Native American Tribes Nations and Confederacies: Arapaho

The Arapaho are natives of the North American Plains, and their language belongs to the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock.

Their preferred name was Inuna-ina, which translates into "our people", but they were more commonly referred to as "dog eaters" by other Native Americans.

The earliest recorded home of the tribe was in North Minnesota by the Red River valley, but little is known of the date or circumstances of their separation from other Algonquian peoples.

The Arapaho are thought to be related most closely to the Cheyenne and to the Blackfoot tribes; however it is also known that the Arapaho divided into two groups after they migrated to the plains.

One group, the Northern Arapaho, continued to live on the North Platte River in Wyoming, while the Southern Arapaho moved south to the Arkansas River in Colorado.

The Arapaho placed some emphasis on age grades, mainly for ceremonial purposes and their annual sun dance was a major tribal event, which later evolved into the Ghost Dance religion.

There are three major divisions in the Arapaho tribe-the Atsina, who were allied with the Blackfoot and who now live in Montana; the Southern Arapaho, now living with the Cheyenne in Oklahoma; and the Northern Arapaho. The Northern Arapaho not only retain all of the sacred tribal stone articles but are also considered by tribal members to represent the parent group.

The number of Arapaho in the US has grown to close to 7,000 since 1990 and since 1876 the tribes have lived mainly on the Wind River Reservation, occupying almost 2 million acres in Wyoming, near Yellowstone National Park.

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