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Northern Arapaho Tribe Three-Part Video Series Released by Poudre Heritage Alliance

The Poudre Heritage Alliance (PHA) has posted three online video interviews of current Northern Arapaho Tribal Elders that chronicle the people, places, and events that shaped the history of Northern Colorado’s first inhabitants. All three videos can be found on PHA’s website: The clips include interviews with Hubert Friday, a descendant of the famous “Chief” William Friday, and other tribal elders Crawford White and Mark Soldier Wolf. The short 2-4 minute segments were recorded, produced, and edited by Slate Communications.

The videos were created to tell the story of the Poudre River Council Tree location and the historical importance of the river from the Northern Arapaho Tribe’s perspective. Kathleen Benedict, Executive Director of the Poudre Heritage Alliance, explained, “The ultimate goal of the videos is to tell the story of the Northern Arapaho Tribe in the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area from the tribe’s point of view.” The funding to make the videos in conjunction with Slate Communications came from PHA’s federal funds through the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service.

QR codes on the sign at the Council Tree site in the City of Fort Collins Arapaho Bend Natural Area will allow people to connect to the videos while experiencing the river themselves. The Council Tree site itself was used by Native American tribes prior to the 1860s. This area of the Poudre River Valley, where Boxelder Creek joins the Poudre River, was a meeting area – where all 13 Arapaho tribal bands would gather periodically due to the lush grass and abundant game.

PHA and City representatives met with Northern Arapaho Tribal Elders on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming last year to develop the Council Tree sign after PHA Heritage Culturalist Volunteers helped identify the location of the site. Although the actual Council Tree burned down years ago, the site location is still just as important to the Northern Arapaho people to this day. (See a previous article in the Coloradoan about the Council Tree dedication ceremony.)

For more information about PHA or CALA, please contact the Poudre Heritage Alliance Office at or 970-295-4851. DVDs of the video series can be ordered for $20 each by visiting PHA’s Contact Us page.

Above Photo: Heritage Culturalist volunteer doing research on Council Tree site