ISU, history museum to host Bear River Massacre remembrance event


POCATELLO — With the 160th anniversary of one of this nation’s largest massacres coming this week, the Idaho Museum of Natural History will host an evening of remembrance Thursday.

The museum on the Idaho State University campus will welcome Darren Parry, a former chairman of the Northwestern Band of Shoshone Nation and descendant of survivors of the Bear River Massacre. Parry has not only taken on the responsibility of teaching about the attack on Boa Ogoi, but he is also working towards the development of an interpretive learning center on the site where the massacre happened on Jan. 29, 1863.

In an interview for a previous story, Parry explained to that it has long been his goal to provide all with a history of his people — how they lived, and how many of them died.

“It was always my goal to build an interpretive center on the site of the massacre, to tell the story of the people,” he said. “It’ll be a place of healing, where the community can come together and kind of reflect and learn some things.”

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Bear River Massacre Interpretive Center rendering
Bear River Massacre Interpretive Center rendering | Courtesy

Parry’s great-great-great grandfather, Sagwitch Timbimboo, was Shoshone chief at the time of the massacre and one of its few survivors. Parry’s grandmother, Mae Timbimboo Parry, shared stories she heard from her grandfather, Sagwitch, with Parry throughout his childhood.

After the death of his grandmother, Parry has taken the mantle of historian and keeper of his people’s memories.

He will share some of those stories Thursday, in the Little Wood River Room inside the Pond Student Union on the ISU campus, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

The event will also include a question and answer period with Parry, as well as a reception at the museum.

“We’ve been chosen to forgive, but that doesn’t mean that we need to forget,” Parry said. “Our descendants are still here, and we want to tell our story, and tell it in a way that brings people together.”

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