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Welcome to the Wind River Indian Reservation. This is Indian Country. That's what Native Americans call the last areas controlled by Indian nations who once ranged far and wide across America.
The Wind River Reservation is the seventh largest reservation in the U.S. It is home to four thousand Eastern Shoshone and nine thousand Northern Arapahos. Both groups are reviving languages and cultural and spiritual practices that used to be repressed or even outlawed by the U.S. government. The reservation is home to two very famous historical Shoshone figures – Sacajawea and Chief Washakie -- as well as rich history and culture. As you drive through these lands, enjoy the many sights and sounds of the wonderful and amazing warm valley.
This tour is presented by the students at Fort Washakie High School with the support of the Fremont County School District #21 Board of Education. To learn more about this school visit www.fortwashakieschool.com
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Pretty soon you will be entering the heart of the town of Fort Washakie, headquarters of the Wind River Indian Reservation. Here you will find the post office, police, fire department and the Indian Health Service Clinic. The chief's building is where the Shoshone Tribal Council's elected officials hold office and conduct the day to day business of the tribe. The town was named after nearby Fort Washakie, a U.S. Army post established in 1869. This is the only fort in the country to be named after a tribal leader, Chief Washakie. The town of Fort Washakie is also where Wyoming's largest powwow and traditional celebration is held each June. Everyone is welcome to enjoy great food, arts and crafts and traditional Indian games, and of course, watch hundreds of dancers in traditional regalia compete for prizes to the unmistakable sound of native drummers and singers. Community members are honored, and admission is free. The Eastern Shoshone Cultural Center is located inside Fort Washakie School features history exhibits and artifacts, as well as the school library which has resources for historical research. The Wind River Trading Company on Highway 287 has historical exhibits, beading supplies, and souvenirs. Hines General Store south of town offers groceries and a large selection of produce.