Members of Idaho's five Indian tribes gathered Saturday to commemorate their ancestors at Boise's Castle Rock, continuing their campaign to stop a posh housing development there.
The blessing ceremony below the prominent rock outcropping included prayers for American soldiers stationed worldwide.The Boise City Council in September approved a 177-home subdivision at the site the Shoshone-Bannock tribes contend was the burial spot for their ancestors.
The Indians and white supporters have suggested trading the property with the developer for federal or state land or arranging its purchase with the help of private foundations.
They also support legislation to toughen the Idaho Protection of Graves Act, which provides a procedure to remove and protect human remains discovered during excavations.
Project manager Dianne Pierce said she had not heard about a possible swap or purchase, and "I'm not going to speculate on that." Ground is slated to be broken later this year, but she could not give a schedule.
The Morningside Heights Partnership sued the city in November, asking 4th District Court to rule the City Council had exceeded its authority by imposing stringent conditions on the project, such as a procedure for dealing with gravesites.
There has been no action on the lawsuit, but Council President Mike Wetherell said, "We should stick to our guns. It was one of the most carefully crafted decisions that we've ever handed down on a development."