Chris Floyd speaks to Caroline Mills at the Fort Bridger Treaty 150 Reenactment.
By LORI ANN EDMO
FORT BRIDGER, Wyo. — Chris Floyd, Fort Bridger State Historic Site superintendent, said the July 3 Fort Bridger 150 Reenactment was a great success in his view.
“It’s hard to put into words how it impacted the Fort, but it already feels like a different and better place,” he said. “The Treaty reenactment, all the planning and the activities around it were a blessing for us.”
Floyd said there was good attendance, along with positive reviews from visitors and participants – noting his staff handed out over 500 event programs and Treaty tokens.
Wyoming Governor Mike Mead was in attendance as he took time out from his vacation to attend. “He seemed to enjoy being part of the proceedings and we hope it provided a new perspective on the Treaty,” Floyd continued.
He believes the reenactment reinforced the importance of the Fort Bridger Treaty on his staff and volunteers.
Floyd noted there were no injuries or people who suffered too much from the heat. The sights, sounds and activities were a new and much needed addition, he said.
“Many citizens in Wyoming now have at least some awareness of the Treaty of 1868 and its continuing impact even beyond the borders of the state,” Floyd said.
Floyd said he’s been hosting events for many years but this one was far and away the most meaningful. “I am so glad we had the opportunity to host it at Fort Bridger!”
Louise E. Dixey, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Cultural Resource director, said the reenactment was a success in terms of tribal involvement, “We had a good turnout and learned a lot about the history of our Fort Bridger Treaty.” She said the LCPD staff dedicated a lot of time to the displays and preparation of the permanent display. “I’m proud of all the tribal staff.”
Caroline Mills, Eastern Shoshone Historical Society member and organizer, said during the morning prayer July 3 she felt closeness to the land. “I know our people were happy that we returned to this special place. We are still following our ancestors path.”
She said we must not forget our traditions, foods, our language, our respect for the old people and, “We must teach the young so they can pass the knowledge to the next generation.” “The 1868 Fort Bridger Treaty is the supreme law of the land – it is an agreement made between two nations.”
Lee Juan Tyler, Fort Hall Business Council sergeant at arms, said the Fort Bridger Treaty is very important to him and that is why he attended. “I’m proud to be Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and I wanted to support as a council member.” He said it’s important to show the U.S. our Treaty nation to nation. “It has to be respected to protect for our future – never to be broken,” he said.
Tyler said there needs to be more government to government consultation and the feds need to show trust responsibility.
FHBC Vice Chairman Ladd Edmo said he enjoyed the event, the landscape was awesome and there was plenty of camping space although the mosquitoes were similar to the Fort Hall Bottoms.
He said the rehearsal was interesting but everyone seemed to be happy. The early morning prayer was healing along with individuals sharing thoughts and blessings. “It was great to see the other tribes participate noting the Eastern Shoshone and Shoshone-Paiute. ‘It was a great opportunity for the Tribes to share our version of this historic event between the U.S. and the Shoshone and Bannock people.”