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Photo: Letter APhoto: the lemhis uck says equal employment opportunities exist for all of Fort Hall´s tribes, but did not respond to a request for the number of Lemhis employed there.
Darrell Tendoy, a descendant of Chief Tendoy, considers himself "a fifth-class citizen at Fort Hall. Every time I´d put in an application for a job, I´d never hear anything. I finally just gave up. Our tribal inheritance was taken from us, and we live at Fort Hall in exile."
Rod Ariwite left Idaho and now lives in the Southwest after leading an unsuccessful attempt in the ´90s to return the tribe to the Lemhi Valley. He says he´d rather live in a shack in Salmon than at Fort Hall.
"If you´re going to put Indians on the hierarchy there," he said, "Lemhis are at the dead bottom."
The Lemhis weren´t even contacted when a model was chosen to pose for the Sacajawea coin. The model, Randy´L He-dow Teton is a Shoshoni-Bannock.
Photo: the lemhis Teton was a student at the University of New Mexico when Glenna Goodacre, the Santa Fe artist selected to do the portrait for the coin, was searching for a Shoshoni model. Santa Fe´s Institute of American Indian Arts put her in touch with Bonnie Wadsworth, Teton´s mother.
"When Bonnie showed me a picture of Randy at age 15, the age of Sacajawea during the expedition, I knew I had my model," Goodacre said. ". My designs were not portraits of Randy, or of anyone else for that matter, but an idea, a concept, an image of a young Native American mother."
Teton admits there was "big opposition" from the Lemhi people. "I tell them they should respect that as a nation we were chosen. We´re all Shoshonis."
The Lemhi Shoshonis aren´t convinced.
"They had ample opportunity to find a Lemhi," Rod Ariwite said. "There were some young Lemhi Shoshoni girls who were the right age and would have been wonderful candidates."
He and others worry that the tribe´s younger members, most of whom are only part Lemhi, are losing their unique identity and heritage. Some are only dimly aware that they are Lemhis.
Diaz, who grew up with Lemhi heritage as Toopompey´s granddaughter, says a "lot of the young people don´t care about our history. They never go to any of the meetings we have. It doesn´t interest them one bit."

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The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho -
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