Programs

— Native Narratives —

— Native Narratives —

Our Shared History - Our Shared Future

Wyoming Humanities is committed to celebrating and sharing the stories of the Indigenous people of our area, including the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone of the Wind River Reservation. The “Native Narratives” initiative is an ongoing collaborative work to honor the heritage of these tribes.

Wyoming Humanities respectfully acknowledges that we serve a region that is home to, and rich with the history and culture of, several Indigenous communities, including the Eastern Shoshone, Northern Arapaho, Northern Cheyenne, Crow, Ute, and Lakota Nations. We recognize our obligation to give voice to all people as we explore our past and envision our future. As an organization, we are committed to working with the Indigenous Nations of our region as we use the humanities to expand the Wyoming narrative. Our Native Narratives Initiative includes educational and cultural preservation projects designed in collaboration with American Indians in and around our state.

2024 Powwow Guide

Expanding Wyoming's Cultural Narrative

In response to the Indian Education for All Act passed by the Wyoming Legislature in 2017, Wyoming Humanities launched a project to raise awareness of the historical and legal events that led to the creation of the Wind River Indian Reservation as it is bounded and governed today.

Wyoming Humanities designed and manufactured portable, easy-to-assemble exhibits, called “pop-up kiosks,” for use in classrooms and public venues throughout the state.

To date, we have provided more than 125 kiosks free of charge to every school district, every county library system, community college library, and other interested museums and public institutions.

Plains Indian Sign Language

As an organization, Wyoming Humanities is committed to working with the Indigenous Nations of our region as we use the humanities to expand the Wyoming narrative. Our Native Narratives Initiative includes educational and cultural preservation projects designed in collaboration with American Indians in and around our state.

Plains Indian Sign Language, PISL, developed as a way for Native Americans of different tribes to communicate with each other across the barrier of different languages.

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In sign language this means

Tribal Talks

Beginning in 2018, a series of talks was held to discuss issues facing the Wind River Reservation and people from the Arapaho and Shoshone tribes in Wyoming. The CWC Institute of Tribal Learning Center, Riverton, WY, operates to better understand relationships and respectful behavior toward the tribes and amongst non-natives and native populations. The series continues to this day, with multiple Tribal Talks events taking place annually.

See Tribal Talks Events on the Calendar

Wyoming Humanities is pleased to provide a variety of resources related to the tribes on the Wind River Reservation

In response to the Indian Education for All Act passed by the Wyoming Legislature in 2017, Wyoming Humanities launched a project to raise awareness of the historical and legal events that led to the creation of the Wind River Indian Reservation as it is bounded and governed today. This includes the “Two Nations, One Reservation” exhibition/kiosk found across the state.

This project introduces the complicated story of how two sovereign nations, the Eastern Shoshone and the Northern Arapaho—historical enemies with different languages and cultures—were forced to share the lands of the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming as a result of treaties, legal actions, and historical events.

Research quickly revealed a wide range of other projects supporting the Indian Education for All Legislation that were already underway across the state. To avoid repetition, collaborate on promotion, and share work, WYH reached out to organizations and scholars involved in these other projects, beginning with an introduction meeting at the Central Wyoming College Intertribal Center in Riverton, Wyoming.

Supposedly haunted American Indian graveyard.

Two Nations, One Reservation

Scholars working on Indian Education for All related projects and participating representatives from both tribes identified a process to create and distribute the exhibits and support related work.

To date, Wyoming Humanities has provided more than 125 “pop-up” kiosks free of charge to every school district, every county library system, community college library, and other interested museums and public institutions.

Exhibit guides for kids, adults, and hosts are available for classroom and public display. If you are interested in hosting one of the exhibition kiosks or obtaining multiple copies of the guides, contact us at ask@thinkwy.org.

Additional Resources

2024 Teton Powwow Guide

Two Nations, One Reservation – Adult Guide

Two Nations, One Reservation – Kids Guide

Two Nations, One Reservation – Host Guide

Indigenous people in Wyoming and the West