Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo
Getty Images, Michael Smith

The name "Wyoming" comes from a Algonquian Indian word. The name of  our state is an English corruption of the Lenape word Chwewamink, which means "by the big river flat." But the Lenape never lived in what we now call Wyoming. They were from Pennsylvania.

The five mentioned here were the major tribes of Wyoming. But many others came and went through the state.

Bannock Indians. The Bannock moved into western Wyoming when following the buffalo.

Comanche Indians were once part of the Shoshoni. They Comanche moved across the territory in Wyoming then later moved south.

Dakota Indians were usually in Wyoming when hunting. War parties reached into Wyoming, as well. But the tribe never had a home presence in the area we now call Wyoming. In 1876, they participated with the Northern Arapaho and Northern Cheyenne in the cession of the northeastern territory of Wyoming.

Kiowa Indians Lived in and near the Black Hills for a while before moving south.

Kiowa Apache moved in close conjunction with the Kiowa.

Pawnee Indians passed through Wyoming as hunters but never stayed.

Of these 11 tribes, only two remain today, the Shoshone and Arapaho, who now live on the Wind River Reservation.

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