- Associated Press - Saturday, August 30, 2014

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - American Indians in Wyoming increasingly are asserting themselves, fighting for more say on environmental issues and fielding more candidates in state and local elections.

Gary Collins, tribal liaison between the Northern Arapaho Tribe and the state, said he counts seven Native American candidates in legislative and local elections around the Wind River Indian Reservation this year, up from three in 2012.

Democratic State Rep. Patrick Goggles of Ethete announced this year he’s not seeking re-election to the Legislature after 10 years of representing a district centered on the reservation. Goggles is a Northern Arapaho and the only Indian in the Legislature. He says it’s critical the tribes continue to have a political presence in the state.

Democrat Andi Clifford is Goggles’ niece and is running for his seat in the House.