When Idaho’s newly renovated state Historical Museum opens in 2017, it will include an extensive new 2,000-square-foot exhibit that will be the first place visitors enter, focusing on the history of Idaho Indian tribes and entitled “Origins.” Idaho State Historical Society Director Janet Gallimore told the Idaho Indian Affairs Council today that she’s been working directly with tribal leaders and their cultural resources staffs to develop the exhibit over the past two years. The Origins exhibition will focus on a “theme of people and land shaping each other,” Gallimore said.
As part of the process, Gallimore has collected origin stories from each of the tribes, and the state is in the process of working with the tribes on creating multimedia presentations and exhibitions to tell the stories in the Origins exhibit, and also weave other stories that resonate with Idaho’s tribes into the museum as a whole. The exhibit also will include a theater and hands-on activities. “Over the next six to nine months, we will be doing more detailed content and graphics,” Gallimore said. “This is just one of 14 exhibitions that we’re working on. … It sets the tone for all of the entire story of Idaho.”
Chief Allan, chairman of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, told Gallimore, “I just wanted to commend you for your efforts. This is what I’m talking about, this is what I envision when tribe and state work together, the respect that you came out to all the reservations, worked with our staff, got good creation stories from all of our own people. It’s very respectful, Mr. Chairman, and I commend it. It’s the kind of relationship that I wish we could have in all our dealings, with mutual respect.”