People in the 10: “She is timeless to me.”

Correction: A previous version stated Redbirds’ grandfather Red Lake was the brother of Chief Washakie. That was incorrect and is as follows: “Redbirds step dad was an Edmo. Direct descendant of Chief Arimo who was the brother of Chief Washakie.

(Crowheart, WY) – Raphaella Stump is on a mission to preserve her 88-year-old mother’s memories and knowledge about the Eastern Shoshone Tribe and the Wind River Reservation.

Born during the Great Depression, Ralphaelita Pocatello Stump’s family moved to Crowheart from Idaho in a wagon when she was only two and has been here ever since.

She served the community in several capacities over the years including as a translator for the General Council, liaison between the state and tribe, and sits on the language certification committee among many other leadership roles.

She helped bring the Johnson-O’Malley Program to the schools and is one of the founders of HUD housing on the Wind River Reservation.

Chief Pocatello is her great-grandfather and Red Lake is her grandfather. Red Lake gave her the name Inga Hoot-choo which is Shoshone for Redbird.

Raphaella uses Redbird as the name for her written and video compilations of her mom’s memories.

A lot of the people’s knowledge is missing because a lot of the people have gone on. She was always present and listened to the stories.

She remembers when you had to have cards to get rations.

She dealt with racism in the 1950s and remembers when signs said ‘No Dogs or Indians Allowed’ at businesses in Lander. She remembers when you had to have a piece of paper to tell you when you could go on or off the reservation.

She got to see the first planes fly over Wyoming.

She knows how the reservation was and is, and is knowledgeable in culture – the legends, petroglyphs, Dinwoody, Sacajawea, and the Sheep Eaters.

I try to write them down verbatim. She’s a good storyteller and doesn’t pull punches about anything she says.

She always knows the right thing to do. She’s timeless to me and always knows what to say. She’s very humble and always says, ‘Don’t ride on the shirttails of anyone. Make your own way in life. That way you don’t ever regret it.’

I hope they will find something in it that helps them. Even to bring them historical knowledge. They are losing history and culture day by day. 

I’m not asking for anything; just read the stories.

-Raphaella Stump

After a few health setbacks, Raphaella continues to push hard to complete the written memories and videos of Redbird. Videos can be found on the YouTube Channel “Redbirds Walk Through Time” and memories have been shared on Facebook under #redbirdstories.

County 10 will share updates on the compilation as they come available from Raphaella.

To view all of the posts from the People in the 10 series, click here.

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