Northern Arapaho News Letter Issue 001

Welcome to the Northern Arapaho News Letter

Think of this newsletter as your local camp crier. Here you'll find news on issues, events, activities, and stories of interest to the Northern Arapaho Tribe. You'll find out what's happening with our Hinono'eino Neito'eino', who's making the best frybread these days, and who's snaggin' who.

The Northern Arapaho Newsletter will be published bi-weekly, but we don't plan to stop there. Once this thing gains some steam, it will grow into a full in-house news media outlet. We plan on having an entire staff of writers, journalists, interviewers, and photographers, etc.

We want to connect people with the resources they need. In our tribe, we have a ton of outstanding programs. We will highlight one tribal program in each issue, sharing info on the services they offer and contact information.

Our Arapaho Language has been with us since time immemorial. With it, we uniquely see the world. It's one of the most beautiful languages out there. For each issue, we will highlight an Arapaho word/phrase. We encourage you to start using them with your family and friends!


A Word From the Chairman


As a journalist I believe in the power of the press and providing the people with accurate information. Storytelling is one of the oldest traditions utilized by indigenous people to transfer knowledge from generation to generation. With the start of a new term for the Northern Arapaho Tribe, we look forward to continuing this tradition with the start of this newsletter. Utilizing our own people and talents, this newsletter will tell the story of the Northern Arapaho people and provide vital information to our tribal members. We look forward to building and continuing new relationships and partnerships with local, state and national communities. But most of all, creating a space where tribal members can learn about the recent and most pressing issues concerning our tribe. Living in a COVID-19 world has highlighted the power collective cultures hold where we think about each other and not just individuals. I encourage you all to continue to social distance, wear a mask and please avoid large gatherings. If we all do our part, we can help stop the spread of this deadly virus. We look forward to the next two years and the exciting economic opportunities we can provide our people to help strengthen our culture, language and traditions.


Jordan Dresser, Chairmen

BREAKING NEWS, first COVID-19 vaccines on the Wind River Reservation

On December 17th 2020, George Moss was one of the first people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on the Wind River Reservation (see video below). The vaccine was administered at Wind River Family and Community Healthcare. Dr. Paul Ebbert, Chief Medical Officer, and staff also received the vaccination.

150 Pfizer vaccines were picked from Ft. Belnap, Montana. They were delivered to Wind River Family and Community Healthcare on December 17th at 2:50pm.

Vaccine storage freezer

George Moss is a respected elder among the Arapaho tribe. He is currently one of the Four Old Men, a group of highly regarded ceremonial elder within the tribe.

George Moss at Wind River Family and Community Healthcare

"Today, I was the first elder to get the vaccine, and I prayed for this day to come. It's been hard to see my Arapaho people hurt like this; they, too, will have the opportunity to get this vaccine. This COVID has broken our lives, and so I did this for you, my Arapaho people. Biixo3e3en," said Moss.

The Northern Arapaho Business Council was there in support of Moss and the clinic staff.

George Moss receiving COVID-19 vaccine

Jordan Dresser, the NABC councilman, said [that] was a big day and the silver lining we were all looking for, but he finds it bittersweet because of all the people the tribe has lost.

"This is just the start. We still need everyone to social distance, wear your masks, and avoid large family gatherings. I'm grateful the health care workers and the high-risk patients will be the first to get this," Dresser said.

Dr. Ebbert said he had no words for how excited he was. He said the vaccine is administered in two doses— the first dose is given, and three weeks later, the second dose is given. He said this vaccine is %95 percent effective. Dr. Ebbert is unsure how quickly they will continue to get the vaccine, but they will start with tribal elders and high-risk people as they continue to get more. He hopes to have the entire Arapaho tribe vaccinated within three months.

Wind River Family and Community Healthcare currently provides medical services for all Federally Recognized Tribal Members and descendants.

Arapaho Phrase

I am hungry— Heesneenoo (hass-naa-naw)

Practice with your friends and family!

Local US Navy Veterans Receives Aid in Repairing Home

Stephen Seminole served 12 years in the United States Navy and four years in the United States Naval Construction Battalion, Seabees. With the Wyoming winter on its way, Seminole's house needed to be winterized. He reached out to The Soldier’s House of Fremont County via an application process to receive help.

Stephen Seminole carrying new role of insulation

The Soldier’s House of Fremont County is an organization whose mission is to bring support and free mental health services to Fremont County veterans and families. Through volunteer-driven work, they seek to honor and pay homage to veterans.

The Soldier's House recently received a grant from the LOR Foundation and fiscal sponsorship from the Lander Community Foundation to rebuild and retrofit houses. The Soldier's House used a portion of the funding to purchase material for Seminole's house. On October 13th, 2020, a group of volunteers from The Soldier's House, Team Rubicon, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints replaced the OSB plywood and insulation around Seminole's house.

The house has been in Seminole's family since 1979. He inherited the house from his late mother, Madeline Addison. He has many childhood memories of spending time with his family in his house.

Volunteers replacing insulation and OSB plywood

Seminole said he struggled to get the materials to fix his house, but the Soldiers House stepped forward and helped.

"Growing up, I saw my mom work hard to provide for a big family. That inspired me to join the Navy and learn all I could. Now that I'm home, it's important for me to take care of this house," Seminole said.

The Soldier's House of Fremont County is always open for volunteers. They welcome veterans, and non-veterans who are looking to give back to those that served our country. If you would like to contact the Soldier's House for more information on their services, you can reach them at (307) 856-1244.

Volunteer groups

NABC Sworn in, Facts about Chairmen Vote

On Dec. 1, the Northern Arapaho Business Council took an oath of office during an outdoor swearing-in ceremony. The council members include Jordan Dresser, Lee Spoonhunter, Kim Harjo, Boniface Ridgley, Jared White Bull, and Stephen Fast Horse.

In a vote for the NABC chairman, the governing panel voted 3-3 for Jordan Dresser and Lee Spoonhunter. The NABC moved to verbal compromises and agreements to decide the chairman vote; Jordan Dresser will be the chairman for 2020-2021, Lee Spoonhunter will transition to chairman in 2021-2022.

A recent news article accused Spoonhunter of using a resolution to contest the transition of the chairman seat.

"Regarding the wind river news story about me addressing resolutions and authority of the chairman—that was not true and not accurate. I only mentioned that I am here to work with the council, be a team player, and do my part. You could ask the other five council members, and they'll agree and confirm I never talked about any resolutions or authority," Spoonhunter said.

Chairman Dresser plans to use his background in journalism to listen, seek information, and give transparency.

Arapaho Council House at St. Micheal's Mission

USDA grant allows more inclusion for Indigenous students at UW, CWC

In a collaborative effort, the University of Wyoming and Central Wyoming College received a grant to allow for more inclusion of Indigenous students at each respective institute. The more than half-a-million dollar grant will fund a four year project titled “Growing Season: Native student pathways to food system and sovereignty studies.”

Dr. Tarrisa Spoonhunter, the co-project director, says the goal of the project is to attract and retain more Native students earning higher education degrees in food, agriculture, natural resources, and human science disciplines (FANH).

The grant will add a food, agriculture, natural resources, and human science-focused study track to UW's annual Native American Summer Institute (NASI) week for high school students. It will also create a full-time FANH advanced NASI week for Native people with high school or GED degrees and create a two-day FANH workshop at CWC in advance of NASI.

“A good way to go about this is to start including indigenous foods and indigenous plants, and wild game. I think that would be attractive for our students. Through this partnership [of UW, CWC, and the Wind River Reservation], we can show students their interests and how education is relevant to them,” Spoonhunter said.

Jill Keith, the project director, says they’ve been working together for a while and this grant will give Native American students the support they need while strengthening community connections

Melvin Aurthur, a research scientist and the University of Wyoming, says the program will measure success by attendance, feedback and student progress. Arthur says it’s about more than just numbers, it’s about creating a system for Native students that wasn’t there before.

For more information, email Keith at jkeith5@uwyo.edu or Spoonhunter at tspoonhu@cwc.edu.

Northern Arapaho Program Highlight

Northern Arapaho Facilities is located at 686 17Mile Road Arapaho Wy 82510.

Services: propane supply, septic pumps, minor home repair (electrical, plumbing, etc.), in the near future they will deliver potable water, in the near future they will offer spray foam insulation services

Director: Otis McCabe

Hours: Monday-Friday 8am-5pm

Contact: 307-856-7751

Food Box Crew

Since April, Brenden Harjo has coordinated free food distributions for the community. He’s hired a crew to aid in the distribution. They have served over 63,000 people and have helped alleviate the stress during these trying times.

The food has been donated from the Jackson Hole Foundation and Wings as Eagles Ministries. The Jackson Hole Foundation donated canned food for the local elders. Wings as Eagles Ministries donated produce boxes.

The food box crew has been distributing out of the Ethete area and the 789 Smokeshop.

Laborers putting produce boxes into vehicles

Rob Valdez, a crew leader, and laborer says he doesn’t think twice about helping out. It has always been like that for him. All his life, he has enjoyed helping his community and people, from young to old. Respect, dedication, listening, humor, and being humble are vital components to him.

“This pandemic is teaching us patience. We must live day by day and not rush into things. We are all family, and we must all help. While I am happy to help, the Arapaho crew has dedicated its time and hard work to food distribution. I have witnessed a lot of good things about the crew. This whole thing is about the families and the people that put themselves out there to provide for our community,” said Valdez.

Thanks to the food box crew, a population the size of Cheyenne Wyoming has been provided with food.

During the remaining month of December, the food distributions will take place at the 789 Smokeshop.

Historical Fact: The first Arapahos arrived on the Wind River Reservation in 1878

Food Bank Partners with NABC

The Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies received a grant called the Culturally Responsive Food Initiative. The grant intends to deliver food to the Wind River Reservation through a partnership with the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes.

The Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies works to help families thrive by efficiently procuring and distributing food and essentials to the hungry through their programs and partner agencies.

In this alliance, the Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies is seeking guidance from the tribes for the most efficient way to deliver the food.

Tony Woodell, the food bank director, said they are currently looking to hire a consultant from each respective tribe.

During their first food distribution, on November 23-24th, they served around 3,000 people.

There will be another food distribution on December 21st. The delivery locations will be Blue Sky Hall in Ethete and Eastern Shoshone Housing Authority in Fort Washakie.

The Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies is conducting a survey for the Wind River Reservation residents. The survey will influence what foods will be available at the upcoming food pantries. Click the link below to complete the quick survey.

Food Distribution on Dec. 21

Contact us

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