Shoshone Bannock Tribes/Gaming EnterpriseBox 868 • Fort Hall, ID 83203
Phone: 208-237-8774 • Fax: 208-237-8207
The Shoshone Bannock Tribes/Gaming Enterprise is located off I-15 Exit 80.
In eastern Idaho, along Interstates 15 and 86, lies the 544,000-acre Fort Hall Indian Reservation. The reservation, situated at the crossroads of the Oregon Trail, encompasses a small part of the land that the Shoshone and Bannock Indians have roamed for several thousand years.
Before recorded history, the Shoshone and Bannock originally roamed areas now included in the states of Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and Idaho. In their search for food, they hunted, gathered, and fished for salmon. The introduction of horses in the early 1700s allowed some groups to travel great distances in pursuit of buffalo.
The tribes’ roaming heritage and access to open lands, however, was threatened by the arrival of white explorers. The first white men to explore the west were the trappers and explorers. Sacajawea, a Lemhi Shoshone woman, led Lewis and Clark through the west to the Pacific Ocean.
As more settlers poured westward in search of new frontiers and dreams, the Shoshone-Bannock Indians tribal lands were significantly altered. Like other Native Americans, the Shoshone-Bannocks were forced onto a reservation. A Presidential Executive Order established a 1.8 million acre reservation in 1867 that was confirmed one year later in the Fort Bridger Treaty of 1868. A supposed survey error reduced the reservation’s size to 1.2 million acres in 1872, and other encroachments reduced the reservation to its present size.
Ruts of the historic Oregon Trail lead past the obscure monument of the original Fort Hall founded in 1834 by Nathaniel Wyeth. In later years, Fort Hall became an important supply and rest stop for the seemingly endless flow of settlers to the west.
Today, the Tribes on the Fort Hall Reservation are organized as a sovereign government that provides many services to Tribal members and non-Indians. Revenues are gained from such avenues as agriculture, business enterprises, tourism, and gaming industries. Visitors passing through the area are encouraged to stop by the many Tribal Enterprise businesses that celebrate the future while honoring the traditions of the Shoshone-Bannock tribes.
* Shoshone Bannock Tribal Enterprises
A Mecca for travelers in eastern Idaho, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Enterprise businesses welcome tourists and locals alike. Owned by the Tribes, eight different businesses employ many Tribal members and provide a range of products, from staples to fine art to entertainment. The enterprises operate at two locations: on Interstate 15 at Exit 80 and Interstate 86 at Exit 56. Since the Shoshone Bannock Tribal members are the owners as well as a large part of the work force, the enterprise profits also contribute to the growth and improvement of the reservation.
* Trading Post Full-Service Grocery
Opened in April 1978, the Trading Post Grocery store at Exit 80 was the first tribal business established. Featuring 10,000 square feet of selling space, the full-service supermarket provides employment for over twenty-five Tribal members. On-site, a butcher shop provides fresh cut meats while a bakery, deli, ice cream counter, and produce department provide quick snacks for the busy traveler and nutritious ingredients for a home-cooked meal. On occasion, the grocery store even features prime buffalo meat from the tribe’s own herd.
The Trading Post Grocery Store is also the proud carrier of Idaho’s largest tobacco selection including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and imported tobacco. All are Reservation priced, making the selection the region’s lowest priced. The store is open 7 AM to 10 PM Monday through Saturday and 8 AM to 9 PM on Sunday.
* Oregon Trail Restaurant
The Oregon Trail Restaurant is situated off I-15 Exit 80 and provides a unique and authentic dining experience. Every meal is made to order, and menu specialties include buffalo steaks, buffalo burgers, buffalo stew, Indian tacos, and traditional Indian fry bread. The restaurant also carries standard fare with a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu.
* Shoshone Bannock Gaming
Southeastern Idaho’s newest fun spot is the 1,000-seat Shoshone-Bannock Gaming Facility. Located off I-15 at Exit 80, the business represents the region’s premier gaming facility and includes fun and excitement for everyone.
High Stakes Bingo is available on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with all games featuring the chance for high Bingo payouts. In addition to electronic bingo machines, the gaming facility also operates two “mega Bingo” games via satellite from Tulsa, Oklahoma on weekends.
For those disinterested in Bingo, a large casino room contains over 350 video gaming machines. The casino is open seven days a week, and large progressive jackpots lead to payouts ranging from $62.50 to $1 million.
* Trading Post Clothes Horse
The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes are considered producers of the world’s finest handcrafted beadwork. Selections of the tribes’ work are on display in the nation’s Smithsonian Museum, while local tribal artisans proudly display their beadwork, leather crafts, and quillwork at the Trading Post Clothes Horse.
Situated off I-15 at Exit 80, the Clothes Horse is the retail outlet and division center for the worldwide distribution of the Tribes’ crafts. Opened in June 1981, the store carries a complete line of authentic Native American beaded moccasins, purses, bolo ties, belt buckles, hat bands, and jewelry. In addition, they also carry traditional brain-tanned and smoked leather goods, porcupine quill work, contemporary and traditional Indian art work, books, Pendleton clothing, and western style shirts and jeans.
For those unable to visit the outlet store, the Clothes Horse is available online. Just like the products offered in-house, the online store specializes in selling the handiwork created by Fort Hall artisans.
* Travel Plaza Fuel & Convenience Store
The Travel Plaza Fuel Stop is a favorite of travelers and truckers with its new, modernized facility opened in spring 2001. Conveniently located immediately off I-15’s Exit 80, the store offers competitive prices along with fifteen pull through islands for diesel. Turns are easy and the parking lots are spacious for truckers or travelers with trailers or recreational vehicles.
Inside, the facility features standard convenience store amenities, along with a lounge, shower facilities, a restaurant, and Reservation priced tobacco products.
* Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Museum
The Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Museum at Exit 80 both preserves the traditions of the tribes and shares the tradition with visitors. Exhibits are designed to illustrate the lifestyle of the tribes, while the museum gift shop features tribal arts and crafts.
*Bannock Peak Fuel & Convenience Store
The Bannock Peak Fuel Stop and Convenience Store is available to serve travelers on I-86. The business features easy on and off access to the interstate with competitive gas and diesel prices.
Inside the 2,400 square foot convenience store is a hot deli and a complete line of Reservation priced tobacco products. The store is open November to March from 6 AM to 10 PM and March through October from 6 AM to midnight. With the latest in fuel pump technology, travelers with major credit cards can fill up throughout the night.
* Sho-Ban News
The Sho-Ban News, the official Tribal newspaper, is published every Friday and is available at all Tribal outlets and other businesses in eastern Idaho. Originally created to keep tribal members up to date on reservation news, the paper has expanded to be nationally regarded as a definitive source of information for and about all Native Americans. The paper is now distributed in almost every state and in several foreign countries.
* Paving the Road to the FutureWith its many Tribal Enterprises, Fort Hall’s Shoshone-Bannock Tribes have discovered a means of preserving their heritage and ensuring economic success for future generations. Each enterprise represents a thread winding the tribal members together, and the legacy created by this sovereign government will continue to leave a lasting impression on both locals and travelers alike.