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Great Neighbor: Wisdom of the Sage

Published On: May 27 2013 04:32:15 PM CDT
Updated On: May 28 2013 05:03:51 PM CDT

Fort Hall Elders teach native ways

FORT HALL, Idaho -

In this “Great Neighbor” article we pay tribute to people whose contributions often go unrecognized, and yet their ancestors have been in Eastern Idaho for hundreds of years. In a program called ”Wisdom of the Sage” tribal teachers recently passed on various cultural practices of the Shoshone and Bannock tribes.

Alray Racehorse learned how to make a traditional cradle board out of willows. “I enjoy spending time all these people teaching me,” Alray said

Young mother Sunnie Bigday worked on making a cradleboard out of willows for her new baby, White Cloud.

"It's something I never got a chance to learn growing up, so now it's great and I can pass it on to my little sister and different family members and that way it keeps going," Bigday said.

In another room the medicinal benefits of Fort Hall native plants is taught by Bannock Tribal members Ramona Walema who learned it from her father.

He taught us about the plants, that they're very special, it's a cure for all kinds of ailments, but today it's lost," Wilema said.

The young people have been fascinated by it all and eager to learn.

"So I can learn it when they're not around and I can pass it down to generations, so it will keep on going and we won't lose it," Alray Racehorse said.

“I feel lucky because not that many people get to learn about this stuff," Zeke Su'a said.

Public affairs manager Randy'L Teton is pleased the event is succeeding in it's purpose.

"We wanted to make sure our youth were actually engaged in making or doing one of our cultural practices, Teton said. “It's also starting a dialogue making sure our cultural ways are in tact and being revitalized."

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