Arapaho

Tim Hulsen, Flickr Creative Commons

Let’s go back--way back--to 1868. The Northern Arapaho tribe has survived not only the Sand Creek Massacre but decades of war with the US Army. They’re an exhausted people. In the middle of winter, the US Army decides to move them across Shoshone territory to Oklahoma.

“Well, you know Wyoming winters,” says John Washakie, great grandson of Chief Washakie and longtime Shoshone Councilman. He’s also a tribal storyteller. “They’re very cold. The horses were not in the best of shape. Some of the children and women were ill.”

A federal judge must decide a dispute between two Wyoming Indian tribes ... over whether eagles may be killed on the Wind River Reservation for religious purposes.

Judge Alan Johnson of Cheyenne heard arguments Friday in a lawsuit the Northern Arapaho Tribe is pressing against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The federal agency issued a permit to the Northern Arapaho this spring specifying the tribe could kill two bald eagles for its annual Sun Dance. It was the nation's first bald eagle permit for religious purposes.

The largest wildfire in Wyoming this season has been declared contained.
 
The Arapaho Fire in the Laramie Peak area of the Medicine Bow National Forest was declared 100 percent contained on Thursday.
 
The fire has burned about 153 square miles since lightning started it on June 27.  At its peak, the fire had around 1,000 firefighters assigned to it.
 
The U.S. Forest Service cautions that there is extensive fire damage and people should use caution within the burned area.
 

The Arapaho fire near Wheatland is the second highest priority fire in the Rocky Mountain Region as of today. It’s burned nearly 88,000 acres and has forced 300 homes to be evacuated.

Public Information Officer Jim Whittington says erratic winds have pushed the fire in multiple directions, and he says it spread fast.

“The first day it was at 5,000 acres and then a couple days later it was at 75,000 acres. You’re talking 25, 30 thousand acres a day,” Whittington said. “This fire still has a lot of potential, and it obviously grew very fast, very quickly.”

A federal judge will allow Eastern Shoshone Tribe to challenge the Northern Arapaho Tribe’s plan to sue for the right to kill bald eagles on the reservation they share.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a permit to the Northern Arapaho Tribe allowing them to kill two bald eagles annually for religious purposes, as long as they do so outside the reservation they share with the Shoshone. Because Wyoming state law prohibits the killing of eagles on state land, the Northern Arapaho are suing Fish and Wildlife for the right to kill the eagles on the reservation.

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.

A former director of the Northern Arapaho tribe's Department of Social Services will serve three years of probation for embezzling tribal funds.

George Moss was sentenced in federal court in Cheyenne on Tuesday. Judge Alan B. Johnson ordered the 65-year-old to serve the first six months of his sentence under house arrest.

Federal prosecutors charged Moss with improperly approving requests by two former employees for over $100,000 in pay advances or loans from 2005 to 2006. Moss pleaded guilty this summer. The other two employees also have been convicted.

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.