Treaties
Several treaties have been made between the Federal Government and the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes now living on the Wind River Reservation.

1851 - Treaty of Fort Laramie with the Sioux or Dahcotahs, Cheyennes, Arapahoes, Crows. Assinaboines, Gros-Ventre Mandans, and Arrickaras at Fort Laramie, Dakota Territory, on September 17, 1851.

In this treaty, the tribes granted right-of-way access for the Oregon Trail in return for an annuity of $50,000 for fifty years, though this was amended to just 10 years. The peace was short lived. The United States Government chose not to enforce the treaty and allowed settlement within tribal territories following the Pike's Peak Gold Rush. Several tribes never received their share of the payments.

1861 - Fort Wise Treaty with the Arapaho and Cheyenne at Fort Wise, Kansas Territory, on February 18, 1861.

In this treaty, much of the land granted to the tribes was ceded back to the Federal Government and agreed to a reservation one thirteenth of the size in Eastern Colorado. Six Cheyenne chiefs and four Arapaho chiefs signed the treaty. Many Cheyenne opposed the treaty and some, including the Dog Soldiers, refused to abide by it, claiming that it was signed without the full consent of the tribe. This strife led to increased hostilities between the tribes and whites, escalating into the Colorado War and the Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado Territory on November 29, 1864.

1863 - Fort Bridger Treaty with the Eastern Shoshone at Fort Bridger, Utah Territory on July 2, 1863.

This treaty established Shoshone lands very generally between the Bitterroot Mountains to the north, Wind River Mountains to the East and Uintah Mountains to the South. The Western border was not defined but was understood to reach as far the Oregon Territory border. The 1868 Fort Bridger Treaty defined the lands more explicitly. Chief Washakie's Eastern Shoshone band was one of several involved in this treaty.

1867 - Medicine Lodge Treaty with the Cheyenne and Arapaho at the Council Camp on Medicine Lodge Creek near Fort Larned, Kansas, on October 28, 1867.

In this treaty, one of three negotiated at this meeting site during the month, the US Government promised peace and prosecution of intruding whites in return for peaceful relocation to their designated reservation in Kansas and Oklahoma. This reservation had been established by the Little Arkansas Treaty of 1865, but was reduced here by more than half. A fourth treaty was prepared for the Northern Shoshone, who were allied with the Sioux led by Red Cloud, but not agreed to by the Tribe.

1868 - Fort Laramie Treaty with the Sioux and Arapaho at Fort Laramie, Dakota Territory on April 29, 1868. A copy of the original treaty is on file with the National Archives and can be viewed on line.

In this treaty, the United States Government recognized the Black Hills as part of the Great Sioux Reservation. In 1874, General George A. Custer would lead an expedition to search for gold in the Black Hills. Following the discovery of gold, miners flocked to the region, despite the protests of the Sioux. The miners demanded Army protection, which was granted. In 1876, General Custer's detachment was annihilated by Sioux and Cheyenne warriors at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. The following year, the US Government confiscated the land in hopes of ending the hostilities, though ownership disputes continue to the present day.

1868 - Fort Bridger Treaty with the Eastern Shoshone and Bannock at Fort Bridger, Utah Territory on July 3, 1868.

The Fort Bridger Treaty Council of 1868 established the Shoshone and Bannock Indian Agency, now the Wind River Reservation. This land was chosen by Eastern Shoshone Chief Washakie. The initial reservation included nearly 3 million acres, but it was reduced to 2.2 million acres in an 1872 land cession.

1896 - Sale of Hot Springs with the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho at Fort Washakie on April 21, 1896.

In this agreement/treaty, the Eastern Shoshone, led by Washakie, and the Northern Arapaho, led by Sharp Nose, sold the Big Horn Hot Springs and 10 acres surrounding them to the U.S. Government for $60,000 to be split between the tribes. $10,000 was to be paid within 90 days, the Arapaho requesting payment in cattle, the Shoshone in cash. $10,000 per year for five years was then to be paid to the tribes. The land was in turn transferred to the State of Wyoming to become Hot Springs State Park. The treaty also stipulated that the springs be made available for free to all who wished to use them. For this reason, the State operates a free bath house to this day, though concessionaires charge for other venues at the site.