Scenes from the Seventh Annual Return of the Boise Valley People event June 8 to 11. (Lori Edmo-Suppah photos)
By LORI EDMO-SUPPAH
BOISE — Prayers were said, friendships renewed and ancestors were remembered at the Seventh Annual Return of the Boise Valley People event June 8 to 11 at Quarry View Park and Gowen Field.
Original Boise Valley People exhibit
On June 8, Fort Hall Business Council member Lee Juan Tyler conducted a blessing for the “Original Boise Valley People” exhibit that opened June 9 through July 14 at the Idaho History Center in Boise. The exhibit features stories, photos and artifacts featuring the Boise Valley tribes that were removed from the area in the late 1800’s when gold and silver was discovered.
The stories include oral history that has been handed down from one generation to the next. Many address how the cavalry marched our Newe (tribal people) out of the area forcing many families to be split. Some were imprisoned at Fort Boise, Fort Simcoe and Fort Vancouver both in Washington. Others were marched to the reservations they are now located. Many of the stories were featured in the August 2011 Sho-Ban News Festival Edition and updated. Lori Edmo-Suppah designed the exhibit and wrote some of the stories.
David Matte, state archivist and administrator, said the Idaho State Archives is honored to have the Original Boise Valley People Exhibit on display at the archives. Since opening on June 9, over 60 visitors have viewed it. It will be on display during the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators conference the State Archives is hosting July 12 to 15 to share the history of the original Boise Valley People to an audience of over 300 people representing every state and territory in the U.S.
Upper Snake River Tribes Executive Director Scott Hauser did a presentation on a climate change assessment USRT conducted that evening. All the scenarios predicted is there will be less snow in the 2020s that gets much worse to the 2080s. He also addressed other issues and the report is available from USRT.
Every morning a sunrise ceremony was conducted at Quarry View Park with the Shoshone-Paiute hosting the June 9 prayers, Shoshone-Bannock June 10 and a combined one June 11. Various attendees spoke about the event and oral history handed down.
Throughout the day, June 9, the five different tribes — Burns Paiute, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Fort McDermitt Paiute Shoshone, Shoshone-Bannock and Shoshone-Paiute set up booths and did presentations to educate the public. Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs tribal member Rosie Tom’s booth attracted many as she taught attendees to make small tule mats.
The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Culture and Language program had a booth providing information, along with the Sho-Ban News.
Maj Gen Sayler honoring
That afternoon, the Boise Valley tribes honored Maj Gen Gary Sayler at Gowen Field as he’s retiring later this year. He’s been instrumental in getting opportunities for the tribes to meet with various state and city officials, along with hosting the event at Gowen Field. Each tribe presented him with gifts. Fort Hall Business Council interim Chairman Darrell Shay said the Tribes have been working with Gen Sayler for a number of years and it’s changed their attitude towards the military, “They were the ones who chased us out and escorted to different reservations, today they’re welcoming us back to the same place they chased us out of.” He knows the effort Gen Sayler is making with new programs coming up. “The military may show up on a reservation but it’s no fight with us – it’s to help develop projects. On behalf of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, Shay gave a pair of moccasins while Louise Dixey gave a beaded medallion Benny Dann created with a buffalo skull on it, on behalf of the Shoshone-Bannock Return of the Boise Valley Committee.
Kenton Dick from the Burns Paiute Tribe gave Sayler a tule duck and also a Pendleton blanket from the overall ROBVP committee with eagle feathers and buffalo on it. Buster Gibson, Shoshone-Paiute vice chairman, gave a beaded belt buckle saying there’s a lot of good things happening under his guidance and they appreciate what he’s done. Lee Tom, speaking for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs gave Sayler a beaded bolo tie and said he’s looking forward to working with Sayler on projects.
Gen Sayler expressed his appreciation to guests and veterans acknowledging the Warrior Spirit A-10 jet behind him. He said the veterans have the warrior spirit amongst them in battle - they were tested and victorious. “I am overwhelmed by the gifts, thank you for the honoring ceremony but really why you come back is because it’s like a family reunion for all of you since you’ve been scattered over the years,” he said. “We are happy to host you, I am deeply honored and I hope to see you again next year but I won’t be wearing this uniform.”
Lionel Boyer served as emcee during the honoring. A 49 was conducted afterward in which Gen Sayler joined in hitting the canvas as the singers went around the Warrior Spirit A-10 jet.
On June 10, a walk/run was featured at Quarry View Park where each tribe hosted a meal at Gowen Field. Fort McDermitt and Burns Paiute hosted the Friday evening meal with stew and Bannock bread. Traditional food was on the menu for the Shoshone-Paiute with groundhog and elk. Shoshone-Bannocks served buffalo roast while the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs provided Columbia River Chinook salmon that was cooked over the fire with Lucy Racehorse Suppah providing instruction to Vivian Wahtomy and Charlene Wahtomy.
Shirley Alvarez and Alexandria Alvarez did a scarf tying workshop, along with Zelphia Towersap with about 40 attendees.
Shoshone-Bannock artist Kira Murillo designed the event logo that was featured on the T shirts and posters, along with the exhibit. Posters are available at the Tribes Culture and Language department.
City of Boise Mayor David H. Bieter issued a proclamation declaring June 8 Return of the Boise Valley People Day to welcome all descendants of the original Boise Valley People to the city of Boise for their annual event that honors their deep connection to this place. The City of Boise commits to honoring the original Boise Valley People through partnerships with the Boise Valley descendants that will acknowledge and tell the tribes stories to encouraged and expand public understanding of local history and so that healing can take place.
POCATELLO – Demetrius Anthony Gomez, 30, of Fort Hall, Idaho, was sentenced June 13 to 30 years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised released for second degree murder.
Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Gomez to pay a $5,000 fine.
On January 5, 2017, a jury found Gomez guilty of one count of second degree murder. Evidence at trial showed that on May 9, 2016, Gomez was at a residence along with some friends and family. At the residence, he shot and killed his cousin at close range with a sawed off shotgun. He did so deliberately, intentionally, and unprovoked. He then took steps to hide the body and conceal the murder from law enforcement.
According to Acting U.S. Attorney Rafael Gonzalez, “this case was a senseless and cowardly attack during a party. Our thoughts remain with the victim and his family. We hope that the severe sentence in this case serves as a deterrent to others and prevent more senseless violence in our community.” “I commend the dedication and professionalism of the officers and detectives of the Fort Hall Police Department and agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who investigated the case.” Gonzalez added, “this sentence should serve as an indication that the Fort Hall Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation will do everything possible to keep the Fort Hall community a safe and peaceful place to live.”
The Fort Hall Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation on the case.