Northern Arapaho Tribe

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Cultural History

The Northern Arapaho Tribe is a tribe of Wyoming origin which is one of the four groups of Arapaho who used to occupy the headwaters of the areas in Arkansas and the Platte Rivers. It is a federally recognized tribe by the United States of America. The tribal members can speak several variations of language, thus they are known to be linguists. They can speak the Algonquin language and are said to be at the people's most southwest extension. Based on the culture, the tribe is one of the Plains Indians. They are, however, socially and historically different from the Plains Indians. The Arapaho, together with the Cheyenne tribe have shared a reservation land area which was granted to them by upon the signing of the Treaty of 1851. The land area that was granted to them extended to one sixth of the size of Wyoming and one fourth of the Colorado as well as to some other parts of the Western Kansas and Nebraska. The Treaty of 1868 ceded the grant from the Arapaho, leaving them without a territory. The tribe was then urged to be transferred along with the Shoshone in the west central portion of Wyoming, most specifically on the Wind River Reservation.

The tribe settled in an area which is located in between the scenic Wind River Range and the Owl Creek Mountains. Their land area, which is almost up to 2.2 million acres, is being shared with other tribal neighbors; the 4,200 acres being occupied by the Shoshone while the other 7,400 of the land occupied by the Northern Arapaho.

The reservation area encompasses that of the city of Riverton which has a new airport terminal. The said reservation is bordered by Lander City to the south and by the Thermopolis on the northeastern side. An important feature of the reservation is the Burlington Northern Railroad which runs along the eastern boundary of the reservation.  Another important feature of the tribal reservation is the Wind River which provides irrigation for the Boysen Reservoir located in the north of Riverton. The Wind River Indian Reservation is said to have one of the most beautiful areas in the whole of the State of Wyoming. Several outdoor activities are performed in the area during the summer. The summer activities are the boating, fishing, mountain climbing and some other country outings as well as the celebration using the colorful Pow-wows tradition. The activities often attract tourists from all over the world. The reservation area is one of the most beautiful and scenic places in Wyoming.

The business enterprises of which the tribe is engaged are the schools, from preschool up to high school and the Central Wyoming College which is an accredited college situated in Riverton. The tribe is also into investing in real estate and infrastructure as well as water and sewer services.

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