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Going all out at Fort Hall's 50th Annual Indian Festival

By By Chris Cole
Published On: Aug 07 2013 11:52:00 PM CDT

This festival celebrates not just their past and present culture, but they're also looking ahead to the future.

FORT HALL, Idaho -

The Shoshone and Bannock tribes of Fort Hall are celebrating their 50th annual festival this week.

The festival is one of the most popular in the entire northwest region, and brings tribes from all over the nation and Canada.

They're celebrating not just their past and present culture, but they're also looking ahead to the future.

Everything for the Shoshone and Bannock people has a meaning. From the drum to the moccasins to the intricate beadwork of their jewelry. This festival is not only a celebration of their lives, but of the lives of those around them.

"We all are brothers and sisters in a circle of life,” said Charlene Wahtomy, tribal member. “This is what it's all about – enjoying each other."

Festivals in the past have been held to preserve language, customs and crafts. Wednesday, the Fort Hall Fire Department cooked a feast for attendees. Firefighters served burgers, hot dogs and buffalo meat.

Wahtomy says everything is celebrated in a spiritual way as well, even the trees they use to make their teepees.

"This is the way of our people, and that's why we have these kinds of homes here,” she said, gesturing to the numerous tepee's around the area. “This is God's way of showing us that he provides for us."

Wahtomy says her favorite part of the festival is the food. She said there's nothing like trying recipes and tasting food that has been part of a people for hundreds of years.

"We would sure like everyone to come out and visit and enjoy themselves,” she said. “This is what Indian life is."

The events for the festival are happening all day tomorrow and go through Sunday. Follow this link for a detailed list of times and events: http://bit.ly/1bdQuxX.

The Shoshone and Bannock tribes are opening their doors for their neighbors, wanting to celebrate history that's happened and history yet to come.

The festival is held every year, and next year they will be holding the festival in Oklahoma. They move the location around the country every year as a symbol of the nomadic people they used to be. 

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