Native American Studies


In the center of Wyoming is the seventh largest and fifth most populated Indian Reservation in the United States; the Wind River Reservation, home of the Eastern Shoshone and Northen Arapaho tribes.  Included in this collection are educational resources for teachers and students to learn about the history and culture of Native Americans.

  • Why Teach Native American History?

    In the center of Wyoming is the seventh largest and fifth most populated Indian Reservation in the United States: the Wind River Reservation, home of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes.

    Grades: 4-12
  • Who are the People of the Wind River Reservation?

    How did the reservation come to exist? How did two tribes, the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho, come to share the reservation? What are the people on the reservation like?

    Grades: 4-12
  • Who are the Northern Arapaho?

    How did the Northern Arapaho come to Wyoming? What are the Arapaho values? Why were Arapaho tribal names changed?

    Grades: 4-12
  • Who are the Eastern Shoshone?

    How and when did the Eastern Shoshone come to Wyoming? What are the Shoshone values? What are the people of the Eastern Shoshone like?

    Grades: 4-12
  • How Does Tribal Government Work?

    Tribal Government on the Wind River Reservation is in a state of flux. How do the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes govern their people? What is the relationship between Tribal, State, and Federal government?

    Grades: 4-12
  • Preserving the Ways: Culture & Tradition

    What are the futures of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes? How will the tribes retain their culture and tradition while preparing to move into the future?

    Grades: 4-12
  • Washakie: Last Chief of the Eastern Shoshone

    The long life of Chief Washakie bridged a century of change in the American west—from the time of nomadic tribes following buffalo herds, to the period when tribes relinquished their claims to vast tracts of land in the West. That's when the Eastern Shoshone settled on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

    Grades: 4-12
  • Lived History: The Story of the Wind River Virtual Museum

    'Lived History' documents the making of the Wind River Virtual Museum, a high definition archive of Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho ancestral artifacts. From the time when Europeans first traveled in North America, they took collectors' interest in the arts, weaponry and attire of Native Americans. Sometimes they purchased artifacts, sometimes they stole them, and sometimes they killed for them. Over the years, pipes, war bonnets, cradle boards and parfleches accumulated in museums. The method of acquisition was often forgotten; exact historical documentation was often difficult. Many of the artifacts have perished or deteriorated over time. Many ancient artifacts remain in the vaults and display cases of museums far from their place of origin or the people who might best explain and appreciate them.

    "Lived History" documents the creation of the 'Wind River Virtual Museum'—an archive of high definition images of ancestral artifacts created with guidance from Wind River tribal elders. Items like nineteenth century amulets, bags, drums, ceremonial headdresses and robes, everyday clothing, medicine related objects, hunting apparel, moccasins, and other meaningful objects were brought out of storage and displayed for the elders. Their commentary becomes part of the precarious and precious transmission of oral culture that the people of Wind River strive to honor and preserve, for future generations. 

    Grades: 4-12
  • Shoshone Buffalo Return

    Since 1885 the Shoshone people have been without buffalo on their land. After decades of effort beginning in the 1990’s a coalition of individuals and organizations have taken the first step in returning the North American Bison to their native lands. Nowhere is this action more culturally and ecologically significant than on the Wind River Indian Reservation in central Wyoming.

    Grades: 8
  • hd video

    Shoshone Parfleche

    Students will gain an understanding of the Shoshone tribe while learning about the Shoshone Parfleche from the WyomingPBS video.

    Grades: 4-12
  • Miss Indian America

    The Miss Indian America Pageant was launched by Sheridan residents in the 1950's to combat discrimination. The story is told through the eyes of Miss Indian America title holders who held a reunion in 2013, serving as grand marshals in the Sheridan, WY Rodeo parade and commemorating a legacy of bridging cultures.

    Grades: 4-12
  • hd video

    Shoshone Drum

    A drum like this is made from thinned deer hide or rawhide. It is fancy and has lacing which was placed on the drum when wet. This drum has a bird on it that could be a crane with a snake in its mouth. There are two basic colors: sky colors and grass colors. Everything on this drum seems to talk about life as described by the bird and the florals in front.

    Grades: 4-12
  • hd video

    Arapaho Drum

    The drum is the heartbeat of the Arapaho Tribe. The drum represents thunder and the drumsticks represent lightning. Our old people would make songs for the family. If some person was going to war, we would make songs.  Traditionally women wore blankets or a shawl. The drums were for the singers to use. When a woman took off her shawl, they would sing a song for a style of dance. But it has changed, now it's the other way around the women put on  their shawls. Today we call it round dance, participation dance, or social friendship to get everybody together. The drum was very important and was considered sacred. It still is.

    Grades: 4-12

Brand: