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. 

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.

pills
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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.  

Melodie Edwards

In the early 20th century, tribal members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma became extremely wealthy after discovering oil underneath their reservation. Then, dozens of Osage members started turning up murdered in a vast conspiracy meant to redirect their wealth into the hands of white men.

In the recent book Killers of the Flower Moon, author David Grann explores this chapter in American history. Grann visited the University of Wyoming as a guest lecturer, and Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard spoke with him about how he first became interested in the Osage Indian Murders and their legacy. 

Northern Arapaho Tribe

The Northern Arapaho Tribe on the Wind River Reservation has filed a lawsuit against some of the country’s biggest opioid manufacturers and distributors. 

Stephanie Joyce

  

Advocates for the Wind River tribes say they were relieved to hear that Wyoming Governor Matt Mead vetoed a bill that would have given stiff fines and jail time to protesters that blocked access to or damaged infrastructure like oil and gas facilities. 

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.

Bison in Yellowstone
AMY MARTIN

Three people were arrested this week at the Stephen’s Creek facility in Yellowstone National Park.

Early Tuesday morning, park officials found two people trying to chain themselves to a structure where bison are held before they leave the facility. Later in the day, park officials said a third individual was found in a restricted area.

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.

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