The northwestern band of the Shoshone Native American tribe recently purchased the land where an 1863 attack by California militia volunteers against Native Americans in Cache Valley occurred.
The attack is known as the Bear River Massacre, and is commonly described by historians as the worst attack on Native Americans in history.
Darren Parry, chairman of the Shoshone Tribe, said he’d like to put a museum on the site to help educate the public about its roots.
“It tells the story of what happened and how our people lived, so people can really come in and get a good idea of who we are and what took place there,” he said.
Although that’s Parry’s first choice, he said it would require more funding than the $72,000 grant the tribe received from the Natural Park Services, and would not be built for several years.
For now, the tribe is working with the Utah State University S.J. and Quinney College of Natural Resources to restore the land to what it looked like before the massacre.
Chris Luecke, dean of the College of Natural Resources, said the college hopes to restore vegetation in the area.
“The idea is to make the site look more like it was in 1863, so that will involve various kinds of restoration in terms of the vegetation and landscapes of the area. It’s a nice thing to be able to do, the monument is in our backyard, so we’d like that,” he said.
The tribe will continue working with the university throughout the next several months.