Shoshone princess honored guest at July 21-22 Oregon Trail Days Festival

Loreen Kemp

Staff Report

OREGON, Ill. — Shoshone princess Loreen Kemp will be the honored guest at the July 21-22 Oregon Trail Days Festival in Oregon, Ill.

Kemp is the sixth-generation descendant of Sacagawea, the famous Lemhi Shoshone woman who accompanied the Lewis and Clark expedition, acting as an interpreter and guide, in their exploration of the Western United States.

Kemp was born in the Indian Hospital on the Uintah-Ouray Indian Reservation in Fort Duchesne in the northeastern part of Utah. Her father was Cherokee, and her mother was from the Ute Indian Tribe of the Shoshone Nation. Kemp lives in Tennessee and is the mother of seven children and has 16 grandchildren.

As part of her duties as the honored guest of the festival, Kemp will take part in the blessing at the Black Hawk Statue Saturday morning, July 21, and will say a few words during each of the Native American performances. She will also have a booth where she will be available to sign festival T-shirts and take photos. Kemp is an expert jewelry maker and will have her beadwork on display as well as for sale.

This year marks the third anniversary of the Oregon Trail Days Festival, a celebration of Oregon’s Native American and Western heritage and a fund-raiser for Lorado Taft’s magnificent Black Hawk Statue, which sits high above the beautiful Rock River at Lowden State Park in Oregon, Ill.

Admission to the event is $5 per person and free to children 12 and younger.

One of the highlights of the Oregon Trail Days Festival is a spectacular gathering of Native American tipis. It is said to be the largest gathering of tipis east of the Mississippi River. Families are able to have an experience of a lifetime by camping overnight in one. Reservations may be made on the festival’s website,, by clicking the tipi reservation tab.

From the July 18-24, 2012, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!