Solar Eclipse An Economic Opportunity For Northern Arapaho Tribe

Jul 28, 2017

Credit Wyoming's Wind River Country

The Northern Arapaho tribe's casino is one of many businesses in Wyoming planning events to celebrate the Great American Solar Eclipse happening August 21. Wind River Hotel and Casino marketing director Jackie Dorothy said the reservation is a good place to see the eclipse because it’s in the path of totality, and it’s expected to last a bit longer athan elsewhere at two minutes and 19 seconds. The tribe plans to offer free Native American song and dance performances every day starting the Thursday before the eclipse, and each evening they’ll offer star viewing parties.

“They’re going to be co-hosted by the Northern Arapaho storytellers and the scientists,” said Dorothy. “So you’ll get both the scientific view—this is what the nebula is and this is what the starburst is and what an eclipse is—you’ll also get the stories about the stars.”

The casino will also sell tickets for tours of the reservation.

Dorothy said during the eclipse, they plan to offer traditional Arapaho storytelling about eclipses.

“The two young men are world famous for their singing and they will have a hand drum and they will sing,” said Dorothy. “There are certain songs that speak of the eclipse. It’s called the eagle song.”

Making the most of the influx of visitors to the reservation is an important economic opportunity for the tribe that has a median household income of $16,000 dollars compared to Wyoming’s $54,000. And Dorothy says the hope is that people return after the eclipse for other opportunities such as package stays for rafting and dinosaur digs.