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.

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. You can hear these stories on this page. They reflect the lives of people on the Reservation, their history, hopes, and ambitions. 

A bipartisan group of indigenous state lawmakers just published a letter condemning the President’s use of the name “Pocahontas” in a recent Montana rally. They say it hurts the already-wounded image of Native American women.

A controversy over the names of two landmarks in Yellowstone National Park highlight a forgotten genocide in the U.S. and how historical awareness, conflicting narratives and misinformation help muddy the waters.


The Bureau of Land Management planned to lease about 18,000 acres of land in southern Colorado for oil and gas drilling. Now, the bureau says it’s holding off so it can consult with the Navajo Nation.

The second Native American Summer Institute wrapped up last month and grew from 28 students last year to 38 this year. Participants were high school Native American students with an interest in coming to the University of Wyoming. Most students were from the Wind River Reservation, but also from as far as Billings, Montana. The students participated in workshops over the week that included student-driven talks about being Native American.

At Thursday’s Montana rally, President Donald Trump repeatedly called Democratic U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas.” Montana is home to eight tribal nations and more than 60,000 Native Americans.  

Jessica Flock

A recent report from a non-profit group aimed at erasing misconceptions about Native Americans says Indigenous people still face discrimination and invisibility.

There’s a storm rolling in over the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana. The clouds are low and dark as distant lightning cracks over a green prairie. 

Wade Running Crane is starting to get wet.

“This is like a sign from Ashley that she’s here,” he said.

Darrah Perez

Nationally, there’s a shortage of about 68,000 homes on tribal reservations, and on the Wind River Reservation, both the Northern Arapaho and the Eastern Shoshone tribes are hundreds of homes short. That’s led to severe overcrowding and homelessness there.

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.

CC0 Public Domain

At a public meeting on Wednesday, tribal members from around the country spoke out against the decision by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to hold a fall grizzly bear hunt. Blackfeet member Tom Rogers is with the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council. He said the federal government is required by law to consult tribes on natural resource issues that affect them, like a grizzly bear hunt.

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.

Hunter Old Elk


The Plains Indian Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West has partnered with the Creative Indigenous Collective (CIC). A group of Northern Plains indigenous artists created the collective to promote contemporary native art. This is the first time the Plains Indian Museum is partnering with modern artists. 

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.

Jessica Flock

Over the last few weeks, Native Americans from across the Northern Plains have been traveling toward Fort Laramie National Historic Site in Wyoming. They came by bus, by foot and even by horse. They're here to recognize the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty. 

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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