Native American

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.

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.

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.

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.

  

Marita Growing Thunder, 19, is sitting in the grass on a warm spring afternoon at the University of Montana campus in Missoula where she studies art. Growing up, she said, her mom was always talking about aunt Yvonne.

Fort Laramie National Historical Site

Native Americans from tribes all around the Northern Plains are running on foot, riding on horseback or driving by vehicle to convene at the Fort Laramie Historic Site in eastern Wyoming for the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868.

Native Wellness Institute

Native American students, faculty, and staff at the University of Wyoming in Laramie recently participated in a wellness training. The idea was to explore how to process trauma left behind by a dark history. 

  

This is about two very different visions of how we should use land in the American West.

On the Great Plains of Montana, conservationists and tribes want to rewind the clock and return wild bison to the shortgrass prairie. But cowboys and ranchers say if that happens, their way of life – their very culture – will disappear.

Bethany Yellowtail

March is Women’s History Month. Hunter Old Elk, the curatorial assistant of the Plains Indian Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, recently took a moment at Northwest College to highlight Women Warriors or Indigenous women of the 21st century. Old Elk who herself is of the Crow Nation and Yakama Nation spoke to Wyoming Public Radio’s Kamila Kudelska about how two Crow women have inspired her to promote contemporary native voices. The first: Bethany Yellowtail.

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The opioid crisis has hit Native American communities harder than any other racial group in the country. Overdose deaths in Indian Country are 519 percent of the national average.

Mark Zuckerberg is on the hot seat this week. He’s testifying in front of Congress about Facebook user profiles being mined without permission.  

The data breach prompted a “Delete Facebook” movement that hasn’t really gained any traction.

That’s especially true in the Native American community, where Facebook is much more than sharing cat videos or keeping in touch with friends and family.  

Northern Arapaho Tribe

The Northern Arapaho Tribe has announced it will no longer use the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program but instead will self-insure tribal employees in hopes of moving toward greater tribal sovereignty. Last year, the tribe took over the management of their health clinics, too.

Wyoming State Historical Society

The Wyoming House passed a bill to create a day commemorating Estelle Reel. She was the first woman elected to a statewide office in 1894, as the Superintendent of Public Instruction.  

 

While the majority of lawmakers wanted to recognize Reel’s accomplishment, House Minority Leader Cathy Connolly said Reel’s discriminatory attitude toward Native Americans and women should make them think twice.

 

Connolly said she researched Reel and read multiple articles.

 

Sheridan.edu

Tribal leaders, national policymakers and educators came together last week at Sheridan College to talk about how to decrease racial tensions on their campus. Back in September, racial slurs were written on a whiteboard on the dorm door of two Native American students there, prompting a series of discussions about how to prevent future attacks.

Northern Arapaho Chairman Roy Brown participated in the roundtable and said he commends the college for taking action.

By Terry Tollefsbol, NATIONAL CONSERVATION TRAINING CENTER-PUBLICATIONS AND TRAINING MATERIALS (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Environmental groups continue to voice alarm after the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission recommended moving forward on a grizzly bear hunting season. At a January meeting, the commissioners instructed the Game and Fish Department to start writing rules for hunting regulations. The first season could open as early as this fall.

Northern Arapaho Tribe

  

The University of Wyoming has seen a serious decline in enrollment of Native American students. The new university president set a goal to reverse that, opening a Native American Center and hired a Native American program advisor to make the campus more welcoming. And those efforts are working. But now there isn’t enough money to fund all the interested students applying.

Northern Arapaho Chairman Roy Brown said part of that is because his tribe is growing quickly: 10,300 members strong. And he said, 40 percent of those members are kids.

Northern Arapaho Tribe

At a University of Wyoming Board of Trustees meeting last week, the chairman of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, Roy Brown, made the case for giving Wyoming’s tribal students a tuition waiver.

He said, thanks to efforts to recruit more Native Americans, the Northern Arapaho Endowment Scholarship was flooded with more qualified applicants than they could serve for the first time in the scholarship's history.

Sydney Pursel

The Ucross Foundation artist residency program in northern Wyoming has announced the winner of its first Native American visual artist fellowship award. Sydney Pursel will spend a month at Ucross, receive a $1,000 stipend and show her work in their gallery.

Pursel is a member of the Iowa Tribe, and said a lot of her early work wrestled with tribal identity.

Bison in Yellowstone
AMY MARTIN

The Yellowstone National Park has initiated a criminal investigation into the release of bison from a quarantine facility. Early Tuesday morning, park officials discovered 52 bison missing. Park officials said the bison were able to leave the containment area through a cut fence, suggesting someone explicitly freed the bison.

 

University of Wyoming

After years of going without one, the University of Wyoming has hired a new Native American Program Advisor. President Laurie Nichols has said the goal is to try to increase the Native student enrollment so that it better reflects the Native population in the state.

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