In the Hidatsa language, this tribe was called "Apsaalooke," which means "children of the large-beaked bird." Other Indian tribes called them the "sharp people" because it was thought they were crafty and alert as the bird for which they were named, probably the raven. White men later misinterpreted the word as "crow."
POINTS OF INTEREST
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument / Reno-Benteen Battlefield, Crow Agency, MT 406-638-2621
These monuments commemorate the Indian victory over the Seventh Cavalry. The Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument features museum exhibits, an interpretive center and ranger-led programs.
Chief Plenty Coups State Park, Pryor, MT 406-252-1289
This is the home of the well-known Crow Chief, Plenty Coups. There is a display of Crow artifacts and a scenic picnic area.
Little Bighorn College, Crow Agency, MT 406-638-3100
The Little Big Horn College is a public two year community college chartered by the Crow Tribe. The college is located in the town of Crow Agency, Montana (ASHKUALE), the capital of the Crow Indian Reservation in south central Montana. This is a particularly interesting site with much information on the campus, and the area.The college is home to the Institute for MicroBusiness Development and offers associate's degrees in eight areas. Tours and lecture referrals are available.
For more information about the Crow Reservation, contact:
Crow Tribal HQ, Crow Agency, MT 59022 406-638-2601
A village of 1000 white teepees spread along the banks of the Little Bighorn River. Children race their ponies through the grass and water them in the river. A Colorful morning parades wind their way through the campgrounds on a daily basis. During the afternoons an All Indian Rodeo is held at the nearby racetrack arena, while The evenings are reserved for the Powwow dance contests, which continue until the crack of dawn.
Crow Fair is held each August for the reunion of family clans, and the celebration of their culture. The Crow Reservation is in South-central Montana about 46 miles East of Billings. Take Interstate 90 from Billings to Hardin, and it's a few miles South of Hardin.
If you want to know more about the Crow People, visit Crow visions. This is a wonderful site, with great graphics, music, and an excellent narrative on the Crow People. This site was created by "White-Horse" the granddaughter of BlackHair, with the intent to acquaint the viewer with the Crow, from the beginning with "Old Man Coyote" the Creator, to present day on the Crow Land in Montana.
With the arrival of the horse, the Apsaalooke began moving with the buffalo, living in tipis, and abandoning all previous horticultural pursuits except tobacco planting. The buffalo provided meat for food, bones and horns for tools, dung for cooking fuel, and hides for clothing, robes, tipi covers, and rawhide containers.
Even today, over hundred years after the passing of the great roaming herds, the buffalo still holds a position of great prominence among the Apsaalooke people. Although the buffalo is no longer part of the daily diet, the tribe maintains a small herd. Occasionally one of the animals is killed and it’s meat is served at public gatherings, such as a tribal inauguration or a post Sundance feast.
In the Sundance lodge of today the mounted head of a buffalo, hung from the center pole, still nurtures and sustains the Apsaalooke in spirit, if not in body. As in the distant past, the buffalo serves as the vision guide for many participants in the Sundance.
In the early 1930's, the Crow Tribe received buffalo from Yellowstone National Park and from the National Bison Range. But in the late 1950's, the original Crow buffalo herd ran into some problems. The buffalo were found roaming into other areas and during the 1953 harvest, many animals tested positive for brucellosis.
Political pressure mounted over the next couple of years and after review by the U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife it was determined that the only practical solution was to eliminate the herd, which was done from 1962-1964.
The Crow Tribe reintroduced buffalo in 1971 with approximately 400 head. Today the Crow Tribe has the largest buffalo herd in Indian country exceeding 1,500 head. The present day buffalo pasture, approximately 14,300 grazable acres over an area of 22,000 acres, is located in the Big Horn Mountains south of Ft. Smith, MT. The Crow Tribe joined ITBC in 1992, and with funds received, were able to fence their pasture on the south side, which keeps the buffalo from straying onto the remainder of the Big Horn Mountains. They also aid other Tribes in starting or expanding their buffalo herds.
The Crow word for buffalo is
Bi'Shee. The Crow Tribe has been fortunate in that they have been able to preserve their
cultural ways and language, and realize the importance of maintaining and managing a
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