BOISE, IDAHO — With Native American speakers traveling from across the state today, a sold out audience of Idahoans gathered at a Boise church Friday to honor and learn the history of the Boise Valley's indigenous peoples.
Tonight and tomorrow, indigenous peoples are sharing their tribal histories and contemporary stories-- both before and after European incursion.
Event organizers say this year's conference aims to create an environment where healing is possible for communities directly affected by oppression and racism, and to better address stereotypes,
create narrative change, and reclaim Native truth.
The chair and lead planner of tonight's event says he is a former elementary school teacher.
"Native people met a lot of resistance when white people moved to this country," said Ed Keener, Board Chair, Kessler-Keener Foundation. "And I realize now that the stories that I told about natives-- most of them were not true, or that we just completely ignored native history. We didn't have it as part of our books. So, there's a part of me that wants to correct that."
Natives from the Fort Hall and Duck Valley reservations are presenting workshops Saturday about the indigenous people who lived in Boise Valley, as well as sharing creation stories.
With the handmade apparel, food items, presentations, and more, this year's conference aims to present opportunity-based testimony and build mutual respect and understanding between attendees.
This is the third conference of its kind hosted by the Kessler-Keener Foundation.
To learn more about the conference, click here.