Cover Artwork and Artist


The cover art for “Working In Indian Country” was created by Eugene J. Ridgely (Ridge Bear) specifically for this book. The original artwork was then transformed into the cover by Rhonda Taylor, Taylor by Design. Each symbol has a specific meaning, but when combined they represent the bonding and trust between two parties. The buffalo hide and tail are used by many Plains Tribes in spiritual ceremonies. The hide is often used as an altar where spiritual ceremonies take place. The pipe has historical significance and, when smoked by all parties, was used to validate treaties and agreements. It illustrates trust, respect, honor, and friendship. The four feathers hanging from the pipe represent the four races–red (indigenous), white (Caucasian), black (African), and yellow (Asian) people. Finally, the two feathers in each corner symbolize friendship between two people.

Eugene J. Ridgely Jr. (Ridge Bear) is a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe.  He has resided all his life on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming and continues to live there with his wife Rowena and four grown sons, one daughter, and 14 grandchildren. Eugene is a past educator in the private and public school systems on the reservation.  He received a BA in Education from the University of Wyoming in 1975. Eugene is a noted artist and musician and has promoted both of his artistic passions for the past thirty-three years in local, regional and national art shows, galleries and markets. He is proud to have been selected by the Northern Arapaho Tribe to have designed the Tribal Logo that now appears on tribal letterheads and stationary, signage, clothing apparel, and gift souvenirs.

Eugene is a descendent of “Lame Man” from the “Sand Creek Massacre” that tragically happened in Colorado on November 29th, 1864.

Mr. Ridgely can be contacted at ridgebear@ymail.com