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Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation of Idaho

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Flanked by students, Shoshone-Bannock High School teacher Ed Galindo dedicated a new star observatory to two students who died. Autumn Star Pratt and Becky Edmo had been part of Galindo's class projects studying stars and space. "I truly believe that's where these people are," Galindo said May 29. "They're in the stars. This building is for them." The observatory took more than a year to build, with funds for the 10-inch telescope from a NASA grant. The building was built with student and staff help and community donations. Students will run and maintain the laboratory, which will be open to other schools and the public in the fall. "This is something other schools don't have," Galindo told students. "I'm very, very proud of you." As part of a partnership with Utah State University, students can continue research at the college level. The ceremony included a blessing from tribal member Ernie Wahtomy, who told students to respect the observatory. "Come and look at the stars. Look upon the stars and look at the travels of people who are gone." Stars are an important part of the Shoshone-Bannock culture, Galindo said, and the observatory will also serve as a tool for students to learn about their culture.