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Photo: Letter RPhoto: the lemhisRod Ariwite´s mother died of pneumonia in the Indian Camp while still in her mid-20s. His father died at about the same time. Orphaned at six, Ariwite was raised by an aunt.
"When I look back now, I know we were poor," he said. "We lived in shacks. The only running water was a stream outside the camp. A lot of people were on welfare. We were guests in the valley of our people.
"If you look at economic wealth as happiness, we didn´t have it. But if you look at it as being where you want to be, we were happy. We were where our people had always been."
Photo: the lemhis The Lemhis at the camp lived with one foot in the Indian world and the other in what had become the dominant culture. Dan Arriwite, Rod´s cousin, "learned my language, to hunt and fish the old ways, to live the way our forefathers did. I learned to use a weir and a salmon spear. And I learned the white ways to see if they worked."
He also learned about prejudice. Some whites befriended the Lemhis in Salmon. Others had little respect for the tribe or its heritage. Graves at the cemetery where Tendoy and other Lemhis are buried were looted and remains disinterred and scattered.
"My dad and my uncle tried to buy bullets to go hunting," Arriwite said. "The guy at the store wouldn´t sell them to them because they were Indians. There used to be a bar in Salmon with a sign that said ´no Indians or dogs allowed.´"
Members of Salmon´s white community today say they don´t remember such blatant instances of racism.


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