Tribal News

The Wind River Indian Reservation is as beautiful as its melodic name. It's one of the largest Reservations in the United States, spanning over 2.2 million acres and contained within the boundaries of the state. Its scenery ranges from high grassland to some of the most majestic and least populated mountain ranges. The Wind River Range is a renowned destination for historians, climbers, hikers, and visitors who come to absorb the culture.

Wyoming Public Media serves the Greater Wind River Reservation, Ft. Washakie, Lander, Riverton, Shoshone, Dubois, and Thermopolis on 90.9, 90.5 and 91.3. Our reporters tell the stories of the Reservation, focusing on issues that affect the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes. We also take stories from our Mountain West Bureau reporters who tell the stories of Native Americans beyond our borders. They reflect the lives of people on the Reservation and beyond, their issues, history, hopes, and ambitions. 

Indian Lands in the United States
Credit Bureau of Indian Affairs

Jordan Dresser

A new museum installation called "Arapaho Roots" is opening November 17 in Colorado at the Museum of Boulder. The pieces will be animated Arapaho stories put up on screens throughout the museum. 

At least 500 indigenous women have either been murdered or have disappeared from 71 U.S. cities, according to a first-of-its-kind report from a Native American health group.

The U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee will discuss on Wednesday landmark legislation that aims to address the crisis of missing and murdered women in Indian Country.

The United States has a grim history when it comes to our indigenous people, from the multiple massacres of native men, women and children to Indian boarding schools where native children were taken from their families and in many cases physically and sexually abused. For the most part, this history isn’t taught in our public schools; neither is indigenous culture. But that’s changing, and the Mountain West is on board.

Darrah Perez

Growing up on the Wind River Reservation, bullies often picked on Terrence Brown. "The time where I did stand up for myself was in the sixth grade," Brown remembers. "I was defending myself against six other boys and, well, I guess I let out some anger that day. We all ended up getting sent to the office. From that day forward, I kind of got a rush for it."

Shoshanna Miller

Fremont County Representative Jim Allen lost against Northern Arapaho member Andrea Clifford by 60 votes. Clifford said she worked dawn to dusk to meet people in person and to create a strong social media campaign.

Photo: Julie Falk per https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

Wyoming House District 33 is mostly in Fremont County and includes Lander and the Wind River Reservation. This year the seat is heavily contested between an incumbent, who is a chair of a legislative committee, and a popular Northern Arapaho woman who's a former Fremont County Commissioner. But Northern Arapaho Tribal member Andi Clifford said she would like to represent both tribes in Cheyenne as a Democrat.

Defenders of Wildlife

Last week, numerous Native American tribes from around the Rocky Mountain region joined with bison conservation groups in Boulder, Colorado for the first ever Tribal Bison Summit. Part of the event was a drumming ceremony celebrating National Bison Day, said Eastern Shoshone member Jason Baldes. He was recently hired by the National Wildlife Federation to serve as the tribal buffalo coordinator.

The Northern Arapaho elders have long searched for ways to teach the Arapaho language. Now they've collaborated with doctoral candidate Phineas Kelly to create a game for the iPhone. This new way to teach Indigenous language was his Master's thesis. Wyoming Public Radio's Taylar Stagner gave the game a try.

 


Dawson County Sheriff Ross Canen sat down and ordered a coffee at a small-town diner on the edge of the eastern Montana badlands. The walls were lined with portraits of Miss Montana going back to the 1950’s — young white women with silver tiaras and perfect teeth.

Andi Clifford

On the Wind River Indian Reservation, there have been a string of events to stir up excitement for the upcoming mid-term election. These events have included games, candidate speeches, and food. Securing the votes from the Wind River Reservation could win two Northern Arapaho candidates seats in Wyoming's legislature.

National Indigenous Women's Resource Center

The 2013 Violence Against Women Act is due for a reauthorization by Congress so it can be funded to continue lifesaving services for shelter programs and coalitions nationwide, especially on reservations. A recent bill that would have done so only received Democratic votes and is now stalled. But Republicans did step in at the last minute to keep the act funded by including it in an appropriations bill called the Continuing Resolution or CR.

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case early next year that could have big implications for how the country interprets Native American treaty rights.


On a recent Sunday evening around dusk, Willie Grayeyes stood on a sagebrush and juniper-studded mesa, scanning the southeast Utah landscape. It was a place the Navajo Democrat’s family had lived for generations and where he’s hoping to be part of a political first.

Flickr Creative Commons/John

The nonprofit MoFi helps leverage new market tax credits to fund rural community projects in low-income areas around the Rocky Mountain region, and now they’re helping to open a 24-hour childcare center and expand a health clinic for the Northern Arapaho Tribe.

Claremont Graduate University

Paying for graduate school can be challenging in the best of circumstances. But one fellowship could help Native American students with financial aid.

Johnathon Labillois

Amber Alerts are messages sent over the radio, internet, television, and text message to notify the public when there is a child abduction emergency. These alerts can be powerful tools to locate a missing child. But right now, the Wind River Reservation doesn’t have that service.

USFWS Mountain-Prairie

The federal government recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding document, agreeing to support efforts to develop tourism opportunities in Indian Country. 

A Texas federal judge just has declared unconstitutional a decades-old law that aims to keep Native American children within their own communities.

On Friday, an intergovernmental organization hosted a hearing in Boulder, Colorado on the ongoing crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women in the U.S. That group faces some of the highest violence and sexual assault rates in the nation.

Piikani National Administration

Native American tribes are celebrating the decision by a U.S. district court judge to re-list the Yellowstone grizzly bear as threatened. Numerous tribes sued the federal government to stop the de-listing and over 200 U.S. and Canadian tribes signed a grizzly bear treaty to protect the species. Blackfeet member Tom Rodgers is an advisor for the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders. He said efforts to protect the grizzly galvanized tribes around the world.

Matt Celeskey

This summer two professors excavated the fossilized remains of a Phytosaur on the Wind River Indian Reservation without explicit permission from the Northern Arapaho or Eastern Shoshone tribes. 

The National Park Service is giving museums and universities across the country grants to return ancestral artifacts and human remains taken from Native American tribes over the years.

IMDb

The independent film Neither Wolf Nor Dog is set to screen in Jackson this week. Set in Indian Country, it showcases Native actors and explores the history of the Wounded Knee massacre.

University of Wyoming


Orientation is a common activity for freshmen at any university. While there are students who don’t want to go, some relish the chance to meet new people and well… orient themselves. University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols set a goal of increasing the number of Native Americans attending UW, especially since enrollment of tribal members recently reached an all-time low. Wyoming Public Radio’s Taylar Stagner participated in the Native American Research Center’s first-ever orientation. The goal is to make students comfortable from day one. 

Walking through forests across the Mountain West, you might not realize you’re walking past historical artifacts big enough to crush you. These artifacts are pine and cedar trees that have had their bark peeled off in a special way. The trees are a bit of a mystery to archaeologists, and one they’re running out of time to solve.

Northern Arapaho Tribe

Legislators learned about innovations at the Northern Arapaho Tribe’s health clinic when they gathered in Fort Washakie for a tribal relations committee meeting this week. The tribe took over its health clinic from the federal government back in 2016 in hopes of addressing health disparities they struggle with among their members.

A recently published paper argues that more self-determination and frank discussions about structural racism could help improve access to health care for indigenous populations.

Last week, Governor Matt Mead approved new social studies content and performance standards. The changes are the result of the 2017 Indian Education for All Act, which requires schools statewide to teach the history and culture of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho. 

Wyoming Humanities Council

For years, Wind River’s tribal advocates have suggested that Wyoming kids lack access to authentic education about the state’s Native American heritage. Some said that has led to insensitive or even racist encounters when tribal sports teams travel to other school districts.

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