By Adrian Aumen, College of Arts & Sciences

TendoyVIRGINIA CITY, Mont. – Dancing, drumming and the renaming of a public park here will honor an important person in the region’s history and mark the start of a public history and education project at Washington State University in Pullman, Wash.

Dedication of Tendoy Park, previously North Park, will honor Chief Tendoy, a relative of Sacajawea and Cameahwait, who led a local mixed band of Shoshone, Sheepeater and Bannock Indians 1863-1907. Tendoy was known for working peacefully with early white settlers and skillfully negotiating with the U.S. government through turbulent times.

The day of free, public events includes a prayer service, pow-wow, feast of salmon and buffalo meat and exhibitions of traditional Native American dress, drumming and dancing. A panel of southwestern Montana residents will discuss the history of Shoshone, Bannock and Sheepeater people in the Three Forks region. Panelists include Evelyn Johnson, Hope Mommer, Jim Anderson and Kristin Ruppel.

A full schedule and printable poster are online at

Events are sponsored by Virginia City, the Language and Cultural Preservation Department of Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, the WSU Department of History ( and benefactors John and Janet Creighton of Bellevue, Wash.

Renaming of the park in Tendoy’s honor will launch a four-year outreach project that connects the public history program at WSU with ongoing historical and cultural interpretive work by Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and government organizations.

The John and Janet Creighton Public History Project (JJCPH) – an extension of WSU history professor Orlan Svingen’s research and teaching agenda – will provide hands-on experiential learning opportunities for WSU undergraduate and graduate students interested in American Indian history and culture.

“Removed from Montana Territory in 1868 to a small reservation just south of Salmon, Idaho, and again in 1907 to the Fort Hall Indian Reservation 220 miles south, Tendoy’s people were poised to become a forgotten people in southwestern Montana,” Svingen said. “The JJCPH Project seeks to assist in reinvigorating their significant historical and cultural ties to the region.”


Orlan Svingen, WSU Department of History, 509-432-4541,
Adrian Aumen, WSU College of Arts and Sciences ( communications, 509-335-5671,