Stories from the Wind River Reservation

Online

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. Wyoming Public Media serves the Wind River Reservation through Lander (KUWR 91.9, Riverton (KUWT 91.3) and Dubois (KUWR 91.3) locations.  Our reporters tell the stories of the Reservation, focusing on issues that affect the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes.  You can hear these stories on this page.  They reflect the lives of people on the Reservation, their history, hopes, and ambitions. 

Pages

Arts
1:34 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Tribes And State Collaborate To Tell Wind River Reservation History

Historical marker on the Wind River Reservation.
Credit americanindian.net

In coming years, visitors to Wyoming’s Wind River Indian Reservation will see new historical perspectives on roadside signs and markers. That’s the proposed outcome of the new Wind River Interpretive Plan. It's believed to be the first such collaboration between tribes and state government on a reservation-wide interpretive plan.

Read more
News
11:16 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Anti-Reservation Group Hosts Conference In Riverton

Credit Wyoming's Wind River Country

An organization that's working to end tribal sovereignty hosted a national conference in Riverton this weekend. The group is protesting the Environmental Protection Agency's recent decision that the city of Riverton falls within Wind River reservation boundaries. That has led to tensions between tribal members, the state, and Riverton.   The group--known as Citizens Equal Rights Alliance—posted on their website that it isn't fair that tribal members receive special status because it threatens the individual rights of all Americans.  

Read more
News
9:33 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Eastern Shoshone Tribal Liaison Resigns

The Eastern Shoshone tribal liaison has stepped down from her position, saying the governor and legislature were disrespectful to her, both as a woman and tribal member. But the Governor's office says she wasn't fulfilling her responsibility to mediate between the tribes and the state. 

Tensions have been mounting between the governor’s office and the Wind River Indian tribes for months. The Environmental Protection Agency recently ruled that the city of Riverton falls within reservation boundaries, setting the state and tribes at odds.

Read more
Open Spaces
4:33 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Report Suggests That Problems Exist At The Northern Arapaho Department Of Family Services

The tribes on the Wind River Indian Reservation run their own family services agencies, funded by the tribes themselves, federal grants and contracts with the state. But the Northern Arapaho Department of Family Services and the larger family welfare system on the reservation has some work to do.

Reviews over the years have pointed to big problems and some of them have gone years without being addressed effectively. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov has the story.   

IRINA ZHOROV:  22-month Marcella Yellowbear died on July 2nd, 2004.

Read more
Open Spaces
3:44 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Governor Mead Discusses Wind River Reservation Boundary Dispute And Education

It’s been a few months since we’ve had Governor Matt Mead on the program.  He joins Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck to discuss a dispute over boundaries in Riverton and Education.

Read more
News
7:37 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Wind River Tribes Plan Ahead For Settlement Checks

WILLOW BELDEN: In 2012, the tribes who share the Wind River Indian Reservation, the Eastern Shoshone and the Northern Arapaho Tribes, came to a settlement with the federal government for a mineral royalties mismanagement case dating back to the 1970’s. The federal government has finally released the money from the settlement, and tribal members on Wind River are anxiously awaiting their checks. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov joins us to talk about the settlement and what it means to the Wind River Community.

To start, could you tell us what this settlement is all about.

Read more
News
6:43 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Money Heads To The Wind River Indian Reservation

Long-awaited money from a settlement on the Wind River Indian Reservation is finally on its way. The 157 million dollar settlement between the tribes and the federal government is for underpayment of royalties on oil and gas development…and improper management of royalties that were paid.

Northern Arapaho spokesman Mark Howell says some people don’t have bank accounts…and there were concerns they would not be able to cash their checks.

Read more
News
4:34 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Settlement Money For Tribal Members Finally In Sight

Long-awaited money from a settlement on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming is finally on its way.

The federal government is paying the tribes $157 million for underpayment of royalties on oil and gas development and improper management of royalties that were paid. Northern Arapaho spokesman Mark Howell says some people don’t have bank accounts and there were concerns they would not be able to cash their checks.

Read more
News
10:06 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Eastern Shoshone Business Council Members Voted Out

On Saturday, the Eastern Shoshone Tribe's General Council dismissed two elected tribal officials.

Read more
News
10:52 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Sen. Enzi Drafts Bill To Define Wind River Reservation Border

As Wyoming’s appeal to an Environmental Protection Agency decision about the Wind River Indian Reservation’s borders waits for its day in court, U.S. Senators Enzi and Barrasso have drafted a bill “to clarify” those borders.

Read more
News
10:21 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Indian Housing Block Grant Program Can Be More Efficient, Report Says

Credit Wind River Reservation

A report by the Government Accountability Office says some things need to change in order for Indian tribes to be able to effectively carry out affordable housing activities under the Indian Housing Block Grant program. The program provides grants to tribes to build affordable housing. Remoteness of reservations and lack of infrastructure was one major challenge the report identified. But lack of coordination among federal agencies also delays initiatives and makes it harder to lump funds from various agencies for one project.

Read more
Open Spaces
4:28 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Representative Patrick Goggles Reflects On His Time In The Legislature

Patrick Goggles has been serving in the Wyoming House of Representatives since 2005. But at the end of the recent budget session, he announced that he won’t be seeking reelection in 2014. Goggles is a democrat from House District 33, which includes a piece of the Wind River Indian Reservation in Fremont County.

Read more
News
4:55 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Tribes To Truck Trash To Casper

Credit Rebecca Martinez

The tribes on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Fremont County will start hauling their waste to a Casper landfill soon. Fremont County has been transporting the reservation's waste to nearby landfills, but an agreement signed between the tribes and the county last summer transferred those duties to the tribes. Executive Director of the Wind River Environmental Quality Commission, Ryan Ortiz says the hold-up has been getting a truck, which is now scheduled to arrive in April.

Read more
Wyoming Stories
2:21 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Wyoming Stories: Mark Soldier Wolf Talks About Life on the Res

Mark Soldier Wolf
Credit county10.com

Mark Soldier Wolf is a Northern Arapaho tribal elder. He grew up on the Wind River Indian Reservation, outside of Riverton. For him, the past is forever inscribed on the present, a sentiment he shares in this lesser known version of the Battle at Little Bighorn.

When Soldier Wolf returned to Wyoming from the Korean War, there were very few resources for veterans. In this story, he describes how he got his life back together, and the atmosphere of Riverton during wartime.

Read more
News
4:04 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

WY Appeals EPA Decision On Wind River Borders

Wyoming has filed an appeal in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals for the Environmental Protection Agency decision that drew the borders of the Wind River Indian Reservation to include Riverton.

Read more
Open Spaces
3:58 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Negotiation Vs. Litigation: A Look At The Reservation Borders Decision

The governments of Riverton, Fremont County, the state, and of the two tribes who share the Wind River Indian Reservation are arguing, again, over the reservation’s borders.

Read more
News
4:54 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

EPA Puts Hold On Wind River Border Decision

The Environmental Protection Agency has decided to put a hold on its decision to grant the tribes on the Wind River Indian Reservation status as a state for the purpose of air monitoring.

Read more
News
7:24 am
Tue February 11, 2014

N. Arapaho Tribe Says A Stay On EPA’s Border Decision Could Provide “Breathing Room”

The Northern Arapaho Tribe has written a letter asking the Environmental Protection Agency to put the brakes on an agency decision regarding the Wind River Reservation’s borders.

The EPA recently granted the Wind River Indian Reservation status as a state for the purpose of air monitoring, and in the process determined that Riverton is on tribal land. That decision has brought up civil and criminal jurisdictional issue for the city, and the state has requested that the EPA hold off on implementing it.

Read more
Open Spaces
4:33 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Federal Courts’ Distance From Wind River Reservation A Hardship

Federal Court House in Cheyenne.

Major crimes committed on the Wind River Indian Reservation end up in federal court. But federal courthouses in Wyoming are really far from the reservation, which leads to logistical, constitutional, and social problems. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports.  

IRINA ZHOROV: John Crispin’s son was murdered in 2011. He told me about it on a snowy night in the parking lot of a convenience store in Ethete, Wyoming, on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

Read more
News
7:29 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Showing Up To Federal Court Can Be A Hardship For Wind River Residents

Accessing federal courts for Native Americans living on Wind River Reservation can be a hardship for those forced to use federal judicial services.

Native American offenders and victims of major crimes that occur in Indian Country go through the federal court system, yet for Wind River residents showing up to court can mean a 600-mile roundtrip. That’s because trials are held primarily at the federal court houses in Casper and Cheyenne.

Read more
News
6:40 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Law enforcement gearing up to protect tribal members when settlement checks arrive

As eligible Native Americans in Fremont County await checks owed them as part of a settlement with the federal government, law enforcement is preparing to institute extra security measures to protect tribal members.

Read more
News
8:01 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Tribes concerned over state response to EPA's reservation boundary ruling

Agreement over the boundaries of the Wind River Indian Reservation seems to be a long way off between the state’s tribes and Governor Matt Mead. 

The dispute is over an Environmental Protection Agency ruling that the city of Riverton falls on tribal land. In a letter to the governor Wednesday, the Northern Arapaho tribe says it was surprised by the governor’s reaction to the EPA ruling.  They say in the past, the state has actively promoted the idea of giving the tribes Treatment as a State status and allowing the EPA to settle the 1905 Act boundary dispute, once and for all. 

Read more
Wyoming Stories
10:24 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Wyoming Stories: Sergio Maldonado reflects on Native identity

Sergio Maldonado
Credit P. Solomon Banda, Associated Press

Sergio Maldonado is a Mexican-Arapaho who grew up on the Wind River Indian Reservation outside of Lander, Wyoming.  He now teaches at Central Wyoming College in Riverton.  In these two stories, Sergio talks about his experience with the Arapaho and Shoshone tribes.  His personal history informs his understanding of Native identity.

Read more
News
6:36 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

UPDATE: EPA issues Wind River Reservation state status for air monitoring, rules on res. border

After five years of deliberation, the Environmental Protection Agency has declared the Wind River Indian Reservation its own state for the purpose of air quality monitoring. The decision, made under the Clean Air Act, will allow the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes to apply for grants to support air monitoring programs, but it doesn’t give the tribes regulatory powers.

Read more
News
5:12 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Fractionation of Indian lands continues to grow

The co-ownership of a parcel of land, or land fractionation, on a dozen Indian reservations has doubled from 1992 to 2010. That’s according to a recent study which compared 2010 statistics on land fractionation to a government study from 1992, the only publicly available study of fractionation.

Fractionation happens when several heirs inherit undivided interests in the same allotment of land. Over generations, allotments can end up being shared between dozens of owners.  

Read more
News
4:54 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Tribes still waiting for answer from EPA on air quality monitoring

Almost five years ago, the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes submitted an application to the federal government asking for the Wind River Indian Reservation to be treated as a separate state for monitoring air quality. They're still waiting on a response. 

Eastern Shoshone tribe chairman Darwin St. Clair says it’s a matter of tribal sovereignty as well as stewardship of their land. He says with a coal power plant and oil and gas fields nearby, air quality is a high priority.

Read more
News
5:11 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

E. Shoshone leader says time with federal administrators will help with issues on Wind River

The White House recently hosted its fifth Tribal Nations Conference in Washington D.C. This was the first time that Darwin St. Clair, Chairman of the Eastern Shoshone Business Council, attended the conference. He says it “felt like we were actually making progress. It may not have been big steps, but we’re making steps forward.”

St. Clair said a highlight of the trip was a consultation he had with administrators from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior.  

Read more
News
9:21 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Public safety in Indian Country: an interview with an Indian Law and Order Commissioner

A national, bi-partisan commission has released a report about safety in Indian Country. Tribal communities are often more dangerous than non-Native communities. The report - A Roadmap for Making Native America Safer - looks at Native American communities nationwide and makes recommendations for closing those gaps in public safety. Affie Ellis is from Wyoming and she sits on the Indian Law and Order Commission, which put out the report. She spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov about the Commission’s findings.

Read more
News
5:54 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

New report offers recommendations for improving public safety on Indian reservations

A report released by the Indian Law and Order Commission says law enforcement responsibilities on Indian reservations should be placed with tribes, rather than with federal and state governments, as they are now. The report, titled “A Roadmap for Making Native America Safer,” looked at public safety issues in Native American communities nationwide and made recommendations to close the public safety gap by 2024. Public safety in tribal communities often lags behind non-Native communities. 

Read more
News
8:55 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Bill seeks answers for issues facing Native children

North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp has introduced a bill to create a Commission on Native Children. The Commission’s goal is to investigate problems specific to Native children and make recommendations for improving them.

Mortality has increased for Native children since 2000, and they're overrepresented in foster care, have high suicide rates, and lower graduation rates than white students. On the Wind River Indian Reservation the graduation rate for students is around 50 percent. The statewide graduation for all students is closer to 80 percent.  

Read more

Pages