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

President Biden has laid out his vision for the future of public education, which includes a nationwide community college tuition waiver for all Americans who want to take advantage.

That waiver would be especially impactful in states with the lowest levels of higher education attainment, including several in the Mountain West. In Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming and New Mexico, fewer than 30% of adults over 25 have a bachelor's degree.

Signa McAdams

The Shoshone Rose Casino and Hotel near Lander is reopening. After over 400 days of being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Casino Marketing and Hospitality manager Jamie Williams says they are ready to welcome patrons back.

 

Many tribal leaders are used to stretching every dollar that comes their way. Last year, they were faced with a different problem: millions in badly needed aid money, and not enough time to spend it.

"The money came at us quick, and it was a flurry," said Karen Snyder, who coordinates pandemic response for the Eastern Shoshone Tribe in Wyoming. "We had to act fast in order to get it out the door."

Signa McAdams

Affordable housing is notoriously hard to find in Wyoming and especially hard to find on the Wind River Reservation.

Native American Education and Research Center

The University of Wyoming is sponsoring a virtual event on Wednesday, May 5 to bring regional attention to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women issue.

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The plan to build an immersion program at St. Stephens Indian School in Fremont County had been years in the making. Immersion language programs use various techniques to encourage bilingual learning. This program was going to have three teachers in a classroom of around a dozen kindergartners. The teachers would teach kindergarteners everything they normally do, only half in English and half in Arapaho.

Animal Adoption Center in Jackson

A spay and neuter clinic will be held May 7 and 8 at the Arapaho School gym. Dog bites from feral dogs have been increasing over the last few years. A way to get ahead of the problem is fewer litters of puppies.

A recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling has broad implications for tribes in the Mountain West with historic ties to lands in Canada.

The April 23 decision affirms the rights of tribes to hunt, fish and conduct other treaty-reserved activities on traditional lands in Canada even if they aren’t citizens or residents of Canada.

Bobbi Shongutsie

 

The decline in popularity of fossil fuels has gotten some Wyomingites interested in alternative economic markets.

 

The Indian Child Welfare Act still stands, with some of its key provisions weakened by a sharply divided U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals this month. The 325-page opinion has no immediate impact on child welfare cases in the Mountain West, but it's likely to be challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Biden administration will restore the White House Council on Native American Affairs, an interagency initiative that coordinates federal services and policies that impact tribal nations. The council was first launched under former President Obama, but went dark for most of the Trump years.

Taylor Craig

The Wyoming Arts Council is funding an art fellowship for Native artists in the state. The fellowship welcomes all mediums including performance, visual, and literary arts.

Taylar Stagner


A caramel colored dog with perky ears is getting his first bath. Owen was found at Fort Washakie dump. He's a stray dog and he's very shy. He limps on one of his paws from an old untreated injury.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland met with tribal leaders as well as Utah state leaders Wednesday in San Juan County to talk about Bears Ears National Monument. They toured the monument together Thursday morning.

 

Last month, Deb Haaland made history as the first Indigenous person ever confirmed by the Senate to serve in a president's cabinet. In her first official trip as secretary of the Interior, she visited the Mountain West with a focus on tribal issues.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has created a new unit to confront the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous people, reflecting the first Native American Cabinet secretary's prioritization of the issue in leading an agency that once sought to "civilize or exterminate" Native people.

Leslie Spoonhunter

During the last year, food trucks were a safer option for many of us wanting to eat out. One chef from the Wind River Indian Reservation is starting her own food truck featuring Native cuisine.

Sarah Marino

The American West is a complex landscape where many cultures and ethnic groups live together.

Ard Su. @_ard_ard


The snow is piled outside the small yellow shop. The signage outside says "Diamonds, Jade, and Indian Jewelry" because the building used to be a jewelry shop. Now, it holds a different sort of precious commodity: musical instruments.

Jon Cox

Native Americans serve in the military at five times the national average. On the Wind River Indian Reservation a new memorial will honor them and their non-Native neighbors that have also served in the armed forces.

This is the second in a two-part series about the vaccine rollout in Indian Country. Part one looks at the success of the rollout on rural reservations.

 

 

This is the first in a two-part series about the vaccine rollout in Indian Country. Part two looks at the challenges of vaccinating our region's urban Native population. 

 

Taylar Dawn Stagner

Strengthening Our Generations is run by the Northern Arapaho Tribe and is part of Wind River Cares. Donna Trosper is supervisor for the group, which has been focusing on getting food, clothes, and other supplies to the transient community on the Wind River Indian Reservation, especially during the pandemic.

Sarah Lucas

Foundations of Nations is a Christian group that provides resources to underserved community members on and around the Wind River Indian Reservation.

Tuesday, March 24, at 4 p.m. the group will host a mass food distribution and will provide dozens of families with support.

windriver.care

On March 20, the Wind River Family and Community Health Care is holding another mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Riverton. To bring people in, the clinic is entering everyone who gets vaccinated in a drawing for gift cards.

Zach Kennah


Zack Kennah went to art school at the University of Wyoming then moved to California to be an independent filmmaker. Over the past two years, Kennah has written and illustrated a comic inspired by his father's stories growing up on the Wind River Indian Reservation called Crowheart Butte.

It's a story set on the Wind River Indian Reservation about the Fort Washakie School basketball team trying to survive creatures in the shadow of the famous butte. You can check out Kennah's work here.

 

Some Indigenous histories are preserved in stories, songs, ceremonies and elder testimony that are passed down orally - rather than with written records. These histories can constitute important evidence of past events. But they're sometimes ruled inadmissible as evidence in the American justice system.

Giniw Collective

U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis and John Barrasso were confrontational during Rep. Deb Haaland's confirmation hearing for Interior Secretary. It was over Haaland's anti-fracking stance.

President Joe Biden is expected to sign the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill into law on Friday. It includes the largest ever one-time federal investment in Indian Country, with $20 billion in direct aid to tribal governments, and another $11 billion set aside for federal Indian programs.
 

The aid comes as many tribal nations in the Mountain West are struggling to stay afloat.

 
Deb Haaland's road to lead the Department of the Interior has been rocky, with some members of Congress using her confirmation process to air grievances with President Joe Biden's climate change agenda.
 

On Tuesday, Montana Sen. Steve Daines and Wyoming Sen. Cynthia Lummis, both Republicans, placed a procedural hold on her nomination, citing concerns about her positions on oil and gas development.

 

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