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Bannock Indian Tribe

Bannock (from Panáti, their own name). A Shoshonean tribe whose habitat previous to being gathered on reservations can not be definitely outlined. There were two geographic divisions, but references to the Bannock do not always note this distinction. The home of the chief division appears to have been south east Idaho, whence they ranged into west Wyoming. The country actually claimed by the chief of this southern division, which seems to have been recognized by the treaty of Ft Bridger, July 3, 1868, lay between lat. 42° and 45°, and between long. 113° and the main chain of the Rocky Mountains. It separated the Wihinasht Shoshoni of west Idaho from the so-called Washaki band of Shoshoni of west Wyoming. They were found in this region in 1859, and they asserted that this had been their home in the past. Bridger (Ind. Aft. Rep., 363, 1859) had known them in this region as early as 1829. Bonneville found them in 1833 on Portneuf River, immediately north of the present Ft Hall reservation. Many of this division affiliated with the Washaki Shoshoni, and by 1859 had extensively intermarried with them.

At Fort Bridger, Utah, on July 3, 1868, there was a treaty entered into between the United States and the Shoshone (eastern band) and Bannocks tribes, in which they were promised a reservation which was, to embrace a reasonable portion of the Port Neuf valley and Kansas prairie, but the facts are that the Indians understood that they were to have the Port Neuf country and Camas prairie. There is not and never has been any place in this section known as Kansas prairie. It is quite evident that those representing the government at this treaty wore not familiar with the geographical lay of the country, and supposed that the two sections mentioned were adjacent, when in fact they are separated by more than 100 miles. Be this as it may, this little misunderstanding or blunder was a bone of contention on the part of the Indians who visited Camas prairie about the 1st of June each year, remaining there for a month or more, during which time the squaws gathered and dried a supply of roots for winter use, while the men gambled, raced horses, and traded with the Umatillas, Nez Perces, Piutes, Sheepeaters, and other tribes and bands of Indians that were wont to meet there each season for the same purpose.

As the country became more thickly settled by white people the prairie proved not only an excellent field for stock grazing, but also a fine place for hogs, which would thrive and fatten on the roots that from time immemorial had formed a good part of the Indian's winter food. Bad blood sprang up between the stock and hog men and the Indians, which culminated, in the summer of 1878, in the massacre of the white settlers, the Indians regarding them as intruders. The question of ownership then received an arbitrary settlement by the government in favor of the white people. The soil is now the home of thousands of farmers, The Camas stick has been superseded by the self-binder. This appears to the Indians as a great injustice

*From Idaho Indians in the 1890 Census

Chronological History*

1878 Bannock War at Camas Prairie. Sometimes referred to as Kansas. It was "the straw which broke the camel's back." Rebellion against starvation and broken promises. Last battle with the whiteman.
1880 Agreement with Shoshone-Bannocks to cede southern portion of reservation and to accept the Lemhi, if they agree to move. Treaty signed May 14.
1881 Shoshone-Bannocks ratify agreement of May 14, 1880.
1882 First Indian police force of eight men organized.
1883 Fort Hall Military post closed.
1885 Major Crimes Act. This act allowed certain crimes committed within tribal jurisdiction to be tried in federal courts (murder, rape, robbery, etc.).
1887 General Allotment Act (Dawes) alloted 160 acres to each head of household and 40 acres to each minor. This bill opened surplus lands to white settlers. Indians protested, but to no avail.
1888 Pocatello townsite cession and compensation to the Shoshone-Bannocks for 1878 right-of-way. The purpose of the townsite cession was to remove white people from Indian land, and to "...maintain the reservation free of whites so as not to interfere with the Indian control of the reservation." The townsite cession was 1,840 acres.
1888 Tribal Court established.
1889 Treaty received governmental approval on February 23. In 1889, there were 315 Shoshones, 108 Sheepeaters, and 89 Bannocks.
1890 Wounded Knee Massacre of the Sioux--200 women, old men, and children were slaughtered. It was considered the avenge of General Custer.
1891 Amendment to the Dawes Act. It provided 80 acres of agricultural land and 160 acres of grazing land to each Indian.
1892 Congress passed a special act to grant Chief Tendoy a pension of $15.00 a month for surrendering lands and dealing honestly with the whites.
1893 Pension was almost taken away because Chief Tendoy freed some Indians whom George Monk, a Lemhi agent, had imprisoned.
1896 Three commissioners were appointed by Congress to deal with the Indians for more of their land.
1898 The three commissioners reported that an agreement was made with the Indians for the sale of 418,560 acres. They paid $1.25 an acre.
1900 President signed the Fort Hall cession of lands on June 6. The Shoshone-Bannocks were compensated $600,000. An amount of $75,000 was used for a school building. Article IV of the agreement provides that "So long as any of the lands ceded, granted and relinquished under this treaty remain part of the public domain, Indians belonging to the above-mentioned tribes, and living on the reduced reservation shall have the right, without any charge therefore, to cut timber for their own use, but not for sale, and to pasture their livestock on said public land, and to hunt thereon and to fish in the streams thereof."
1902 President Theodore Roosevelt signed proclamation opening ceded portion of reservation.
1975 P.L. 93-638--Indians Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act. It provided maximum Indian participation in the government and education of the Indian people; to provide for the full participation of Indian tribes in programs and services conducted by the Federal Government for Indians and to encourage the development of human resources of the Indian people; to establish a program of assistance to upgrade Indian education; to support the right of Indian citizens to control their own educational activities and for other purposes. Tribes were allowed to contract federal programs and the money was given directly to them.
1976 Land Use Ordinance (Zoning)--The Secretary of Interior approved the Ordinance S4-75 for the Shoshone-Bannock Land Use Policy Ordinance. The purpose of the ordinance was 1) to protect the present character of the Fort Hall Reservation, 2) to insure clean air and water, open space and a quality human environment, 3) to reduce congestion, and 4) to promote the orderly and economic growth of the Fort Hall Reservation and the peace, safety, morals, and general welfare of the inhabitants of the Fort Hall Reservation.
1978 The Indian Child Welfare Act--It was passed on November 8. The purpose of the Act was to protect the best interests of Indian children, and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families.
1978 Oliphant Decision--March 6. The Court held that Indian tribes do not possess power to try non-Indian criminal violators of tribal law in tribal court.
1984 Liquor enacted by Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Business Council.
1985 Changes made to Constitution allowing reservation-wide voting and a primary election prior to the general election.

*History taken from Idaho Indians Tribal Histories, Idaho Centennial Commission and the Idaho Museum of Natural History, 1992 reprint.

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