Tous! My Grandmother was She-Who-Couldn’t-Catch-Her-Breath and sometimes, as I examine the complex Arapaho history and our legends, I am left breathless as well. There is so much to learn and to do to preserve our stories. Fortunately, there are Elders, Teachers and Students in our tribe and many others who we have adopted, willing to devote their time to saving our Arapaho heritage.
It is with a heavy heart that I realize that so much knowledge has already been lost to us. Within just a few generations, our people have stopped speaking our language, the age based societies have disappeared and our traditions are fading from memory. But that does not mean we have disappeared. Our tribe is growing strong again and our stories have found a voice. We will be heard and people will know that the Arapaho are still here.
With this mission in mind, this website and blog is devoted to the stories and historical accounts of the Northern Arapaho Tribe of the Wind River Reservation.
The Arapaho first appeared in the Great Plains sometime in the late 1600′s. They had been chased from their agricultural villages near the headwaters of the Mississippi River into a new land. They left behind their villages and abandoned their corn/maize culture to adopt a new lifestyle on the Plains.
By the early 1700s, the Arapaho people had become a dominate trading group and had become nomadic buffalo-hunters. They were well respected by the other tribes on the plains and known far and wide for their trading abilities and for their valor. They called themselves, Hiinono’ei, the Blue Sky People, and today, we are divided into the Northern and Southern Arapaho as well as numerous other sub-tribes.
My band, the Long Legs, were part of the Northern Arapaho branch and today, my people mainly reside on the Wind River Reservation in Fremont County, Wyoming. Currently, our enrolled members exceed 10,000 and our non-enrolled members and descendants are innumerable.
As for me, I am the sixth generation of my family living on the Wind River Reservation here in Wyoming and am a recognized member of the Northern Arapaho tribe.
For the last six years, I have worked directly for our tribe at the Wind River Hotel & Casino. As the Marketing Director, I am honored to be asked by our Elders to help create cultural tourism for our tribe and to aid in the preservation of our Arapaho stories.
Visit our website at http://www.windriverhotelcasino.com for more information about how to visit our tribe and the services we offer beyond gaming, including our family friendly mini-museum, the Northern Arapaho Experience Room. And if you are in the mood to shop for authentic Arapaho artwork, visit us at http://www.windrivernativegifts.com
You can follow me on Twitter @WyomingLegend
Follow our casino @WindRiverCasino and our giftshops @WindRiverGifts
We are the Arapaho and this is our story.