Fort Hall Business Council from left, member Nathan Small, Sergeant At Arms Lee Juan Tyler, Vice Chairman Kevin Callahan, Chairman Ladd Edmo, Secretary Donna Thompson, Treasurer Tino Batt and member Darrell Dixey.
By ROSELYNN YAZZIE
FORT HALL — Ladd Edmo is the newly elected chairman of the Fort Hall Business Council.
Reelected FHBC officials, Nathan Small, Donna Thompson, and Lee Juan Tyler, were also present at a swearing in ceremony on Tuesday, June 11. Land Use Policy Commission’s Tony Galloway Sr. also took the oath of office from Acting Bureau of Indian Affairs Superintendent of Fort Hall Preston Smith.
Other officers are Kevin Callahan is vice chairman, Donna Thompson is secretary, Tino Batt is treasurer, Lee Juan Tyler is sergeant at arms, and members are Nathan Small and Darrell Dixey.
Chairman Edmo will represent the Gibson district, along with Darrell Dixey, Kevin Callahan and Donna Thompson will represent Fort Hall District, Nathan Small will represent Lincoln Creek, Lee Juan Tyler will represent Bannock Creek and Tino Batt will represent Ross Fork.
Chairman Edmo said being elected on any position is always a high honor. He said being chairman was a goal for him and is a position he will take pride in and do his best.
“I will do what I need to do for our people, for our region, for our state, for everyone. For all our five Indian tribes across the state.”
Edmo was reelected to his second term serving on council; he was previously sergeant at arms and vice chairman. His trade as a carpenter brings a vision of stability and being present.
His three goals as chairman include reaching out to the membership and being transparent.
“We need to collaborate as leadership to our membership and share what’s going on,” he said.
Billie Appenay offered a prayer for the newly elected council.
His second goal is addressing the drug problem on the reservation. He sees meth consuming the youth and some of the older people. He said more awareness needs to take place.
His third goal is to get all the tribal departments, including the casino, to work together and break down the barriers in order to move forward. He’d also like to see the Language & Culture Preservation Department grow more with the language and the teachings of the culture and traditions.
When it comes to cultivating future leaders Edmo would like to see more opportunities for education. He serves on the Idaho State Education Committee and has been advocating for the Tribes. He said the Idaho State University reduced tuition fee is good but they shouldn’t stop there because education can be continued through other avenues, like BIE schools. He said what is really needed is an education director. Also when it comes to youth and unemployment he said they need to further find out a person’s strong points and their interests and develop those. Edmo realizes times are changing and said it’s important to help youth continue their path forward.
The Spring Creek drum group sang as Gifferd Osborne and Darrell Shay posted the colors.
They will also designate department liaisons and delegates for various organizations at a future date.
Miss Shoshone-Bannock Jennie Whitehorse congratulated the new council and said they were high titles to hold and came with pressure. Throughout her reign she’s worked side by side with the council, so she hears of the work they do for the Tribes. She encourages them to keep doing the work for the people.
Tony Galloway thanked the council for the job they are doing. He thanked all his supporters who voted him in. Chairman Edmo acknowledged the important work Land Use does for the Tribes and watching out for the best interest.
Lee Juan Tyler said a few words in Shoshone, expressing he would like to see the leadership unite to work together for the people.
Thompson thanked the supporters and said they have a lot of work cut out to make the reservation better. She said sometimes they don’t agree but in the end they all have to work together.
Kevin Callahan thanked the people in the audience and the council for his nomination. He said they are continuing with the same people but they are trying to do a lot of things and now they can keep progressing.
The floor was opened to the audience, those who stood up thanked the council and many expressed concern and a need for healing in the community, especially for those dealing with grief. To address this a Community Prayer and Potluck is set for Sunday, June 16 at 5 p.m. at Eagle Lodge.
Darrell Shay talked about the importance of deniwappe, the traditional teachings, and how the leadership needs to talk about it. He said a community prayer needs to take place to put things right and it’s time to take control of our community.
Darrell Dixey said a lot of deniwappe needs to come from the home and he sees the drug problem that needs to be fixed.
Talia Martin talked about getting youth involved in leadership positions and she challenged the council to consider engaging the youth in finding their way to contribute to the community.
Tino Batt thanked the council for voting him to serve as treasurer again. He talked about the difficulty of being in the leadership position and he urged everyone to continue to pray for one another.
Submitted by RANDY’L TETON
Office of Public Affairs
DRIGGS — On Wednesday, June 5 members of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes attended a community gathering in Driggs at Teton High School, home of the “Redskins,” to hear a presentation by Native American Guardians Association (NAGA).
NAGA is based out Washington D.C and was invited by a community member to promote keeping the Redskin mascot. The NAGA panel was comprised of five Native Americans that were Navajo, Sioux, and Apache that travel throughout the United States to “educate, not eradicate,” in support of Native American imagery and symbols for schools and sports teams.
The gathering was held inside the Teton High School auditorium for more than two hours. The high school student population is approximately 475 students, grades 9-12. The panel discussion attracted close to 100 local community members and 13 members from the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, including Vice Chairman Ladd Edmo, Office of Public Affairs Randy’L Teton and Yvette Tuell, and Tribal Education Manager Jessica James. Tribal elders also attended included Larry Teton, Zelphia Towersap and Dr. LaNada War Jack with their grandchildren.
Vice Chairman Edmo spoke in opposition to the Redskins mascot and that the Fort Hall Business Council met with Teton School District Superintendent, Monte Woolstenhulme, in 2013 to offer opposition to the mascot then. Edmo also recommended opportunities for the school district to teach our Tribal history and culture of the Shoshone-Bannock homelands. “The newcomers (settlers/pioneers) forced our people out and displaced them to either the Fort Hall Indian Reservation in Idaho or the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming.”
Randy’L Teton stated as a tribal member, “We are the original Teton family in this area and are named after the Grand Teton Mountains; we have direct ties to this land for generations. My ancestors hunted, gathered, camped in this area. I personally take offense to the Redskin name and do not find it as an honor to my people or my family.”
Yvette Tuell further stated the need to communicate with the Tribes and suggested the Tribes are available to assist the school with Tribal history for the staff and students. Tuell reiterated that Redskin is not a positive word. Derena Tuell shared her personal experiences as a veteran travelling the world, and experiencing racism as a young Native woman and mother.
The Fort Hall Business Council will be sending a letter of concern to Monte Woolstenhulme and the five member School Board in Teton School District 401. The Tribes will also be attending a community panel, “Native Perspectives on the Mascot” on Wednesday, June 26 at Teton High school auditorium at 7 p.m. The panel will include Shoshone-Bannock and national Native Americans. All are encouraged and invited to attend this gathering.
The Tribes plan to attend the Teton School Board meeting on July 8 at Teton High School Auditorium in Driggs. According to school website, the meeting is open to the public at 5:30 p.m. and is livestreamed on the School District Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/TCSD401/.
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