Eastern Shoshone and Shoshone-Bannock artists will be featured in the “My Treaty Ties”– an exclusive Native American art exhibit curated for the Fort Bridger State Historic Site– where both tribes signed the Fort Bridger Treaties of 1863 and 1868 with the U.S. Government.
The opening of the exhibit will be July 3, 2023, to align with the Fort Bridger Treaty Day and Rendezvous events on July 4– an annual event in Fort Bridger, Wyoming that brings in thousands of tourists and local visitors. Artists will have an opportunity to share their work, talk about their pieces and their treaty connections. Several pieces will be for sale, while others will be entered into a permanent and temporary exhibit at the Site Museum.
- Sienna Wolfchild, Paper Sketches, Shoshone-Bannock
- Lauren A. Garrett, Acrylic Paintings, Eastern Shoshone
- Aiyana E. Perez, Oil Paintings, Eastern Shoshone
- Joanna Brings Thunder, Mixed Art, Eastern Shoshone
- Carlino Goggles, Jewelry, Eastern Shoshone
- William Chippewa, Paintings, Eastern Shoshone
- Jacqueline Washakie, Acrylic Paintings, Eastern Shoshone
- Chasity Teton Moccasins, Beadwork, Shoshone-Bannock
“There is a current need to have a bigger, more powerful Eastern Shoshone and Shoshone-Bannock presence in Fort Bridger, Wyoming- the place where two monumental treaties were signed between the tribes and the federal government,” said Superintendent for the Fort Bridger State Historic Site, Joshua Camp.
Artists, their families and community members recently attended a Blessing event on June 7 at the Shoshone Cultural Center in Fort Washakie. Arlen Shoyo provided a prayer and blessing for the artwork. Allan Enos, Sonny Shoyo and Damion Blackbear offered drum songs, while Rachel Ynostrosa catered Indian Tacos.
Shoshone District Manager Kyle Bernis also attended the event and made a special announcement that artists for this exhibit would be reimbursed for their artwork, thanks to a grant from the Wyoming Arts Council.
At the conclusion of the event, some of the art was packaged and transported to the Fort Bridger Site. Tribal artists who didn’t register for the exhibit by the deadline are stll invited to take their items to the July 3 events in Fort Bridger for a scheduled arts and craft sale.
Organizers from the Eastern Shoshone and Shoshone-Bannock Tribes explained that the purpose of this exhibit is to connect tribal artists and the public with the Fort Bridger Treaties. These treaties significantly changed the history for both tribes. Fort Bridger land served as a central meeting place and travel route for the Shoshone bands. Before it was threatened by white emigrants, many Shoshones settled in the area for many years as it also offered exceptional hunting opportunities.
“It’s very important for us that visitors are able to have a visual of the modern day tribal presence in our community…and that’s what this art exhibit is intended to do,” Camp said. “In addition to the exhibit, we invite tribal artists and families to visit us on July 3.”
There are plans to organize a yearly powwow in addition to annual exhibit activities. Tribal members interested in helping the Fort Bridger site with this should contact Camp and his staff.
Through their art, tribal members will have one powerful way to show a connection to their ancestors and their land, while maintaining their modern-day identity. This exhibit will highlight both the history of the tribes and the unique talents of Shoshone and Shoshone-Bannock tribal members.
This exhibit is a collaboration between the Fort Bridger State Historic Site, Shoshone Tribal Cultural Center, Shoshone Archives, the Shoshone-Bannock Language & Cultural Preservation Department, and Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Museum.