spent over five years or less at Fort Simcoe, Wash Prisoner of War camp.
Bannock prisoners were also shipped to Saint Augustine, Florida at Fort Marion. Military records indicate that at least 10 Bannock prisoners were sent to Fort Marion. Further research needs to be conducted to determine if the prisoners ever came home.
Following the Bannock POW presentation, Nolan Brown did a talk on place names followed by a talking circle on what it means to be Bannock.
That evening the Historic Clothing show concluded the event at the Shoshone-Bannock Hotel & Events Center (see separate story).