Welcome to the Cheyenne-Arapaho Archives of the state of Oklahoma!
Taken from Sioux words that mean 'people of an alien speech'---referring to the Cheyenne's native Algonquian language. Cheyenne words for the tribe mean 'people who are alike.'
Cheyenne is indicated by drawing the right index finger across the left several times---which means 'striped arrows,' alluding to the tribe's preference for turkey feathers to wing their arrows.
Modern Cheyenne history began at their meeting with the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804 in the Black Hills of South Dakota. In 1868, U.S. troops led by Gen. Custer made a surprise attack on Black Kettle's village on the Washita River in western Oklahoma. Chief Black Kettle and many of his band were killed. These attacks understandably made the tribe bitter and resentful for many years.
Long closely related with the Arapaho, in 1867, the Cheyenne were co-assigned a western Oklahoma reservation with the tribe under the Medicine Lodge Treaty. Their surplus lands were organized as a part of Oklahoma Territory and opened to white settlement in 1892. Today they are called the Southern Cheyenne tribe, a reference intended to distinguish them from their Northern division in Montana.
Arapaho originates in the Pawnee term tirapihu, meaning 'he buys or trades,' as the Arapaho were the trading tribe in the Great Plains region. They have long been closely associated linked with the Cheyenne tribe, who called them 'Cloud Men.' The name given to them by the Sioux has a similar meaning; 'Blue-Cloud Men.'
In 1835, the Arapaho tribe divided into Southern and Northern groups. Oklahoma members are Southern Arapaho, the largest group; Northern Arapaho live in Wyoming.
A treaty with the Arapaho and Cheyenne in 1867 provided the two tribes with a reservation bounded on the north and east by the Kansas state line and the Arkansas River, and on the west and south by the Cimarron River, a tract lying within the Cherokee Outlet in what in now northern Oklahoma. Oppositions and uncertainties among the western tribes in locating on reservations delayed the settlement of the Plains tribes in western Oklahoma. The Arapaho and Cheyenne did not settle on the reservation assigned to them, but instead located their villages south along the North Canadian River. A presidential proclamation in 1869 assigned a new reservation to the two tribes, in an area along the North Canadian and the upper Washita Rivers.
Linda Simpson - Archivist-Indian Nations/Indian Territory
Help the archives grow, kindly submit data
If you have any cemetery records, bible records, deeds, applications for citizenship in the Cheyenne-Arapaho Nations, etc... please send them to me as an attachment in an e-mail to Katy Hestand. Please be sure to identify that it is for the Cheyenne-Arapaho. It also needs to be a plain text file, no HTML and no images. This ensures that everybody will be able to read it, no matter what kind of web browser. Here is a help file.
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Submitted by Barbara Clayton-2001-2002
I would like to thank Barbara Clayton who Maintained this site
for the US Gen Web Archive Project 2001-2002©
© 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 This Archive maintained by Katy Hestand
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Saturday 10-Mar-2007 12:03 PM