BOISE -- Monday, the state will mark the territorial sesquicentennial, a period of time that helped develop the political and economic foundations for Idaho. It was a time of great change, especially for the native tribes.
Before Idaho was Idaho, or even the Idaho territory, it was first the ancestral home to thousands of native people.
In the southern part of the state, you had the Shoshone, the Bannocks, and the Paiutes. In the north, we had the Kootenai, the Kalispell, the Coeur d'Alenes, the Nez Perce, the Palouse, said Keith Petersen, Idaho State Historian. When Lewis and Clark came through, they didn't discover anything. They were in well-populated country.
But in 1863, when Idaho became a territory, a lot was changing for the first Idahoans. Miners and settlers were moving in, demanding more of the resources that the tribes depended on. A treaty signed by Nez Perce leaders in the north years earlier was thrown out in 1863, and a new treaty shrunk their reservation lands by 90 percent.
It was called the 'steal treaty' or the 'theft treaty,' said Petersen.
There was also bloodshed in 1863.
Late January was the Bear River Massacre, said Petersen. [It was] probably the bloodiest one-day massacre in western history.
Hundreds of Shoshone tribes people were massacred by U.S. soldiers near what would become Preston.
1863 is a very bleak year for tribal people in Idaho, said Petersen.
The tribes around Boise would be moved to reservations at Fort Hall or Duck Valley. Many of their descendants still live there.
Now, as the state marks the 150-year anniversary of becoming a territory, tribes people and historians say this is a time to understand the entire history of this land, and the people who first called it home.
Representatives of Idaho's tribes will be taking part in Monday's event. A member of the Nez Perce tribe will give the benediction. While 1863 was a tumultuous time for the tribes of Idaho, when you look at the 150-year history of the state and territory overall, it's very important to recognize the massive impact that the first Idahoans had on our state.
Coming up on Monday we will have live coverage of the Idaho at 150, Sesquicentennial Anniversary.
Join us from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. as we broadcast from the Statehouse steps, exploring how President Lincoln impacted our state and what is going on around the state to remember this important time in Idaho history.