Fort Washakie School students like Larami Azur, Chandler Plenty Hoops, and Shotoni Shoyo researched their cultural history, found photos, and interviewed tribal elders such as John Washakie, the great-great grandson of Chief Washakie, to produce the first TravelStorys Mobile Audio Tour created by Native American high school students.
Explore The Wind River Reservation – Part One is the first of a two-part GPS-supported audio tour of the Wind River Indian Reservation presenting inspiring information for travelers and residents along 61 miles of US Hwy 287 in Fremont County. The tour features student-produced interviews and stories of the vast 2.2-million-acre Wind River Reservation, highlighting the native Eastern Shoshone peoples who live there, the dramatic landscape, and wildlife of the region. Part Two of the tour, to be produced by students in the fall, will loop east and highlight the Northern Arapaho people, their history and stories.
The free audio tour guides the traveler through a stunning landscape, mixing fascinating stories of the people with interpretation of the native cultures and key sites to visit. In Part One, travelers visit the historic town of Fort Washakie, and the grave site of Sacajawea, the revered Shoshone guide, who guided the Lewis and Clark Expedition with her extensive knowledge of the rugged region and her language skills. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about Wyoming’s largest Indian powwow and traditional celebration held in June. It is here, at the Fort Washakie School, that students researched and wrote the tours stories to interpret their culture and inform their visitors.
Explore The Wind River Reservation tour can be enjoyed free of charge by downloading the TravelStorys™ mobile app from the App Store or Google Play Store or at the Fort Washakie School or WindRiver.org
“We, at the school district, see this program as serving both the traveler and our education giving students the opportunity to learn more about their culture, and practice interview, research, and writing skills. They also saw the great value of building this tour as a way to introduce travelers to the highlights of our beautiful and historic reservation” said Lynette St. Clair, Indian Education Director for the Fremont County School District #21.
Paula McCormick, Marketing Director for the Wind River Visitors Council added, “This is the first time that visitors driving or planning trips to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks can learn about our native cultures and landscapes right from their vehicles with stories told by local people, especially by students. It is a valuable project for our communities as it highlights the Wind River Reservation, which is one of our best cultural assets of the region.”
Funding for the mobile audio tour has been provided by Fremont County School District #21, The Wind River Visitors Council and supported in part by a grant from the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund.