Nez Perce Tribe and Forest Service Officials Announce Traditional Place-Name Ceremony
Officials of the Nez Perce Tribe and the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests invite the public to a traditional place name and Camas in Bloom ceremony Saturday at the Lolo Pass Visitor Center.
Tribal chiefs and US Forest Service officials are partnering through the Place Name Initiative to establish signs and interpretation of traditional Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) names for significant sites between Lewiston and Lolo Pass. Sites included in the Traditional Place Names program include geological features, historic landmarks, winter village sites and staging areas, according to a news release from the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests.
The ceremony takes place from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday at Packer Meadow (Wispin’íitpe), which is located west of the Lolo Pass Visitor Center in the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests off US Highway 12 on the Idaho border and Montana. Wispin’íitpe is a traditional campsite that the Nimiipuu used to dig the camas root.
The ceremony is free and will include a parade of horses, dancers from the Nez Perce Appaloosa Horse Club, the Drum Color Guard and remarks from tribal and forestry service leaders, including Nez Perce Tribe Executive Committee Chairman Samuel N. Penney.
“We are excited to work in partnership with the Forest Service to complete the Place Names Project and make this important transition a reality,” Penney said in a written statement. “Our place names have been in our stories and our history since before I can remember. It’s exciting to see these names reach the public and provide the same representation that they always have for the Nimiipuu.
Guests are allowed to bring their own chairs, umbrellas, water and sunscreen to Saturday’s event to prepare for the hot, sunny weather.