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Nez Perce Tribe holds ceremony to rename historic artifacts

June 25, 2021 GMT

LAPWAI, Idaho (AP) — A special ceremony will occur in Idaho on Saturday to rename a historic collection of artifacts owned by the Nez Perce Tribe.

This is the 25th anniversary of the tribe’s purchase of what is known as the Spalding-Allen Collection.

Tribal leaders say they will bestow a more appropriate name to a collection that was taken from the tribe in the 1840s by missionary Henry Spalding. The intent is to reconnect the tribe with the artifacts, while rejecting colonialism and its impacts on the tribe’s way of life, tribal leaders said.

From 1836-1846, Spalding acquired 21 Nez Perce artifacts traditionally worn, or used by, men, women, children, and horses, which were later sent to Spalding’s benefactor Dr. Dudley Allen. The collection eventually ended up at the Ohio Historical Society.

The society eventually agreed to sell the artifacts to the tribe for $608,000, and the tribe was given six months to raise the money. With the help of thousands of donors, the tribe raised the full amount and in 1996 the artifacts were brought back to Idaho.

The renaming event is scheduled to take place on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in Spalding, Idaho.