Native American

Karen Snyder has never been afraid to use her voice. She learned that from the women who raised her on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming.

"I come from a very long line of strong women. Grandmothers, mothers, a very strong line of women that are very outspoken," Snyder said.

That came in handy in 2016, when she was elected as one of two women on the six-person Eastern Shoshone Business Council.

Sue Reynolds

Since August of 2019, there has been a 200 percent increase in teachers, administrators, and the public utilizing a free web service called Everyday Native. It's an online resource that aims to provide educational material.

Taylar Stagner

Riverton Library is quiet today. And sure, libraries are supposed to be quiet places but right now it's extra quiet. Before COVID-19 heath restrictions the Riverton Library was seeing 450 people on average per day with a staff of ten assistant librarians.

Jordan Dresser

On the heels of the national election, the Northern Arapaho Tribe just wrapped up the election of their business council. Jordan Dresser was a new name on the ballot and won a seat with a lot of support, especially from the tribe's youth. He's known as a mover and shaker.

Over the last few years Dresser worked to find and repatriate numerous artifacts from around the country. Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards talked with him about his vision going forward.

Amid America’s racial reckoning spurred by the killing of George Floyd, a number of controversial historical monuments were torn down by protesters or removed by authorities this year, including some in the Mountain West.

Lynnette Grey Bull for Congress

 

A record 14 Indigenous people ran for Congress this year from both parties, including six candidates in the Mountain West. Most of them were not successful. But Aliyah Chavez, a reporter and producer for Indian Country Today, says their campaigns still had an impact. She spoke with Wyoming Public Radio's Savannah Maher about the outcomes of those races, the six Native people who will serve in Congress in the upcoming session, and whether they will be able to work across the aisle for Indian Country.


Talia Mayden of HUMAN

About a week before Election Day, as the Wind River Reservation was bracing for snow, Wyoming state Rep. Andi Clifford squeezed in some roadside campaigning outside of a community hall in Arapahoe.

"Normally we would've been inside," she said. "But we can't, so we're out here."

Last weekend, as the Wind River Reservation was bracing for snow, Wyoming State Rep. Andi Clifford was squeezing in some campaigning in the parking lot of Great Plains Hall in Arapahoe. 

Savannah Maher

 

After getting an initial COVID-19 outbreak under control, tribal leaders on the Wind River Reservation are reporting a renewed wave of community spread. During a virtual address this week, Northern Arapaho Business Council Chairman Lee Spoonhunter called on community members not to allow "coronavirus fatigue" to influence their behavior.

F Is For Fake: How Likely Fraudulent Indigenous Artworks Landed On Museum Walls In Wyoming

Oct 20, 2020
Graphic by Michael Patti, Texas Observer

This article was reported in collaboration with The Texas Observer and created in partnership with the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.

It's a modest museum on the edge of a modest town. The Lander Pioneer Museum is dimly lit, a nod to its log cabin beginnings, and its mismatched display cases house everything from antique saddles to applesauce mills-artifacts of early settlers in what is now Lander, Wyoming. In the main gallery, a placard announces the institution's major show, "Tribal Warrior Art." The exhibition, which debuted in fall of 2018, contains about 100 ledger art drawings- narrative illustrations created by Indigenous artists from the Plains on discarded account books, mostly during the late 19th century.

Savannah Maher

 

This fall, the White Buffalo Program took a group of young tribal members to the Big Horn Mountains on the Crow reservation for a buffalo hunt.

Savannah Maher


Growing up, Lavina Antelope and her little brother Andy were close. She calls him the baby of the family, even though he wasn't the youngest of his nine siblings. She says he was funny and tenderhearted. In his final years, he struggled with severe and chronic alcoholism. Lavina Antelope worried that her brother's addiction would kill him. She never imagined she would lose him to police violence.

Damen Bell-Holter

 

Former NBA player Damen Bell-Holter is concerned about the lack of mental health resources for men of color. Identifying as a Black man and a member of the Haida Nation, Bell-Holter has seen first hand how men of color often don't seek help for mental illnesses.

Senate Democrats are pushing the Federal Communications Commission to expedite progress on broadband connectivity in Native communities. 

Hila Shamon with Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

Swift foxes are reddish-brown, a bit smaller than a house cat, with big ears and a long tail. They do their best to sound intimidating when they're live-trapped, but they tend to be quite docile. They were historically found across the Great Plains region from Alberta, Canada down through the central part of the United States, but today, they're only in about 40 percent of that area.

Loring Schaible


It's a bright August morning in the northeast corner of Montana. Robbie Magnan, Game and Fish director for the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, rose before dawn to round up 40 buffalo into a corral.

If you're experiencing quarantine fatigue, these bulls can relate.

LORING SCHAIBLE

Millions of bison used to roam the west but by the early 1900's, only a couple dozen were left inside Yellowstone. That's because the animal was over-hunted by western settlers. Yellowstone Chris Geremia, the Yellowstone National Park bison coordinator, said decades were spent to recover the population.

Ron Howard (Northern Arapaho) leads the Anual Peace March, Lance Goede of the Solutions Committee was also in attendance.
Taylar Stagner

In 2015 two Northern Arapaho men were shot at the Center of Hope detox center in Riverton Wyoming. They were shot by a white city park employee with a 40-cal. handgun while they slept. The confessed shooter said he was targeting homeless people who he perceived as a nuisance to the city's public spaces. The thing is neither man was homeless. This was a racially motivated shooting, but change has been slow.

Lately I've been spending my Wednesday mornings in Riverton City Park. With COVID-19 cases on the rise, it's safer to interview people outdoors, and I've been asking everyone I run into the same question: Is Riverton, Wyo., on the Wind River Reservation?

TARYN JIM

This week, a federal cold case task force office opened in Billings to investigate unresolved cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous people [MMIP]. It’s one of seven established across Indian Country this summer, part of the Trump administration’s multi-agency initiative, called “Operation Lady Justice,” to combat violence against Native people.

Savannah Maher

After four months under a strict stay-at-home order, residents of the Wind River Reservation will now be able to gather in small groups, enter tribal buildings, and return to work at non-essential jobs on the reservation. Tribal offices and businesses, including casinos, hotels and restaurants, will also be permitted to re-open.

Reservation Districts Opt For Virtual Instruction

Aug 6, 2020
Arapahoe School District

 

Hundreds of students on the Wind River Reservation will begin the school year online. This week the Fort Washakie, Wyoming Indian and Arapahoe districts, as well as St. Stephen's Indian School, became the first in the state to officially opt for virtual instruction.

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

The U.S. Census Bureau has announced it's ending the 2020 count a month early, a move that's likely to have a big impact on Indigenous communities in the West.

 


Savannah Maher


This summer, the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers sparked a wave of protests across the country. The first Wyoming community to join that national movement wasn't Laramie or Cheyenne, or even Jackson Hole. It was Riverton.

Jeffrey Denis

Many places around the world have towns with predominantly white populations living in close proximity or directly on tribal land. Dr. Jeffrey Denis is an Associate professor at McMaster University in Canada wanted to see how small border towns like this talk about race. Wyoming Public Radio’s Taylar Stagner talked with Denis about his new book and the connections he made in Northwest Ontario.

Northern Arapaho Tribe Finalizing Re-Opening Plans

Jul 27, 2020

The Wind River Reservation has been under a strict stay-at-home order since April, requiring non-essential tribal offices and both tribes' casino operations to remain closed to the public. In a Monday morning online address, Northern Arapaho Business Council Chairman Lee Spoonhunter announced plans to begin re-opening.

The U.S. Census is underway, and many communities of color across the nation are vulnerable to being undercounted this year.

According to a new analysis from Headwaters Economics, more than 700,000 people of color are at risk of being undercounted in the Mountain West alone.

Imagine if your state health department put out a press release specifically naming your family, and listing the number of your family members with COVID-19. 

That, says Ken Lucero, is exactly how it felt in April when New Mexico announced a coronavirus hotspot in his community, the Pueblo of Zia. 

The voting process has long disenfranchised Native American communities. With the COVID-19 pandemic and mail-in voting exacerbating the problem, U.S. senators in the Mountain West and across the country are asking the federal government to make sure voters in Indian Country can cast ballots come November.

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

As Native American tribes across the country struggle to contain the coronavirus, the White House has pressured the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe to remove its COVID-19 checkpoints on highways in South Dakota, according to a recording of White House chief of staff Mark Meadows obtained by the Mountain West News Bureau. 

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