Native American Partnerships Grow at UW

Native American woman in traditional clothing

Josie Trosper, of Fort Washakie, dances in Shoshone regalia as part of an Eagle Spirit Dancers “Circle of Dance” performance, which followed the WY Wind River Economic Development and Entrepreneurship Symposium April 17 at the University of Wyoming. (UW Photo)

The Wind River Indian Reservation and the University of Wyoming are growing partnerships across the board — from education and research to economic development — and it’s all having a positive effect on UW’s American Indian enrollment.

Many of the Native American partnerships at UW are highlighted in the just-released fall 2019 issue of UWyo Magazine.

American Indian UW students and alumni featured in the issue include Josie Trosper, Taryn Jim, Darrell Bell Sr., Reinette Tendore, Jordan Dresser, Wolf Star Duran, Aldora White Eagle, along with many others.

The growth in partnerships with the Wind River Indian Reservation is a crucial part of UW’s land-grant mission to serve the higher education needs of all Wyoming communities. The momentum derives from a multitude of collaborations by UW educators, administration, donors and tribal leaders.

“Just as UW has been a huge asset to the state across so many areas, we are working in the same way to support people on the reservation,” says James Trosper, who has worked at UW’s High Plains American Indian Research Institute (HPAIRI) since 2014.

“Higher education changes lives, improves the quality of life for individuals and creates opportunities,” he adds. “We want that for the residents of the reservation.”

All the work on building partnerships is attracting more Native American students to UW.

“Those of us working in this area are definitely seeing an increase in students from the reservation,” Trosper says. He has noted an uptick in students using the Native American Education, Research and Cultural Center that opened in 2017.

women at table using computers

Larami Azure and fellow students work on their presentations during the 2019 Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math-Science Summer Program at UW. (UW Photo)

The center provides advising, recruitment and retention services to American Indian students, helping reduce the culture shock of moving between the Wind River Indian Reservation and Laramie.

Many scholarships are available for American Indian students. These include the scholarships endowed by the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes, as well as others funded by private donors. See American Indian scholarship opportunities here.

Prospective students who want to get a taste of university life can attend the Native American Summer Institute, Upward Bound and the Upward Bound Math-Science Summer Program.

Once students enroll at UW, they can get support from Reinette Tendore, adviser with UW’s Native American Program.

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