The checks are in: Riverton banks were busy this morning cashing and depositing settlement funds

(Riverton, Wyo.) – “It was a madhouse around the post office this morning,” Riverton Police Captain Eric Murphy said at mid morning Wednesday. “People were double parked all over the place.” Murphy said a postal employee confirmed that settlement checks for enrolled members of the Northern Arapaho Tribe had arrived, and there was a crowd of folks waiting to get to their post office boxes to get them.

Likewise, it was the same story at Wells Fargo Bank on North Federal where all three of the banks parking lots were filled to capacity as well as the nearby side streets and a steady stream of people were entering and exiting the facility.

On South Federal, Mark’s Car Sales had vehicles lined up from his lot all the way to the entrance of the Wind River Heritage Center with “sold” marked on them. They were on layaway, an employee there told on Tuesday afternoon, waiting for today’s checks.

At Gunner’s Automotive on North Federal, Jon Gunderson said he had lots of what he termed “preliminary shoppers” in the last two weeks. “They know what our inventory is, and this morning it started out slow, but that turned out to be the quiet before the storm,” he said. Gunners delivered two vehicles this morning to non-tribal members who had been eyeing a purchase earlier. “They decided to act before the inventory was gone,” he laughed. Gunderson said he had attempted to bring additional inventory to his lot from a sale in Salt Lake this past week, but the vehicle he had there to sell didn’t, and he came home empty handed. He did indicate that one family came in and bought a truck this morning, with cash and that there were quite a few folks dropping in to check out his offers.

Walmart Store Manager Brandon Mitchell said it was “busy as usual,” this morning as the parking lot there was full, as usual. He also chuckled a bit when he said “busy.”

Riverton Police were taking a different tact than in nearby Lander where a command center was set up and the police presence was very visible. “We have people out, but we’re taking a more low key approach,” said Chief Mike Broadhead. Law Enforcement agencies were concerned for the safety of those who could be vulnerable to predators after they cash their checks. The Tribe and local law enforcement agencies all suggested tribal members deposit their funds or open up accounts so as not to carry the cash with them.

The settlement total coming to the Wind River Indian Reservation, from mineral royalties, is in the neighborhood of $157 million.

There was a steady stream of customers walking into the bank at at the drive-through early today. (Ernie Over photo)

There was a steady stream of customers walking into the Wells Fargo Bank and at the drive-through early today. (Ernie Over photo)

Cars on "layaway" were lined up from Mark's Auto Sales to the Wind River Heritage Center. (Ernie Over photo)

Cars on “layaway” were lined up from Mark’s Auto Sales all the way to the Wind River Heritage Center along South Federal Boulevard. (Ernie Over photo)





  1. Candice Gronberg

    Great work Riverton police for keeping this from turning into a circus.

  2. Ruth Frericks

    Happy for my Arapaho friends and for my son. This has been a long time coming.

  3. Becky Elliott

    wait till next week when the shoshones get theirs it'll be a madhouse all over again

  4. John Birbari

    That's Jon Gunnison of Gunner's Automotive Center

  5. Dean Wallowing Bull

    A circus in indian country no way…lmao…Alot of people are leaving the county and state with their funds, because of racist attitudes an the way we have always been treated in the county!

  6. Shawn Beebe

    How come araphoes got theirs first? It's not even their rez.

  7. Eugene RidgeBear Jr.

    cause we're smart shawn……we get the ball rolling on this rez…

  8. Chuck Bryant

    The Shoshone had some vacancies on the business council and had to elect another person so they could have a quorum to formally release the checks.

  9. Hobbs Scott

    So glad I left that hell hole .

  10. Cody Doyle

    Lander had armed officers…the EXCITEMENT of it all is overwhelming. ;) hahha

  11. Sandy Tognetti-Medvigy

    So go spend all of your "hard earned" money things you don't need to impress people you don't like. Hmm, if you took $6,000 of that money and invested wisely in good mutual funds averaging 12% over their life. You would have $179,000 in 30 years. Oh wait, don't worry the federal government and all of us who work and pay taxes will take care of you your whole life.

  12. Clair N Lois Clubfoot

    that is so totally ignorant, it's like me saying, "oh, wait, we actually took care of "them" take a look around & c who's land your living on, indian monies have absolutely nothing to do with real money, but you wouldn't know anything about that would you, believe me, as much money as we put into the Wyoming economic system, your lucky you live in Wyoming, it's the Wind River Indian Reservation flow of money that that takes care of alot of taxes on and off the Wind River, like education monies, what we have and get we have earned, so go and invest your money your ancestors fought for you, oh that's right your ancestors didn't do that, much easier stealing everything they could get their hands on, lol

  13. Dean Wallowing Bull

    you are so ignorant, your taxes don't pay for nothing for us Sandy, your paying for some white prisoner butt wipe lol. We pay taxes severance an sales! Your county don't hardly give us nothing back for all them taxes either, an even if you don't like our so called free money lol we don't care. yes there are racist natives an they hate you too! I am not going to waste my breath arguing with someone so stupid!

  14. Dean Wallowing Bull

    That guilt people like her live with makes them hate us even more, our money comes from oil an gas not the state welfare agency lol. No wonder our ancestors loved burning wagons….

  15. Clair N Lois Clubfoot

    yeah, we are happy for you, glad you left too!

  16. Clair N Lois Clubfoot

    Happy for my Arapaho & Shoshone families, so proud 2 be of both Tribes, may the Creator keep on blessing us in a good way, ha-hou!

  17. Clair N Lois Clubfoot

    that would be like me asking, "why are you still here, it's not even your land?" It is what it is, the government was and is notorious for putting Native American Tribes that do not have a history of getting along on the same reserve, they want us to not get along, when comments are made like yours, it fuels the ignorance, but….by the Grace of God, we, as a People have learned, "we have to get along to survive, I am a Sho-Rap, full-blooded, and we do get along, us of the old way, we may not like each other but…we do get along"

  18. Amy Miller

    It's not "FREE" money, it is a payback from our crooked government. It was owed to ALL the Native people, this was their land first. This took years in the making, and it finally happened. What people do with their money is their business….people just need to shut their mouths if they don't know the whole story, pain and simple!

  19. April Livingston Lobdell

    But how long should it continue? I am not trying to be an asshole, and you're right… people should do with it as they wish. The sad part is, that with in what is supposed to be one country there are two. The way that it became one country was wrong… without a doubt. But it was 200 years ago. The Jews don't recieve a cash payout for the wrong done to them. In my opinion, it is time to move on. It is time to unite as one country. The more people trying to "settle a score" the more division will continue.

  20. Amy Miller

    There's pro's and con's to it all unfortunately.

  21. Tracy Bennett

    Money and jealousy go hand in hand. I’m not Native American (married to one that’s not enrolled), but it sounds like Sandy is a little jealous. Why get involved in something you don’t really know anything about, it just makes you look bad. You could have given the investment advice without criticism if you really wanted to help make, not sure why you did both; kind of contradictory. Sounds like to me they are investing back in Fremont County with purchases, so quit your gripping, and look at the positives.

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