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 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. 

This week marks the 147th anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre, in which nearly 200 members of the Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes were murdered.

The soldiers who carried out the atrocity were led by a Methodist minister. This spring, the Methodist Church plans to formally apologize.

The apology is part of a string of “Acts of Repentance,” in which the church is acknowledging wrongdoing to indigenous peoples around the world.

In early November, a Texas-based company called Legacy Reserves LP announced that it would purchase oil and gas properties in Fremont County: primarily properties owned by Encana in the Pavillion area. Late last week, Legacy Reserves pulled out of the deal.

On October 31 U.S. Senator and Indian Affairs Committee Chairman Daniel K. Akaka proposed legislation that would give tribal courts jurisdiction over non-Indians who committed crimes on tribal lands.

The authority to prosecute non-Natives in tribal courts was stripped in a 1978 Supreme Court ruling. Supporters of Senator Akaka’s bill say that the 1978 ruling led to an increase in violence on reservations and has resulted in unprosecuted and unpunished offenders.

Meeting over wolf plan to be held in Riverton

Nov 11, 2011

Federal wildlife managers are soliciting public comment on a plan that could see an end to federal protections for Wyoming wolves as soon as next year.

In 2008 the Environmental Protection Agency launched an investigation in the Pavillion area after residents complained of health problems and changes in the odor, taste and color of their well water. Last night, the EPA released new data from deep monitoring wells in the area. 

Over the years, Pavillion residents have complained about health problems, which they blame on oil and gas development in the area. Governor Matt Mead says he's keeping an eye on what happens at a public meeting over the situation tonight.

"I think everyone should be rightfully concerned about the Pavillion issue because we're not sure what's been going on out there," Mead said. "I know the EPA today is going to release some additional data that we're going to be eager to take a look at hopefully before any big conclusions are drawn one way or another."

August 5th, 2011

Nov 10, 2011

Listen to the whole show

A listing of today's stories:

Residents of the town of Pavillion say a company called Legacy Reserves LP has entered an agreement to purchase natural gas properties in the area from the current owner, Encana. 

Representatives from Legacy Reserves did not return calls to confirm the sale, but according to their website,  the Midland, Texas-based company will purchase several properties in Freemont County, where Pavillion is located, for 45-million dollars.

A Northern Arapaho man has lost another bid to challenge his conviction in the beating death of his infant daughter.

Andrew John Yellowbear Jr. is serving a life sentence in the death of 22-month-old Marcela Hope Yellowbear in 2004.

He had argued Wyoming lacked authority to prosecute him because the area of Riverton where Marcela died was legally part of the Wind River Indian Reservation. The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year declined to consider that argument.

Last year, the Department of Energy released well monitoring data from the Wind River Reservation. What they found was that uranium levels in a number of their wells had spiked up to 100 times the legal limit. But while the data points to the fact that there may be a serious problem with the area, it's nothing new: residents in the area have been complaining of health problems for years, and now both the Shoshone and Arapaho tribes, as well as a truckload of other federal agencies, are trying to figure out what's going on, and what to do next.

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