What:CAMAS PRAIRIE HOMECOMING
When: May 27-28, 2007
The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce are hosting the Camas Prairie Homecoming May 27-28, to give a welcome home to Tribal members of the Fort Hall Bands of Shoshone and Bannock, the Shoshone-Paiute of Duck Valley Indian Reservation and extending an invitation to all other bands that used to travel to Camas Prairie to dig for the root.
The event will kick off on Sunday, May 27 at Timmerman Junction—at the crossroads of Highway 75 and Highway 20. The relay run is 21 miles from the junction to Fairfield at 10 a.m. This will be a spiritual relay run. Runners are encouraged to participate.
Law enforcement will escort the runners into Fairfield on Highway 20. After the relay run, walkers are invited to participate out to the marsh (Centennial Marsh).
The Homecoming is part of an educational component for tribal members and the local community surrounding Fairfield. The public is invited.
“Elders (of Shoshone-Bannock Tribes) wanted to create that connection and knowledge,” said Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Cultural Resource Coordinator Carolyn Smith, “For those that don’t know the area and why there is a special importance of the area.”
Camas roots were important to the livelihood of Shoshone and Bannock ancestors.
When the white homesteaders moved into this particular area, the Bannocks went to war to protect the Camas, in part, known as the “Last Bannock War.”
The settlers’ livestock were stomping the important root and now agricultural fields have replaced the sea of camas lily’s “that looked like an ocean of blue”—as described in the Lewis and Clark Journal.
The City of Fairfield has approved camping in the City Park for May 27 and 28.
On Monday, May 28 the Senior Center will serve breakfast from 8 to 10:30 a.m. at the Fairfield City Park. The cost of breakfast is $4 and the menu includes pancakes, fruit, bacon, eggs, coffee and juice.
After breakfast an invitation will be given for storytelling of the area and how it used to be. There will be an open microphone session.
Families are invited to participate in the storytelling portion who have stories of the old timers who used to travel on horse and wagons to gather the Camas root, or of the families who have seen them come. Families who lived in the area traded with the Indian people for their needs.
A parade is scheduled to begin at noon on Monday and to finish up the homecoming at 1 p.m. local tribal members will perform Native American dances.
The parade itself will be small but Fairfield Chamber of Commerce members say it is important to let the community know who once owned the area residents there now claim as home.
The storytelling, parade and dancing will be held in the Fairfield CityPark, and local artists and beadworkers are invited to set up tables to sell their work.
For more information contact Fairfield City’s Chamber of Commerce at (208) 764-2222 or Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Cultural Resource Coordinator at (208) 478-3707 or write:
Shoshone-Bannock Cultural Committee
P.O. Box 306,
Fort Hall, Idaho 83203