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"Let's rebuild this Mother Earth"

Lionel Boyer, Shoshone Bannock Nation
Sockeye Release Redfish Lake, Idaho - August 12, 1993

lionel.wav sound file is temporarily unavailable.
Bold marks text appearing in "RedFish BlueFish" script.

Lionel: I think before I say any...anything to you, there is one thing that we as Indian people, maintain within our lives, and that is our contact with Mother Earth our spirituality to Mother Nature. So if you would bear with me at this time, and I would ask all the cameras to be turned off.

(Lionel sings a salmon prayer which was not recorded)

A concern. If you were not concerned you would not be here today. If you are not concerned and are here just to be interested, uh . . . prayer is not going to help us.

We have a few salmon that return, the children of the one female that came back to it's birthplace. To give us a sign, and I think if you thought deep within your minds, deep within your hearts the importance of that one fish returning.

We talk about natural resource. We talk about what is happening today is progress. Progress is leaving very important things behind and destroying everything in its way. This is part of the example.

As we are here today, I couldn't help but notice, all of the things that are here on this pristine lake, once a pristine lake. Today it is a place of recreation. Is it a proper place for the progeny of these salmon? Is that way we are going to take care of them? Is that the way you would take care of your children?

Those are things that you have to keep in your minds. Talk to yourselves within your hearts and think about it. It was expressed of the many dams that are taking a toll on the many progeny that leave these waters, not only of the Sockeye, but of the Chinook, the Steelhead, the Sturgeon, the Eel. Many of those are not with us now in these waters that they once came to: the Sockeye, the Coho.

My people, before the coming of the white man, lived with this... this cycle of life. We were there where the seasons found us. We lived with the return of the salmon, we lived with the growing of the roots, the berries, the seasons, the cold seasons, the hot seasons.

All of these things was in essence a form of management. (Jet Ski fires up in the distance.) That isn't a form of management. That's what I am talking about (applause). Just as an example, like I was saying. Is this going to be a proper place to raise the progeny of these salmon that we are releasing? We should reserve this for the salmon. Keep these kinds of vehicles out of the waters (applause). Let them go play in the warm reservoirs upstream.

My people, in the past, we looked upon all these things, what we call today natural resources, we considered all those natural resources a vital resource of survival. And I think if you examined it closely, that today, you will not call it natural resources anymore, because they are vital to your own existence today.

We have come around in a circle. We have come in, we have expended all of the resources that are here. The minerals, they are creating much damage on the waters that's going down. All of the mines that have created a lot of chemical flow. A lot of that is getting into the water is keeping the salmon down. The salmon that come up, they can tell, they can tell, they can taste it in the water and I think that's exactly why the Chinook are not coming into the Sawtooth because of mines that are here in the Yankee Fork / Sawtooth Area. The minerals, the ores that are leaching into the water are directing them someplace else.

I think these are things that you should be concerned about. You should be taking care of them. Do we need the mines? Let's rebuild this Mother Earth. Let's put it back into as close as it was before mechanization. And I think with your help, if you are concerned, each of you can touch and speak to people, maybe people that make those decisions.

My good friend Cecil (Idaho Governor Andrus), if he had not maintained his position on some of these things, we probably would not be standing here doing this today. But don't forget that it was my people, that caused this day to happen. So do not forget that. Thank you.

Lionel Boyer Shoshone Bannock Nation
"Let's rebuild this Mother Earth"
Sockeye Release at Redfish Lake, Idaho - August 12, 1993

Let's rebuild this Mother Earth.

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