Tag: boise

Ahaztu Barik: Remembering Basque Ancestors

By Marsha Hunter

In 1997, Liz Hardesty began a three-year project to identify about 120 Basques that rest without grave markers in the St. John’s Section at Morris Hill Cemetery in Boise, Idaho.  Dorothy Bicandi Aldecoa generously provided the funds to install markers for those who Liz and her team identified. In addition, Mrs. Aldecoa provided a plaque to honor those Basques known to be buried at Morris Hill, but who didn’t have specific burial plot information. The monument bears the names of those not yet located, with the statement: “You are not forgotten.”  Twenty years later, Basques in Boise, such as Meggan Laxalt Mackey continue the quest with Ahaztu Barik, Phase Three of the Hardesty-Aldecoa project.  Ahaztu Barik promotes the lives and memories of those Basques whose burial sites are confirmed, with more detailed information, which may include Basque Country birthplaces, parents, death dates, causes of death in America, and plot locations.

Basque eguzkilore symbols marked the gravesites of 59 persons confirmed by the Ahaztu Barik project.

According to Meggan, we have now confirmed 59 Basque burial sites, marked and verified. There are still another 60+ whose burial locations have not been found and there are little to no records on these people. However, we did find four persons who were originally identified as Basque but were not – they were mostly from Italy or Mexico. This information will be accessible soon on a special webpage that will be linked to the Boise Basque Museum’s new website. Meggan hopes that their work will encourage other western communities with Basque populations to do the same.

A memorial ceremony was held earlier this summer. Here are a few photos from the event. Keep up the good work!

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, Basque Government director of Communities Abroad Gorka Aramburu, Aita (Father) Antton Egiguren, and the Ahaztu Barik team (Celeste Landa, Meggan Laxalt, and John Ysursa) remember Basque ancestors at the St. John’s section at Morris Hill Cemetery July 28, 2017.

Ahaztu Barik burials will be accessed online through a dedicated website at the Basque Museum & Cultural Center for searches by name, burial plot, and death date, which prompts the viewer to gain more information if it was confirmed (birth date, birthplace, parent names, cause of death).

Boise’s Biotzetik Basque Choir sang for the memorial ceremony at the Morris Hill Cemetery.

Information provided by Meggan Laxalt Mackey.

This ancestral project is sponsored by the Basque Government, Office for the Basque Community Abroad; Boise State University’s Basque Global Collaborative; and the Basque Museum & Cultural Center.

 

 

  

Boise and Bilbao: Two Boomtowns

basqueprez-hanian

A recent report by the Idaho Statesman looks at the links between two boomtowns, Boise and Bilbao. The visit of a Basque delegation, led by Basque President Iñigo Urkullu, to Idaho last year enhanced the historic connection between the two regions. There have been economic ties between the city of Boise and the Basque Country since the nineteenth century, when the burgeoning sheep industry in Idaho increased the need for talented sheepherders from the Basque Country. A century later, these connections were still evident through cultural events such as the Basque Soccer Friendly and Jaialdi in 2016, celebrating the Basque heritage and culture. These events only served to take the exisitng economic and cultural exchange to new heights.
Bilbao. Pasarela del Campo de Volant’n o Zubizuri y las torres P

This year, a business delegation from the Basque province of Bizkaia visited Boise to renew the economic and cultural partnership between Boise and Bilbao. According to Asier Alea Castaños, General Manager of Trade Promotion for the Bizkaian Government, at present over a million people reside in Greater Bilbao with a GDP per capita reaching 122 percent of the European Union (EU) average. Bizkaia’s economic competitive advantage is backed by higher education institutions that rank higher than the rest of Europe in terms of research and development. And this Bizkaian economic and technological edge, coupled with the existing links between the two cities, provides the Boise business community with huge opportunities.
traveling-to-boise

Boise has itself experienced technological booms in recent years with high-tech projects such as Trailgead poised to attract investment from the Basque Country. With a cost of doing business only one-third of that in California or Washington, Boise can be an attractive investment option for Basque investors.

Boise has extensive business clusters in software, environmental technology, advanced energy, hi-tech manufacturing, hardware assembly, national call centers, and agricultural technology. And Boise’s comprehensive business cluster complements that of some of the main industries in and around Bilbao such as the aeronautic, automotive, electronic, information technology, energy, and maritime sectors. It would appear, then, that there are multiple opportunities for new links to be developed between these two Basque boomtowns.

Read the full article here.

The Center has published several books on the Basque economy. For a general introduction, see Basque Economy from Industrialization to Globalization by Mikel Uranga, free to download here.

Tow other works address innovation policies in the Basque Country:

Implications of Current Research on Social Innovation in the Basque Country, edited by Ander Gurrutxaga Abad and Antonio Rivera, free to download here.

And Innovation: Economic, Social, and Cultural Aspects, edited by Mikel Gómez Uranga and Juan Carlos Miguel de Bustos, available free to download here.

For some general historical background on the particular tax and finance system that so defines the particularity of the Basque Country, see Basque Fiscal Systems: History, Current Status, and Future Perspectives, edited by Joseba Agirreazkuenaga and Eduardo Alonso Olea.

Another key feature of the Basque economy in recent years has been its urban transformation. This process is examined in Transforming Cities: Opportunities and Challenges of Urban Regeneration in the Basque Country, edited by Arantxa Rodríguez and Joseba Juaristi.

And for a wonderful monograph of one of the most controversial economic issues in the Basque Country today, namely the plans for a new high-speed rail network to create a single interconnected “Basque city,” check out Building the Basque City: The Political Economy of Nation-Building, by Nagore Calvo Mendizabal.

 

Euskara Eguna

December 3rd marked not only the day I presented for the first time at the Basque Lecture Series, but to open the presentation, we also celebrated Euskara Eguna, or Basque Language Day.

The International Day of the Basque Language, annually celebrated on December 3rd, was institutionalized by the Basque Government and the Royal Academy of the Basque Language (Euskaltzaindia) in 1995.

However, its origins go back to 1948, when the 7th Congress of Eusko Ikaskuntza-the Society for Basque Studies reached the following agreement: “a day of the Basque language will be celebrated worldwide once a year on December 3rd.” Following that proclamation, Euskara celebrated its first International Day in 1949 to vindicate the universality of the Basque Language.

December 3rd is St Francis Xavier Day, in honor of a missionary from Navarre born in the 16th century. According to the legend, his last words before dying on December 3rd 1552 were in Basque.

On the occasion of the International Day of the Basque Language, public and private entities alike, as well as various associations, organize several activities (roundtables, exhibitions, workshops, conferences, cultural performances, etc.) to celebrate and support Euskara. Check out any of the following events to help spread the Basque language and culture!

(courtesy of Basque Language Books in Boise, Idaho)

Check out some of our books on the Basque Language by visiting:

Basque Language Books

So, Happy Basque Language Day everyone!

 

Basques in the United States Makes a Splash at Jaialdi

Photo Jul 31, 11 48 10 AM

Basque books editor Daniel Montero in the calm before the storm of presenting the book

It was such a pleasure to launch the Basques in the United States: A Biographical Encyclopedia of First-Generation Basque Immigrants, our 2-volume work listing nearly 10,000 first-generation immigrants from the Basque Country to the United States. It was so much fun to present this work to the public and to see the great reactions, especially from families who recognized someone on the cover. This type of historical research on the diaspora is so interesting and will have a lot to tell those everything from immigration patterns to the individual story of that person in the reader’s family who first made the trek across the Atlantic to our shores. I want to congratulate and thank everyone who worked on this for their tremendous time and effort, especially Koldo San Sebastian, without whom it never would have taken off, Argitxu Camus-Etxekopar who provided valuable assistance and how is generously volunteering her time to help us better this, and the translator, Joxe Mallea-Olaetxe.

And I want to take this time to honor those Basques, among whom I count my grandmother and grandfather, who ventured over the sea and who worked tirelessly to make a better life for themselves and for their families. It is their stories that we seek to tell here and it gives me goosebumps everytime I consider the work that we (and many others, in many different ways) are doing to preserve their memory.

But we need your help! We’ve set up a website basquesintheus.blogs.unr.edu to help collect even more information. So please help us make this the most complete biographical collection it can be!

Photo Jul 31, 1 22 08 PM

Center graduate student Kerri Less helps present the books at the Lehendakari’s reception in the Boise Centre

Readers interested in a fictional account of one woman’s immigration experience (and much more) should pick up Zelestina Urza in Outer Space, by David Romtvedt . My Mama Marie is the recollection of a daughter about her mother’s experience (and her own). For more academic studies of immigration patterns, we’d like to highlight among our extensive list the contributions by Pedro Oiarzabal, Gardeners of Identity: The Basques of the San Francisco Bay Region, and The Basque Diaspora Webscape.

Photo Aug 01, 9 07 01 AM

A brief bio of Luciana Aboitz Garatea that was presented in the Jaialdi vendor space. She is in the book and her immigration photo is among those on the cover.

Photo Aug 01, 11 09 01 AM

Mila esker to everyone who showed so much interest in this project!

And finally, thanks to everyone who stopped by at Jaialdi and took an interest in this project, it’s for you in the end!

First Generation Basques Center Stage at CBS

Pages from BUS_20150114

 

A special kind of book about the Basques in the United States is going to be published in the summer, coinciding with the celebration of the Jaialdi 2015 in Boise, Idaho. Basques in the United States: A Biographical Encyclopedia of First-Generation Immigrants. The largest published biographical listing of the original Basques who came to this country. Center publications editor Daniel Montero reports that the book is the first-generation itself, and that there will be a website where anyone will be encouraged to submit even more biographical information and names to continue research on this pivotal immigrant group.

The Center has a long history of publishing on diaspora topics, the most recent publication before this book Pedro Oiarzabal’s pioneering study on the Basque diasporas online connections in The Basque Diaspora Webscape. People with more interest in Basque heritage might also be interested in our previous Oroitzapenak project.

See you at Jaialdi!