Idaho pow-wow to be led by Pocatello descendant

Fort Hall, Idaho (AP) 6-08

For the first time, the Shoshone-Bannock Festival’s grand entry into Fort Hall this August will be led by a descendant of the once-feared chief who gave his name to the nearby city of Pocatello.

Venus Cortez, Chief Pocatello’s great-granddaughter, will help kick off the 45th annual pow-wow on the 140-year-old Fort Hall Reservation that starts Aug. 7.

Though she’s being celebrated now, Cortez recalls an era in Pocatello and Blackfoot when Indians were treated as second-class citizens.

Cortez said, “The restaurants and stores in Blackfoot and Pocatello wouldn’t serve Indians.”

Indians from the region are honoring Chief Pocatello 124 years after he died and was buried with 18 of his horses.

The city of Pocatello also plans to erect a bronze statue of the Indian leader this year.