Alternate Names: Arapahoe
Ancestral Homelands: Great Lakes area and northern Minnesota, moving on to North Platte and Arkansas Rivers in Colorado Territory
Cultural Group: Plains Indians
Linguistic Group: Algonkian
Location today: Northern Arapaho in southern Wyoming and northern Colorado and the Southern Arapaho in Oklahoma and southern Kansas
Related Tribes and Groups: The Atsine or Gros Ventre are a branch of the Arapaho.
During the 1700's the tribe migrated from the Great Lakes region into the Great Plains
In 1835 conflict with in the tribe caused a division, createting the Northern Arapaho and Southern Arapaho groups. The Northern Arapaho settled in what is now Wyoming near the Rocky Mountians. The Southern group settled in "Colorado" near the Arkansas River.
A Treaty in 1861 stated ..."Out of the lands so set apart and retained there shall be assigned to each member of said tribes, without distinction of age or sex, a tract of forty acres, to include in every case, as far as practicable, a reasonable portion of timber and water; ....and one hundred and sixty acres shall also be reserved out of each division of the retained tract for the establishment and support of schools for the education of the youth of the tribe..."
During the Sand Creek Massacre, in 1864 130 Southern Arapaho and Cheyenne were killed by the U.S. Army.
A proposed Treaty October 14, 1865 ratified in May of 1866. made an effort to provide for the survivors of the Sand Creek Massacre, and propossed ..."an accurate census of the Indians entitled shall be taken at the time of the annuity payment in the spring of each year by their agent...the census shall be the bases on which the amount to be expended the next ensuing year shall be determined..."
The 1865 Treaty at the council-ground on the Little Arkansas in the state of Kansas, proclaimed the Cheyenne, Arapaho and Apache tribe are to be united and recognized as Confederated Tribes.
With the signing of the Treaty of Medicine Lodge (1867), the Southern Arapaho were placed on a reservation in Oklahoma sharing with the Cheyenne. The Treaty of Fort Laramie assigned the Northern Arapaho to the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota to be shared with the Sioux, however the Northern Arapaho desired their own lands. Finally in 1878 the Northern Arapaho were assigned to the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming sharing with the Shoshone.
The population of the tribe in 1990 was estimated at 7,000.
- 1700: migrate from Great Lakes region into the Great Plains
- 1835: the tribe divided into the Northern Arapaho, who settled near the Rocky Mountains (Wyoming), and the Southern Arapaho who settled near the Arkansas River (Colorado).
- 1851: Treaty at Fort Laramie
- 1861: Treaty at Fort Wise
- 1864: Sand Creek Massacre, 130 Southern Arapaho and Cheyenne, many women and children, are killed by the U.S. Army, under the direction of Colonel John M. Covington.
- 1865: Treaty at camp on the Little Arkansas river, in the state of Kansas
- 1867: Treaty of Medicine Lodge, Southern Arapaho placed on a Reservation in Oklahoma, shared by the Cheyenne
- 1868: Treaty at Fort Laramie -- Northern Arapaho were assigned to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota with the Sioux, but they sought their own lands.
- 1876: Northern Arapaho rejected proposal to rejoin with the Southern Arapaho
- 1878: Northern Arapaho assigned to the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, shared with the Shoshone who were former enemies
This tribe is primarily associated with the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming to which they were assigned in 1876, along with the Shoshone .
The Southern Arapaho were removed to a reservation in western Oklahoma in 1867; sharing the reservation with the Cheyenne. That reservation today is known by the combined name of Cheyenne and Arapaho Reservation.
Additional References to the History of the Tribe
- Frederick Webb Hodge, in his Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, gave a more complete history of the Arapaho tribe, with estimations of the population of the tribe at various time periods.
- Additional details are given in David Bushnell's Villages of the Algonquian, Siouan and Caddoan Tribes West of the Mississippi.
- The web page for the Northern Arapaho Tribe includes a history of the tribe.
- For additional history of the tribe, read more....
Northern Arapaho Nation
533 Ethete Road
Ethete, WY 82520
Phone: 307.332-.6120 or 307.856.3461
Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma
P. O. Box 38
Concho, OK 73022
The following agencies of the Bureau of Indian Affairs had jurisdiction over the Arapaho for the time periods indicated. For details, see the page for the respective agency.
- Upper Platte Agency, 1846-1855
- Upper Platte Agency, 1855-1871
- Red Cloud Agency, 1871-1878
- Pine Ridge Agency, 1878-1888
- Shoshoni Agency, 1885-1937
- Wind River Agency. 1938-present
- Upper Arkansas Agency, 1855-1874
- Cantonment Agency, 1903-1917
- Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency, 1874-present
|Agency||Location of Original Records||
M595 RG 75 Rolls 693
|FHL Film Number|
|Wind River Agency, 1873-1952||Denver||Roll 663||-|
|Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency, 1875||Washington D.C and Fort Worth||Rolls 27-32||-|
|Shoshoni Agency, 1885-1937||Washington D.C. and Denver||Rolls 498-504||-|
|Cantonment Agency, 1903-27||Washington D.C. and Fort Worth||Rolls 16-17||-|
Seger School, 1903-12, 1914-27
|Washington D.C.||Roll 479||-|
|Agency||Location of Original Records||
Pre- 1880 Correspondence
M234 RG 74 Rolls 962
|Upper Platte Agency, 1855-74||Washington D.C.||Roll 889-96||-|
|Upper Arkansas Agency, 1855-74||Washington D.C.||Rolls 878-82||-|
|Red Cloud (Pine Ridge) Agency, 1871-1961||Washington D.C. and Kansas City||Rolls 715-26||-|
|Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency, 1875||Washington D.C. and Fort Worth||Rolls 119-26||-|
- 1851 September 17, at Fort Laramie
- 1861 February 18, at Fort Wise
- October 14, 1861, at Little Arkansas River
- 1865 October 17,
- October 28, 1867, at Council Camp
- 1867 Treaty of Medicine Lodge
- 1868 April 29, at Fort Laramie
- May 10, 1868, at Fort Laramie
- Cheyenne and Arapaho, M595, Births and Deaths 1925-1934, FHL Film: 574191
Important Web Sites
- Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives; Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
- Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1906 Available online.
- Klein, Barry T., ed. Reference Encyclopedia of the American Indian. Nyack, New York: Todd Publications, 2009. 10th ed. WorldCat 317923332; FHL book 970.1 R259e.
- Malinowski, Sharon and Sheets, Anna, eds. The Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes. Detroit: Gale Publishing, 1998. 4 volumes. Includes: Lists of Federally Recognized Tribes for U.S., Alaska, and Canada – pp. 513-529 Alphabetical Listing of Tribes, with reference to volume and page in this series Map of “Historic Locations of U.S. Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Canadian Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Mexican, Hawaiian and Caribbean Native Groups” Maps of “State and Federally Recognized U.S. Indian Reservations. WorldCat 37475188; FHL book 970.1 G131g.
- Vol. 1 -- Northeast, Southeast, Caribbean
- Vol. 2 -- Great Basin, Southwest, Middle America
- Vol. 3 -- Arctic, Subarctic, Great Plains, Plateau
- Vol. 4 -- California, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Islands
- Sturtevant, William C. Handbook of North American Indians. 20 vols., some not yet published. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978– .
- Volume 1 -- Not yet published
- Volume 2 -- Indians in Contemporary Society (pub. 2008) -- WorldCat 234303751
- Volume 3 -- Environment, Origins, and Population (pub. 2006) -- WorldCat 255572371
- Volume 4 -- History of Indian-White Relations (pub. 1988) -- WorldCat 19331914; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.4.
- Volume 5 -- Arctic (pub. 1984) -- WorldCat 299653808; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.5.
- Volume 6 -- Subarctic (pub. 1981) -- WorldCat 247493742; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.6.
- Volume 7 -- Northwest Coast (pub. 1990) -- WorldCat 247493311
- Volume 8 -- California (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 13240086; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.8.
- Volume 9 -- Southwest (pub. 1979) -- WorldCat 26140053; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.9.
- Volume 10 -- Southwest (pub. 1983) -- WorldCat 301504096; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.10.
- Volume 11 -- Great Basin (pub. 1986) -- WorldCat 256516416; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.11.
- Volume 12 -- Plateau (pub. 1998) -- WorldCat 39401371; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.12.
- Volume 13 -- Plains, 2 vols. (pub. 2001) -- WorldCat 48209643
- Volume 14 -- Southeast (pub. 2004) -- WorldCat 254277176
- Volume 15 -- Northwest (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 356517503; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.15.
- Volume 16 -- Not yet published
- Volume 17 -- Languages (pub. 1996) -- WorldCat 43957746
- Volume 18 -- Not yet published
- Volume 19 -- Not yet published
- Volume 20 -- Not yet published