Mayor Bieter reads historic proclamation regarding Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Boise
Updated on Wednesday, May 8, 2019: A Boise park and nearby reserve will be renamed to honor the history they hold for local Native American tribes, after the Boise City Council voted Tuesday night to pass two resolutions proposing the name change.
Several tribes have long had ties to the area that’s currently known as Castle Rock Reserve and Quarry View Park, northwest of the Idaho Botanical Garden and Table Rock. The reserve will be renamed Chief Eagle Eye Reserve, or Ige Dai Teviwa (Eagle Eye Homeland) in the Bannock language, according to a news release from the city. The park will be called Eagle Rock Park, or Pava Kweena Teppi.
The new monikers are nods to the tribes’ original name for the rock outcropping, Eagle Rock. Chief Eagle Eye was a local tribal leader of the Weiser Shoshone, a group that refused to move to reservations, opting instead to live in the mountains for two decades, the news release said.
“This is not a final step in acknowledging the history of the area’s indigenous people, but the latest step in building meaningful collaboration that honors and recognizes their place in who we are as a community,” said Boise Mayor Dave Bieter in the news release.
Bieter also issued proclamations for the Return of the Boise Valley People celebration in June 2017 and 2018 and Indigenous Peoples’ Day in October 2018.
A ceremony to rename the locations is scheduled for Friday, June 14, at 9:30 a.m. at Eagle Rock Park.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Lori Edmo, a Shoshone-Bannock tribal member, told the Statesman in a phone interview when the changes were first proposed in April. “We’ve been, over the years, just trying to educate people about the real history of the Boise Valley and its original people.”
The process for renaming Castle Rock Reserve, Quarry View Park
According to Edmo and Boise Parks and Recreation director Doug Holloway, the name changes are the result of a collaborative effort.
“There have been ongoing conversations between our Arts and History (and Parks and Rec departments), the tribes and some local residents who have relationships with the tribes,” Holloway said in an email.
History of the site
Edmo can trace her ancestry back to the Boise Valley.
“The cavalry marched our ancestors out of the area when gold and silver was discovered,” she said in an email. “The tribal people were taken to the respective areas they are now located. Many died along the way. My maternal great-grandfather Charlie Diggie said the Boise River ran red with the blood of our tribal people.”
Before that, the site served as a gathering spot. Its hot water springs were used for healing and spiritual practices, and many Native Americans were buried there.
“I don’t think (people in Boise) are aware our ancestors’ remains are still there,” Edmo said.
In the 1990s, a housing development was slated for the spot. The Shoshone-Bannock tribes led opposition to the development, sending letters to the city Planning and Zoning Commission asking officials to “leave our people at peace in their own land.”
Each year, members of the Burns Paiute, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Paiute Band, Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone, Shoshone-Bannock and Shoshone-Paiute tribes gather at the reserve to honor their ancestors for the “Return of the Boise Valley People” event. It will run from June 13 through June 16 this year.
“This is an important step in preserving the historical significance of an area that carries deep meaning for the Shoshone-Bannock and Paiute Tribes,” Boise Mayor David Bieter said in news release in April. “It’s deeply important that we remember and honor all who have a history and connection with this great place we live.”