BOISE – This year the City of Boise is celebrating 150 years and in doing so, those whose heritage was here before that time are celebrating and remembering.
This weekend marks the 3rd Annual Return of the Boise Valley Peoples Conference, where members of five Native American Tribes from Idaho, Oregon and Nevada will spend three days celebrating and remembering their ancestors.
The tribes are the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes, Burns Paiute, Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.
Lori Edmo-Suppah and Louise Dixey, who are members of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe in Fort Hall, Idaho, said their stories were never told.
"We want to let people know what the true history is and who the original people of this valley are," said Dixey.
Each year they gather at what's known as Eagle Rock above the Quarry View Park to remember what was taken so long ago.
“There are prayers said here, and we have a lot of people buried here. So, that's one of the reasons we continue to come here,” said Edmo-Suppah.
Friday their cultural demonstrations in the form of dance and song were open for the public to see and the women explained why the Warm Springs area is so important.
“The Warm Springs used to be really significant along here they were healing waters,” explained Edmo-Suppah.
Members say the 1800s was a dark time in our nation's history. As that is when Boise soldiers were ordered to move the Native American people out of Boise and onto reservations.
"There are a number of different tribes who were removed out of this area when gold and silver were discovered and when the immigrants came through in 1869,” said Edmo-Suppah.
However, the healing continues through new partnerships with the Idaho National Guard.
Idaho National Guard Colonel Tim Marsano says Native Americans serve as one of the largest cultural groups in the U.S. Armed Forces
“Native American people have a great impact on the current military and in fact they are one of the biggest culturally represented groups in the U.S. military,” said Marsano. “One need only to look to the code talkers of World War I and World War II to realize the importance of their contributions.”
This is known as the 3rd year for the event, but the Boise Valley People have been coming here to remember for hundreds of years.
"We believe we still own the title to this land, the different tribes here,” said Dixey.
The celebration continues Saturday at Gowen Field, with traditional events that are not open to the public.
After their morning prayer on Sunday, the tribes will part ways to go back home..