Northern Arapaho

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.

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 Northern Arapaho Tribe has laid out its plans for spending $19 million in federal coronavirus relief aid that it received through the CARES Act. On behalf of the Northern Arapaho Business Council, Chairman Lee Spoonhunter said more than $5.2 million of the aid will be disbursed directly to tribal citizens who have taken a financial hit due to the pandemic.

Savannah Maher

The Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Business Councils have extended a strict stay-at-home order and nightly 9 p.m. curfew on the Wind River Reservation, measures intended to slow the spread of COVID-19. Tribal members will continue to face tribal court fines and potential jail time for violations at least through the month of June.

After months of refining their business plans, the Wind River Startup Challenge's five finalists pitched a panel of judges on Saturday. Each Native-owned businesses was awarded a portion of the challenge's $25,000 seed fund, but the big winners were a hair salon and a fencing company, which received $10,000 each in debt-free capital.

Savannah Maher

 

Late Saturday night, the state Department of Health announced that a Fremont County woman was the eighth Wyoming resident to die after testing positive for COVID-19. The Northern Arapaho Business Council has confirmed that the woman was a tribal member.

Fort Washakie School

Over the past two years, the Fort Washakie School has revived a tradition called the 5 Buffalo Days, a week-long celebration of the cultural and ecological significance of buffalo for Plains Native people. This year's celebration had to be moved online, but tribal educators say the lessons students learn during the 5 Buffalo Days are more important than ever. Wyoming Public Radio's Savannah Maher spoke with one of those educators.

 


Courtesy of the Shoshone Rose Casino & Hotel


The largest employer in Fremont County isn't a school district or a hospital—it's the Northern Arapaho Tribe. Between the tribal government and its enterprises, they put more than 1,000 people to work.

Savannah Maher

For more than a month, there has been a strict stay-at-home order on the Wind River Reservation. Tribal members face court fines and potential jail time for violating it. Starting Friday, May 8, they will also be subject to a nightly 9 p.m. curfew.

"The Northern Arapaho Business Council and the Eastern Shoshone Business Council, as advised by authorized Medical Officers, specifically deem this order necessary to protect the public health," the Wind River Inter-Tribal Council wrote in a resolution signed on May 6.

Savannah Maher

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

For the past 140 years, the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes have both called the Wind River Valley home.

They didn't choose to share this reservation - and it's no secret that the two tribal governments don't always agree. But since the start of the pandemic, they've been on the same page about one thing.

Savannah Maher

 

The CARES Act, which sets aside nearly $150 billion for state and local governments, also includes $8 billion to keep tribes afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tribal governments could start to see that aid beginning this week.

Four members of the Northern Arapaho Tribe who had tested positive for COVID-19 died from complications of the illness on Monday. Chairman Lee Spoonhunter of the Northern Arapaho Business Council shared the news with the tribal community during a live web address on Tuesday morning.

Wind River Family and Community Healthcare


While the state of Wyoming hasn't issued a stay-at-home order, tribal members on the Wind River Reservation face fines and even jail time for violating one there. The reservation is also one of the only places in the state where mass COVID-19 testing is being conducted. Wind River Family and Community Healthcare, which is operated by the Northern Arapaho Tribe, is offering testing to any tribal member who wants it and quarantine housing to those who test positive.

Dr. Paul Ebbert, Chief Medical Officer of Wind River Family and Community Healthcare, spoke with Wyoming Public Radio's Savannah Maher about the clinic and the tribe's strategy for flattening the curve.

Savannah Maher

Members of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes now face fines of up to $150 and even jail time for violating a stay-at-home order on the Wind River Reservation.

Wind River Family and Community Healthcare/Lisa Yawakia

COVID-19 testing resources remain limited around Wyoming and the country. But one clinic that's operated by the Northern Arapaho Tribe has emerged as a leader in the state when it comes to testing.

U.S. Census Bureau

The Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes have both mounted outreach efforts to ensure their members have the tools to complete the 2020 census. But the COVID-19 pandemic could get in the way of a complete count on the Wind River Reservation.

Old Main, University of Wyoming. Photo: Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 3.0]

If you've spent time on a college campus lately, you may have encountered a land acknowledgment - recognition of the tribes whose ancestral land the institution is built on. But land-grant universities, originally created to educate America's working class, also owe their founding to the seizure and sale of Indigenous land. The 1862 Morrill Act granted over 17 million acres for states to sell and raise endowment principal for the institutions.

courtesy of Christie Wildcat

Every year at Gathering of Nations Powwow in New Mexico, Dozens of young Indigenous women compete for the title of Miss Indian World. This year, Northern Arapaho citizen and University of Wyoming senior Christie Wildcat was among the contestants. But the powwow and the pageant were cancelled to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

As Wildcat told Wyoming Public Radio's Savannah Maher, her preparation won't go to waste, as she plans to compete again next year.

Savannah Maher

With six cases of COVID-19 now confirmed on the Wind River Reservation, the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes have enacted some of the strictest measures in Wyoming to slow the spread. The tribes have jointly directed their citizens to remain in their homes except for emergencies, stay far away from elders and avoid gathering in groups of more than 10.

But for many tribal households, those directives contradict one another.

Wind River Family and Community Healthcare/Lisa Yawakia

With the first confirmed case of COVID-19 on the Wind River Reservation, tribal members are being asked not to leave their homes unless absolutely necessary. There are currently 14 total confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Fremont County.

WIND RIVER FAMILY AND COMMUNITY HEALTHCARE/LISA YAWAKIA

With eight cases of COVID-19 now confirmed in Fremont County, the Wind River Reservation's federally funded healthcare facilities are bracing for impact. Meanwhile, the Indian Health Service (IHS) has announced that $40 million in federal funds will be distributed to help tribes across the country combat the coronavirus.

Savannah Maher

With eight confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Fremont County, the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Tribes are preparing for the coronavirus to reach the Wind River Reservation.

Savannah Maher

During the legislative session, Representative Andi Clifford's days start before dawn. So, when her friend Representative Sara Burlingame picks her up from her hotel early on a February morning, the first thing on their agenda is getting caffeinated.

WyoFile/Flickr Creative Commons

County Clerks in Wyoming could soon be required by state law to accept tribal ID cards for voter registration, provided the ID lists the applicant's driver's license number or last four digits of their social security number.

Robert Martinez

Governor Mark Gordon honored five Wyoming artists with the 2019 Governor's Arts Award, including visual artist and graphic designer Robert Martinez. Martinez is Northern Arapaho and Chicano, and grew up in a family of talented painters and beadworkers on the Wind River Reservation. He draws and paints portraits using bright, contrasting tones in a style intended to challenge the viewer's assumptions of what Native people and Native art should look like.

"You see many depictions of Natives as black and white or sepia toned, and that connotes to a dead culture," Martinez said. "So, one of the things I was doing with this bright paint was I wanted to show that we're not dead, we're alive and strong."

Wyoming Public Radio's Savannah Maher visited Martinez at his studio outside of Riverton and talked with him about his work and what it means to be one of only a few people of color ever awarded the state's top artistic honor.

Northern Arapaho Business Council

The Northern Arapaho Business Council has declared a state of emergency amid a crisis of methamphetamine addiction on the Wind River Reservation.

Crystal C'Bearing/Northern Arapaho Tribal Historic Preservation Office

On a Saturday afternoon in January, Great Plains Hall in Arapahoe was packed with hundreds of people standing in line to bless themselves with cedar smoke, and visit with the very imposing 6-foot-long headdress. Hand-sewn and beaded, each of the dozens of eagle feathers adorning it commemorates one of Chief Black Coal's greatest accomplishments.


Savannah Maher

A $4.1 million grant from the Federal Communications Commission has allowed the Northern Arapaho-owned company Wind River Internet to begin a broadband expansion project on the reservation. During a visit this week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai had the opportunity to see the project's progress firsthand.

John K. Hillers/Wikimedia Commons

A headdress belonging to Chief Black Coal, one of most influential Arapaho leaders of the late 19th century, has been repatriated to the Northern Arapaho Tribe.

Taylar Stagner

Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone youth will soon have access to more parks and playgrounds, outdoor trips, and recreational facilities on the Wind River Reservation. 

Pages