News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Shoshones' survival as a tribe being threatened
Jan 31, 2014 - Mary Hope, Ethete
I am writing in response to recent articles and letters to the editor about whether Riverton is on the Shoshone Indian Reservation, now called Wind River.
In 1904, the Shoshone agreed to lease part of their reservation to homesteaders who were to pay semi-annual lease payments for 99 years, then after 99 years the land was to revert back to the Shoshone Tribe.
Homesteaders paid to the Lander land office for two years. Then it was found out there was a need for canals for irrigation, and government used the lease money to build canals instead of giving the money to Shoshones, and settlers stopped paying lease money.
During the 1930s, the Shoshone tribe won a lawsuit against the federal government for placing the Northern Arapaho on the reservation without the Shoshones' approval.
The Shoshone had been asking the government to take the Arapaho off the reservation and give them their own reservation. But when the Shoshone received their Shoshone Judgment Fund, the government forced the Shoshone to purchase land to give to the Arapaho.
The Shoshones didn't want to purchase land, they just want their settlement given to them.
The history of the reservation has been a coercive, threatening and stealing of the reservation from Shoshones, giving half interest to the Arapaho when they had no treaty.
Now, because of what has happened, it is an injury to the survival of the Shoshone tribe.