Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Great Plains Quarterly 33:1 (Winter 2013)


© 2013 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Sara Wiles’s photographs offer a glimpse of life on the Wind River Indian Reservation. Her portrayal of Northern Arapaho life, showing delicacy and the utmost respect, captures a segment of time not that long ago but rich in history, culture, and tradition.

By reading the collection’s stories you begin to understand the Northern Arapahos and their struggle to survive against all odds. After being forced to leave Colorado (Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Rocky Mountain National Park), the Northern Arapahos were “temporarily” placed on the Shoshone reservation in Wyoming. Accustomed to living nomadically and following food sources, they found reservation existence difficult. The transformation away from traditional life was forced upon them almost overnight. The “temporarily” placed Northern Arapahos were required to take on Anglo-American first names and surnames and continued to remain in Wyoming.