Northern Arapaho Tribe to celebrate repatriation of legendary chief’s headdress

Chief Black Coal of the Northern Arapaho.
CREDIT JOHN K. HILLERS/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Published January 28, 2020

RIVERTON, Wyo. — The Northern Arapaho Tribe will hold a celebration on Saturday, February 1st at the Great Plains Hall at Arapahoe to welcome home the headdress of Chief Black Coal, according to the Tribe’s Facebook page.  

One of the most influential Arapaho leaders of the 19th century, Chief Black Coal’s 140-year old headdress is being donated by a Massachusetts family.  

Wyoming Public Media has the story of how the headdress made its way home to the Northern Arapaho nation, as well as other recent victories for the Northern Arapaho Tribal Historic Preservation Office. In 2014, then-director Yufna Soldier Wolf led the charge in repatriating the remains of two Arapaho boys who died at a government boarding school in the late 1800s. Devin Oldman succeeded last year in bringing a small herd of buffalo to Northern Arapaho land for the first time in 130 years, according to the Wyomning Public Media report. 

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