Current Native American exhibit at the Museum of Idaho.
By ROSELYNN YAZZIE
IDAHO FALLS — The Museum of Idaho celebrated the expansion of it’s building with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, September 26.
Karen Baker, Executive Director, welcomed the audience and talked about the history of the museum and how the community would continue to enjoy the building for many years to come. Baker said, “The Museum of Idaho is bringing the world to Idaho and Idaho to the world.”
She recognized the Museum of Idaho Board of Trustees, which includes Randy’L Teton from the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. She also acknowledged the many staff and volunteers.
Aaron Johnson, partner, from Bateman Hall Inc. spoke about the construction process of the brand new exhibit space.
The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes will be a part of the Way Out West exhibit, which will be completed in the fall of 2020. They will work closely with Randy’L Teton and the Tribes Language & Culture Preservation Department to develop information panels and possibly working with the tribal museum to get some new exhibit items.
Teton explained her role will be looking at what the Museum of Idaho has presently and what they have in storage. Many of the items they have were donated by various private donors, she said some of the items come from different tribes.
Teton said The Way Out West exhibit will focus on the beginning of the lands and the tribes being here first, and it will develop with the fur trappers and how the fur trappers came through and shaped and transformed trade, then how the cities came about, and so on.
She said they’re still in the development process and making sure the Tribes story is accurate based upon the time frame.
Teton will also be helping with the conservation of some of the items currently on display, such as the buffalo hide teepee that needs to be cleaned, as well as some of the beadwork, and the tulle huts.
“We need to have these local state museums understand and include the Tribes perspective and that’s one of my biggest roles in being a board member is providing that history, and if I don't have it, reaching out to our tribal departments and getting them engaged too. Even to tribal members who want to donate an item,” she said. “This is all about connecting and Idaho Falls is part of our ancestral lands and it’s very important that they include the tribes and I’m very happy to be a part of this.”
Shoshone-Bannock tribal member Bailey Dann’s design interpretation of a land and water scene was also chosen to be featured at the inside front entrance.
The Museum of Idaho is now featuring the Darwin & Dinosaurs exhibit.