According to Crow oral history, the Crow Nation intentionally migrated from the east. The people of the Crow Nation call themselves the Apsáalooke : Children of the Large Beaked Bird. Their historical homelands extended across a large area that included parts of present-day Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota.
In historical times, the Crow lived in the Yellowstone River valley, which extends from present-day Wyoming, through Montana and into North Dakota, where it joins the Missouri River. Since the 19th century, Crow people have been concentrated on their reservation established south of Billings, Montana.
The Crow language is a member of the Missouri Valley Siouan languages, believed to have split from the Hidatsa tribe in present-day North Dakota either around 1400 to 1500, according to cultural anthropologists, or 900 to 1000, according to linguistic anthropologists.
Settling in Montana, the tribe split once again into two divisions, called the Mountain Crow and the River Crow. They were first encountered by two Frenchmen in 1743 near the present-day town of Hardin, Montana.
The three groups traditionally lived in what is now Alberta, Canada, and the U.S. state of Montana, and there they remain, with one reservation in Montana and three reserves (as they are called in Canada), one for each band, within Alberta.
During the expedition, no one would see any Crow people, but those people certainly noticed the expedition passing through their lands. While exploring the Yellowstone, the travelers did see Crow signs.
About the Crow: The Hidatsa-Crow originally lived in the Ohio country, migrating through northern Illinois, western Minnesota, and into the Red River Valley. They remained in this region for several hundred years, hunting buffalo and cultivating crops.
Crow (native name: Apsáalooke [ə̀ˈpsáːɾòːɡè]) is a Missouri Valley Siouan language spoken primarily by the Crow Nation in present-day southeastern Montana.
The Comanches, known as the “Lords of the Plains”, were regarded as perhaps the most dangerous Indians Tribes in the frontier era. One of the most compelling stories of the Wild West is the abduction of Cynthia Ann Parker, Quanah’s mother, who was kidnapped at age 9 by Comanches and assimilated into the tribe.
The tribe is minting copper, silver and gold coins called “scouts” to serve as its sovereign currency. To help finance the launching of the Crow currency, the tribe commissioned 1,000 one-ounce silver medallions commemorating the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
Visitors are welcome at powwows, but flash photography is not allowed during contests, and you should always ask dancers for permission before taking their photographs. For more information, contact the Tribal Headquarters, P.O. Box 159, Crow Agency, MT 59022 (tel. 406/638-3700), or visit www.crow-fair.com.
Prior to European settlement of the Americas, Cherokees were the largest Native American tribe in North America. They became known as one of the so-called “Five Civilized Tribes,” thanks to their relatively peaceful interactions with early European settlers and their willingness to adapt to Anglo-American customs.
The Hopi Indians are the oldest Native American tribe in the World.