ISU Headlines

Keynote speech by EchoHawk, mural unveiling among highlights of Idaho State University-Shoshone Bannock Tribes MOA ceremony Feb. 17

Posted February 11, 2010

A keynote presentation by Larry EchoHawk, U.S. Department of Interior Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, is among the highlights of a photo mural unveiling and Memorandum of Agreement ceremony between the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and Idaho State University scheduled Feb. 17.

The events mark recent efforts to develop a much closer relation between the Tribes and ISU.

Playing off the discussions with ISU, the Tribes and EchoHawk's office are also sponsoring a series of meetings between the leaders of Native American tribes in Idaho, including representatives from the Shoshone- Bannock, Coeur d’Alene, Shoshone-Paiute, Kootenai and Nez Perce tribes. The tribal leaders meetings, which are not public meetings, will be hosted at ISU.

EchoHawk will deliver the MOA keynote talk "The Federal Trust Relationship with Tribes: Past, Present, Future" at 11 a.m. Feb. 17 in the ISU Rendezvous Complex's Suites. EchoHawk – the former Idaho Attorney General, Idaho legislator, tribal general counsel and Bannock County Prosecutor – now oversees and coordinates policy decisions for the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Indian Education.

The MOA ceremony, open to the public, will also feature welcome remarks by ISU President Arthur Vailas and Fort Hall Business Council Chairman Alonzo Coby. The MOA ceremony will be followed by the unveiling of a mural created from a photograph in the Smithsonian’s Eugene Leonard Collection, which depicts a band of Northern Shoshone camping at a traditional gathering place on tribal lands in front of Red Hill, which is now part of the ISU campus.

There will also be a "Celebrating of Culture, Sharing of Education" Traditional Feed and Powwow open to the public beginning at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 17 in the Pond Student Union. The community feed begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Canoe Room and will be followed by the Powwow Grand Entry at 7 p.m. in the Ballroom. The feast and Powwow are sponsored by the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and Idaho State University, and will be hosted by the ISU student organization Native Americans United.

"This Memorandum of Agreement and the mural unveiling stand as a concrete foundation for Idaho State University and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes to further develop our relationship and the services we provide to Shoshone-Bannock students and their community," said Steve Adkison, Associate Provost at ISU. "We are honored that Assistant Secretary EchoHawk can join us on this important occasion."

The mural will be unveiled near the southwest entrance (the entrance closest to Cesar Chavez Avenue) of the Rendezvous Complex. Later this spring, an informational and cultural display about the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes will be put up on the adjoining wall.

"The mural shows how Red Hill has been a historic gathering place for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and this new Memorandum of Agreement will help to ensure that more tribal members will gather here now and in the future as students at ISU," said Laverne Beech, Public Affairs Manager for the Tribes. "The memorandum is an important starting point in formalizing the relationship between ISU and the Tribes and in figuring out better ways to recruit and retain tribal members as students at the university."

For more information on the MOA agreement, mural unveiling and traditional feast/Powwow, contact Adkison, ISU Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, (208) 282-4024, or Laverne Beech, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Director of Public Relations, (208) 478-3818.