July 11, 2012

Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation


Today the Bannock Tribe shares the Fort Hall Reservation in Idaho with the Shoshone Tribe. Collectively, they are a federally recognized indian tribe that once was two separate tribes, now known as the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation.

Official Tribal Name: Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation

Address: PO Box 306 Fort Hall, ID 83203
Phone: (208) 478-3818

Official Website:

Recognition Status: Federally Recognized

Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning

Common Name / Meaning of Common Name: Northern Shoshone, Bannock

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Formerly known as the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation of Idaho. Lewis and Clark called the Bannock the Broken Moccasin Indians.

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Region: Plateau

State(s) Today: Idaho, Oregon

Traditional Territory:

The northern division of the Bannock tribe were encountered by Washington Territory Governor Isaac Stevens in 1853, who found them living on the Salmon River in east Idaho. In all probability, these Salmon River Bannock had recently crossed the mountains from the east, escaping pressure from the Siksika (Blackfoot) Indians. Up to that time, the Bannock had claimed southwest Montana as their territory. Stevens stated that they had been more than decimated by the ravages of smallpox and battles with the Siksika.



Reservations: Fort Hall Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land

The Fort Hall Reservation was set apart for them in 1869 and 600 Bannock and a large number of Shoshone consented to remain on it. However, most of them soon wandered away.

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The first specific encounter with the Bannock was reported by Jim Bridger in 1829, who estimated they had about 1,200 lodges, indicating a population of about 8,000.

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Traditional Enemies: Blackfeet

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Early on, the Bannock subsisted primarily on fish and small game. They fished with harpoons, hand nets, and weirs built from woven willows. They also provided for their survival by gathering and using a number of plant foods. Later, they developed a horse culture and associated closely with the Northern Shoshone, and were a widely roving tribe.

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Tribe History:

 By 1878, with the loss of their traditional hunting lands, dramatic reduction in the number of buffalo, and the failure of the government to provide assistance, the Bannock, led by Chief Buffalo Horn and joined by the Northern Paiute Indians, began to raid white settlements in search of food. This soon led to what is known as the Bannock War when the U.S. Cavalry, under General Oliver Otis Howard, was sent in to crush the Bannock. The cavalry won two battles against the Indians in southern Idaho before killing some some 140 Bannock men, women and children at Charles’ Ford, Wyoming. Afterwards, the remaining Indians gave up and returned to the reservation.

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US Tribes Q-S
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