The history of the Shoshone Indians is intertwined with the history of frontier. While the United States was expanding and developing, the Shoshone Indians were being compacted and restricted. They were eventually pushed into lands that were foreign to them and are not even recognized by the Federal government.
The Shoshone Indians were mostly located around the Snake River in Idaho. However, they some Shoshones were also found around California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, and other areas of Idaho. These areas were divided into three large groups of Shoshone including the Nothern, Western, and Eastern.
The Shoshone Indians were sometimes referred to as the “Snake Indians.” The actual meaning of Shoshone was “The Valley People.” The Shoshone Indians were not a large group with only about 8,000 members. The population of the Western and Northern tribes was only around 4,500.
The Shoshone of the Northern area had many conflicts with the settlers in Ohio. One of these conflicts was the Bear River Massacre and the Bannock war in 1878. They also fought in the 1876 Battle of Rosebud alongside the United States Army against their enemies the Lakota and Cheyenne.
In 1875, a reservation was developed for the Lemhi Valley Shoshone Indians. This reservation was ordered by Ulysses S. Grant and contained 100 square miles. This was not to be their permanent home as they would be forced to relocate. In 1905, the Shoshone Indians were ordered to leave their homeland and begin their “Trail of Tears.” This trail would lead them to the fort Hall Indian Reservation.
The Western Shoshone, along with other unrepresented tribes, began issuing their own passports in 1982 after declaring their own sovereignty. They called themselves the Western Shoshone National Council. Yet, today the Shoshone Indians are still waiting to be named a Federally recognized tribe.
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