(Riverton, WY) Riverton Police Chief Eric Hurtado was honored with a Star Quilt in a special ceremony and honorary dance during the Northern Arapaho Powwow on Saturday afternoon.
Presenting the Star Quilt to Chief Hurtado were Kane Big Lake, Chico Her Many Horses, and Nicole Wagon of the MMIP Wind River Task Force and Riverton Peace Mission.
The presentation is a gesture to “build a positive relationship with the Riverton Police Department and the new Chief of Police,” said Chico Her Many Horses. “We have shared our data about harmful police practices within Riverton and hope to approach these problems through all avenues. We welcome Eric Hurtado to Riverton and hope that this is a new relationship, so we can address the harm that too many of our community members face.”
Betty Mathews made the Star Quilt, and the song was by Eagle Drum.
“Back in the day, we used to give buffalo robes,” Her Many Horses said. “The buffalo are very important to us…they provided shelter, our tools, everything we needed to survive in the world, even our housing, our teepees, our lodges. Once we were put on reservations, our buffalo were limited in numbers, … so our women took to sewing and quilting. So, Star Quilts have since replaced our buffalo robes. Our buffalo are making a comeback. In a lot of communities and here on the Wind River Reservation…they’re still valuable; they’re an awesome food supply for Native people so we can be diabetic-free, and they provide a lot of different spiritual and ceremonial objects for us.”
“We’d like to thank our chief of police here from Riverton for coming,” Her Many Horses continued. “We hope good things for you. We know it’s going to be a very difficult job. Our community is praying for you so that good things come your way.”