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Spokane

100 years ago today in Spokane: 10 tribes arrive in Spokane for Indian Day at the Fair

Sat., Sept. 9, 2017

From The Spokesman-Review, Sept. 9, 1917. (SR archives)
From The Spokesman-Review, Sept. 9, 1917. (SR archives)

It was “Indian Day” at the Interstate Fair, and 300 Indians from 10 different tribes were camped in an “Indian village” at the fairgrounds.

The festivities included a parade through downtown, headed by “the Indian band from Kamiah, Idaho.”

Then they gave an “interesting program of Indians sports, including many games the white spectators did not understand.”

One contest was called the “tepee race.” In this race, a man and wife worked together to put up and take down a tepee in the least amount of time.

They also performed Indian dances, “accompanied by the slow music of tom-toms.” There was also an “Indian baby show,” in which the winning baby won a prize of $25 in gold.

From the labor beat: The Wobbly lumber strike, which had “tied up the lumber camps of the Inland Empire since June,” was finally called off.

The members of the Industrial Workers of the World met at the “Finlander’s Hall” (the Finnish Social Hall) in Peaceful Valley and were told to “make the best contracts they could with the individual lumbermen.”

The local lumbermen’s organization estimated that the strike had affected between 10,000 and 11,000 men in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Montana. A number of sawmills had been forced to suspend operations.

The cancelled strike came in the wake of raids on the Wobbly halls in Spokane. With the leaders of the strike in jail and the union records confiscated, the remaining Wobbly leaders “saw further resistance” as hopeless, according to the paper.