Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation, Idaho


Whether the Pocatello Chamber of Commerce "Chiefs" turn in their chicken feather headdresses and tomahawks because of American Indian resentment may be determined this summer. Recent discussions during Native American Awareness Week at Idaho State University involved members of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and the Chiefs. Businessman Kelly Crompton, chief of the Chiefs, has suggested to the group it is time to address the issue. For years chamber members dressed up as American Indian chiefs, wearing fake feather war bonnets and wielding tomahawks during public ceremonies. Tribes are putting pressure on civic groups and sports teams for ceremonial use of regalia and mascots they say shows disrespect. Tribal member Ron Edmo told a gathering he felt the Chiefs "perpetuate the racism we've been dealing with all our lives." A past chief said there are no American Indian members and one recently nominated, refused to participate. Wondering where it would end - abolishing such names as Pocatello and Bannock County, Chamber manager Sam Nettinga said, "We're tired of getting hit in the nose all the time. "If they want to get left out of the culture, then we'll see if we can accommodate that."