Indigenous people account for less than 3% of the population in Wyoming. They live in all 23 counties, with the largest population living in Fremont County and on the Wind River Indian Reservation (WRIR). The WRIR is currently home to two tribes, the Eastern Shoshone and the Northern Arapaho. In addition to members of these two tribes, Indigenous people enrolled in other tribes or not enrolled members of any tribe also call Wyoming home. Despite their small percentage of the population, Indigenous people experience violence, homicide, sexual assault, and are reported missing at disproportionate rates relative to any other race/ethnicity in Wyoming.
In 2020, the Wyoming Division of Victim Services (DVS) contracted with the Wyoming Survey & Analysis Center (WYSAC), at the University of Wyoming to research the data on MMIPs in Wyoming and the barriers to reporting and investigation. DVS also tasked WYSAC with making recommendations for improving awareness, reporting, and investigation of the problem.
To complete this assignment, WYSAC examined administrative and archival data, analyzed media coverage on missing persons and homicide victims, and interviewed key stakeholders on the Wind River Indian Reservation (WRIR). This report presents findings from WYSAC’s research. This report is comprised of four sections. The first section analyzes the available administrative and archival data. The second section analyzes media coverage of MMIPs. The third section contains information from the interviews with community members. The fourth section offers a conclusion to the study.