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One America - Wind River Initiative

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Program: Wind River Initiative, Laramie, WY
Contact(s): Judith Antell, Ph.D., Chairperson: (307) 766-6521
Purpose: To develop professional relationships among the university's faculty and staff and the personnel of the various agencies that serve the Wind River Reservation

Background Program Operations Outcomes


The Wind River Initiative (WRI) was created in 1994 by Dr. Albert Karnig, Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Wyoming, to establish a formal link between the University of Wyoming and the Wind River Reservation. The Wind River Initiative was established as a faculty/administrative committee composed of representatives from various programs and departments within the university. Under the leadership of University of Wyoming President, Philip Dubois, WRI coordinates all university activities and services that are provided to the residents of the Wind River Indian Reservation.

Program Operations

The WRI committee meets monthly to develop and oversee implementation of strategies that are designed to provide successful outreach to the Wind River Indian Reservation. In addition, committee members must become knowledgeable about the reservation, and are responsible for making regular visits to the reservation in order to maintain individual contacts. Three objectives of the initiative are: 1.) to create a database that lists all university outreach activities to the reservation; 2.) to collect current demographic data from the Wind River Indian Reservation that would otherwise not be collected by any other tribal, federal, or state agency; and 3.) to create and distribute the University of Wyoming Resource Directory for the Wind River Indian Reservation, a directory that lists university services and programs relevant to residents of the reservation.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

WRI has improved communication between the university and tribal communities. For example, in response to a request by the tribes on Wind River Reservation, the university's business school is assisting the reservation in conducting a feasibility study of tourism as one means of economic development. In addition, the university's Minority Affairs Office conducts part of its early outreach recruitment and identification project for minority students on the Wind River Reservation.

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