Almost five years ago, the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes submitted an application to the federal government asking for the Wind River Indian Reservation to be treated as a separate state for monitoring air quality. They're still waiting on a response.
Eastern Shoshone tribe chairman Darwin St. Clair says it’s a matter of tribal sovereignty as well as stewardship of their land. He says with a coal power plant and oil and gas fields nearby, air quality is a high priority.
The Northern Arapaho Tribe is currently being sanctioned for not submitting their audits for the last couple of years, and the audits that were submitted, up to 2010, received poor marks. The audits found that everything from timely drawdowns to proper tracking of tribal and federal funds to a suitable Human Resources system that hired qualified workers and paid them appropriate wages were missing or lacking. The tribe put together a corrective action plan after the 2009 audit.
The Northern Arapaho Tribe is a mess, financially. They’re behind on their audits, past audits have not been flattering, and change has been slow to come. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov has been looking into why the audits are less than ideal and the status of the Tribe’s future financial solvency.
BOB BECK: To start, why is a federal governmental agency even auditing a tribe, if the tribe is supposed to be pretty much sovereign?
The tribes on the Wind River Indian Reservation have signed a six-month temporary contract with Fremont County to continue solid waste disposal services there. The previous contract expired earlier this month.
The Northern Arapaho general tribal election, which was supposed to take place today, has been postponed to December.
First, the tribe will conduct a new primary later this month. The original primary election’s results have been voided because Arapaho Business Council members said one candidate, Kim Harja, should not have been on the ballot. Harja is supposed to sit out until 2016 because she was previously dismissed from the Council.
HOST: The number of Northern Arapaho tribe members who speak their native language is dwindling. Tribal entities have been working for decades trying to preserve the language. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports that they’ve been having mixed success.
(Sound: kids speaking Arapaho)
REBECCA MARTINEZ: Tribal elder Alvena Oldman is the director of an Arapaho language immersion preschool in Ethete.
OLDMAN: Hinono’ Eitiino’ Oowu’. Arapaho Language Lodge.
The Northern Arapaho Tribe is pressing its legal claim that tribal members shouldn't be subject to taxation by the state of Wyoming or Fremont County on lands around Riverton. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver is set to hear an appeal from the Northern Arapaho next week. The tribe is appealing a 2009 ruling by Judge Clarence Brimmer of Cheyenne that dismissed its legal challenge. Brimmer ruled the Northern Arapaho Tribe's lawsuit couldn't proceed without the involvement of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe and
Wyoming’s Northern Arapaho Tribe is being allowed to capture and kill two bald eagles for religious purposes. The permit comes from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which has issued similar permits for golden eagles in the past, but never before for bald eagles. Wyoming Public Radio’s Tristan Ahtone reports.