“Two Nations One Reservation”
These small pop-up exhibits introduce the story of how, treaties, laws, events, and people shaped the history of the Wind River Indian Reservation (WRIR) in central Wyoming and resulted in two formerly enemy tribes sharing the same reservation. Late in 2018 Wyoming Humanities shipped exhibits with an estimated value of $1500 each to 48 school district offices, 31 county libraries and branches, 23 Community Colleges and branch campuses, 10 local, state and federal museums or historic sites and 15 other organizations or teachers that requested copies. The exhibits have become permanent components of Wyoming’s cultural and educational network.
In response to the 2017 “Indian Education for All” Act, Wyoming Humanities raised funds for projects to increase awareness about American Indian history and culture in Wyoming. Research quickly revealed a wide range of other projects supporting the Indian Education for All Legislation that were already underway across the state. To avoid repetition, collaborate on promotion and share work WYH reached out to organizations and scholars involved in these other projects beginning with an introduction meeting at the Central Wyoming College Intertribal Center in Riverton Wyoming on June 16, 2017. At that meeting scholars working on Indian Education for All related projects and participating representatives from both tribes identified a process to create and distribute the exhibits and support related work.
Our collaboration with and financial support for other groups and individuals working to provide materials meeting the unfunded mandate of the Indian Education for All legislation supported important educational opportunities for Wyoming citizens and visitors throughout 2017,2018 and into 2019 including a showcase reception for the Wyoming legislature in February of 2018 wherein legislators reviewed and discussed existing and underway projects related to the Indian Education for All Act with scholars. WYH also provided support for the WY-Wind River: Economic Development and Entrepreneurship Symposium at the University of Wyoming in April 2019.
In January 2018, Warehouse 21 of Cheyenne was hired by Wyoming Humanities to use information from the first draft of a professionally prepared chronological summary and comments on the draft that were provided by participants, to develop and design the exhibit. More than 30 Shoshone and 30 Arapaho tribal members along with a dozen non-native scholars were asked to review the draft and provide comments. Final content reviews for the exhibit and guides were approved in July 2018. The exhibit was unveiled at the Indian Education conference August 8th and 9th, 2018 at St. Stephens on the Wind River Indian Reservation.