Senator Enzi and Senator Barrasso have drafted a bill to define boundaries of the Wind River Reservation. Tribal representatives expressed opposition and their intent to further discuss concerns.
“It wasn't something that he was pushing through is my understanding, however he is hoping to bring some resolution to the issues here on the Wind River reservation," said Eastern Shoshone Councilman Darwin St. Clair.
Northern Arapahoe Public Affairs Consultant Mark Howell said Northern Arapahoe tribal representatives learned of a plan March 26 and met with the entire Wyoming Congressional Delegation March 27. He said leaders were given until April 4 to provide comments on the bill. Howell said tribal leaders asked the delegation not to proceed with the bill, because this would remove 171,000 acres of land from the reservation.
St. Clair said the boundaries of the Wind River Treaty of 1868 have never changed, except for land sales of Thermopolis Hot Springs and Lander.
"We have had some communication with Senator Enzi and it sounds like it’s something that we can all discuss,” said St. Clair.
Howell said tribal representatives have not heard anything since they asked for reconsideration of the bill. St. Clair said he hopes the draft bill will bring everyone to the table to avoid litigation.