The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes officially announce that the largest cultural celebration in Idaho, the Shoshone-Bannock Indian Festival is cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Chairman Boyer, “Hosting the powwow doesn’t fit within the tribes Safety Protocols and we must keep our community safe. Our community has not yet reached the vaccination rate we were hoping for and encourage tribal membership to get vaccinated so we can get back to somewhat of a normal.”
Festival Coordinator Wendy Farmer stated, “We will abide by the tribes wishes to cancel the Festival as the Festival brings in thousands of people to our Reservation and we understand keeping our community safe.” All Festival Royalty will be contacted by Royalty Coordinator, Alex Alvarez.
In addition to the Festival cancelling again this year, the tribes Annual Treaty Day Fireworks Show, sponsored by the Shoshone-Bannock Casino Hotel, on July 3rd is also cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Interim CEO, Colista Eagle, “we have sponsored this large event in the past on behalf of celebrating the tribes signing of the Fort Bridger Treaty on July 3, 1868, and it is unfortunate we have to cancel. However, due to the tribes ongoing concerns associated with the pandemic, we agree with the Fort Hall Business Council’s decision.”
Although, the Indian Relay Association and Fort Hall ‘Tour’ Rodeo will proceed in accordance with approved Safety Plans. These two organizations have different rules and regulations they adhere to and separate budgets from the Festival budget.
Fort Hall Indian Relay Association Chairman, Alonzo Coby, stated in the meeting, “We held an Indian Relay meeting with our local teams and discussed the 2021 relay season. Those team representatives that attended agreed to the safety protocols’ that will be implemented in the Safety Plan. Team representatives agreed that those that will be participating must be vaccinated and show their vaccination cards. The races that are being held in Fort Hall will be limited to local teams only, until further notice.” Further information on the Indian Relay schedule will be posted when available.
Fort Hall Rodeo Association representatives, Bobby Burns and Louise Dixey, mentioned that Fort Hall is an official location for cowboys/cowgirls to qualify for the Indian National Finals Rodeo Association, therefore, the two-day Tour Rodeo in Fort Hall will continue under strict safety protocols.
All related Festival events that are cancelled include the following: golf, softball tournament, horse shoe tournament, art show, skate jam, parades, festival fun run/walk, Bannock Reunion, Hand Game tournament, and traditional feast.
Further information on the Indian Relay and Tour Rodeo will be posted on the tribes Facebook page and the tribes Festival website when available at www.shobanfestival.com