Wind River Reservation

 

The Wind River Indian Reservation is an Indian reservation shared by the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes of Native Americans in the central western portion of the U.S. state of Wyoming. It is the seventh-largest Indian reservation by area in the United States, encompassing a land area of 8,995.733 km˛ (3,473.272 sq mi), or land and water area of 9,147.864 km˛ (3,532.010 sq mi), encompassing just over one-third of Fremont County and over one-fifth of Hot Springs County.

The reservation is located in the Wind River Basin, and is surrounded by the Wind River Mountain Range, Owl Creek Mountains, and the Absaroka Mountains. The 2000 census reported a population of 23,237 inhabitants. The largest town is Riverton. Headquarters are at Fort Washakie. Also home to the Wind River Casino, Little Wind Casino, 789 Smoke Shop & Casino (all Northern Arapaho) and the Shoshone Rose Casino (Eastern Shoshone), which are the only casinos in Wyoming.

The Wind River Indian Reservation was established for the Eastern Shoshone Indians in 1868. Camp Auger, a military post with troops, was established at the present site of Lander on June 28, 1869. In 1870 the name was changed to Camp Brown and in 1871 the post was moved to the current site of Fort Washakie. The nickname was changed to honor the Shoshone Chief Washakie in 1878 and continued to serve as a military post until its abandonment in 1909.
 
A government school and hospital functioned for many years east of Fort Washakie and children were sent here to board during the school year. St. Michael's at Ethete was constructed in 1917-20.

The village of Arapahoe was originally established as a sub-agency to distribute rations to the Arapaho and at one time had a large trading post. In 1906 a portion of the reservation was ceded to white settlement and Riverton evolved on some of this land. Lands were allotted in the 1800s to the various families and names were anglicized. Irrigation was brought in to develop farming and ranching and a flour mill constructed near Fort Washakie.

 

Eastern Shoshone Tribe
Northern Arapaho Tribe
Fort Washakie
Chief Washakie Foundation


 

Linda Simpson
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