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Celebrating Earth Day through Dance: The INL and Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Join Forces

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - April 22nd marks Earth Day worldwide. To mark the occasion, the INL and the Shoshone-Bannock tribes have teamed up to celebrate through the traditions of song and dance.

The two groups met Monday on the INL campus to join together for their third annual celebration.

Sho-Ban dance Troupe director Kara Tsosie told Local News 8 the dances they chose are fundamentally about connecting with nature.

"Each dance our regalia that we wear incorporates with the earth because we use animals, and we use every part of it," said Tsosie.

"And we always want to give back and give thanks to our Mother Earth and for nature and for the animals that we use."

Much of the land the INL now operates historically belonged to the Shoshone and Bannock tribes.

In respect of that stewardship, INL Deputy Director Juan Alvarez says they continue to work with the tribes to protect and preserve the historical artifacts and significance in the area.

"Everything we do, if we're going to disturb the outside space we're very sensitive to make sure that we understand we're not be disturbed a significant area that has an impact on the tribe's history and heritage," said Alvarez.

They also used the occasion to mark an important partnership between the inl and the Sho-Ban school district to work towards building opportunities in S.T.E.M for tribal schools.

In commemoration, Battelle Energy Alliance presented the shoshone bannock school district with $30,000 towards their stem program.

As part of a memorandum of understanding established in June 2021, the grant award recognizes the Tribes’ progress toward earning a STEM School designation and establishing pathways into careers in the trades and crafts for Shoshone-Bannock Jr./Sr. High School students.

Tribal leadership say the hardworking student at the shoshone bannock high school made this possible.

"These are the people," said one former educator motioning to the groups of students, "that are doing the work to make STEM designation to become a reality at Sho-Ban high school."

"I want to give them a hand, because this check and the award we received earlier is because of their hard work."

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Seth Ratliff

Seth is a reporter for Local News 8.


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