Wind River Little Library celebrates opening with ribbon cutting ceremony

(Fort Washakie, WY) – The Wind River Little Library, located at 3 North Fork Road, celebrated its grand opening on Friday July 23rd, with an official ribbon cutting, prayer, presentations, treats, and free books galore.

Families check out the free books and treats. County 10 photo.

The library was a passion project for a group of Fort Washakie educators and Amanda LeClair-Diaz, who kicked off the event by thanking everyone in attendance, as well as those who made the library a possibility, including the Impact Library program, and the Little Free Library non-profit.

Amanda LeClair-Diaz addresses the crowd. County 10 photo.

LeClair-Diaz then brought out elder Arlen Shoyo, who performed a prayer for those in attendance.

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Arlen Shoyo recites the morning’s prayer. County 10 photo.

Eastern Shoshone Business Council Chairman John St. Clair then addressed the crowd, and stressed how great of an opportunity the library is to gets kids interested in books that represent their culture.

ESBC Chairman John St. Clair speaks. County 10 photo.

Also in attendance, was Northern Arapaho Business Councilman Boniface Ridgley, who stated, “Some people find their path through books. I want to to see more of this.”

NABC Councilman Boniface Ridgley. County 10 photo.

Youth representative and Eastern Shoshone Days Princess Janae Todd was up next on the mic, who thanked the teachers responsible for the library in the traditional Shoshone language.

Eastern Shoshone Days Princess Janae Todd. County 10 photo.

After the speakers went up, it was time for the official ribbon cutting, performed by John St. Clair and Boniface Ridgley.

John St. Clair and Boniface Ridgley cut the ribbon. County 10 photo.
John St. Clair and Boniface Ridgley cut the ribbon. County 10 photo.

After that, everyone checked out all the free books, the selection of which put a focus on works written by Indigenous authors, and even a couple locals.

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The Little Library’s first customers. County 10 photo.
All the free books at the Little Library. County 10 photo.
Janae poses with her free book. County 10 photo.
‘Yuse: The Bully and the Bear,’ an Eastern Shoshone tale, written by local John Washakie. County 10 photo.
‘Crazy Man and the Plums,’ a Northern Arapaho story written by local William C’Hair.

Be sure to come check out the Wind River Little Library, located at 3 North Fork Road. Take a book, leave a book, and give a thanks to all of those involved who helped bring the first little library to the Wind River.

Iva LeClair, Kailyn Washakie, Amanda LeClair-Diaz, and Renee Crooked Arm pose in front of the Wind River Little Library. County 10 photo.
Amanda LeClair-Diaz, Mike Ute, Janae Todd, John St. Clair, Boniface Ridgley, Western Gus Thayer, John Washakie, Starr Weed Jr. County 10 photo.

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