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Photo: Letter TPhoto: the lemhis larger claim, for the loss of the Lemhisī aboriginal lands, was settled in 1971. For 5 million acres of land, the government paid $4.5 million. Over Lemhi protests, the money again was shared with other tribes.
The lengthy battles over the land claims forced generations of Lemhis to unite against government and tribal bureaucracies, contributing to a separate sense of identity. Members of the tribe of Sacajawea saw themselves as a distinct culture. Some say thatīs been a handicap, with Lemhis treated as second-class citizens at Fort Hall.
Fort Hall Business Council Chairman Fred Auck says discrimination isnīt condoned at the reservation.
"We donīt foster that kind of attitude or practice it," he said. "Weīre all equal. . My father was a Bannock and my mother was a Shoshoni. I have relatives who are Lemhis. The other tribes donīt see the Lemhis as being discriminated against or looked down on. When people intermarry in our tribes, we respect them as part of the tribe."
Some Lemhis donīt see it that way.
"I got a $2,000 allotment," Pohipe Eldridge said. "It was divided among all the different tribes instead of just going to the Lemhis. The Lemhis got less than they should have. And thatīs the way things are still operating today."
Tim Ariwite, who was born in Salmonīs Indian Camp, says Lemhis "have to fight for status at Fort Hall. If you donīt have a prominent last name thatīs been here for a long time, you have trouble getting a job or anything from the tribal council. Anyone from Salmon has trouble getting even minor things."

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The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho -
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