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Lois Tyler Navo, 96, a matriarch of the Lemhi Shoshone-Bannock people passed away peacefully on July 6, 2011, at her home.
She was born to John Tyler Jr. (Lemhi sub-chief) and Mary Bearhat Tyler on the Fort Hall Bottoms of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation on Jan. 1, 1917.
She received her education while attending the Fort Hall Boarding School. She later moved back to Salmon where she married her first husband Willie Martin. They had a son Nathaniel Tyler and they adopted her nephew Louie Marshall who she raised as her own. They later divorced. She then married her lifelong companion Alfred Navo who preceded her in death.
She lived in Salmon much of her life; and was the last of the Lemhis to leave the Salmon River country. Her home was the last home standing in the Lemhi village known as the â€˜Indian Camp.â€™ She and her husband made their home in Fort Hall after departure from Salmon. She, however, has always considered the Salmon River country her homeland.
She was a member of the Native American Church and served as a â€˜Water Woman.â€™ She enjoyed life, living and working according to the natural cycle and seasons as her ancestors. During the spring and summer months she was active doing beadwork, preparing hides, gathering traditional roots and plants. She would accompany her husband Alfred on spearing and hunting trips of salmon and deer; in the fall, the final berries would be gathered and preparation for winter would begin.
Lois maintained her traditional teachings and culture throughout her life and was instrumental in preserving a significant legacy for her posterity and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. She helped with the initiation and development of the Sacajawea Interpretive Center and preservation efforts in the Lemhi homeland because of her extensive traditional knowledge that was passed down to her by her father, mother and uncles. One of her most important recollections was that her father, John Tyler Jr. and uncles Frank Wahtomy and Benjamin Tyone brought the Warm Dance to the Fort Hall Indian Reservation.
Lois also loved to travel, not only to her homeland, but to places throughout the Western United States. She enjoyed spending time with her family on these ventures. She loved her immediate and extended families and was very devoted to their wellbeing and happiness. In turn, family members stepped forward to provide her with loving care. Mary Sue Evening and Morning Star Martin cared for her in the last few years as age hindered her ability to care for herself. She was dearly loved by many and will always be remembered by her loved ones.
Lois is survived by her adopted son Louie Marshall Martin and grandchildren Clay (Tina) of Grants Pass, Ore.; Heather (Chris) Martin Hayes of Dallas, Ore.; and Morning Star Martin of Fort Hall and numerous nieces and nephews, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Lois was preceded in death by husband Alfred Navo; her infant son; her parents John and Mary Bearhat Tyler; and sisters Jesse Tyler Nappo, Olive Hope Tinno and Cecilia Poongerah. She has joined them now and will be remembered as a prestigious matriarch of the Lemhi people and the Shoshone Bannock Tribes. Her contributions and memory will be forever cherished by everyone who had known her.
Lois was taken to her residence on East Sheepskin Road in Fort Hall. She will remain there until Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011, at 11 a.m. She will then be taken to the Fort Hall LDS Church branch on Highway 91. Her viewing will be at noon and church services will begin at 1 p.m.The traditional burial services will be held at 2 p.m. at the Cedars Cemetery. Dinner will be served following the services at the LDS church.