Click here for a text version of the letter.
CITY208 MAIN STREET / SALMON, IDAHO 83457 /  756 3214
July 15, 1999
National Coalition on Racism in Sports and the Media
P.O. Box 337
Urbana, Illinois 61803-0037
Dear Ms Crue;
We have seen a copy of the letter you sent to the Salmon School Board concerning the High
School team name/logo. It is probably just as well that you are no longer considering purchasing
property in Lemhi County. We are a very open and accepting community and welcome everyone
with frendliness. We have found however that bigoted prehudicial persons with preconcieved
notions often are not comfortable in this community. The ones with the most problems are those
that possess the vary same faults that they profess to be saving the world from. I imagine you
wouldn't like it here.
Those that do visit this area with a willingness to learn about the people, and attempt to restrain
from prejudgement, find a community different from that which you believe you found. We are
quite aware of the history of the indians in our area, and are more attuned to their beliefs and
customs than someone that may drive through town and make their judgements from say, a
billboard. At this time the community is working with the Lemhi Band of Shoshone
toward construction of the Sacajawea (don't even think about criticizing the spelling of her name
- her descendants claim claim this is the accurate spelling and we tend to believe those with direct
information) Interpretive Center. As this is the birthplace of one of America's most important
women, we feel a special affection for her and her people. Because of our history, we understand
more than most the plight of the Nez Perce on their flight toward Canada. Chief Tendoy was an
important part of the development of Salmon, and the Lemhi Shoshones have always been a part
of the history of Lemhi County. Did you get any of this while you were in Salmon?
FAX (208) 756-4840
By the way, I have a question. And I certainly mean no disrespect to anyone in your family or
that you know, But while spending time with the members of the Te-Moak Shoshone, the Lemhi
Shoshone, and the Bannock, I have always been taught that everyone is either a Shoshone or Bannock.
As these are two distinct peoples, they do not consider themselves a cross between the
two. If there is a marriage between two people of different groups, because of the importance of
the wife's people to the union, the children are acknowledged by both groups to belong to the
wife's band. Is this not so, and in fact there is no such description as being Shoshone-Bannock?
It is unfortunate that you take such an adversarial attitude about changing people into what you
believe they should be. This type of threatening style may work well for you in places not used to
courtesy and respect, But we in Lemhi County are sensative about threats and demands. We
really are more responsive to people that ask to work with us on a problem and treat us as adults.
I'm afraid your attitude is really not going to get you far around here.
Oh, yes. I would like to remind you of the definition of "native"
A person born in the place indicated; belonging to a locality or country by birth;
being or associated with the place of one's birth
To suggest that I am not a "Native American" is insulting to me and to purport to speak
for the 95% of "Native Americans" that attend our school's lacks sensitivity and
I cannot speak for the School Board and have no idea what their response will be concerning your
demand, But I will be sorely disappointed if they choose to make changes any time some
uninformed passerby percieves some imagined insult and rudely demands things be changed to fit
their notion of how the world should be.
p.s. Go Fighting Illini!
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