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Renaming Parks is Hard Work

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On May 7, the Boise City Council voted to rename Quarry View Park and Castle Rock Reserve in honor of the First Peoples of the Boise Valley. At the meeting, Council Member Lisa Sanchez observed that more went into the decision and execution than putting up new signage.

"Revising these topics is very painful, and I don't think that's something the greater community can fully appreciate—that every single time that folks from [the Native American] community are brave enough and courageous enough to claim what's theirs, it's reopening a wound, and that takes its toll," she said.

Henceforth, Quarry View Park will go by Eagle Rock Park, and Castle Rock Reserve will be called Chief Eagle Eye Reserve, so named after the leader of a band of 70 Weiser Shoshone who, rather than be relocated to a reservation, moved in secret to the Idaho mountains in 1878. A renaming ceremony for the parks has been scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Friday, June 14, at Eagle Rock Park.

In the late 19th century, the inhabitants of the Boise Valley were pushed onto reservations, and their descendants are now the Burns Paiute Tribe and Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, both in Oregon; the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribes of Nevada; the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of Idaho and Nevada; and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of Idaho.

"We come from five different areas because we were forcibly removed from this country when minerals, such as gold and silver, were discovered in this area, and the cavalry marched our people out," said Lori Edmo-Suppah of Fort Hall Indian Reservation.

She was one of approximately a dozen people hailing from the diaspora of the Boise Valley who attended the meeting—many of them having traveled great distances to see the Boise City Council acknowledge their history.

"When we talk about Eagle Rock, a lot of times you see eagles out there, [perched] to see across the valley," said Brian Thomas, a Duck Valley Indian Reservation resident. "We would love for the City Council to have these name changes, so we the Native Americans who have lived here for thousands of years [can] be recognized."