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

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.

Wyoming Humanities Council

Last year, lawmakers passed legislation to bring more education about Native American history and culture to Wyoming students. It’s called Indian Education For All and it fulfills social studies requirements. To help with the effort, the Wyoming Humanities Council has created a fold-out kiosk that will be exhibited in schools and libraries around the state starting next month.

Ivory Brien is Really Good at Basketball, Flathead Reservation, Montana, 2016 by Sue Reynolds.

The new website Everyday Native highlights the use of photography and poetry to help bridge the gap between Native and non-Native students alongside their teachers. 

Yet another Indigenous woman has gone missing in the Mountain West.

Jermaine Charlo disappeared near a grocery store in Missoula, Montana last month. The 23-year-old is the 13th native woman to go missing in the state since January.

A bipartisan group of indigenous state lawmakers just published a letter condemning the President’s use of the name “Pocahontas” in a recent Montana rally. They say it hurts the already-wounded image of Native American women.

A controversy over the names of two landmarks in Yellowstone National Park highlight a forgotten genocide in the U.S. and how historical awareness, conflicting narratives and misinformation help muddy the waters.


The Bureau of Land Management planned to lease about 18,000 acres of land in southern Colorado for oil and gas drilling. Now, the bureau says it’s holding off so it can consult with the Navajo Nation.

The second Native American Summer Institute wrapped up last month and grew from 28 students last year to 38 this year. Participants were high school Native American students with an interest in coming to the University of Wyoming. Most students were from the Wind River Reservation, but also from as far as Billings, Montana. The students participated in workshops over the week that included student-driven talks about being Native American.

At Thursday’s Montana rally, President Donald Trump repeatedly called Democratic U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas.” Montana is home to eight tribal nations and more than 60,000 Native Americans.  

Jessica Flock

A recent report from a non-profit group aimed at erasing misconceptions about Native Americans says Indigenous people still face discrimination and invisibility.

There’s a storm rolling in over the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana. The clouds are low and dark as distant lightning cracks over a green prairie. 

Wade Running Crane is starting to get wet.

“This is like a sign from Ashley that she’s here,” he said.

Darrah Perez

Nationally, there’s a shortage of about 68,000 homes on tribal reservations, and on the Wind River Reservation, both the Northern Arapaho and the Eastern Shoshone tribes are hundreds of homes short. That’s led to severe overcrowding and homelessness there.

A lawsuit announced this week in Salt Lake City focuses on a contested county commission seat, newly redrawn voting districts and a Navajo candidate well known for his opposition to shrinking the Bears Ears National Monument.

Darrah Perez

The Northern Arapaho Tribe brought back the Indian National Finals Tour Rodeo in hopes it would be an event to bring the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes closer together.

Kamila Kudelska


A new permanent exhibition at the Draper Natural History Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West focuses on golden eagle research but it also looks at how golden eagles have been and still are significant to the Plains Indian people.

National Digital Library of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service

At a recent public hearing in Lander to decide whether to allow grizzly bear hunting, the Northern Arapaho elder society released a statement calling such hunting an act of genocide against the species. Elders Crawford White Sr. and Nelson White Sr. stated that, as a sovereign nation, they should have been consulted in the decision as required by law.

Voices continue to mount against the Trump administration's plan to lease land for oil drilling near the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado. The Bureau of Land Management plans to lease more than 20,000 acres of land starting in early September, some of which comes within a mile of the park.

CC0 Public Domain

At a public meeting on Wednesday, tribal members from around the country spoke out against the decision by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to hold a fall grizzly bear hunt. Blackfeet member Tom Rogers is with the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council. He said the federal government is required by law to consult tribes on natural resource issues that affect them, like a grizzly bear hunt.

Darrah Perez

Hundreds of bison that leave Yellowstone National Park each year are rounded up and killed to keep them from spreading brucellosis. But tribes have long wanted the disease-free bison to go to reservations.

Public Domain / Max Pixel

Twenty-eight great plains tribes are demanding two different sites in Yellowstone National Park be renamed. The request says Hayden Valley and Mount Doane are offensive because they memorialize a racist and a murderer. But with local government officials opposing the change, it seems unlikely to happen.

Bridger Teton National Forest

For the third year in a row, students from seven schools on the Wind River Reservation traveled to the Bridger-Teton National Forest to learn outdoor education. But this year fifth graders got some added instruction from tribal elders.

Caroline Ballard

Nearly a quarter of Wyoming’s population is Native American. But how they are portrayed—by Natives and by whites—is complicated.

Yellowstone National Park is moving forward with a plan to help create new herds of wild, genetically-pure bison across the country.

Hunter Old Elk


The Plains Indian Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West has partnered with the Creative Indigenous Collective (CIC). A group of Northern Plains indigenous artists created the collective to promote contemporary native art. This is the first time the Plains Indian Museum is partnering with modern artists. 

Former State Representative Paulette Jordan has won the Democratic primary in Idaho’s gubernatorial race. If Jordan wins in November, she’d become the first woman governor of Idaho and the first Native American governor in the country.


Jean Harris

An Attack

It was on Thanksgiving night that Eastern Shoshone member Jean Harris’ life took a terrifying turn. She had been waiting for a text from her Northern Arapaho boyfriend of over three years, asking her to come pick him up and bring him home. He’d been staying with his parents for several weeks and she missed him. She put on her clothes, re-applied her makeup and drove from her house in Lander to his parents’ house on the reservation to get him.

A record number of Native Americans are running for political office this year nationally and in the Mountain West.

Jessica Flock

Over the last few weeks, Native Americans from across the Northern Plains have been traveling toward Fort Laramie National Historic Site in Wyoming. They came by bus, by foot and even by horse. They're here to recognize the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty. 

Two Native Americans were pulled out of a college tour this week when a parent told campus police the young men were making her nervous.

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