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Full text of "We, the Northern Cheyenne People : our land, our history, our culture"

WE, THE NORTHERN CHEYENNE PEOPLE 



Our Landy Our History, Our Culture 



Chief Dull Knife College, Lame Deer, Montana 




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978.600497353 

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2008 

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Montana State Library 



3 0864 1004 7150 






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We, the Northern Cheyenne People 



WE, 

THE NORTHERN 

CHEYENNE PEOPLE 

Our Land, Our History, Our Culture 



Chief Dull Knife College, Lame Deer, Montana 



© 20o8 by Chief Dull Knife College 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may 
be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by 
any means, electronic or mechanical, including 
photocopy, recording, or any information storage 
or retrieval system, without permission in writing 
from the publisher. 

Chief Dull Knife College 

P. O. Box 98 

Lame Deer, MT 59043 

406.477.6215 

Library of Congress 
Cataloging-in-Publication Data 

Project management: 

Suzanne G. Fox, 

Red Bird Publishing, Inc., Bozeman, MT 

Graphic design: 

Carol Beehler, Bethesda, MD 

Printed by Artcraft Printers, Billings, MT 

The paper used in this publication meets the 
minimum requirements of American National 
Standard for Information Sciences — Permanence 
of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ansi Z39.48- 
1984. 

Front cover: Vooheheva, the Morning Star, rises 
near dawn outside a Native American Church 
gathering. The morning star is the symbol for the 
Northern Cheyenne people. It is greeted as an 
ancient old man each morning by the Keepers of 
the Sacred Covenants. Photograph by John 
Warner. 

Back cover: The Chief Dull Knife College campus 
is located in Lame Deer, MT. Photograph by 
Kathleen Beartusk. 



This book is dedicated to the members of the 
Chief Dull Kiife College Board of Trustees: 

John J. Wooden Legs, chairman 

George Fox, Ashland District 

Florence Running Wolf, Birney District 

Winfield Russell, Busby District* 

LaForce Lone Bear, Lame Deer District 

Otto Braided Hair, Muddy District 

Jackie Tang was the representative from Busby at the beginning of this project. 



Nesaa'evatonesenehele vo'estaneheveheme- 

tsemehaehesevo'estanehevetse. 

Tsemona'e vo'estanehevestotse netosehene'enanone. 

Netaveestanonestse moxeestonemdheondtse, nonohpa 

Neka 'esko nehamaneo 'o tseohketsehe'ohtseo 'o. 

Naa tsetdhene'enanove he'tohe tsemona'e vo'estanehevestotse. 

We can no longer live the way we used to. 

There is a new way of life that we are going to know. 

Let us ask for schools, that way 

our children can attend them 

and learn this new way of life. 

— Chief Dull Knife (Vooheheva) 



Contents 



^ 



Preface • viii 

Cheyenne Creation Stories • 13 

Coming Home • 23 

Language "35 

Northern Cheyenne District Names • 47 

Agriculture "53 

Native Plants of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation • 63 

The Girl Who Saved Her Brother • 67 

Cheyenne Peace Pipe • 71 

Joseph Whitewolf • 73 

Balloon Bomb in Lame Deer • 75 

Uriah Two Two •79 

American Indian Reburials: A Spiritual Perspective • 81 

Northern Cheyenne Sacred Sites and Objects • 85 

Early Education • 89 

Contemporary Cheyenne Education • loi 

Chief Dull Knife College • 115 

Energy •131 

We Will Keep Our Cheyenne Home Forever • 145 

Contributors • 157 

Appendix A: Veterans • 161 

Appendix B: Tribal Presidents • 173 



Preface and Acknowledgments 

Dr. Richard Little Bear 



^ 



CHIEF Dull Knife College was able to produce We, The Northern 
Cheyenne People: Our Land, Our History, Our Culture with a grant from the 
Montana State Legislature and Governor Brian Schweitzer. The funding for the 
Tribal Histories and Equipment project is gratefully acknowledged. 

This project has been an interesting one for all of the people who worked on 
it. It was a good learning, reading, writing, and researching experience. There 
were, however, some challenges along the way. One challenge was accessibility of 
research materials. While the researchers did find much new material, there are 
still so many sources, so many collections, so many museums that need to be vis- 
ited to get information, especially the information that was provided by people 
who were close to the pre-reservation culture. Time constraints and always 
increasing costs limited the accessibility of these sources. 

Another challenge was the plethora of books that have already been written 
about both the Northern and Southern Cheyenne people starting with George 
Bird Grinnell's accounts. More recently is the book A History of the Cheyenne 
People written by Tom Weist and published by the Montana Council for Indian 
Education from Billings, MT, under the leadership of Dr. Hap Gilliland. This 
book extensively used the elders of the day, some of whom were only one gener- 
ation removed from the time of the buffalo-centered culture. Chief Dull Knife 
College uses this as a text book for its Cheyenne history class. Weist's book posed 
a challenge because it had amply covered the history of the Cheyenne people from 
earliest times up to the mid-1970s. 

It became clear that some subject areas of that book needed strengthening 
and those are the areas that this present effort attempts to address. People who use 
We, the Northern Cheyenne People: Our Land, Our History, Our Culture need to 
use the Weist book in tandem. Our book tries to strengthen those subject areas 
that were not adequately covered in the Weist book, including women, spiritual- 



ity, energy issues, educational issues, and veterans oi the armed forces. Not 
including the topic of women was a major oversight in many of the history books. 
There were cursory accounts of North Woman, The Girl Who Saved Her 
Brother, Bessie Harris (the first female Northern Cheyenne council woman), and 
Geri Small (the first female Northern Cheyenne tribal president). The list of 
potential subjects is almost endless. Even this book has not done justice to the 
place that women have earned in Northern Cheyenne culture and history. 

In each subject, the writers tried to be as comprehensive as possible and to 
include all who were involved, but inevitably there are mistakes. For anybody who 
is ofiended by being excluded or by having a member of their families excluded, 
it was purely unintentional. The writers were meticulous in providing footnotes 
for citations so the right person received recognition for their efforts and to make 
the work of subsequent researchers easier. 

Another challenge was finding Northern Cheyenne writers and researchers, 
some of whom also had the added skill of being able to talk and understand the 
Cheyenne language. People with this mix of skills were difficult to find, but we 
found several. Some of the writers and photographers had full-time jobs else- 
where, but they managed to fulfill their assignment on a timely basis. Another 
challenge was the deadline, which, even though it was extended from June 30 to 
Dec. 31, 2007, was still not enough time. Some parts of the history were slighted, 
but everybody did the best they could. 

But so much for the challenges. There is so much information in various 
museums, collections, universities, colleges, and the internet that could be mined 
forever. This book has been a modest effort when compared with the information 
that is still available and is ripe for another or a continuing history project. 

By using the Tom Weist book as a "reverse template," this project attempted 
to fill in the gaps of that book. This is no easy task since the panorama of 
Cheyenne history, both Northern and Southern, is immense, tragic, unendingly 
interesting, and eventually uplifting. This is a story filled with many losses: of 
land, of loved ones, of spirituality, of language, of culture, of education, but even 
with these losses there have always been replacements for those aspects of the 
Northern Cheyenne culture that slipped away. Some of them may not have been 
the best replacements like alcohol, drugs, and poverty, but the Northern 
Cheyenne are learning to cope with their deleterious effects. Once the Cheyennes 
realize that alcohol and drugs are the new enemy, even more deadly than a hun- 
dred Custers and Chivingtons, their ability to cope with the present situations 
will become easier to address. 

For instance, the Cheyenne people lost a lot of land, but through huge 
sacrifices of all Cheyennes, a treasured piece was retained in southeastern Montana. 
Some Crow Indians say that if it weren't for them, the Northern Cheyenne would 



Preface tind Ackiioivledgnrents 



not have a reservation. This assertion is a convenient fiction which does a complete 
disservice to the many Cheyennes who died on the northward jotirney home in the 
late 1800S. 

01 loved ones, we have gained more relatives because the population ol the 
Northern Cheyenne people is probably the most it has ever been. Of spirituality, 
for good or bad, the people have acquired additional ways of expressing our spir- 
ituality through organized, European-based, non-Cheyenne religions, all the 
while retaining the Native American Church, the Sun Dance, the fasting ceremo- 
ny, the sweat lodge, and the reverence for sites sacred to Cheyenne since time 
immemorial. 

Of the Cheyenne language much has been lost, but there is still a group of 
older people who have dedicated themselves to preserving the language, not as an 
artifact for linguists and anthropologists to dissect, but as a contemporary, viable, 
and infltiential presence. Again, for good or bad, another language, English, has 
become an integral, everyday part of Cheyenne lives. Actually, mastering both 
languages has opened doors of opportunity for bilingual and monolingual 
Cheyennes alike. Of culture, it has necessarily changed from the previous, 
buffalo- and horse-centered culture of the late 1800s to a computer-, iPod-, text- 
message-, television-ciriven cidture. 

Yet the Chevennes still retain our honoring ceremonies, our give-way cere- 
monies, dances, songs, and ways of worship and interaction with each other. We 
still enjoy jtist getting together, preferably with the prospect of a good tradition- 
al meal. Of education, slowly Chevenne people are beginning to embrace the 
white man's education and its systems. The Cheyenne people are slowly recover- 
ing from the highly punitive version of this education that was introduced to 
Cheyenne people when the reservation-era began. Now there are Cheyennes with 
bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees in law, pharmacv, education, dentistrv; and 
more educated people are in the future. This latter development can only bode 
well for the whole Cheyenne tribe. 

This book strove for realism so as not to perpetuate the romanticized notion 
of Northern Cheyenne people. For example, while the Chevenne value system 
emphasizes being the original environmentalists and being good caretakers of the 
land, there is a lot of trash on the reservation. Ihe book also strove to include 
material that had not been included in other history books. Ihe writers were not 
always successful trying to do this. There was just too much material. Included 
were those aspects of Cheyenne culture which are imchangeable, like the trek 
north from Oklahoma. 

What were omitted were accounts about the little people {vo'estanehesono), 
the two-faced people {Iwstovatohkeo'o), water monsters {mehtieo'o), ghosts {seohto), 
Cheyenne humor {nexoetdhta'hanestdtse), and the contemporary (winter 2007) 



turmoil being experienced by all of the Northern Cheyenne people. The list could 
go on and on. Readers who look for accounts of the above items will just have to 
do their own research, which is not a bad idea. Reading Cheyenne history is an 
exhilarating journey. 



Preface and Acknowledgments 



Cheyenne Creation Stories 



^ 



Introduction 

LEGENDS COMPRISE WHAT is probably the oldest surviving form of oral lit- 
erature known to man. Each group of people has had its own explanation 
for the creation of the earth and man; each has had its own way of account- 
ing for its history. Handed down from generation to generation, some of the more 
important legends of the Cheyenne are still told today. 

The legends in this collection appear to be among the oldest told by the 
Northern Cheyenne. In importance, they rank second only to the legends about 
Sweet Medicine, the Cheyenne culture hero and prophet. 



How THE Earth {Ho 'e) was Made 

Long, long ago, before there were people, water was everywhere. Maheo'o, the 
Creator, was floating on the water. All of the water birds were swimming nearby — 
the ducks, geese, swans, and other birds that swim. Ma'heo'o called to them and 
asked them to bring him some earth. 

One after another, the birds dove down through the deep water, searching for 
earth. The large birds tried again and again, but they couldn't reach the bottom. 
At last a small blue duck (a coot or mud-hen) came to the surface with a dab of 
mud in its bill. 

The duck swam to Ma'heo'o, who took the mud and worked it between his 
fingers until it dried and turned to dust. He took the dust and placed it in litde 
pieces atop the water. Each pile of dust became land that grew and grew until, as 
far as the eye could see, there was land everywhere. That is how the earth we walk 
on was made. 



The Thunder and the Winter Man 

After Ma'heo'o made the earth, He took from his right side a rib and, and from it 
made a man. He took a rib from the man's left side and, from it, made a woman. 
He put the woman far to the north and the man far to the south. 

Then Ma'heo'o stood between them with his back to the rising sun and spoke 
to them. "In that direction," he said, and here he pointed to the south, "you will 
find many kinds of birds and animals that are different from those found in this 
direction," and here he pointed to the north, where the woman stood. "The birds 
that live in the south will go to the north in the summer. Where the woman lives, 
it will be cold, and the grass and trees will not grow well. There will be few of 
them. But, where the man is, everything will grow: trees, bushes, and grass." 

In the north lives Ho im' a ho, (Hoema'haahe) the Winter Man. He obeys the 
woman in the north and takes pity on no one for he is power that brings snow and 
cold, sickness, and death. 

The Thunder (or Thunderbird) {Nonoma'e) lives in the south. He is controlled 
by the man in the south and is the power that brings fire, warmth, and life. 

Twice each year the Thunder and the Winter Man come together in conflict. 
At the end of summer, when the streams are low and the grass has been burnt by 
the sun, the Winter Man comes down from the north. "Move back to the place 
from which you came!" he tells the Thunder. "I want to spread about the earth, 
freezing things and covering everything with snow." Then the Thunder moves 
back to the south. 

Toward spring, when the days are growing longer, the Thunder returns from 
the south. "Go back!" he tells the Winter Man. "Return to the place from which 
you came! I want to warm the earth, to turn things green and make the grass 
grow." Then the Winter Man moves back to the north and the Thunder comes 
forward, bringing rain and making things grow again. 

The Great Race 

After making the earth, Ma'heo'o took some dirt (or mud) and formed it in the 
shape of a human being. He blew breath into the mouth and the person came 
alive. 

After a time, there were more people, and Ma'heo'o taught them how to live, 
using Indian turnips and wild fruits, small animals, and other foods which they 
could eat. Then he taught them how to make and use spears so they could hunt 
game. 

It is said that, for a time, the people and the animals lived as friends yet, later, 
the buffalo began to eat people. This was before the So'taaeo'o (Suhtaio) and the 
Tsetsehestahese (Tsistsistas) joined in one tribe.' 



H 



In that time, there Uved a young So'taetane (Suhtai) man who had a strange 
dream. In his dream, he shot an arrow at a buffalo, but it turned and hit another, 
standing far away, in the side. 

When he awoke, the young man soon forgot about his dream. But that night 
it came to him again. Then, on the third night, the dream came to him once more. 
Now he began to worry about it. Finally, he told the old men about his dream 
and asked them what it meant. They told him not to worry, that it probably didn't 
mean anything. 

On the fourth night, the dream came to him again. When he awoke, he 
decided to find out just what the dream meant. Before the sun rose, he got his bow 
and arrows and started out. 

Soon he came upon some buffalo so he hid in the brush by a creek where they 
were coming down to water. When they came closer, he shot an arrow at one, but 
the arrow turned and hit another buffalo, a young cow that was standing some 
distance away. Now the young man knew that his dream had come true. 

The buffalo cow wasn't badly hurt. She turned around several times with the 
arrow hanging Irom her side, and then she started walking. The boy followed her. 
Reaching the top of the ridge, he saw that she was walking slowly and was not lar 
ahead, so he cut behind the hills, hoping to cut her off 

When he saw her again, she was even further away. This puzzled the boy. He 
decided to follow her and stayed on her trail until sundown. Finally he decided to 
return to camp. He would look for the buffalo the next morning for, by then, she 
might be lying down, dead or seriously wounded. 

The next morning he picked up her trail and followed it across a long flat. 
Ahead, he saw a lone tipi. As he neared the tipi, a little boy ran outside and came 
to meet him, calling him "father." 

"Mother is ready," the little boy told him. "She has prepared a meal for you, 
and you are to come in and eat." 

The young man took the little boy's hand, and the boy led him into the tipi. 
Inside, there was a young woman. She greeted him as though she were his wife 
and the little boy their son. The tipi was furnished with a bed, willow backrests, 
and clay cooking pots. The woman gave him a meal of turnips and dry fruit. Later, 
they went to bed like a family, planning to move the camp the next morning. 

When he awoke, the young man found himself looking up at the sky. The 
tipi was gone. So were the woman and the little boy. The young man quickly got 
up and began searching the ground for tracks. 

He soon found their tracks and began following them. These led in the same 
direction that he had followed the day before. He followed their trail all morning 
until, in the distance, he saw the tipi. 

As he approached, the little boy ran out to greet him once more. Everything 



Cheyenne Creation Stories 



happened just as it had the night before. They ate a meal and later went to bed. 
The next morning, when the young man awoke, the tipi was gone. 

This happened a third time and fourth, just as it happened twice before. On 
the fourth morning, while the young man was following the tracks of the woman 
and the little boy, he came to a high ridge. Below, he saw a buffalo herd that 
stretched as far as the eye could see. He followed the tracks down the ridge toward 
the herd and crossed a dry sandy place. Here the tracks disappeared and became 
the tracks of a buffalo cow with a small calf alongside. 

As he neared the heard, a small yellow calf ran towards him. "Father," said the 
calf, "they are going to try and kill you! They will line many of the calves in a row, 
and you will have to guess which one I am. Watch for a calf that shakes his right 
ear, then pass on by, turn, and point at him. That will be me. If you guess right, 
they won't be able to hurt you." 

Everything happened just as the calf had told him. The calves lined up. Then 
the young man heard a great voice, the voice of one of the buffalo bulls, saying, 
"Come, find your son!" 

The young man went down the line of calves. He watched until he saw one 
of them shake his right ear. Then he turned, pointed, and said, "That is my son!" 

Three more times they tested him. And each time the calf came to him and 
told him to watch for his signal. The buffalo calf shook his tail, then he winked his 
eye, and next he raised a hind foot. Each time, the young man saw him and said, 
"That is my son." The buffalo could not harm him. 

Finally the herd moved on and across the river. The young man followed, but 
before he crossed, the calf came to him once more and gave him a dry root to hold, 
to keep him from sinking into the water. 

In the days that followed, the young man was put throtigh many tests; each 
one he passed with the help of his son, the buffalo calf 

One day the yellow calf came to him and said, "My grandfather still wishes 
to kill you. Now you must race him along a narrow ledge. You will first have to 
choose between two sticks, a red painted stick and a black one. Take the one on 
the outside, the black one. That means you will have to race on the outside, by 
the cliff That way he won't be able to crush you against the bank. But be careful! 
Watch his horns! When he turns to come at you, drop to the ground. He'll miss 
you and go over the cliff!" 

And so the young man chose the black stick, the one on the outside. He 
lined up beside the grandfather buffalo. Then they began to run! By the time 
they reached the halfway point, they were still running side by side. Suddenly the 
buffalo turned on him! The young man was ready and quickly dropped to the 
ground! The buffalo missed him, but then he cotildn't stop, he went over the cliff 
and was killed. 



i6 



After the grandfather buffalo was killed, the other buffalo came together in a 
great gathering. Now in those days all animals had the power to appear as human 
beings; when the young man came close, he saw that the buffalo had all turned 
into human beings. Some old men were sitting together in a row, and they called 
to him and greeted him by putting their arms around his neck or shoulders in the 
old Indian way. 

Then the buffalo men met in council. They decided that there should be one 
final great race. If the young man won, the people would eat the buffalo. Never 
again would the buffalo eat the people. But, if the young man lost, he was to be 
killed and eaten! 

Now all the birds and animals came together and began to get ready for the 
great race. They painted themselves. The bald eagle rubbed white clay over his 
head and neck, made a spot back on his side, and painted the rest of his body 
brown. The antelope painted himself yellow with white markings. 

The buffalo chose a cow named Slim Walking Woman to run for them. She 
was fast and has never been beaten. She painted herself brown all over. 

All of the animals except the magpie and the bear chose to be on the side of 
the buffalo. The magpie chose to race on the side on the young man.' 

The bear said, "I wont be on either side. Til eat anything!" The bear could 
eat plants as well as meat. 

Just as the great race was about to begin, the animals crowded around Slim 
Walking Woman. Coyote said, "If the man wins, I won't live the way I do now. 
rU live up on the hill, and I'll sing this song." Then he howled just like coyotes 
do toda)'. 

The bald eagle made a whistling noise and said, "If the man wins, I'll sing this 
song, and my home will be in the air between the earth and the sky. " 

Then a little brown bird said, "If the man wins, I'll play with the children. 
They can chase me in the rosebushes. " 

Now they were ready to start the race. A coyote and a big wolf howled, and 
the race began, towards the east! 

The magpie began to soar, higher and higher into the sky; soon she was far 
behind the others. The young man ran as fast as he could, keeping pace with the 
faster animals. Then some of the animals began to tire and fall behind. Yet the 
buffalo cow kept on running as fast as she could. After a time she, too, began 
to grow tired, and the buffalo called to her, urging her on. And all this time the 
magpie was far behind the others, soaring higher and higher. 

Some of the animals ran with such fury that they began bleeding at the mouth, 
turning the ground red. Then, one by one, they began falling by the wayside. 

When the bear came to the first animal that had fallen, he stopped and ate 
hini. 



Cheyenne Creation Stories ^7 



Now the race was almost over. Suddenly the magpie began to swoop down 
through the air so fast that she soared across the finish line first, winning the race 
for the people! 

The old buffalo bull called the young man over. "You have won," they told 
him. "From now on, you shall be above all the animals. We will supply you with 
our meat, skins, and bones. And we will teach you how to give a Sun Dance." 

Soon the animals began to scatter and go their own way. They had decided 
that none of them was to look back. But, as they were leaving, the coyote looked 
back. Even today, whenever a coyote slinks off, he still looks back over his shoul- 
der. Each of the animals kept the colors which they still wear. 

Ever since then, man has had the right to use animal flesh. After the race, 
whenever the people hunted the buffalo, they ran away for having lost the great 
race, they were afraid of everything. 

In the old days, the Cheyennes never ate the sweetbreads (thymus gland) 
found in the throat of the buffalo. This was considered to be human fat that had 
lodged there during the time when the buffalo ate the people. Also, they never 
killed a magpie for its flesh. They remembered the great race and how the magpie 
had won it for the people. 

Today you can still see the place where the great race was run. It is in the 
Black Hills, near a place called the Buffalo Gap. There, a path runs right around 
the hills. The Cheyenne still call this place the Race Track. 

West of Bear Butte, the Sacred Mountain, near the town of Sundance, WY, 
the buffalo priests held their Sun Dance. Since then, this sacred ceremony has 
belonged to the So'taa'e (Suhtai), who call themselves the Buffalo People. 

Today, whenever a Sun Dance is put up, people remember the great race and 
thank Ma'heo'o for the way it turned out. 

Old Woman's Water' MAtamaahe heho'hame'e 

Long ago the people camped near a knoll where a spring came out of the rock. 
This spring is known as Old Woman's. The opening of the camp faced toward 
the spring. 

In the morning, the people began playing the hoop game."* Soon a young man 
came from the right side of the camp and stood watching them. He wore only 
a breechcloth and was painted yellow all over and striped down with the fingers. 
On his chest was painted a small red circle while, on his back, there was a red half 
moon. There were red stripes around his wrists and ankles. His face was painted 
black beneath his eyes. He had a yellow down feather on his scalplock and wore 
his robe with the hair side out. 

After a time, another young man came from the left side of the camp and 



i8 



stood watching the hoop game. His paint and dress were identical to that worn by 
the first young man. Both were surprised when they saw the other. 

"My friends," the first young man said to the people, "stop your game for a 
moment." He asked the other young man to come toward him, and they met in 
the center of the camp. 

"Why do you mock me?" asked the young man. "That is what I want to 
know," said the other yotmg man. "I think you are making Km of me, painting 
and dressing just as I do." 

"Who gave you your paint; where did you get it?" asked the first young man. 
"Who gave you yours?" asked the other. The young man pointed to the spring. 
"My paint came from there." he said. 

"My paint came from there also," said the other. "Let tis help these people," 
the first young man said finally. The other agreed with this. 

"Warriors," said the young man, "each of you will feel happy this day." All of 
the people heard this. Then the other young man said this, too. 

The two young men turned and walked over to the spring while the people 
watched. The first young man covered his head with his robe and plunged beneath 
the water, throtigh the opening from which it came. Then the other followed. 

They came up inside the knoll and saw an old woman sitting there inside the 
lodge. "Come in, my grandchild," she said to each of them. She took them in her 
arms and held them, and then she had them sit on either side of her. 

"Why didn't you come sooner?" she asked. "Why have you gone hungry for 
so long? Now that you have come, I must do something for your people." 

Nearby were two clay jars. She set them before her and then brought out two 
plates; one was filled with buffalo meat and the other was filled with corn. 

"Come, my children, eat the meat," she told them. The meat was very good, 
and they ate quickly yet the plate remained full. The same thing happened when 
they ate the corn. When they finally finished eating, both of the dishes were still 
full. 

Then the old woman untied the feathers they wore and threw them into the 
fire. She painted each of them with red paint, striped them, and then repainted 
their wrists and ankles, the sun and the half moon, yellow. Finally she reached 
out over the fire and brought out two down feathers painted red and tied them to 
their scalplocks. 

"Look that way." She told them, pointing to her left. They looked and saw 
the earth covered with buffalo. 

"Look this way she said," pointing partly behind her. Now, when they looked, 
they saw wide corn fields. 

"Look that way," she said once more and pointed to her right. This time they 
saw the prairie covered with horses. 



Cheyenne Creation Stories I9 



"Look that way again," she told them. They looked and saw Indian fighting. 
Now they looked closer and saw themselves among the warriors, painted just as 
the old woman had painted them. 

"You will always win in battle," she told them. "You will have good luck and 
take many captives." 

And then she told them, "When you leave here, go to the center of your vil- 
lage. Ask for two large bowls and have them wiped clean. Then say to your people, 
"We have something wonderful to give you." Tell your people that when the sun 
goes down, I will send out buffalo." 

She gave each of the young men some corn tied up in sacks and told them 
to divide this seed among their people. Finally, she told them to take some of the 
meat from the plate with one hand and some corn with the other hand. Then she 
sent them away. They left her lodge and came up out of the spring. 

All of the people in the village were seated around the spring when they came 
out. The two young men went to the center of the camp and told the people what 
the old woman had said. Then they asked that two wooden bowls be brought to 
them, but these had to be clean. Then the young men put meat in one bowl and 
corn in the other. When they were finished, the bowls were filled. 

The people began to eat, first the meat and then the corn. The old people 
ate first, then the younger men and women, and, finally, the children. When they 
were finished, there was only a little meat and corn left. The last to eat were two 
orphans, a boy and a girl. By the time they were finished eating, there was nothing 
left. 

As the sun went down, the people looked toward the spring. After a time, 
they saw a buffalo bull leap from the spring. He ran a short distance and pawed 
the ground; then he turned back and plunged back into the spring. Now, sud- 
denly, a great herd of buffalo ran from the spring. All night long the buffalo raced 
out of the spring, making such a noise that no one in the village could sleep. 

The next morning, when the sun rose, there were buffalo as far as the eye 
could see. The hunters went out and brought in all the meat they could use. 

The people camped there all winter and had plenty of food. Toward spring, 
they sent two young men out to find a damp place where they could plant corn, 
then made caches in the earth where they stored their dried meat. Finally they 
went off to plant corn, digging holes with sticks and planting the seed in the 
grotmd. 

Every now and then they returned to get some more dried meat. Once, when 
they returned, they found that some of the seed had been taken, either by the 
Pawnees or the Arikarees. That is how those tribes got their corn. 

It was Erect Horns (also known as Red Tassel or Standing on the Ground) 
who was responsible for bringing corn to the people. When he learned that they 



had been careless and had not kept watch over the corn, he took their power to 
raise corn from them. 

Some say that the other boy was Sweet Medicine (also known as Rustling 
Corn Leaf or Sweet Root Standing). 

After that, the Cheyenne no longer planted corn but lived on the plains and 
himted the buffalo. 

By Henry Tall Bull and Tom Weist. Copyright 1^72 by Montana Indian Publica- 
tions (siy Rimrock Road, Billings, MT $9102). Reprinted with permission from the 
publisher. 



1 So'taaeo'o (Suhtaio) and Tsetsehestahese 
(Tsistsistas) are the rwo historical divisions of the 
Cheyenne. 

2 A few versions of this story say that the swih- 
hawk, crow, and eagle, as well as the magpie, sided 
with the young man. 

3 "Old Woman's Water" (Matamaahe Hemapame) 
is an important legend for it contains an allegory 
of the joining of the So'taaeo'o (Suhtaio) and 
Tsetsehestahese (Tsistsistas) into one tribe, hence 
the reason the boys are identically dressed. In 
some versions, both Erect Horns (Tomosevesehe), 
the So'taaeo'o (Suhtaio) culture hero, and Sweet 
Medicine (Motse'eoeve), the culture hero of 
Tsetsehestahese (Tsistsistas), are named as the 
young men. "Old Woman's Water" (Matamaahe 
Hemapame) also tells of the change from growing 
corn and other vegetables to the Cheyennes' 
eventual movement onto the plains and their 
dependence upon the buffalo. 



4 Hoop or wheel game: An old game played by the 
Cheyenne, it was most often played by throwing 
a stick with several prongs on the end at a rolling 
hoop. The hoop was made of a stick tied together 
so it formed a circle; this was interlaced with 
rawhide. The object of the game was to strike the 
hoop in such a way that the stick stuck through the 
lacing, thus counting as a "kill." 



Cheyenne Creation Stories 



Coming Home 



rx 



IT WAS A cold, damp day Oct. i6, 1993, when the Northern Cheyennes gath- 
ered to bury their dead near Busby, MT. This memorial service was different. 
The procession leading across the high plains carried 18 cedar boxes. Unlike 
caskets, the boxes were short and nearly square. Each contained a skull that had 
been collected from a bloody trench in Nebraska and then spent the last century 
in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History cupboards in Washington, DC. 

James Black Wolf, Keeper ol the Sacred Hat bundle that has been handed 
down for nearly two centuries, prayed. The sky filled with the soulful song of the 
eagle-bone whistle. Steve Little Bird, camp crier, called men from each warrior 
society to bring the boxes into the sunlight: the Crazy Dogs, the Elkhorn Scrap- 
ers, the Kit Foxes, the Bowstrings. Elkhorn Scraper Chief Gilbert White Dirt led 
a song, his voice soaring as two young women started trilling to make the men's 
hearts strong. Then the crowd carried the boxes across U.S. Highway 212 to the 
burial hill at the Chief Two Moons monument.' 

Burying the remains of these ancestors brought a mixture of anguish and 
relief to the Northern Cheyennes who gathered there in 1993. They were forced 
once again to confront the attitudes of the 19th century, when it was federal policy 
to collect American Indian skulls. United States Army Surgeon General Madison 
Mills paid soldiers to ship skulls, saying, "Our collection of Indian crania, already 
quite large, should be made as complete as possible." Government scientists want- 
ed to measure the skulls to prove the superiority ol the Caucasian race and thus 
justify the policies of exterminating American Indians who stood in the way of 
more "civilized" people." When Congress passed the Native American Graves Pro- 
tection and Repatriation Act in 1990, there were believed to be more than 600,000 
skeletal remains of American Indians in museums and private collections.' 

The relief came when the spirits expressed their gratitude for being brought 
home, at long last. The three-year-old girl who was being freed from her imprison- 



23 




u c 



-5 <^ 



S F^ 



24 



ment at the Smithsonian appeared to a young man there. He saw her dressed in 
white with yellow ribbons in her hair, and she was happy. After the wake at Busby, 
a small teddy bear was given to the little girl and placed on the cedar box with 
her remains.^ In route from Washington to Busby, the delegation stopped at Fort 
Robinson, NE, and held a pipe ceremony. At dawn an old lady started crying. 
The delegation could not see her, but at the end of the prayer, they heard her say, 
'^ Neaesemeno" Cthank you" in Cheyenne).^ 

It had been a long journey home for the little girl, the old woman, and the 
others who arrived back at Busby. While often referred to as the fighting Chey- 
enne, they were fighters by necessity, not choice, according to Tom Weist in his 
book, A History of the Cheyenne People.'' The tribe stood on the brink of extinction 
several times, threatened not only by soldiers' guns but just as often by govern- 
ment neglect when promised rations never arrived. They fought their way back, 
sometimes armed only by knives, empty rifles, determination, and the strong 
hearts of their women. 

The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851 assigned a vast territory of the Northern 
Plains east of the Rocky Mountains to the Cheyenne and Arapahoe tribes. In 1868, 
some of the Cheyennes and Lakota signed a treaty creating the Great Sioux Res- 
ervation, which encompassed much of the present states of Montana, Wyoming, 
Nebraska, and portions of the Dakotas. The treaty said, "No white person should 
be permitted to settle or to pass through the same [area] without the consent of 
the Indians first. "^ 

However, neither side abided by the treaty. After gold was discovered in the 
Black Hills in 1872, the government changed the rtiles. All Indians were ordered to 
reservations, and troops were sent out to round them up. Then on June 26, 1876, 
the Cheyennes, Arapahos, Lakota, and other allies defeated Custer (25 miles west 
of Busby). Custer and 264 of his men were killed.^ After the victory, the United 
States and the American public forgot about treaties and thirsted for vengeance. 

South to Indian Territory 

In the summer of 1877 , Chiefs Dull Knife'' and Little Wolf and 970 other Chey- 
ennes were taken south to Indian Territory to live with the Southern Cheyennes 
at the Darlington Agency. Promised food and a new life, they reluctantly agreed 
to move. An attack on the Dull Knife camp the previous November had destroyed 
their lodges, their winter food supply, all their belongings, and their morale. 

Accustomed to an active life on the high, dry plains and mountains and plen- 
tiful game, they did not adjust well to the hot, muggy climate in Indian Territory 
where there were inadequate rations, and the game had been exterminated. The 
agent there knew that they were not being treated fairly. He testified before a com- 
mittee of the Senate that he never received supplies to feed the Indians for more 



Co m big Ho me ^ 5 



than nine months a year. "These people were meat-eaters, but the beef furnished 
them by the government inspectors was no more than skin and bone," he said. 
The agent described their suffering: "They have hved, and that is about all."'° In 
truth, a lot did not live. The malnourished people got malaria and measles, and 
the agency physician could not treat all the sick. Many children and old people 
died. After they had endured the conditions for a year, Chiefs Dull Knife and 
Little Wolf went to see the Indian agent, John D. Miles. Little Wolf said. 

We have come to ask the agent that we be sent home to our own country in the 
mountains. My people were raised there, in a land of pines and clear, cold rivers. 
There, we were always healthy for there was meat enough for all. . . .this is not 

a good place for us Before another year has passed, we may all be dead, and 

there will be none of us left to travel north." 

Miles, a Quaker, could see the suffering of the Cheyennes, but he had his 
orders from Washington. The Northern Cheyennes were to remain in the south. 
Little Wolf told his people what Miles had said. Some wanted to go; others wanted 
to stay rather than be hunted down and killed. Little Wolf went back to Miles and 
said, 

Listen, my friends, I am a friend of the white people and have been so for a long 
time. I do not want to see blood spilt about this agency. I am going north to my 
own country. If you are going to send your soldiers after me, I wish you would 
let us get a little distance away. Then if you want to fight, I will fight you, and 
we can make the ground bloody at that place.'- 

Knowing that they faced a hazardous trek of over 1,500 miles with women, 
children, and old people weakened by hunger and disease, 297 Cheyennes rose 
in the early morning hours of Sept. 9, 1878, and started north, many of them on 
foot, leaving the bodies of their loved ones and most of their belongings behind.'^ 
Tsehneevahoohtoosemevbse Tsetsehestahese, they were going home. Their route was 
not through wilderness but through hazardous areas occupied by homesteaders 
and ranchers and crossed by several railroads, which could carry troops. 



Exile and Escape 

The Northern Cheyennes succeeded in escaping Indian Territory, but they paid a 
big price. In his book. Tell Them We Are Going Home: The Odyssey of the Northern 
Cheyennes, John Monnett says that the exodus of the Cheyennes was equally as 
important as the heroic flight of the Nez Perce under Chief Joseph. He credited 
brilliant military maneuvers for their escape from Indian Territory. However, 
some of the Cheyenne people have another explanation. Some say they relied 
on their sacred cultural ways to sustain them. An old medicine woman by the 



26 




.r--- — 






//'i r 



MONTANA ^: 



NORTHS DAKOTA 



SOUTH DAKOTA / 
Ft. Mead \ 






x. 



'■ / 



' Camp_Sheridan' A Pi"? RidgeAgency^ _ 
Ft. Robinson .Q ^Spotted Tail Agency ""^ 



\A 






.!?. P;afte> 



^•,/ 



.,/^- 



Attacl< on civilians 




Ft. Wallace 

COLORADO i / o ----"" 

<-^^ Punished Woman's Fork (^ Srnokey Hill B 



» ^ K A N S A S-- :-:,.y_^-^^(\sas R. 



^^ 






NEW MEXICO 



■ Q(^ \ Bluff Creek 

' y^ '^•%. V< Sand Creek 

'kr. _ . ^^.%^.- ..- 

"P"""^ " _._^ ^ Turkey Springs 

pr-r'J::i,_/|^ (Canadian ft 

i 



Little Wolf and Dull Knife - 1 878 

Dull Knife- 1878 

Little Wolf - 1878 and 1879 

* The exact point Little Wolf and 
Dull Knife parted is disputed 

X Battles 



JIj..^ \ >>^J^ Darlington Agency 



■■•-l^'A. 



Ft. Rend 



ija-- 



.-/ 



\. 



TEXAS 



\ INDIAN TERRITORY 



When they escaped from Indian Territory to return to Montana, the Northern Cheyennes traveled 
over 1,500 miles under pursuit by government soldiers. Their party included women, children, and 
old people weakened by hunger and disease. No one thought they could do it. Author John Monnett 
credited their brilliant military maneuvers. Some of the Cheyennes credited Notame'hehe (Northern 
Woman), who turned the people into small herds of buffalo when the soldiers came near. (Map 
courtesy of University of Oklahoma Press) 



Co))ii>ig Home 



27 



name o^ Notame'hehe (North Woman) divined the route for them. By using sacred 
ceremonies, she told the people what to do and, using the powers of Heseeota'e, she 
hid them. The soldiers thought they were small herds of buffalo when they came 
close to finding them.'"" 

One of the women, Susan Iron Teeth, said, "We dodged the soldiers during 
most of the way... But they were always near us and trying to catch us. Our young 
men fought them off in seven different batdes. At each fight, some of our people 
were killed, women or children the same as men. I do not know how many of our 
grown-up people were killed. But I know that more than 60 of our children were 
gone when we got to the Dakota country."''^ 

As fall turned into winter, their moccasins wore out from six weeks of walk- 
ing. Some wrapped their feet in rags to get through the snow. Many suffered from 
dysentery. Some of the young Cheyenne warriors, angry and desperately needing 
horses and supplies, attacked white settlers in western Kansas and Nebraska, kill- 
ing over 40 and raping several women, according to Monnett's documentation."' 

When they reached the Platte River, the group split up. Little Wolf's band 
camped to wait out the winter on the Lost Chokecherry Creek before proceed- 
ing to the Tongue River country. The other band led by Dull Knife moved to 
the northwest, hoping to find refuge with the Lakota at Red Cloud Agency in 
Nebraska. The 149 followers that decided to join Dull Knife were mostly women, 
children, elderly, and a few warriors.'' 

Fort Robinson Breakout ( Tsexhova 'xevOse TsetsehestAhese) 

On Oct. 23, 1878, Dull Knife's band encountered soldiers in a snowstorm in the 
Nebraska Sandhills who told them that their goal — Red Cloud Agency — had 
been moved north to Dakota Territory."^ The Cheyenne were so desperate for 
food and shelter that they went to Fort Robinson with the soldiers. Among the 
prisoners taken to Fort Robinson were Iron Teeth and her children and the artist 
Little Finger Nail. Little Finger Nail had his ledger book of drawings strapped on 
his back, concealed under his clothing. The ledger book contained drawings from 
their trek from Indian Territory to Fort Robinson.''' 

Iron Teeth lived another 50 years until May 1928, and she described the tragic 
events to Thomas D. Marquis, a local physician and historian. Iron Teeth was 
an experienced hunter and a good rider who in happier days had broken her 
own horses. Women normally did not hunt and were expected to tend to lodge 
keeping, tanning, food preparation, and childrearing. However, a few women par- 
ticipated in buffalo hunts and fought alongside the men in battle. These women 
were referred to as Manly-Hearted Women. The Northern Cheyenne community 
fully accepted these women. 



28 



Initially, Dull Knife and his followers had limited freedom to hunt near Fort 
Robinson, and they tried to nourish hope of reuniting with the other Cheyennes 
and Lakota in the north. Later, however, they were locked in the barracks. In a 
room that measured about 30 feet square there were 43 men, 29 women, and 20 
to 30 children. '" 

On Jan. 3, 1879, they heard the news that they had been dreading for two 
months: The Indian Bureau in Washington had ordered that they be taken back 
to Indian Territory. When they refused. Captain Henry W. Wessells, Jr., the com- 
manding officer, cut off all food and firewood despite the bitter cold — tempera- 
tures had dropped well below zero. Then Wessells cut off all water for three days, 
fully expecting them to give in and agree to go to Indian Territory. 

Wessells had not counted on the determination of the Cheyennes. They 
scraped frost off the windows for water and planned their next desperate move. 
After watching so many of their family and friends die horrible deaths, the Chey- 
enne men and women felt they had nothing left to lose. Iron Teeth and the other 
women were preparing for the escape or lor death. They had hidden rifles under 
the floorboards of the barracks, and men armed themselves with the women's 
household knives. Iron Teeth had concealed a revolver under the bodice of her 
dress for her son, Gathering His Medicine, 22, to use.-' 

Late on the night of Jan. 9, they made their break. Gathering His Medi- 
cine and the others smashed windows and tore the door down. Gathering His 
Medicine put his youngest sister on his back and ran in one direction while Iron 
Teeth and another daughter ran the other way. Cheyenne women, some carrying 
children, fought soldiers. '- 

In an interview with Marquis dated 1926 Iron Teeth stated: 

We stayed in the cave seven nights and almost seven days. More snow kept 
falling. It was very cold, but we were afraid to build a fire. We nibbled at my 
small store of dry meat and melted snow for water. Each day we could hear the 
horses and the voices of soldiers searching for Indians. Finally a soldier found 
our tracks, and the soldiers then took us back to Fort Robinson.^' 

More than 30 were trapped in a washout at Antelope Creek, 35 miles from 
Fort Robinson. Troopers fired into the pit for three-quarters of an hour. Then they 
charged, firing their weapons, withdrawing and reloading and charging until the 
death songs were silent. Suddenly three bleeding young men leaped Irom the pit 
with knives and empty guns, and they were killed, too. One mortally wounded 
woman who had slit her daughters throat to keep her Irom being captured was 
still alive when a lieutenant reached down to comfort her. She spat in his face.-'' 

In all about 60 people were killed after the Fort Robinson break out, includ- 
ing Little Finger Nail. The bullets that ripped through his body also ripped his 



Coming Home 29 



ledger.-'' After being imprisoned again at Fort Robinson, Iron Teeth was afraid 
to ask anybody about her son and the Httle daughter, fearing that by asking, she 
would inform the soldiers of them. "After a while the little girl came to me. I asked 
her about her brother. It appeared she did not hear me, so I asked again. This time 
she burst out crying. Then I knew he had been killed," she told Marquis.-'^' 

The Northern Cheyenne odyssey was widely covered by the press at the time 
and led to severe public criticism of the military. When several Cheyenne lead- 
ers were put on trial lor killing the white settlers, they were acquitted, partially 
becatise of public sympathy. While the survivors expected to be shot or sent back 
to Indian Territory, most were taken to Pine Ridge Agency to live with the Oglala 
Lakota. For some time, it was thought that Dull Knife had been killed.' However, 
he and his wife, and their son Bull Hump were separated from the main body of 
Cheyennes, and they reached Pine Ridge Agency several weeks later. 

Meanwhile, after waiting out the winter of 1878-1879 on the Lost Chokecher- 
ry, Little Wolf was persuaded by Cheyenne emissaries to surrender at Fort Keogh 
on March 26, 1879. Dull Knife and the other survivors from his band joined them 
in November. Once again, the government had placed too many Indians in too 
small of an area, and there was not enough grass for horses, farming land, or game. 
Gen. Nelson A. Miles later let certain Cheyennes leave Fort Keogh and hunt up 
the Tongue River where they eventually settled with their families near Lame Deer 
and Muddy creeks. Other Cheyennes settled near Rosebud Creek.-** 

Tongue River Indian Reservation 

By this time, most of the tribes in the West had reservations, and Congress had 
ended the treaty-making era in 1871. Reservations could only be established by 
direct order of the president of the United States. The Tongue River Indian Reser- 
vation was created by Executive Order under President Chester A. Arthur on Nov. 
16, 1884. The reservation consisted of 371,200 acres.-'' Dull Knife, who sacrificed 
so much to lead his people back to the north, died in 1883, the year before the 
reservation was established. He was originally buried on a high butte overlooking 
Rosebud Creek, approximately eight miles west of Lame Deer, but he was moved 
to Lame Deer. 

This 1884 reservation boundary excluded many Cheyennes who lived east of 
the river where they had been encouraged to homestead. Those who lived outside 
the reservation could not get government services, so the new St. Labres Catholic 
Mission dispensed medicine and other aid. Partly at the insistence of the bishop, 
the governor wired the Secretary of Interior for assistance for them. In March 19, 
1900, the reservation was increased to 444,157 acres by Executive Order under 
President William McKinley, and these homesteads were included within the new 
boundary.^" 



30 




Chiefs Dull Knife and Little Wolf led the Northern Cheyenne people on their long trip home from 
Indian Territory, a heroic journey immortalized in the novel Cheyenne Autumn by Mari Sandoz. Little 
Wolf (standing) wears what appears to be a cross, but it actually represents the dragonfly, an important 
religious symbol. 



Coming Home 



31 



While many white citizens of the county still tried to have the Northern 
Cheyennes removed and their reservation dissolved, the Cheyennes also had many 
white allies, including the Catholic mission, some area families, and some gov- 
ernment officials who said they should remain on the Tongue River Reservation 
undisturbed. One of the letters was from Gen. Miles, dated June 1889: "... in 
regard to the proposed removal of the Indians [Northern Cheyenne], there is no 
good reason or justice in doing so. They have fulfilled their part of the compact [to 
remain at peace], ... they have an undoubted right, legally and morally, to remain 
where they are now located.^' 



Conclusion 

Recent research has revealed that American Indian people are still experiencing 
the trauma of their ancestors. Problems of alcoholism, drug abuse, suicide, and 
mental illness may be symptoms of historic trauma. However, the research also in- 
dicates that revitalizing cultural and spiritual ceremonies can help people heal." 

For the last several years, the Northern Cheyennes remember the great od- 
yssey of their ancestors with the Fort Robinson Break Out Spiritual Run each 
January. The first run involved nine descendants who ran a 76-mile loop around 
the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. In 1999 they began making the full 400-mile 
run from Fort Robinson through the Black Hills to the reservation in Montana. 
The annual event is primarily a ceremonial run to honor the ancestors. It also 
brings youth and adults together; teaches history and culture; and creates a bond 
amongst family, youth, and elders. ^^ 



1 Giarelli, A. L., (1993, Nov. 15). The return of the 
Cheyenne skulls brings a bloody Western story to a 
close. High Country News 25(21). 

2 Gulliford, A. (Fall 1996). Bones of contention: 
The repatriation of Native American human 
remains. The Public Historian, i8{^): 1-2. 

3 Thornton, R., (1998). Who owns our past? The 
Repatriation of Native American Human Remains 
and Cultural Objects. In R. Thornton (Ed.), 
Studying Native America: problems and prospects (p. 
387). Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. 

4 Thornton, Who owns our past? p. 386. 

5 Giarelli, The return of the Cheyenne skulls. 

6 Weist, T. (1977). A hisloiy of the Cheyenne 
people (p. 6). Billings: Montana Council for 
Indian Education. 

7 Weist, T. (1977). A history of the Cheyenne people 
(p. 68). 

8 Weist, T. (1977). A history of the Cheyenne people 
(p. 76). 



9 Dull Knife is a Sioux name, but among the 
Northern Cheyenne, he is known as Vooheheva 
(Morning Star). 

10 Eastman, C. A. (n.d.). Little Wolf. In e-book, 
Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains (Dover Publica- 
tions, 1997). Retrieved 12/15/07 from http://www. 
authorama.com/indian-heroes-and-great-chieftains- 
14.html. Eastman cites anthropologist Grinnell, G. 
(1956). The Fighting Cheyennes. Norman; University 
of Oklahoma Press. 

11 Weist, T. (1977). A history of the Cheyenne people 
(p. 80). 

12 Eastman, Little Wolf 

13 Weist, A history of the Cheyenne people (p. 80). 

14 Bureau of Land Management, Department of 
Interior. (Jan. 2003). Final stateivide oil and gas 
environmental impact statement: Northern Cheyenne 
narrative report (pp. 2-16). Retrieved Dec. 2007 
from:http://www.nit. blm.gov/mcfo/cbm/eis/ 
NCheyenneNarrativeReport/Chap2.pdf 



32 



15 Marquis, T. (1978). The Cheyeunes of Montana. 
Algonac, Ml: Reference Publications, Inc. 

16 Monnett, J. (2001) Tell them we are going home. 
Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma 
Press. 

17 Monnett, Tell them we are going home. 

18 Weist, A history of the Cheyenne people (p. 81). 

19 Low, D. (Summer 2006). Composite Indigenous 
genre Cheyenne ledger art as literature. Studies in 
American Indian Literature (18)1: 83-104. Lincoln: 
University of Nebraska Press. Retrieved Dec. 12, 
2007, from http://ezproxy.twu. edu:2i22/iournals/ 
studies_in_american_indian_lit.html. 

20 Monnett, Tell them we are going home. 

21 Marquis, The Cheyeunes of Montana. 
11 Monnett, Tell them ive are going home. 

23 Marquis, The Cheyennes of Montana (p. 77). 

24 Giarelli, The return of the Cheyenne skulls. The 
skulls repatriated in 1993 came from the Antelope 
Creek mass grave. 



25 Low, Composite Indigenous genre Cheyenne 
ledger art. Soldiers gave the book to an Army of- 
ficer, Francis Hardie, as a war souvenir. The ledger 
is now on display at the Natural History Museum 
in New York City. 

26 Marquis, The Cheyennes of Montana (p. 77). 

27 Charles Eastman's story, for example, mistak- 
enly says that Dull Knife was killed there at Fort 
Robinson. 

28 Weist, A histoiy of the Cheyenne people (p. 103) 

29 Weist, A history of the Cheyenne people (p. 104) 

30 Weist, A history of the Cheyenne people (p. 
106-107) 

31 Bureau of Land Management, Tinal statewide oil 
and gas environmental impact statement. 

32 Yellow Horse Brave Heart, M. & Deschenie, T. 
(Winter 2006). Historical trauma and post-colonial 
stress in American Indian populations. Tribal 
College Journal 77(3). 

33 Melmer, D. (2006, Jan. 13). Dull Knife run 
honors ancestors and youth. Indian Country Today. 



Coming Home 



33 



The Northern Cheyenne Language 



n 



IT IS A fact of indigenous lives that languages are dying. These deaths have been 
extensively documented. To write more about it seems to be giving in to the 
unspoken consensus that indigenous languages are indeed going to die. Yet, 
the prospect of their deaths must be discussed by indigenous people because only 
we can save them — only we value them as living, sacred beings. 

Perhaps languages have built-in obsolescence based on the very fact that they, 
too, are alive. They, too, die after they have served their purposes. For those who 
speak a dying language, language death can be an event as horrific as that comet 
that, theoretically, killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, or it can be almost a 
non-event, as described in the article, "The Death of Language," by linguist David 
Crystal: "A language dies only when the last person who speaks it dies. One day it 
is there; the next it is gone."' 

For the Cheyenne language in Montana, the time of its potential death can 
almost be pinpointed. In 1996, an informal survey was conducted to find the 
youngest fluent speaker. The survey was not scientifically done; there were no 
comparison groups, no systematic approach, and no longitudinal observations. 
Only those volunteers willing to be tape recorded were included. Speakers were 
recorded for half an hour. The only speaker who could sustain Cheyenne speech 
for half an hour, and who probably could have gone on much longer, was Rhoda 
Glenmore. This 45-year-old lady is now (2007) about 56 years of age. 

So, it could be predicted that the Cheyenne languages viabilin' could coin- 
cide with the possible life span of this speaker. If she lived to be 85, it would be the 
year 2036, and she could be the only living Native speaker alive at that time. She 
would have no one to talk to in Cheyenne. She would talk Cheyenne, but there 
would be no receptive ears or comprehending brains anywhere in the world. She 
would be speaking only to herself The area around her would be filling rapidly 
with the noises of non-indigenous tongties. 



35 



This language has a long history, and the Cheyenne people have many rea- 
sons to keep it alive. We have taken several steps to invigorate it. However, we also 
have many obstacles. 

History of the Cheyenne Language 

Tsesenestsestbtse, the Cheyenne language, is an Algonquian language, a group 
that also includes Arapaho, Blackfeet, Cree, Delaware, Fox, Mohegan, Oji'owa, 
Ottawa, Potawatomi, Kickapoo, Menominee, Fox, Sac, Shawnee, Micmac, and 
Naskapi. It is one of the westernmost Algonquian languages. It changed to its 
present spoken and written form when two very similar languages combined — the 
Cheyenne language proper and the So'taahe language. Perhaps as early as the 1900s 
these two once-distinctly identifiable languages merged to such an extent that they 
were effectively one language, according to George Bird Grinnell.- 

The Cheyenne language has been written since 1896 when the Reverend Ro- 
dolphe Petter, a Mennonite missionary, wrote and published the first Cheyenne 
language dictionary. He also designed the alphabet when he began to study the 
Cheyenne language in Oklahoma at the end of the 19th century. This alphabet 
has 14 letters, which combine to create long words that are comprised of many 
smaller meaning parts. This alphabet fits the sounds and patterns of the Cheyenne 
language very well. 

The letter "z" was used in the Petter alphabet to represent the "ts" sound, 
because Petter spoke German, which uses the letter V for that sound. In the 
early 1970s, a Cheyenne committee working with linguist Danny Alford and the 
bilingual education program in the Lame Deer, MT, schools, changed the V to 
the two English letters "ts. " This alphabet can be called the Petter Alphabet, or 
Modified Petter Alphabet.' 

Since these early efforts, the writing system has undergone progressively more 
understandable changes. On April 21, 1997, the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Coun- 
cil took a significant step. It passed an ordinance declaring Cheyenne as the official 
language of the tribe. ^ 

In 1997 Wayne Leman created a Cheyenne language website (www.geocities. 
com/cheyenne_language/alphabet.htm) that provides the alphabet, a pronuncia- 
tion guide, online access to the Cheyenne Dictionary, and reference materials. Le- 
man is an SIL linguist who lived with the Northern Cheyenne in Montana for 
about 35 years. He and his wife now live in Spokane. (Founded over 70 years ago, 
SIL International is a faith-based organization that studies, documents, and assists 
in developing the world's lesser-known languages.) 

Some other tribes have put their languages into writing only reluctantly be- 
cause members believed that they should only be spoken. However, there has 



36 



been little controversy amongst the Cheyenne concerning the writing system. Oc- 
casionally there are moves to change this writing system, instigated by people who 
have minimal understanding of linguistics systems and conventions. 

Languages change and adjust to changing times and differing social phe- 
nomena. In some cases, the pronunciation changes. For example, the Cheyenne 
world is divided into animacy and inanimacy so indicators for these classifications 
become very important in Cheyenne talking, reading, and writing. He'tohe is the 
indicator tor inanimacy, and the present older generation (50 years and older) 
says it this way. The younger generation (50 and younger) adds another glottal 
stop just before the last voiceless e (he'to'e). This change does not impede clarity or 
communication, but it does rattle the nerves of Cheyenne purists. In other cases, 
the meaning changes. For example, tosa'e nevee'e means "where are you camped?" 
However, the younger generation uses tosa'e nevee'e? When they're really asking 
tosae nevo'dstaneheve which means "where do you live?" 




The Cheyennes were one ot the Algonquian-.speaking peoples who were believed to have 
traditionally inhabited this area of North America hundreds of years ago. (Map reprinted from A 
History of the Cheyenne People with permission from the publisher) 



The Northern Cheyenne Language 



37 



The Cheyenne seem to have quit devising new words for the changing times 
and emerging social phenomena in the late 1950s. There are words for automobile, 
airplane, influenza, cancer, and movies. Then this coining of new words abruptly 
ended in the 1960s; we have no words for hippies, radar, sonar, flying saucers, HIV, 
or football. As a Cheyenne language teacher, I was asked to translate "ketchup." 
After some thought, I called it "tomato gravy" since we had the word for tomato 
henenoe and the word for gravy enahano, I just combined the two words to make 
an acceptable-sounding Cheyenne word: heneneenahano. Then I was asked to 
translate "mustard." I translated it to me'esekevotseenahano — "baby gravy," which 
I think is self-explanatory. 

The development of the Cheyenne dictionary has been a major contribu- 
tion to the continued viability of the Cheyenne language. The contributions of 
linguists like Rodolphe Petter, Dan Alford, and Wayne Leman have made the 
talking and teaching of the Cheyenne language much easier. Dictionaries of the 
Cheyenne language have helped to preserve the language even as some of the 
cultural artifacts (like "corn ceremonies") on which the words were based have 
become obsolete. 

However, dictionaries by themselves cannot save a language as a spoken lan- 
guage. They must be used primarily as resources for teaching, for writing, for 
standardizing the language so that reading materials can be constructed with uni- 
form standards that are universally applicable for Cheyenne and non-Cheyenne 
people. It is unfortunate to have to apply these strictures to a dynamic language 
and render it static. Since the Cheyenne language is rapidly becoming a classroom 
subject, some uniformity is needed for testing, reading, and writing purposes. 

Saving the Spoken Language 

Today, there are efforts to save the language at Chief Dull Knife College and 
at local school districts, and one immersion school is being contemplated in the 
Lame Deer area. Chief Dull Knife College has a three-year Administration for 
Native American grant designed to teach Cheyenne speakers how to read, write, 
and produce curriculum or other written material. At least 13 people are learning 
how to do those three things, but the grant is in its last year. 

Chief Dull Knife College administers a Class 7 licensure program on behalf 
of the tribe. It is now part of the Montana state teacher certification process for 
language and culture teachers. Each Montana tribal group qualifies its own lan- 
guage and culture teachers, and the state certifies those teachers. It is a progressive 
and innovative concept now being copied by other surrounding states.^ One Class 
7 teacher, Mabel Kills Night, is teaching the Cheyenne language via the internet to 
Colstrip High School students and is very successful. The college plans to expand 
this program to three other schools in 2008. 

38 








Cheyenne Immersion Camp Instructor Patt}' Oldman asked students to identify animals in Cheyenne. 
(Photo bv Conrad Fisher) 




Students learned to dr\- meat at the C^heyenne immersion Camp. (I'hoto b\' Conrad Hisher) 



The Northern Cheyenne Language 



39 



For many years, the tribal college has sponsored Cheyenne language immer- 
sion camps during the summer, which have been very successful and always much 
anticipated by Cheyenne youth. 

Why Keep It Alive 

Cheyenne people do not want our language to die, but there are many obsta- 
cles to saving it. One is the lack of funding. Another is the lack of understanding. 
Why would a small tribe of people want to perpetuate a language that the larger 
population around us does not care about? 

It is difficult to defend to the non-Cheyenne world the continued existence of 
the Cheyenne language because it has to be defended in the abstract parameters of 
what the language means to Cheyenne people individually and culturally. Chey- 
enne people know intrinsically that the Cheyenne language is as relevant as any 
other language on this planet. We do not measure the relevance of our language 
against the number of people who speak it but by the communal, spiritual, and 
communicative relevance it has to us. This relevance to Cheyenne people, as trite 
as it may sound, is what makes the Cheyenne language so important to us. 

Furthermore, the Cheyenne language is difficult to defend because the argu- 
ments against it are couched in economic, academic, sociologic, linguistic, and 
stereotypical terms — terms that contain what the majority society deems impor- 
tant. The debate against the Cheyenne language is measured in terms that have 
little or no relevance to Cheyenne speakers: ". . .but Cheyenne is not spoken at the 
forums of the United Nations...", "...but Cheyenne is not spoken in the United 
States Congress...", "...but Cheyenne is not spoken in the state legislature...", 
". . .but the Cheyenne language is not spoken even in our own tribal council delib- 
erations...". These are all logical arguments — on the surface. 

The reasons that make the Cheyenne language relevant to Cheyenne people 
lie below the surface, deep down in the collective Cheyenne psyche and spirit. 
Perhaps this language can help unite or re-unite the Cheyenne people and bring 
us back into balance and harmony with each other and lead to the elimination 
of the many issues that divide and hamper us. Perhaps, the Northern Cheyennes 
can use the language to settle divisive issues and issues that are subconsciously 
presenting barriers. 

Grief and Mourning 

We observe the grieving processes all too frequently on the Cheyenne res- 
ervation. Perhaps some of these deaths can be blamed upon our loss of land and 
language. 



40 



It should be easy, now to understand the destitution of indigenous, oral persons 
who have been forcibly displaced trom their traditional lands. The local earth 
is, for them, the very matrix of discursive meaning; to force them from their 
native ecolog}' (for whatever political or economic purpose) is to render them 
speech-less — or to render their speech meaningless — to dislodge them from the 
vej-y g)-ound of coherence. It is, quite simply, to force them out of their mind. The 
massive "relocation" or "transmigration" projects underway in numerous parts 
of the world today in the name of "progress" ... must be understood, in this 
light, as instances of cultural genocide.'' 

David Abram argues that relocating and confining Cheyennes on a reserva- 
tion in effect dislodged us from "the very ground of coherence." It forced us out 
of our minds. It is going to take time to recover this "ground of coherence" and to 
regain the right frame of mind. The Cheyenne language must play an influential 
role in this recovery. 

The Northern Cheyennes are experiencing difficult times with the present 
world possibly because we have experienced huge losses of language, spirituality, 
land, and loved ones. The Cheyenne people who inhabit the skid rows and jails 
of this country are there, indirectly, because of the grieving they feel but may not 
be adequately able to articulate in either the English language or in the Cheyenne 
language: They do not have the vocabulary in either language to express their 
emotional and spiritual pain. This inability to articulate pain leads to rage that 
either needs to be vented or suppressed. Either alternative is dysfunctional because 
vented rage can lead to considerable harm to one's loved ones or to one's self. Sup- 
pressed rage can lead to self-sedation with drugs or alcohol. 

Making this connection might be a reach. Using the Cheyenne language to 
revive healthy relationships is reason enough to maintain the Cheyenne language. 
It is difficult to regain healthy relations in today's society because of the change of 
the family make-up and because of negative external forces like the following: 

Traditionally, extended families live in close proximit)'. Grandparents, aunts, 
and uncles play important roles in each child's upbringing. And as parents and 
grandparents age, they expect the support of younger generations. Yet a lack of 
jobs on the reservation often means young people must leave for work. Further- 
more, the very concept of institutional education harbors painful connotations 
for many of the grandparents so integral in the lives of Cheyenne kids. When 
today's elders were children, the government was still forcing kids to go to 
boarding schools, where they were punished for speaking their own language. 
Family involvement in education is key, and we cannot get families involved. 



Identity: Individual and Cultural 

Native speakers believe that language and identity are closely tied. Embedded 

The Northern Cheyenne Language 4^ 



in this language are the lessons that guide our daily lives. We cannot leave behind 
the essence of our being. As Hualapai educator Lucille Jackson Watahomigie ex- 
presses it, "It is said that when the languages were created, language identified 
the people — who we are, where we came from, and where we are going." Navajo 

artist and educator Fred Bia said, "My language, to me that's what makes me 

unique, that's what makes me Navajo, that's what makes me who I am." William 
Harjo Lonefight said, "When people spoke Dakota, they understood where they 
belonged in relation to other people, to the natural world, and to the spiritual 
world."*^ 

Assimilationist education denied Cheyennes the right to speak our own lan- 
guage, and the foundation of a healthy individual identity was severely shaken. 
We were denied the ability to speak Cheyenne and forced to take on a persona 
other than the one ensconced in and identified by the Cheyenne language. It was 
bound to tail, and fail it did simply because so many Cheyennes were not able to 
speak English even if they were willing to deny their Cheyenne-ness. This shake- 
up reverberated until it had reached every nook and cranny of the Cheyenne cul- 
ture, and this culture is still experiencing aftershock after ahershock in academics, 
economics, spirituality, and socially. 

In 1975, Dillon Platero, the first director of the Navajo Division of Educa- 
tion, described the experience of "Kee," a Navajo student who became nonlingual. 
Kee's story illustrates what happened and still happening to many Cheyennes: 

Kee was sent to boarding school as a child where — as was the practice — he 
was punished for speaking Navajo. Since he was only allowed to return home 
during Christmas and summers, he lost contact with his family. Kee withdrew 
from both the White and Navajo worlds as he grew older because he could 
not comfortably communicate in either language. He became one of the many 
thousands of Navajos who were nonlingual — a man with out a language. By the 
time he was 16, Kee was an alcoholic, uneducated, and despondent — without 
identity.' 

Thus a byproduct ol the denial of speaking tribal languages was spawned, the 
drunken, lazy Indian stereotype. Stereotypes have had devastating effects on all 
American Indians, and these stereotypes continue to exact tolls from individuals. 

Stereotypes 

Many writings have oversimplified Northern Cheyenne culture and have, 
perhaps unwittingly, contributed to the stereotypes of Native cultures that pervade 
U.S. society and the world. These stereotypes and oversimplifications contribute 
not only to misinformation and myth within the larger culture but also hmction 
as economic and social oppressors to living American Indians. 



42 



Bently Spang, a Cheyenne artist who lives in BiUings, MT, speaks and writes 
often about stereotypes. If most citizens of the United States see American Indians 
only as cartoons like the mascot of the Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians 
"Chief Wahoo," who will hire a American Indian so that he or she can support 
their families in a meaningful way? he asks. If the American Indians are seen 
only as mystics and shamans who are not of this earth, then American Indians 
obviously require no earthly sustenance to support themselves or their children, 
he argues. 

Spang points out that American Indians are not a hobby, a fascination, a retail 
item, a breed to be authenticated to facilitate economic consumption of their his- 
torical artifacts, a nameless dancing Indian on a travel brochure or a U.S. version 
of the classic Greek tragedy. American Indians represent complex, living cultures 
with their own body of knowledge and the capabilit)' to express and document 
their own histories in this and all other time periods. 

The following quotes further buttress the harm that stereotypes do to Chey- 
enne people and to all American Indians. 

A phenomenon in White culture affects any interaction between White people 
and Native Americans. White culture has created an image and called it 
"Indian." But this image is a stereon^pe and not really informative or accurate 
about real Native Americans, who are of many diverse cultures. All of us could 
give details about this stereot}'pe "Indian." An important aspect of this stereo- 
type "Indian" is that it has two sides, like the two sides of a coin. 

One side of the stereot)'pe Indian is the Hostile Savage — the dangerous, 
primitive warrior who attacked the settlers of the West, or the irresponsible 
reservation drunk who couldn't be trusted, the Indian of which it was said, "the 
only good Indian is a dead Indian." The other side of the stereotype Indian 
is the Noble Savage — the innocent primitive who was naturally spiritual and 
lived in idyllic harmony close to the earth, the Indian of the Thanksgiving 
stories who helped the Pilgrims survive. These images are embedded deeply in 
our culture and are subliminal backdrop to any of our interactions with Native 
people or concepts"'" 

Stereotypes have instilled cultural and self-hatred among Cheyenne people, 
especially young people. American Indians must be proactive in doing away with 
stereoU'pes imposed by the white society. Speaking the Cheyenne language can 
help instill a more positive self-image among the Cheyenne people. 

Recommendations 

After the 1996 survey, Rhoda Glenmore was said to be the youngest fluent speaker. 
Since that time, several younger Cheyenne speakers have told her they could speak 
the language. She believes she served as a catalyst for making people aware of how 

The Northern Cheye>i>ie Language 43 



important it is to speak the language. Whether or not there is more than one 
speaker under the age of 56 today, we know that its viabiUt)' depends upon all of 
us. 

Cheyennes should do the same things for our language as we are doing for the 
English language: become both fluent (being able to sustain a prolonged conversa- 
tion with fellow Cheyenne speakers) and literate (being able to read and write 
the Cheyenne language). These are crucial skills that are needed to transfer the 
language and the culture to coming generations. 

If present-day Cheyennes do not attempt to acquire these two skills, then 
we are indirectly depriving our descendants of the opportunity to speak, hear, 
read, and write Cheyenne. No generation wants to be last to speak the Cheyenne 
language fluently; we do not want to be the generation that stops the flow of the 
Cheyenne language forever. These skills are needed so that Cheyennes can pro- 
duce our own written literature — poetry, short stories, novels, plays, and movie 
scripts utilizing both ancient oral literature and contemporary events. 

Being fluent in the Cheyenne language is the first requirement for a successfid 
language teacher. However, it takes more than fluency to teach any language, and 
Cheyenne is no exception. Since Cheyenne is now being taught in classrooms, 
it is imperative that Cheyenne language teachers learn teaching methods, learn 
about second language acquisition principles, learn lesson planning and curricu- 
lum development, and acquire classroom management skills. Cheyenne language 
and culture teachers owe it to the Cheyenne language to make a supreme effort 
to learn all about our language and culture, and that takes effort, application, and 
persistence. 

Cheyenne language teachers should join the efforts aimed at perpetuating 
the Cheyenne language in Montana and Oklahoma. Cheyenne language teach- 
ers, however, need to go beyond curricular, school-related issues. The Cheyenne 
language was never meant to be taught in classrooms; it was meant to be passed on 
through the family, and that is the venue to which it should return. 

That should be the ideal, the goal for all language programs: to rescue Chey- 
enne from the classroom and put it back in the family. To do that means going 
beyond personal and political issues. Squabbling about minor details of the lan- 
guage is not going to help perpetuate it. In fact, more of the elders are going to 
travel on while this is happening. Besides, adults present poor role models when 
they argue with each other. 

Conclusion 

What does the Cheyenne language mean to Cheyenne people? It transmits all 
aspects of the Cheyenne culture. If the whole tribe could get together to save 



44 



the language, a collateral effect would be to show the outside world that we are 
capable of acting in a unified way, as we did in the grueling trek north from 
Oklahoma. There could be a better understanding of Cheyenne spirituality, which 
embodies a reverence for all living and non-living things. It could also help us to 
better understand the spirituality of those Cheyenne people who have embraced 
organized, non-traditional forms of worship. 

The Cheyenne language is a sacred language. It conveys the minutest es- 
sence of sacred ceremonies with highly specialized language that is privy only to 
those select few who have undergone rigorous and demanding Cheyenne rituals. 
This specialized language with its specific references can only be used by certain 
qualified people, male and female, in certain rituals. Yet like all aspects of this 
Cheyenne language, these special terms are rapidly disappearing, succumbing to 
human mortality. Somehow, this specialized language and references have to be 
saved, but only the headsmen and leaders of these groups can do that. 

Two languages comprise the present day Cheyenne language. Over time the 
So'taahe and Cheyenne languages have co-existed in complementary and supple- 
mentary fashion to enrich Cheyenne life and spirituality. Present day Cheyennes 
should take that as the supreme object lesson of unity. 



1 Crystal, D. (Nov. 1999). Millennium briefing: The 
death of language. Prospect, 46. Available online: 
http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/ 

2 Grinnell, G. B. (1923). The Cheyenne Indians: 
Their history and ways of life. Vol. I (pp. 9-10). New 
Haven, CT: Yale University Press. 

3 http://www.geocities.com/cheyenne_language/al- 
phabet.htm. Retrieved Dec. 2007 

4 http://www.geocities.com/cheyenne_language/al- 
phabet.htm. Retrieved Dec. 2007 

5 Rathbun, S. D. (Summer 2003). Language teacher 
found learning to be healing. Tribal College Journal 
14^). Available online: www.tribalcollegejournal. 
org 

6 Abram, D. (1996). The spell of the sensuous: Percep- 
tion and language in a more-than-human world (p. 
178). New York: Vintage Books, 

7 Franz, Z. (2006). Skipping out & missing out: 
Truancy takes its toll. Indian Education: A Special 
Report. Missoula, MT: University of Montana 
School of Journalism. Available online: http://ww\v. 
umt.edu/journalism/student_work/Native. 

News. 20o6/story_ncheyenne. html 



8 McCarty, T. L., Romero, M. E., & Zepeda, O. 
(2006). Reclaiming the gift: Indigenous youth 
counter-narratives on Native language loss and 
revitalization. American Indian Quarterly jo{i-i), 
28-48. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. 

9 Reyhner, J. (Nov/Dec, 2005). Cultural rights, 
language revival, and individual healing. Language 
Learner Magazine, 22-24. Washington, DC: 
National Association for Bilingual Education. 
Available online: http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/-jar/LLcul- 
tural.html 

10 Johnson, M. (April 1995). Wanting to be Indian: 
When spiritual searching turns into cultural theft. 
The Brown Papers 1(7). Boston: Women's Theologi- 
cal Center. 



The Northern Cheyenne Language 



45 



Northern Cheyenne Reservation District Names 



rx 



THE Tongue River Indian Reservation was created by Executive Order 
under President Chester A. Arthur on Nov. i6, 1884. The reservation con- 
sisted of 371,200 acres.' On March 19, 1900, the reservation was increased 
to 444,157 acres by Executive Order under President Wilham McKinley. Within 
the second Executive Order, the reservation was referred to as the Northern Chey- 
enne Indian Reservation, replacing the earlier Tongue River Indian Reservation 
name. The eastern boundary of the reservation was established as the mid stream 
oi the Tongue River." 

There are five official districts on the reservation now. Both the Cheyenne 
and English names of the districts have many stories of their origins, and there is 
much discussion about which version is true. The reservation also contains some 
areas that are not officially recognized as political districts, but they have a history 
of their own. Other areas are also being developed. Clusters ol homes are spring- 
ing up south of Busby, west of Highway 212 in the Rosebud/Ree area and at an 
area called Muddy Cluster, about four miles from west of Lame Deer. These areas 
are developing because of the increasing Cheyenne population. 

Ashland District 

Stubborn/Shy People [Totoemaim) 

The Cheyenne People from this district were distant from the other Cheyenne 
families who lived in other parts of the reservation. They did not get involved with 
problems, and they were the last people to be involved in matters such as politics. 
While some said they were "shy people," they were not bashful. They stayed in 
their area minding their own business and helping each other. The translation for 
Totoemana is difficult; Rev. Rodolphe Petter gave the meaning as "Standoffish," 
and another meaning is "Unwilling Place. "^ 



47 



These families were more involved with the St. Labre Mission, and they 
would often camp nearby to be close to their children who were in school there. 
These families had their own gatherings, their own world. Someone would prob- 
ably describe them like the Amish today. During the ration days, they were the 
last to come in for their rations. They lived quiet lives and only came out when 
something was happening. This is why their district was called Rabbit Town. Sup- 
posedly, rabbits stay within their homes and only come out when something is 
happening.^ 

Before 1900 when the reservation was enlarged to its current size, these 
families had settled east of the Tongue River. Since these lands were not included 
within the reservation boundaries, the families were not eligible to receive any 
assistance from the Tongue River Agency. 

These families were starving and in an impoverished state. The St. Labre Mis- 
sion dispensed medicine and offered whatever it could to them. After the second 
Executive Order changed the boundary to the middle of the Tongue River, James 
McLaughlin, special agent, settled with these families. For payment of $25 each, 
they left their home sites on the east side and settled along the west side of the 
Tongue River valley.'' 

Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation 




BiRNEY 

There are really two Birneys. For lack oi a better descriptor, the one located about 
nine miles south of the reservation is called "White" Birney by the Cheyenne 
people. This Birney was named after one of the troops who may have been a 
colonel in the U.S. cavalry. The other Birney is located on the reservation and has 
a unique history all its own. 

Oevemanaheno: Birney District 
Scabby People Place 

There was a man named Oevemaha who settled in this area. The people who 
settled with him in this area were called O'evemana. Oevemanaheno became the 
name of this place. This word means barren — no trees, no vegetation with only 
cactus growing, much like they describe the place where peyote is lound.'' Weist 
said that the Cheyennes near Birney were known as Scabbies because one of their 
leaders called Badger had some sort of skin rash. However, this was a poor transla- 
tion, and the people from this district do not like this translation. 

Busby District 

Vohpoometaneno 

Busby was named aher Sheridan L. Busby, a farmer and rancher who originally 
owned i6o acres within the reservation. Busby opened the first store, and eventually 
the community came to be named Busby. Prior to the permanent establishment of 
the reservation, some white settlers had filed for their homesteads in this area, and 
these homesteaders were paid to move off the reservation by McLaughlin. 

White River 

White River People {Vohpoometaneo'o) 

In 1879 after the Little Wolf and Dull Knife bands had left Oklahoma Territory, 
the remaining Cheyenne families under Little Chief were transferred to the Pine 
Ridge Agency where they occupied the lands near White River in South Dakota. 
These Cheyenne families were the last to arrive on the Northern Cheyenne Reser- 
vation. When they were transferred to this agency in 1881, these families settled in 
the Busby area and called it the White River place.** 

Lame Deer District 

Mobhtavbheomeneno: Black Lodge or Meavehoeyw: The Giving Place 

The town of Lame Deer was named after Chief Lame Deer, a Minneconjou 

Norttbern Cheyenne Reservation District Names 49 



Lakota who was killed in 1877 in a battle held south of Lame Deer. The creek 
that runs through the town of Lame Deer was named Antelope Creek by the 
Cheyenne, and it's possible that there is some correlation in translating the name 
to Lame Deer as well. White Bull saved Brigadier General Nelson A. Miles's life 
during the skirmish with the Lakota chief whose name is borne by the stream and 
the town.'' 

Miles had supported the Northern Cheyenne remaining in this area. In his 
letter dated June i, 1889, he stated, "There is no good reason or justice in removing 
the Indians from this area." In the winter of 1877, the Indians surrendered in good 
faith. The principal ones (Two Moons, White Bull, Horse Roads, Iron Shield, 
and Brave Wolf) were the first to come in and surrender and open the way for the 
surrender of the entire Lakota camp of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. 

This group of Northern Cheyenne assisted General Miles's expedition against 
Lame Deer's band of 60 lodges. Chief Lame Deer, along with several principal 
warriors, was killed and captured. This expedition ended Indian hostilities in this 
territory. According to General Miles, "There is no reason why Indians cannot be 
well treated and allowed to live in peace in the vicinity in which they were born. 
They were told that if they remained at peace and did what they were directed to 
do, the Government would treat them fairly and justly. They have fulfilled their 
part of the compact and it would be but justice for the Government to allow them 
to remain."'" 

Black Lodge People 

Modhtavoheomenetaneoo 

This name "Black Lodge People" was given to the families that lived in this area. 
It was a mean joke due to their lodges being blackened by smoke from burning 
pine. The joke is that the people were lazy, and they would not leave to go out 
and get cottonwood or ash wood to burn. Instead they burned pine, which caused 
their lodges to get all black from the pitch. The people stayed close to the Lame 
Deer agency because it was a ration point and they did not want to miss out on 
any thing if they left the agency. The other districts used to get mad at them for 
getting everything, and this name stuck. The people living in Lame Deer were 
called Black Lodge People." Because this was the place where rations were given 
out, the Cheyennes called the Giving Place, thus the second name, Meave'ho'eno, 
for Lame Deer, MT. 

Muddy Creek {heovon^heo'he'e) 

Heovoneheo'he'e tsehestahese (Those who are from Muddy Creek) 



50 



Muddy Creek got its name because there was hardly any water in this creek, and 
there were a lot oi mud holes. The Cheyenne used to call this creek "Fat Horse 
Creek," and they wintered their horses in this area due to the salt sage that grew 
there. The horses got fat from eating this sage, and with their horses near by, the 
Cheyennes had the opportunity to hunt in the Wild Hog Basin. When Little WoU 
went into self-exile aher killing a Cheyenne, the Elk Horn Scrappers went with 
him to this area. '- 



Other Significant Reservation Areas 

Ononeno: Rosebud/Ree District 

This is the area of Rosebud Creek between Busby and Muddy Creek. Stories 
that come down from our ancestors relate that the Cheyenne who migrated from 
Great Lakes area to eastern North Dakota once lived in villages near the Mandan 
and Ankara (Ree) Tribes. There was inter-marriage among the people, and these 
descendents settled in what the older people call the Ree District.'' It is not con- 
sidered an official district and, politically, is part of the Muddy Creek District. 

Pofw'e: Downstream 

Pono'e for those who live in Busby means the area from Busby to Muddy Creek, 
including the Rosebud-Ree area. For those who live in Lame Deer and Muddy, 
Pono'e means that area toward Jimtown and Jimtown itself 

Hearneohee: Upstream 

For those people who live in the Busby area, He'ameo'he'e is that area upstream 
from Busby to the Kirby area. For those who live in Lame Deer and Muddy Creek 
areas, He'ameo'he'e is that area upstream toward Busby and Kirby. 



1 Weist, T. (1977). A history of the Cheyenne people 
(p. 104). Billings: Montana Council for Indian 
Education. 

2 McLaughlin, J. (1899). McLaughlin report on 
proposed removal of the Northern Cheyenne Indians 
and related matters. S5th Congress, House of 
Representatives, Document No. 153. 

3 http://wv\^'.geoci ties.com/cheyenne_language/ al- 
phabet. htm. retrieved Dec. 2007 

4 B. Rogers (personal communication) 

5 McLaughlin (1899). 

6 B. Rogers (personal communication) 



7 Weist, A History of the Northern Cheyenne People, 
pp. 164 & 172. 

8 Weist, A Histo)-y of the Northern Cheyenne People, 
pp. 164 & 1~2. 

9 Powell, P. J., (1998). Sweet Medicine: The continu- 
ing role of the Sacred Arrows, the Sun Dance, and 
the Sacred Buffalo Hat in Northern Cheyenne history 
(Vol. I, p. 6). Norman; Universin,' of Oklahoma 
Press. 

10 McLaughlin, 1899 

11 L. Tall Bull (personal communication) 
12. L. Tall Bull (personal communication) 
13 A. Spang (personal communication) 



Nortthern Cheyenne Reservatio)i District Names 



Agriculture on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation 







THE Northern Cheyenne people have an agricultural past, rooted in their 
long migration from the Hudson's Bay and Great Lakes region westward.' 
This journey included several decades in the late i8th century spent living 
as farmers along the Missouri River. Part of the Cheyenne legacy of farming has 
been unearthed in the Upper Midwest by archaeologists.' People living in villages 
of earthen lodges grew squash, beans, and corn there prior to 1770. 

Another part of this legacy is remembered in ceremonialism, the Cheyenne 
Corn Dance or the Ree Ceremony, which survived to 1877, long after the Chey- 
ennes left their earthen lodges and villages in the eastern Dakotas. The ceremo- 
nies died out during the wars and turmoil of the period. Anthropologist Robert 
Anderson quotes Nancy Divesbackwards in the 1950s as remarking, perhaps a 
little cynically, that "Indians were in the wars, and nobody paid attention to cer- 
emonies."^ The Corn Dance was a healing ceremony, but the planting of corn was 
also accompanied by a special corn planting dance, overseen by a Corn Master, 
and performed by couples while men sang and kept time with elk horn scrapers. 
But the corn planting dance, too, disappeared as the Northern Cheyennes moved 
west of the Black Hills. "* Today, the memory of corn farming remains in the name 
Corn Woman, or Corn Tassel Woman, a common name on the reservation used 
even today. 

After the Northern Cheyennes acquired horses and began to pursue the buf- 
falo in the late 1700s, the cultivation of farms was impractical. Still, the harvest- 
ing of plants was important for a balanced diet, medicine, and ceremonial uses. 
Always on the go, the Cheyennes necessarily developed a talent for identifying 
and using wild plants, adapting them to their use in a variety of ways. ^ "There are 
no weeds on the reservation," the late tribal elder William Tall Bull used to say, 
as he and his son Linwood strived to keep the traditional Cheyenne knowledge 
of plants alive. 



53 



In the late 19th century, when the Northern Cheyenne Reservation was cre- 
ated, the question of how the Cheyennes would make a living there became espe- 
cially important. At first glance, the rugged pine-covered hills of the reservation 
seemed unsuitable to farming, yet, as James McLaughlin, then an inspector for the 
Indian Bureau, pointed out in 1899, "the Northern Cheyenne Reserve is probably 
the best cattle range in the state of Montana."'' 

Congress appropriated $60,000 for a shipment of a thousand heifers and 
bulls in 1902 and 1907. Since the government's policy emphasized individual 
ownership of resources, catde were branded "ID" (Indian Department) on one 
side and the number of the individual owner on the other. Nevertheless, the cattle 
ranged through the reservation as a kind of single herd and were left to fend for 
themselves in the winter. The operation was overseen by a non-Indian employee 
of the agency, who hired both Indian and non-Indian cowboys to assist with the 
roundups. For the next few years, the cattle business on the Northern Cheyenne 
Reservation proved highly successful, with as many as 12,000 head fetching high 
prices in the Chicago market.'^ 




Cheyenne eovvboys are pietiired about 1910 near Lame Deer in the annual ritual ot branding. Lett 
to right: Louie Seminole, Highwalker, and Wild Hog (standing). (Photo from the Mennonite 
collection) 



54 





Cheyenne cowbo\'s were not idcnnhed in this picttire, which is beiiL-vcd to h.i\'i 
1910 near Lame Deer. (Photo from the Mennonite collection) 



icen taken in about 



One of the obstacles to the cattle business on the reservation was the frequent 
occurrence of cattle killing. The 1890s were one of the most desperate periods 
in Northern Cheyenne history. Cheyennes sometimes slaughtered cattle for food 
when no other food was available. When these slaughtered cattle belonged to 
white ranchers, tensions between the Cheyennes and their white neighbors rose 
significantly, especially since these ranchers had fought hard to keep the federal 
government from establishing a reservation for the Northern Cheyennes along the 
Rosebud and Tongue Rivers. 

The Head Chief and Young Mule incident of 1890 and the No Brains and 
Walks Night conflict a year later demonstrate the serious repercussions of cattle 
killing. Head Chief was a young man who had never had a chance to prove him- 
self in battle. With a teenaged friend John Young Mule, he killed a cow belonging 
to a neighboring rancher. When the rancher's nephew, Hugh Boyle, caught the 
two butchering the meat, Head Chief shot him and hid the body. Nevertheless, 
Boyle's body was found, and the authorities threatened the Cheyennes with arrest 
unless the murderer was found. Head Chief told Chief American Horse to tell the 
soldiers and Indian police that he would come into the agency on Friday — ration 
day — but to be prepared: He was prepared to die like a man. 

On the chosen day. Head Chief and Young Mule appeared at the top of a 
ridge to the northeast of the present location of Chief Dull Knife College. In an 
act of suicidal bravery, the two youths rode headlong into a line of Indian police, 
who shot them down at the bottom of the hill,** while the chiefs rode back and 



Agricuhitre on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation 



forth in front of a group of young Cheyennes to make sure that none would try to 
interfere with the poUce and spark more violence.'' 

The next year, two more Cheyennes, No Brains and Walks Night, again 
slaughtered a cow off the reservation and made a threat against the reservation 
agent to kill him. Although No Brains was later caught and sent briefly to Fort 
Keogh, the threat resulted in the Army establishing Camp Merritt on the reserva- 
tion in the event of trouble in the future.'" 

The Head Chief and No Brains incidents demonstrate that the Cheyennes 
were hungry, not that they were lawless. The rations promised by the government 
were not provided in sufficient supply to feed the people. They teach us about the 
violence that poverty and hunger can do to a community. 

Ranching v. Farming 

Sporadic cattle killing continued for the first two decades of the 20th century, 
often resulting from some tribal members' deep-seated resentment of white ranch- 
ers leasing their lands. John R. Eddy was superintendent of the Tongue River 
Reservation from 1906 to 1914." He was an idealist and dreamer. Backed by his 
close friend George Bird Grinnell, Eddy envisioned a reservation fully stocked 
with Cheyenne cattle, but until that objective could be met, he would sell grazing 
permits for the Cheyenne range to white ranchers. 

To increase the number of Indian cattle, he and Grinnell proposed to the In- 
dian Bureau an elaborate plan for Congress to make additional appropriations. To 
manage the herd and curtail cattle killing, Eddy and Grinnell proposed to convert 
the fences on the reservation to telephone wires and send the Indian police along 
the reservation perimeter ready to call in any infractions, just as Grinnell noted 
policemen did in New York City.'~ 

In addition, Eddy envisioned a young men's association designed to turn 
young Cheyennes away from cattle killing and toward a career in stock raising. 
It probably is no accident that Eddy's idea coincided with the rise nationally of 
the original Boys Clubs of America, and Eddy's proposal included a clubhouse 
with a circulating library, and even a football team. Eddy's superiors sharply dis- 
agreed with further Congressional appropriations for the herd or Eddy's manage- 
ment proposals, with the result that Eddy and Grinnell never saw their dreams 
fulfilled.'^ 

Farming was part of Eddy's plan for reservation development, and although 
it took second place to cattle raising, it nonetheless resulted in one of the largest 
collective work projects in the history of the reservation. The southern portion 
of the reservation, with Tongue River on its east, seemed adaptable to farming if 
irrigation could be developed. 



56 



In 1907, the Tongue River Irrigation Project, commonly called the Birney 
Ditch, was begiui. Bad luck plagued the project almost from the beginning. 
Three successive floods in the first year of construction washed away much of 
the progress. A very low water level in the canal, alkali seepage, and land slides 
all contributed to a final cost ot $300 per acre, which was unacceptable to the 
policymakers oi the time. '** 

Eddy, for all ol his idealism, was a remarkably poor manager, and in 1914 he 
was replaced by John Buntin, whose administration emphasized dry-land farm- 
ing. Thus the Birney Ditch fell into disrepair and was abandoned by 1918. 

The years of construction on the Birney Ditch coincided with other con- 
struction projects on the reservation, as well as the construction of railroads along 
and to the north of the Yellowstone River. During this period, "any Cheyenne de- 
siring wage work could find it on this project," according to Robert Pringle, who 
studied the reservation in the 1950s.''' The availability of jobs for the Northern 
Cheyennes meant a marked decrease in cattle killing and other related problems. 
But after the Birney Ditch, the Milwaukee Road Railroad, and other projects were 
completed in 1912, the cattle killing spiked, indicating that when work disappears, 
other means of survival will certainly be found. 




Cattle and biandiiig arc Mill an impoitaiu pan ut lite on ihc Nouhcin Cheyenne Reservation in the 
list century. From left to right are Vernon Small; Jason Lawrence; Clinton Small, Sr. (branding); 
Rowdy Alexander; Allen Fisher (on the horse); Kermit Spang; and Merlin Kilisnight. (Photo by John 
Warner) 



Agriculture on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation 



57 



Superintendent John Buntin's emphasis on farming was part of a larger, 
bureau-wide tocus on the development oi individual family farms. '^' Buntin, a 
relatively benevolent but often heavy-handed administrator, was eager for North- 
ern Cheyenne farmers to show off their produce, especially in local and statewide 
agricultural fairs, as indicated by this circular to farmers in 1918: 

You are hereby directed to gather the best exhibits of all the different crops of 
the reservation and have them in readiness for exhibit as it has been in the past. 
Do not neglect to gather and prepare your exhibits at the appointed time. You 
can select very good exhibits by taking them as you are going around in connec- 
tion with your other work. Urge every Indian, who has something creditable, to 
save a portion tor display. This is in compliance with the Indian Office wishes 
and you are requested to give it your special attention.'^ 

Northern Cheyenne families seemed amenable to Buntin's program, es- 
pecially during the World War I years when wheat fetched a premium at the 
market. By 1918, sales of farm produce exceeded those of livestock, and by 1920, 
an actual manpower shortage existed at harvest time.'** Yet both agricultural proj- 
ects — farming and stock raising — were doomed to failure by the continuing fed- 
eral emphasis on individual ownership and production. Buntin and his successors 
distributed the tribal herd to individual families, giving owners more flexibility to 
sell, with the result that the number of Cheyenne cattle dropped from 7,000 in 
1920 to under 3,000 in 1932.''^' 

Similar pressure to divide the reservation into individual allotments made it 
increasingly difficult for Cheyennes to live oif the land. The federal policy from 
the late 19th century until 1934 was to divide reservations into allotments for indi- 
vidual Indians who were deemed competent and to open the "surplus" to home- 
steading by non-Indians.-" On the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, the bureau 
made all the allotments in the arid rangeland, not in the pine-forested hills, which 
could have provided a few Cheyennes with a reasonable living selling timber. As 
the drought of the 1920s grew increasingly dire, it was clear that a 160-acre allot- 
ment would not provide enough land lor Cheyenne farmers to raise the kind of 
crops needed to provide for their families.'' 

Clearly the most effective agricultural use of the Northern Cheyenne Res- 
ervation was for cattle, as McLaughlin had observed in 1899. In 1937, the tribal 
council launched the Northern Cheyenne Steer Enterprise, which enjoyed con- 
siderable success in its early years. The tribe purchased steers from the warmer 
Southwest, fattened them on the reservation range, and then sold them at market. 
The system was so successful that it was copied during the World War II years by 
one of Montana's largest stockmen. Matt Tschergi, who controlled vast ranges on 
the neighboring Crow Reservation. -- 

The Steer Enterprise functioned a little like the Tennessee Valley Authority 



58 



in that it provided opportunities to the community that went far beyond sim- 
ply raising steers. Cheyenne farmers were able to sell hay and other supplies to 
the enterprise; they could lease pastures to it; they could even sell calves to the 
business.-' 

Eventually, though, the Steer Enterprise declined and disappeared. Cheyenne 
ranchers clamored for the business to buy their stock instead ol steers purchased 
in the Southwest. An unusually harsh winter in 1949 took its toll on the herd. The 
profits were disbursed in three per capita payouts, rather than being invested in 
new stock. By 1958, the Steer Enterprise had ended. -^ 

The New Deal 

The 1930s also brought the New Deal to the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. Just 
as the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) provided work for thousands of unem- 
ployed Americans during the Great Depression, the Indian CCC provided good 
jobs to men living on reservations, including the Northern Cheyenne. Historians 
have often mentioned that the Depression was less of a jolt to Indian reservations, 
since they had always existed in a state of economic depression and joblessness. If 
anything, the New Deal brought opportunities to reservations that many Indian 
people had never seen before. 

At first, Cheyennes were wary of signing up for the Indian CCC, believing 
it to be a ploy by the government to conscript them to fight in overseas wars. 
Yet by fall of 1933, over 200 Cheyennes had signed up to work in five camps on 
the reservation. The supervisor of work reliel programs on the reservation even 
reported that "fully 90% of able-bodied men at Tongue River Reservation and 
all Indian unemployment is absorbed."-' Elder Ted Risingsun remembers that 
before the Indian New Deal programs, Cheyenne men were often employed by 
off-reservation ranches as line riders, but the Indian CCC provided enough jobs 
that off-reservation work was no longer necessary. 

Among their many projects, the workers for the Tongue River Indian CCC 
eradicated prairie dog towns and poisonous plants like larkspur, built hundreds of 
miles offences, and even repaired and restored the Birney Ditch. And, like CCC 
camps across the nation, the Cheyenne camps provided movies and sports pro- 
grams. By the beginning of World War II, the Cheyenne workers had significantly 
increased the value of their range by building corrals, wells, and 240 miles of 
trails for fire trucks.-*' The Indian CCC proved immensely popular with Cheyenne 
farmers, whose drought-stricken homesteads had left them with little hope for the 
future. Yet other Cheyennes sometimes criticized them. Anthropologist Robert 
Anderson, for instance, recorded several tribal members (Pius Shoulderblade, 
Henry Standing Elk, and Milton Whiteman) implying that the government pro- 



Agriciilture on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation 59 



grams of the 1930s effectively killed farming on individual allotments.- Yet the 
programs began just at the moment when drought and wheat prices were at their 
worst. The choice to forsake the family farm for wage labor was a rational one and 
one that was made by American farmers nationwide. 

Since the ending of the Indian CCC and the Steer Enterprise, agriculture 
continued to be an important part of the reservation economy, although the 
Bureau of the Census in 2002 reported only about 50 Indian-owned farms and 
ranches (out of a total of 64) on a reservation that is home to a little over 4,000 
people.'^ A water compact negotiated with the state of Montana in 1991 eased 
credit worries among Cheyenne ranchers, some of whom had become modestly 
prosperous. Many Northern Cheyenne people who are not actively engaged in 
ranching nevertheless owned various livestock, especially horses, and some culti- 
vated family gardens. 

The story of Northern Cheyenne agriculture is really a lesson about economic 
development. Tribal politics can be ferocious at times, leaving a few Cheyennes 
with a certain cynicism about the tribal government. Yet in an impoverished com- 
munity looking for ways for its people to find gainful employment, collective 
projects — as opposed to the individual emphasis of former government poli- 
cies — have always done reasonably well in this community. Examples include the 
Birney Ditch and other construction projects of the early 20th century; the first 
tribal cattle herd; the Indian Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s; and the 
Northern Cheyenne Steer Enterprise. 

In more recent years, the federally-sponsored Community Education and 
Training Act provided many Cheyennes with opportunities working in the public 
sector, and the reconstruction of the Tongue River Dam employed tribal mem- 
bers. The success of these collective projects reflects, in a way, the success of the 
collective agriculture practiced by the Cheyennes in what is now North Dakota 
over 200 years ago. Perhaps that memory, and the continuing commitment of 
many Cheyennes to work with Mother Earth rather than against her, explain what 
is and isn't successful on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. 

1 Grinnell, G. B. (1961). The Cheyenne Indians: 5 H.irt, J. (1981). The ethnoborany of the Northern 
Their history and ways of life (Vol. i, 4). New York: Cheyenne Indians of Montana. Journal ofEthno- 
Cooper Square Pubhshers. pharmacology 4(1). 

2 Wood, W. R. (1971). Biesterfeldt: A post-contact 6 Proposed removal of the Northern Cheyenne 
coalescent site on the north-eastern plains. Washing- Indians, House Documents 55* Cong., 3"* Session, 
ton, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. Kurtz, W. no. 153 (17 Jan. 1899), 6. 

M. (1989). Early Cheyenne migrations and cultural ^ Anderson, R. (1951). A study of Cheyenne culture 

change. South Dakota Archaeology 13, 69-88. ^-^^^^^ ^-^^ ^p^^i^l ^^f^^^„^^ ^^ ^^^ Northern 

3 Anderson, R. (1958). Notes on Northern Cheyenne. Doctoral dissertation, 186. (Ann Arbor, 
Cheyenne corn ceremonialism. Masterkey for Indian MI: University of Michigan). 

Lore and Hntory}2(i), 61. 8 Weist, T. {i^H) ■ A history of the Northern 

4 Ibid. Cheyenne People (pp. 136-137). Billings: Montana 

Council for Indian Education. 



60 



9 T. Risingsun (personal communication), 1987. 

10 Weist, A History of the Northern Cheyenne People, 
p. 137. 

11 The name of the reservation was officially 
changed from Tongue River to Northern Cheyenne 
when the reser\'ation was expanded by Executive 
Order in 1900. However, the old name was still 
used until 1946, when the Bureau of Indian Affairs 
announced that "reference to these Indians as the 
"Tongue River Indians' or by any other name is 
entirely unwarranted and should be discontinued 
to avoid any confusion." Bureau of Indian Affairs, 
District No. 2, Memorandum, Billings, MT, 19 
September 1946. National Archives and Research 
Administration (Denver), 8 NS 075 97 013, Box 15. 

12 Pringle, R. M. (1958). The Northern Cheyenne 
Indians in the reservation period. Bachelor's of Arts 
thesis, 41. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard. Pringle's 
honors thesis at Harvard remains one of the most 
useful sources for 20th century Northern Cheyenne 
history. 

13 Ibid., 41-42. 

14 "Weist, A History of the Northern Cheyenne People, 
p. 163-164. 

15 Pringle, The Northern Cheyenne Indians in the 
reservation period, 48. 

16 J. Buntin to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 

17 August 1917, Tongue River Agency, Lame Deer, 
MT. National Archives and Research Administra- 
tion (Denver), 8 NS 075 97 010, Box 28. 



17 Buntin, J. Circular to farmers, 28 July 1918, 
Tongue River Agency, Lame Deer, MT. National 
Archives and Research Administration (Denver), 8 
NS 075 97 010, Box 28. 

18 Pringle, The Northern Cheyenne Indiatis in the 
reservation period, 57-58. 

19 Ibid., 61. 

20 Washburn, W. W. (1975). The assault an Indian 
tribalism: The General Allotment Law (Dawes Act) of 
1887 (Philadelphia: Lippincott). 

21 Ibid., 63-64. 

22 See Randolph, E. (1981). Beef leather, and grass 
(Norman: University of Oklahoma Press). 

23 Weist, A History of the Cheyenne People, p. 194. 

24 Pringle, The Northern Cheyenne Indians in the 
reservation period, 88. 

25 Ibid., 71. 

26 Ibid., 75-78. 

27 Anderson, A study of Cheyenne culture history, 
192-193. 

28 Cf <<http://www.nass.usda.gov/mt/county/pro- 
files/reser\'ations/nchevenne.htm>> 



Agriculture on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation 



61 



Native Plants of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation 



n 



(Editor's note: Plants can be poisonous. Readers are advised not to eat plants 
or make tea from them without being absolutely sure of the identification. Use in 
moderation.) 

THERE ARE MANY plants that were used by the American Indian people, and 
many still are. It is important to tinderstand that the Indian people have a 
very close relationship with all living things. Everything has life. Even the 
rocks have lite, and ol all things "Only the Rocks Live Forever." 

Teas 

The tea plants used by the Cheyenne are: mint, June berry, and rose bush. The 
Cheyenne word for tea is vehpotsehohpe (flower or leaf soup). These teas are for ev- 
ervdav use, and as with many plants, they bring good memories, which contribute 
to the healing process. 

Wild Mint 

This plant grows along the banks of streams, springs, and ponds and should be 
harvested before its blossoms turn to seeds. All of the plants from the mint family 
can be identified not only by their smell but by the square stems. 

How to pick: The good way to pick plants is to use a cutter of some sort so 
you can leave the roots. This enables the plant to grow the following year. Take 
your mint home, wash the plants with cold water, and tie the stems together. 
Before you take them in the house, shake the water from them. Find a good place 
to hang them to dry; never hang them in the sun to dry as they turn black and are 
not useable. The mint gives your house a good smell as they are drying. After they 
are completely dry, put them in a plastic bag for storage for future use. Cheyennes 
would pick enough to last them through the winter. 

How to make tea: Put a pot of water on the stove and place a handful of 
leaves and stems into the water. When the water starts to boil, turn the stove off 



63 



and let the tea steep for several minutes. Cheyenne people would sweeten their tea 
with honey or sap from the box elder tree, which is a member of the sugar maple 
family. 

Use as a medicine: The mint tea is used for headaches and nausea. Persons 
that suffer from depression should use this tea. One of the important parts of 
healing this condition is to use the senses we are each born with (smell, taste, sight, 
feel, and hearing). 

Cheyenne Name: moxesene 

Botanical Name: Mentha arvensis 

Rose Bush 

The rose hips were picked and eaten in the winter and were a good source of 
vitamin C. The Cheyenne selected long stalks of rose bushes and using a knife, 
trimmed all the stickers and bark off a section and cut enough for a pot of tea. The 
roots of the rose bush could be dug up and used for tea also. The rose bushes grow 
along streams and ponds and are readily available. The rose bush tea was the most 
popular for the hunters and war parties because of its availability. 

How to cook: The roots or peeled stalks are cut into small pieces and put in 
a vessel filled with water and boiled for several minutes and then allowed to steep 
for a minute or two. The tea is pink in color and can be used to stop diarrhea. A 
rose bush root that has been cut into one-inch pieces can be carried with you and 
used over and over for making the tea; the roots have a black outer shell. 

Cheyenne Name: henenoe 

Botanical Name: Rosa arkansasa 

June Berry / Sarvisberry 

June berry bushes grow along streams and tributaries. The bark can be used in the 
winter, and the leaves can be used in the summer. Some Cheyenne used the large 
branches to construct ceremonial sweat lodges. The protocol has been forgotten, 
and this wood is no longer used. The berries ripen in early July and are eaten fresh 
or dried for future use. The Cheyenne treasured the berry picking seasons as it was 
a time when families and various tribal bands gathered to pick the berries. Many 
stories were told and feasts held. It was a time of plenty with the abundance of 
wild game. 

How to cook: The green leaves or bark was stripped from branches and put 
in a vessel of water, which was heated. When the water boiled, it was taken from 
the fire and allowed to steep for a couple of minutes. A handful of leaves is the 
usual amount needed for brewing tea. More water can be added to strong tea, but 



64 



nothing can be done with weak tea. My father (William Tall Bull) used to say, "It 
was so weak that it came to the table on crutches. " 

Cheyenne Name: hetanemenbtse 

Botanical Name: Anwlanchier alnifolia 

Berry Plants 

Buffalo Berry 

The Cheyenne word for berries is menotse. The buffalo berry is a small berry and is 
usually red in color, but there are some bushes that produce yellow fruit. The fruit 
is tart and very hard to pick. Some people place a hide or canvas under the bush 
and knock the berries off with a stick. This form of harvesting the berry is very 
damaging to the bushes and should not be encouraged. My grandmother hand 
picked all her berries and used to comment that only lazy people used sticks. The 
berries were dried on a hide or canvas and put into containers for future use. 

The buffalo berry is very useful as a pudding when a healer is doctoring a 
patient. After the smudging and prayers, the patient is offered food, and the first 
given is the tart pudding. The experience of a hospital stay is a very frightening to 
the Cheyenne elders, and most feel that they will not return home. The majority 
of the people that spend long periods in a hospital will give up and slowly starve 
themselves — they have no appetite. However, the tartness of the buffalo berry 
pudding triggers the saliva glands and brings back the appetite, and then you can 
feed them the rest of the meal. 

How to cook: Place a handful of dried berries in a pot half filled with water, 
and let the berries boil until soft. Next mix one cup of flour and two cups of water 
to make a thick mixture. Pour this mixture into the boiling berries until you get 
the thickness that you want. After the pudding is the desired consistency, then add 
sugar to your taste. The dried buffalo berries can also be pounded up with dried 
meat to make pemmican. This was a staple for the women that gathered wood and 
the hunters and warriors away from their villages. Before wheat flour was intro- 
duced to the Cheyenne, the breadroot was used to thicken soups and puddings. 

Cheyenne Name: mdkemenbtse I makestatsemenbtse 

Botanical Name: Shepherdia canadensis 

Chokecherry 

The chokecherry is probably the most popular of all berries. Unlike other berries, 
it is hardy and grows every year. The Cheyenne hunters would not shoot female 
animals (deer, elk, antelope, buffalo, and horses) until the chokecherries turned 



Native Plants oftlie Nortljern Cheyenne Reservation 65 



red. This was the time when the animals' young could survive on their own. As 
the berry ripens in July, it can be eaten fresh and the seed spit out, but usually the 
berry was picked and the stems taken off. The berries and pits were pounded on 
a pounding stone. The pounded berries were then made into patties and put on 
a hide and allowed to dry, at which time they could be stored for the winter. The 
pounded-up cherries constituted one of the basic ingredients for pemmican. 

The chokecherry tree was used to make tipi stakes and pins, bows and arrow 
shafts, spears and coup sticks, root diggers, and other useful items for the families. 
Makeshift shelters of chokecherry limbs were used to make structures resembling 
the sweat lodge. These were used by warriors in the field, usually in the winter. 
The Cheyenne and Sioux constructed these dome-shaped lodges in the winter of 
1866 for the warriors who were given instruction to harass the wood trains and the 
soldiers of Buffalo Creek Fort (Fort Phil Kearny). 

How to cook: The dried chokecherries (about a handful) were put in a pot 
and boiled for several minutes, and a flour and water mixture was added to thicken 
the pudding. The sweeteners that the Cheyenne used were honey or sap from the 
box elder tree (maple family). 

Cheyenne Name: menbtse 

Botanical Name: Prunus virginiana 




Linwood Tall Bull follows in the footsteps of his father, William Tall Btill, and teaches ethnobotany at 
Chief Dull Knife College. (Photo by Sherry Ann Foote) 



66 



The Girl Who Saved Her Brother 







MOST BATTLES WERE fought by men, but occasionally there were ex- 
tremely brave women who went to war. This was the case of Buffalo 
Calf Road Woman who saved her brother from death. When the 
Cheyenne heard that General George Crook was leading a war party against them, 
the Cheyenne warriors rode out to halt the troops. Several hundred Cheyenne 
and Sioux warriors attacked Crook and his soldiers near Rosebud Creek between 
present-day Sheridan, WY, and Busby, MT, on June 17, 1876. She rode beside her 
husband, Black Coyote, and her brother. Chief Comes in Sight. 

During the battle Buffalo Calf Road Woman lost sight ot her brother. When 
she finally spotted him, he was surrounded by Crow Indian scouts and white 
soldiers waiting for a chance to count coup on him. Chief Comes in Sight fought 
fiercely with great skill, but his horse was shot and killed during the fight leaving 
him vulnerable to the circling soldiers and scouts. Buffalo Calf Road Woman 
charged the crowd of hostiles, dodging bullets, and grabbed her brother, carrying 
him to safety on her horse. This brave rescue on her part caused the Cheyenne 
to rally and to defeat General Crook and his soldiers. The Cheyenne refer to the 
battle as The Fight Where the Girl Saved Her Brother. In history the battle is 
recorded as The Battle of the Rosebud. 

At the time of the battle Buffalo Calf Road Woman was in her mid twenties 
with one child, a girl about four years old. Buffalo Calf Road Woman was the 
only woman to accompany the warriors and to fight in the battle. There were two 
Crow women that fought as scouts for General Crook's army. 

One week later, the Battle of the Little Big Horn was fought, and Buffalo 
Calf Road Woman was the only woman to fight in the battle against Custer. ' She 
proved to be so brave and courageous the Cheyenne gave her an honorary name. 
Brave Woman. The Battle of the Little Big Horn is one of the most written about 
events in American history, yet few know about her participation in this battle. 



67 



Despite her many heroic efforts to defend the freedom and nomadic Ufe style 
of her people, Buffalo Calf Road Woman has been overlooked in history. Much 
of her history was never recorded." A nomadic life style and lack of a written lan- 
guage account for some of the absence of sources. The narratives, letters, diaries, 
and other bits of information that exist are largely from the perspective of white 
interpreters. 

Male anthropologists, who dominated the field in the late 19th and early 20th 
century, rarely interviewed women and demonstrated little interest in women be- 
yond their traditional roles. Historians and anthropologists were mainly interested 
in chiefs, battles, and Indian-white politics. 

Photographers such as L. A. Huffman provided an important source of in- 
formation about the Northern Cheyenne and other tribes. However, they usu- 
ally portrayed women engaging in domestic duties and rarely identified them. 
Northern Cheyenne women were photographed many times with their husbands. 
Captions would often read, for example, "Dull Knife and wife" or "Cheyenne 
woman." 

Woodenlegs, a warrior who knew Buffalo Calf Road Woman and fought in 
the same battles, notes her role in the Battle of the Rosebud and relates the birth 
of her second child. Unfortunately, he omits her significant participation at the 
Battle oi the Little Big Horn. There are only a few statements made by Northern 
Cheyennes connecting her to these two battles. Chief Two Moons, who fought in 
both battles with Buffalo Calf Road Woman, failed to mention her in interviews. 
White Bull and Tall Bull, Northern Cheyenne warriors, also did not acknowledge 
her noteworthy participation in battles.^ With the exception of Woodenlegs brief 
statement about her role in the Rosebud Battle, the Northern Cheyenne men were 
completely silent about her accomplishments. 

However, two Cheyenne women — Iron Teeth and Kate Bighead — attended 
many of the same events as Buffalo Calf Road Woman. In their autobiographical 
accounts, the women give detailed narrative of her participation in the two battles. 
A Sioux warrior, Kill Eagle, also credits and confirms Buffalo Calf Road Woman's 
presence at the Custer fight. Kill Eagle reported seeing Buffalo Calf Road Woman 
with a revolver strapped on her, but he erroneously stated that she was killed.'* 

In actuality, she lived and took an active role in the tribe's exodus to Okla- 
homa and subsequent escape. During the cold winter of 1877, the Cheyenne were 
starving, and some women and children were being held hostage by the U.S. 
Army in an attempt to get them all to move to Indian Territory (Oklahoma). 
When most of the others decided to surrender, Buffalo Calf Road Woman and her 
husband, Black Coyote, continued to refuse. The couple was among a small group 
of 34 Cheyenne who resisted the move to a reservation in Oklahoma. During this 
period, Buffalo Calf Road Woman gave birth to her second child, a son. Within 



68 



pUV«A4« . 1 I j 



urni.f ^iwH'i'i ' -W ' .' i^Lif i iit u^ fll mm ymmfmmmmmmmm 



■TT^ 





#// * 



Bullets soar by Buffalo Calf Road Woman as she rescues her brother, Chief Comes In Sight, from a 
certain death. Buffalo Calf Road Woman dressed for battle with her finest elk tooth dress, a broad 
leather belt, and a decorative choker around her neck. Chief Comes In Sight, who is wearing a long- 
tailed war bonnet, has his right arm and leg draped over the horse's neck with his left hand holding 
the rein. This horse is a fast one, indicated by the split ears. (Drawing from the Spotted Wolf- Yellow 
Nose Ledger, courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution, National Anthropological Archives, Bureau of 
American Ethnology, ms. 166.032) 



the group there were several children, and there was so much suffering, the small 
band decided to surrender. In August 1877 the group reached Oklahoma. 

Life in the Indian Territory proved very difficult for the Cheyenne. Hunt- 
ing rights were denied, and diseases such as measles and malaria spread among 
the people. Unaccustomed to the humid climate and living with restrictions, the 
Cheyennes longed for their homeland. When 300 Cheyenne left Indian Territory, 
Buffalo Calf Road Woman and her family were among them. The journey back 
to Montana was 1,500 miles. 

The Army followed and attacked them the whole way. Many grew weak with 
the constant threat from the soldiers. With the soldiers on their trail some wanted 
to surrender, but Black Coyote had not lost his fighting spirit and encouraged the 
people to persevere. Little Wolf and Dull Knife decided to split the group. Some 
wanted to return to Red Cloud's reservation. Black Coyote and Buffalo Calf Road 
Woman followed Little Wolf's party to return to the north. Black Coyote, Buffalo 
Calf Road Woman, and others held out and hid in the Sand Hills of Nebraska for 
the winter. 

Meanwhile, Black Coyote grew more militant against the Army. He commit- 
ted some acts that compromised the safety of the small band. Unrest and hostility 



The Girl Who Saved Her Brother 



69 



among the group broke out, and Black Coyote killed a fellow Cheyenne and 
wounded another. Chief Little Wolf ordered the exile of Black Coyote for these 
crimes. Buffalo Calf Road Woman, Black Coyote, their children and four others 
left the main group. The banished group remained hidden in the Sand Hills of 
Nebraska where there was plenty of game and few white people. Later that spring, 
Black Coyote killed a soldier, and the group was captured and imprisoned at Fort 
Keogh. Buffalo Calf Road Woman contracted diphtheria and died in captivity 
in 1879. Black Coyote was so distraught when he heard of Buffalo Calf Road 
Woman's death, he took his own life."" 

American Indian women are extraordinary and have survived unspoken 
hardships. Information sources are limited, vague, and biased. The most reliable 
and thorough historical records concerning American Indian women have proven 
to be other Native women. Buffalo Calf Road Woman may have been forgot- 
ten if Iron Teeth and Kate Bighead had not conveyed the important acts of this 
distinguished woman. 



1 Grinnell, G. B. {1972). Cheyenne Indians, Vol. 2; 3 Agonito & Agonito (1981) 

War, ceremonies, and religion. Lincoln: University of 4 Graiiam, W. (1953). The Custer Myth: a source book 
Nebraska Press. ofCusteriana. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpoie Company. 

2 Agonito, R., & Agonito, J. (1981). Resurrecting 5 Agonito & Agonito (1981) 
history's forgotten women: A case study from the 

Cheyenne Indians. Frontiers: A Journal of Wotnen 
Studies, 6{^). 8-16. 



70 



Cheyenne Peace Pipe 



rx 



A STORY BY John Stands in Timber tells that the first pipes the Cheyenne 
made were of antelope shanks, just the straight hollow bone, with a hole 
drilled on top at one end and the place wrapped and tied with sinew to 
keep it from splitting. When the Cheyenne first got the red stone, they made it into 
a pipe in the same way, straight and hollow, and it was good fiar this purpose. 

There were four old pipes made this way by the early people, and there used 
to be one large one pipe and three smaller pipes that were be kept in the Sacred 
Hat. In fact all Indian pipes used to be made straight that way, until the white man 
came along with a corncob pipe sticking up. That is how they came to make peace 
pipes the way they do now."' 

In the Cheyenne culture, smoking the pipe is a solemn occasion and only 
done alter prayer. The Cheyenne say, "The pipe never fails." Nothing sacred 
begins without first offering the pipe to the Sacred Persons who dwell at the lour 
directions, to Ma'heo'o. and to Grandmother Earth. When smoking the pipe, only 
the truth is spoken and nothing but the truth. - 

Stories have been told that in March 1869 Custer had met with Chief Medi- 
cine Arrow's band under along the Sweetwater Creek. This was after the Attack 
on Washita Nov. 27, 1868. There were two white women captives at this camp, 
and Custer did not want to attack the Cheyenne for fear of death to the captives. 
Custer in a peaceful meeting smoked the ceremonial peace pipe with Chief Medi- 
cine Arrow. At the conclusion of the meeting, Chief Medicine Arrow emptied the 
ashes of the pipe on Custer's boot in a gesture of future bad luck. If he lied to the 
Cheyenne, he would become like those ashes. Custer went against his word, and 
he was killed at the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876.^ 

In photographs of the chiefs' visit to the Great White Father in Washington, 
DC, they are shown with their pipes in elaborate beaded pipe bags. Smoking the 
pipe signifies that a person is of good heart and being truthful. 



71 




For Northern Cheyenne people Hke Chief Dull Knife, smoking a peace pipe signifies that 
a person is of good heart and being truthful. 



1 Stands In Timber, J., & Libert)-, M. (1967). 
Cheyeyme Memories (p. 81). New Haven, CT: Yale 
University Press. 

2 Powell, P. J. (1969). Sweet Medicine: The Continu- 
ing Role of the Sacred Arrows, the Sun Dance, and the 
Sacred Buffalo Hat in Northern Cheyenne History. 
Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Vol. i. 



3 Greene,]. A. (2004). Washita, the Southern 
Cheyenne and the U.S. Army. Norman: University of 
Oklahoma Press. 



72 



Joseph Whiteivolf Sr. 



« 



JOSEPH Whitewolf Sr., a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, was a 
Prisoner of War during World War II. The Germans captured him in central 
Europe, and he spent nine months as a prisoner. PFC Whitewoll was held in 
ly different cities in Germany, according to the family. 

On Dec. 25, 1944, he was sent to a work camp in what was then Czechoslo- 
vakia and stayed there until he was released in 1945. As a prisoner, PFC Whitewoll 
suffered greatly. He lost 50 pounds because of being fed only black bread and 
water, and he was beaten with a bayonet. When freed, he had to be hospitalized 
for a month to recover from his mistreatment. 

In 1993, Whitewolf s family was presented with a POW Medal for honorably 
serving his country as a Prisoner of War. The Veterans Upward Bound program 
at Chief Dull Knife College helped the family with the application process. The 
medal was long overdue because PFC Whitewolf had died by the time he received 
this medal. 




Joseph Whitewolf Sr. 



73 



Balloon Bomb in Lame Deer 







DURING World War II the Japanese were well acquainted with the pre- 
vailing winds that blow from Japan towards North America. The air 
flows eastward across the United States and Canada. In lower regions 
the winds are variable and often stormy. If the winds are high above the storms, 
a current of air called the jet stream flows across the earth at speeds ol 300 miles 
per hour. ' 

Japanese used the jet steam to launch balloons carrying bombs. The balloons 
traveled 6,000 miles across the ocean. The concept of launching bomb-carrying 
balloons was a sophisticated and economical tactic. Utilizing the natural air forces 
took careful long-range planning and an understanding of nature. The Japanese 
called the balloons the Wind Ship Weapon and hoped they would cause consider- 
able destruction and panic on American soil. 

The Wind Ship Weapon campaign began in 1944. Japanese propaganda 
claimed that widespread fires and 500 casualties were a result of the balloons. 
The Japanese anticipated that the United States would withdraw troops Irom the 
South Pacific to protect the homeland. American and Canadian media were told 
to keep the balloon attacks unpublished. The U.S. Office of War issued a silence 
order, not wanting to give the impression that the balloon launching was success- 
ful. During 1944 there may have been 300 balloon bomb incidents throughout the 
United States, but the media respected the order to be silent. 

In January 1945, a balloon bomb landed near Lame Deer, MT The incident 
occurred about 15 miles outside of Lame Deer up Muddy Creek. Juanita Lone 
Bear was just seven years old when she and her brother James and a group of 
neighbor children spotted the balloon floating through the sky. 

Juanita was in the first grade at the local one-room school. There were six 
students, ranging in age from first to seventh grade, and Juanita was the youngest. 
Normally, she and her brother rode on horse back to school, but this cold Janu- 



75 



'■a)±wm 




The Type A Paper Balloon 

At the Lame Deer site, the balloon, 19 shrouds, and the gas relief valve were recovered. Constructed 
of panels of laminated tissue paper, the balloons were a well disguised weapon. (Illustration from the 
book, Silent Siege) 

ary morning they walked to school instead. The Rowland children accompanied 
Juanita and James on the long walk home. The group took a two-mile cut across 
to shorten the six-mile trek home. 

Franklin Rowland, a friend of Juanita's and James, saw the balloon and thought 
the moon was falling. Franklin kept pointing to the sky and saying, "The moon 
is falling." The balloon was grazing the tops of the trees, and some apparatus was 
dangling by a rope. The big ball barely cleared the hill and was rapidly descending. 
The children were alarmed, thinking the moon really might have fallen. 

The children ran home to report the incident to their parents. The Rowlands 
went out that evening on horseback to look for the object, but darkness ended the 
search. Juanita and her folks went out the next morning in the family pickup truck 
to search for the balloon. Juanita's mother spotted the balloon on a steep creek 
bank. The grayish colored tarp was about as wide as a road, Juanita said. 

Sixty-seven years later, Juanita vividly remembers the image of the strange 
object and what a close call they had. She said: "At the bottom of the balloon was a 



76 



small box that was connected to a rope. There had been other ropes, but they had 
been cut off by hitting trees and dragging on the ground. There was a torpedo- 
shaped object about i ill feet long. We were curious and poked around the thing 
examining it. We wondered what on earth it was." - 

Her parents thought it should be reported and turned in to the agent in Lame 
Deer, which they did. "The agent was interested in the location of the landing. 
There was to be no publicity, we were told, so the Japanese would not know their 
bomb-launching balloon had landed on U. S. soil," she said. . 

The Japanese balloons and their bombs were intended to self-destruct at the 
end of a cycle; however, many malhmctioned and were found somewhat intact 
much like the Lame Deer balloon. It is believed the wet cell batteries froze, mak- 
ing the circuits inoperative. 

Thinking back, Juanita realized how lucky they were. They had dragged it 
around, thrown it into the back of the truck, and traveled over gravel and dirt 
roads. "It could have gone off at any time. If my brother would have had his gun, 
he probably would have shot at it." 

1 Webber, B. (1992). Silent Siege-Ill: Japanese 
attacks on North America in World War II. Medford, 
OR: Webb Research Group. 

2 Lone Bear, J. (personal communication), Nov. 
15, 2007. 



Balloon Bo»ih in Lame Deer 11 




At Sgt. Uriah Two Twos victory dance, tiie ceremonial smudges on his face, combined with his Army 
uniform, captivated photographer Gwendolen Gates (author of the photo book, Indian Country). 



Uriah Two Two 



rx 



LOOK IN THE dictionary under the word "noble," and you will find Sgt. 
Uriah Two Two. At least that is what Kathleen Beartusk tells people about 
her youngest son. In 2007, Two Two was in Iraq for his third tour with 
the loist Airborne Division. Two Two enlisted in the Army in 1998 and in 2006, 
he re-enlisted until 2012. 

This troubled his mother. "I am definitely not looking forward to another 
year of anxiety, worry, sleeplessness, and fear of watching the news." However, she 
said, "I know deep down in my heart that he is doing exactly what he's wanted to 
do since he was 5 years old. Uriah is the epitome of what a soldier should be." 

Two Two received a hero's welcome at the Billings Logan International Air- 
port when he returned home after his first tour in Iraq in March 2004. He earned 
a Purple Heart for wounds he received when a roadside bomb went off More than 
150 people gathered. 

In a traditional Northern Cheyenne ceremony at the airport. Two Two was 
blessed and cleansed by smoke from burning sweetgrass fanned by eagle feathers. 
A war bonnet was placed on Two Two, and he was wrapped in a red, white, and 
blue star quilt. Women's high-pitched ululating pierced the air. No one touched 
Two Two until the ceremony was conducted to remove the aftereffects of war, 
according to a report in the Billings Gazette. 

He and his wife, Alma, have four children: Jacob, Cathryn, Bresais, and 
Uriah, Jr. His mother, Kathleen Beartusk, has worked at Chief Dull Knife College 
(CDKC) for 26 years. A graduate of Chief Dull Knife College, she has raised five 
children as a single mom. The children are sixth generation descendants of Chief 
Dull Knife. 

(Reprinted with permission from Tribal College JournaL Vol. 17, No. 3, Win- 
ter 2006, www.tribalcollegejournal.org) 



79 



American Indian Reburials: A Spiritual Perspective 



n 



THE SUBJECT OF Spirit people is difficult. As we all know everyone of us has 
a spirit, and it will remain here long after we are gone. Your spirit is going 
to be here, yours and mine. Those who have gone on, their sprits remain. 
The customs of each tribe differ a little. But they all focus on what is going to 
happen to the spirit. 

I had an opportunity a couple of years ago to be on the lands oi one who had 
been dead for many years. They put them in a box to be studied. They decided 
that perhaps they would put him back and bury him. [The skeleton had been 
found during road construction.] I volunteered to do that, to bury him, because I 
did not want that poor man to be sitting in a box on a shelf somewhere. Not only 
that, but somehow I had to make sure that his spirit was also there. 

I went to this office, and I saw him and I saw this box on a table. Then I 
began talking to him. I told him that he had lived 70 years with his people and 
that he was a great man; that when he was buried all his people that loved him 
came to see him for the last time; that many people would go there after he was 
buried to talk to his spirit. I told him that I would, with respect, offer him smoke, 
and I told him that I would be honored to return him to this resting place. I said 
you have now satisfied the curiosity of many people, and from this point we will 
go back. I will take you back to be buried where you belong. 

I went back to the reservation. I went to the countryside, and during the 
course of the reburial there was this spirit that came from the south. The spirit of 
people when it comes back, it comes back form the south. He came as a whirl- 
wind. We watched him come down the valley, and then he went right on by as if 
to acknowledge the ritual. 

It is quite diffictilt to rebury a person because there are usually a few words 
that are spoken to him after he has passed on: "Now that you have left, go. You do 
not turn around and look back." We believe that if they look back, they may take 



81 



a child with them. We teach our httle ones — do not visit the graves of our people 
in the evening. If they do, those spirits may follow the kids home and they will 
have trouble sleeping at night. All of you have a spirit. 

I don't think we understand the spirit world well enough. We understand 
it; we have lived it. We understand the spirit nature of earth, the plants, and the 
animal life. The relationships between these spirits whether they are good or bad, 
they guarantee us spiritual well being. If we bother them, it is not the thing that 
we want to do. We tend to view that when we bury them. We bury them once to 
put them away. 

I learned these things a long time ago when I was little. My grandfather told 
me. He said when I pass on; my spirit is not going to go where you people are 
going to go. It's going to go where the spirits go. And I will come to you in times. 
I think this is why many people have a special regard for these mounds — they 
house the spirit world people. Who are the others? Who are the ones who answer 
our prayers? 

At the request of the State Preservation Office, I also buried a little girl found 
in the hills by children who had been playing in a cave. They found the remains of 
a young child. I was comfortable with that because that young girl was found by 
playing children. And I believe she was happy that children did come there. There 
was no problem with that. Children are the spiritual nature of ourselves. 

When we talk to archaeologists, come five o'clock, that is when the archae- 
ologist hangs up his boots, the day is over. That is the time when our world, our 
spirit world, is beginning to wake up. That's a time I would like to walk. We have 
a river on the eastern edge of the reservation [the Tongue River] where they are go- 
ing to build a railroad. At some point one of these days, we are going to walk that 
probably with some archaeologists. We're going to come to spirit along the wall 
who will stand for a moment and disappear. I'll probably see it. If this archaeolo- 
gist isn't an Indian, he probably wouldn't see it. As you look down the valley before 
the sun goes down, this is when the spirits come out. We see many, many sorts of 
things that we understand are very significant and important to us. But if no one 
else sees it, how are we going to convince anyone of the spirit life in the valley? 

One of the reasons that the burial/ reburial is taught is that it depends upon 
who is being buried. Some of these people are powerful people, and indeed they 
may be very fond of this spot, and so we have to deal with this in the reburial. One 
of the things I have to rely on is that the final ceremony takes place with my elders. 
They have to appear as one. And they sing a song that goes with that. It's just not 
something that you do everyday. 

To bury that old man bothered me for a long time, I didn't know if I had 
done the right thing. But I had sworn to take the box and return it to the grave. 
I was willing to take whatever risk there was. A lot of spirit things are not talked 



82 



about. We have to talk until all the people understand that they are part oi our 
lives. 

When archaeologists surveyed the land, we had a lot of things that were very 
significant to our way of life such as plants. Plants are part of our life, ever since 
the beginning of the earth. The Creation stories include the spiritual, the sacred 
beginnings of the earth; everything that appeared on it was sacred. So, there was 
a sacred relationship between man, animals, and plant life and the earth from the 
very beginning. We still hold that and we strive to maintain spiritual harmony 
with the earth, plants, and animals. 

(This paper is a transcription of a presentation by William Tall Bull at the First 
Joint Meeting of the Archaeological Society of Alberta and the Montana Archaeological 
Society, May 2-6, 1990, at Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada. The papers 
were published in a book, Kunaitupii . The article is published here with permission 
from the Archaeological Society of Alberta.) 



/ 




J 



William Tall Bui 



William Tall Bull was born at Muddy Creek on the Northern Cheyenne 
Indian Reservation. He attended the government boarding school at Busby, MT 
He became interested in history listening to the stories of his grandparents, who 
survived the Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado in 1864 and the long trek to Okla- 



American Indian Reburials: A Spiritual Perspective 



83 



homa and back to Montana. In September of 1942, he went into World War II 
and became a radio operator in the Army Air Force. He served in the Army during 
the occupation after the war. 

Tall Bull spent much of his life on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation serv- 
ing his tribe, including a position as a councilman for the Northern Cheyenne. 
He became an assistant history professor at Chief Dull Knife College, teaching 
oral traditions and ethno-botany classes. From 1983 through 1995, he served as 
chairman of the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Cultural Protection Board. In 1990, 
he received the Montana State Historic Preservation Award, the first American 
Indian so honored by the state of Montana. 

Tall Bull was instrumental in the passage of the Native American Grave Pro- 
tection and Repatriation Act, having worked with former U.S. Sen. John Melcher 
of Montana on the initial draft of that legislation. He was later appointed by 
former Secretary of the Interior Manual Lujan, Jr., to sit on the committee that 
wrote the regulations for this act. Tall Bull was the only American Indian to serve 
on that committee. He served as an at-large member of the Fort Phil Kearny/ 
Bozeman Trail Association. 

In his ongoing efforts to safeguard the American Indian culture and heritage, 
he was a founder of the Medicine Wheel Alliance, an organization committed 
to preserving the Medicine Wheel National Historic Landmark in the Bighorn 
Mountains. 

This commitment to landmark preservation led former President Clinton 
in 1994 to appoint Tall Bull to become the first American Indian ever to serve on 
the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, a national panel committed to 
protecting historical landmarks across the country. 

He passed on March 7, 1996. 



84 



Northern Cheyenne Sacred Sites and Objects 



rx 



A:' 



s WITH ALL American Indian tribes, the Northern Cheyenne hold some 
sites and objects as very sacred and central to their spiritual and tribal well 
eing. Some of these are described below. 



BEAR BUTTE 

This sacred mountain near Sturgis, SD, is known as Noavose to the Cheyenne, 
meaning "The Hill Where the People Are Taught." This mountain resembles a 
large grizzly bear and is the heart of the Cheyenne sacred places and sacred ways. 
Sweet Medicine, a prophet of the Cheyenne people, received the Four Sacred 
Arrows from Maheoo (All Father and supreme deity) at Noavose. 

Peter J. Powell chronicled Sweet Medicine and the Cheyenne people in a 
two-volume set of books, which includes a section about the Sacred Arrow at 
Noavose.' 

Today many Cheyenne people still go to fast at Noavose (Bear Butte). Pledges 
of fasting are made in times when loved ones are sick so that they will recover from 
their illnesses or other such reasons. When family members are in the military, 
prayers are made there for their safe return home. 

Lately, Noavose has become endangered because of its potential for residen- 
tial and commercial development and because of the proximity of the annual 
motorcycle rally in Sturgis, SD. Northern Cheyenne and other tribes have come 
together to fight the development and the rally activities. 

DEER MEDICINE ROCKS 

This site is located north of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation on private land. 
It was where Hunkpapa Lakota Chief Sitting Bull went prior to the Battle of 



85 



the Little Big Horn. He pledged his Sun Dance and vowed lOO pieces of his 
flesh offering to Wakan Tanka (the Lakota name of the creator). Sitting Bull's 
brother, Jumping Bull, cut 50 pieces of Sitting Bull's flesh from each of Sitting 
Bull's arms. 

When Sitting Bull took his place in the Sun Dance lodge, blood ran down 
his arms and shoulders as he sat throughout the night. The next afternoon the 
crowd of people saw that Sitting Bull was weakening, and they laid him down on 
the ground. 

The chief had a vision. Sitting Bull announced that he heard a voice say- 
ing, "I give you these because they have no ears." He looked up and saw soldiers 
and some Indians on horseback coming down like grasshoppers, with their heads 
down and their hats falling off They were falling right into the camp. After that 
vision the Sun Dance came to an end, and the Hunkpapas moved toward the 
Little Big Horn. Thus the dream portended the results of the Cheyenne, Lakota, 
and Arapaho victory over George Armstrong Custer." 




In 1876, Lakota Chief Sitting Btill had a vision at Medicine Rocks. He looked up and saw soldiers and 
some Indians on horseback falling into the camp. (Photo by Heather Ryan) 



86 



LAKE DESMET 

These accounts of Lake DeSmet are included here because they are rapidly being 
lost with the passage of time. Only a few stories remain yet Lake DeSmet was once 
very central to the spiritual ceremonies of the Cheyenne people. 

The lake is located north of Buffalo, WY, a place where the Cheyenne would 
go for spiritual quests. During one of these times Roman Nose, a famous Chey- 
enne warrior, fasted for four days and four nights with White Bull (or Ice as he was 
also known). White Bull served as Sitting Bull's medicine advisor. According to a 
story that was relayed by one of the elders, Roman Nose was put out in the middle 
of the lake on a raft, and during the night the water creatures tried to get him. 

After some time it got very quiet, and he sensed something getting on his 
raft. It was the weasel. The weasel told him not to worry; he had chased those 
other creatures away who were trying to get him. Weasel said he was the king of 
this lake and that he had come to instruct Roman Nose about some things before 
he went home. 

Weasel told Roman Nose to make a parfleche using the weasel's coat of fur. 
The parfieche was to hold the weasel cap, some Arrows, and other medicine that 
the weasel taught Roman Nose. Roman Nose, in his haste to join the battle, did 
not perform the necessary purification rites that would have restored the protec- 
tive powers that had been granted him.'' 

Roman Nose had been instructed by the weasel that the Arrows were to be 
used when an enemy was spotted. These Arrows were to be thrown, and if they 
stuck in the ground, that meant they would defeat the enemy. However, if the 
Arrows did not stick in the ground, the tribe was to move their camp. The weasel 
cap was made for the chiefs to wear at their ceremonies. The Arrows and weasel 
cap had powerful medicine and were kept in the parfleche. 

According to the elder relating this story, there is a photograph of Little 
Wolf wearing the weasel cap. Prior to old man Wolf Roads death, he buried this 
parfleche somewhere in the hills south of Busby.^ White Bull made the buffalo- 
horned war bonnet that protected Roman Nose from enemy bullets. That protec- 
tive power was broken when a spoon made from the white man's metal touched 
the food Roman Nose was eating. Shortly thereafter the Elk Society leader was 
shot down by Major George A. Forsyth's men at Beecher's Island.^ 

There is also a legend that some Cheyenne people went into the lake to es- 
cape the U.S. Cavalry. This band of Cheyenne had camped near Lake DeSmet 
to replenish their supplies. The men were hunting, and the women were drying 
meat and making moccasins and clothing before winter. Soldiers had come upon 
them, and there was no place for the Cheyenne to escape since this area is in the 
open. With no place to hide, they decided to go into the lake. There were dogs 
that went into the lake with them. Stories are told that sometimes a person can 

Northern Cheyenne Sacred Sites and Objects 87 



hear children playing on the water, dogs barking, or see people on the lake. The 
Cheyenne honor these ancestors by taking prayer clothes and sending the cloth 
into the lake.'' 



SACRED HAT 

Esevone ('the Sacred Buffalo Hat) is the great symbol and source of female renev/- 
ing power. Esevone's power renews the buffalo herds of the past, as well as the 
cattle herds of the present. It was through the Buffalo Hat that the Sun Dance 
first came to the So'taahe people. In the Sun Dance there is a Sacred Woman who 
offers her body as a renewal of the Cheyenne and their world. Through the super- 
natural power of the Arrows and Buffalo Hat, the male and female relationships 
in Cheyenne life are blessed, ensuring continual strength, harmony, and new life 
for the people and their world. "^ 

SACRED ARROWS 

The four sacred, black painted Arrows were given to Sweet Medicine at Bear 
Butte. Cheyenne called the Arrows Maahotse, derived from the name of Ma'heo'o, 
the All Father. These uniquely sacred objects share the supreme powers of the 
Creator himself, and they channel supernatural life into Cheyenne lives. Maahotse 
continue to be the means by which the Cheyenne are united with the All Father. 
After Morning Star s (Dull Knife's) village was destroyed by General McKenzie on 
November 1876, the Sacred Arrow Keeper, Black Hairy Dog bore the Arrows to 
safety in the south, and that is where they have remained. The Sacred Arrows are 
the divinely-given symbol of male power, and no female dares to look at them.^ 



I Powell, P. J. (1969). Sweet Medicine: The continu- 4 Littlebear, R., (2005). DVD recording in Chief 

ing role of the Sacred Arrows, the Sun Dance, and Dull Knife College library. 

the Sacred Buffalo Hat in Northern Cheyenne history ^ Powell, R J., Sweet Medicine. 

(Vol. I, p. 19). Norman: University of Oklahoma 

p 6 E. Whitedirt (personal communication, 



2 Powell, P. J., Sweet Medicine, p. in. 

3 Powell, P. J., Sweet Medicine, p. 95. 



November 2007) 

7 Powell, P. J., Sweet Medicine. 

8 Powell, P. J., Sweet Medicine, p. xxiii. 



Early Education on the 
Northern Cheyenne Reservation 



^ 



THOSE STEEPED IN European-based education often believe that people 
without formal schooling are uneducated. This is a misconception espe- 
cially detrimental to American Indians. Before formal schooling was 
forced upon them, the Cheyenne and other tribes educated their children 
through a type of on-the-job training. Family members and elders were teachers 
of the Cheyenne children. The main instructors for children were aunts, uncles, 
and grandparents. 

Children learned through observation in settings similar to today's "open 
classrooms," l^ollowing the examples set by older tribal members. Education dur- 
ing the adolescent years became more intense and focused on preparing respect- 
ed and productive adults, according to Henrietta Mann in her book on Cheyenne 
and Arapaho education. Subject areas such as language, ceremonies, tribal govern- 
ment, customs, gender roles, traditions, morals, botany, biology, astronomy, geog- 
raphy, child rearing, hunting, weaponry, food preservation, nutrition, agriculture, 
bead work, tanning hides, sewing, healing/medicine, making clothing, keeping a 
lodge, and religion were taught by extended family and tribal members. 

Traditional oral storytelling was performed by certain respected elders. Stories 
were divided up into narratives about the creation, prophets, tribal history, mys- 
teries, heroes, and war stories. The Cheyenne ctirriculum was culturally applicable 
and promoted lile-long learning and survival.' 

With the onset of the reservation period, educational practices underwent a 
drastic change as the following accounts detail. 

Fort Marion Prison, Florida 

In 1875, Lt. Richard Henry Pratt escorted 72 Indian warriors suspected of mur- 
dering white settlers to Fort Marion Prison in St. Augustine, FL. The warriors 



consisted primarily of Kiowas, Cheyennes, and Arapahos. The captives included 
one woman, a Cheyenne by the name of Buffalo Calf {No-chi). They were held 
captive in an attempt to keep their tribes peaceful.' Pratt later became one of the 
most aggressive crusaders for assimilation education, founding the Carlisle Indian 
School in Pennsylvania and adopting the motto, "kill the Indian to save the man." 
Through education and humane treatment, Pratt believed that even the most 
"savage" of Indians might become educated and law abiding citizens. 

He viewed the imprisonment of the warriors at Fort Marion as an opportu- 
nity to begin his experiment. He put the men in uniform and had them perform 
military drills. The prisoners learned to read and write lessons in English. 
Christian religious instruction was also part of the rigorous routine. Pratt called 
the warriors the "Florida Boys." They referred to Pratt as "Captain" even though 
his rank was lieutenant. Out of the 72 prisoners, there were 33 Cheyennes. The 
Cheyenne prisoners held at Fort Marion were: 

Heap of Birds: Vekeseoxhaestoxese 

Bear Shield: Nahkoheose 

Eagle's Head: Netsehemeko 

Medicine Water: Maheonemahpe 

Long Back: Tsehe'esepa'o 

Hail Stone: Ao'eseto 

Rising Bull: Hotodasetoesestse 

Limpy: Nohne'kdheso 

Bear's Heart: Nahkohehesta 

Star: Hotohke 

Howling Wolf: Ho'nehenestoohe 

Making Medicine: Hoxehetane 

Antelope: Vo'aa'e 

Wolf's Marrow: O'kohomehevene 

Little Medicine: Mdheo'oxhaahketa 

Shave Head: Oo'kestseahe 

Roman Nose: Vohkdxenehe 

Big Nose: Tahpe'eeese 

Squint Eye: Tseske'ehaenehe 

Little Chief: Veho Oxhaahketahtse 

Match: Tlehesehasedo 

Buffalo Meat: Hdevoobtse 

Buzzard: Oohehe 

Soaring Eagle: Netseohnemde'dhtse 

Bear Killer: Nahkohkendhane 

Left Hand: Namosestse 

Chief Killer: Ndhaneveho 

Buffalo Calf: Voestae'keso 

Gray Beard: Vohpemehahtse 



90 



Big Moccasin: Maxebeseeobtse 
Lean Bear: Nahko Oxhaahketdhtse 
Standing Wolf: Ho'neheOnee'estse 
Spotted Elk: Mo'eohvovohcxestse' 

While in captivity the men were encouraged by Lt. Pratt to make souvenirs 
to sell to the tourists who wintered in Florida. The prisoners also painted and 
made drawings of their experiences at Fort Marion. The drawings and souvenirs 
were sold in the region, and the prisoners were allowed to keep the money from 
the sales. Many sent money home to help their families financially. The men also 
performed dances and skits for the tourists. These performances were said to be 
real crowd pleasers with locals and tourists. The group of prisoners became quite 
famous and earned a reputation as a popular tourist attraction. 

By the end of 1883, Fort Marion discharged all of the prisoners in Florida for 
lack of funding. The men felt betrayed and deceived by the government, but some 
of them later achieved success and led productive lives. ^ Most returned to Indian 
Territory (Oklahoma), but several went to Fiampton Institute in Virginia. Those 







By late 1878 Pratt was told he could continue the education of the prisoners being released from Fort 
Marion. He took these prisoners to Hampton Normal and Industrial Institute in Virginia, a school 
for freed slaves. These men were accustomed to the restrictive style of clothing, spoke English, and 
had converted to Christianity. After years of working among whites, they had fewer problems adapt- 
ing to change and separation from families than students who came later. Pratt was famous for his 
"before and after" photographs. Many "after" photographs resembled this picture of posed students 
with props of books and tools. Pictured are 12 of the "Florida Boys" with the tools of civilization. 
(Courtesy of Hampton University Archives) 



Early Education on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation 



91 



who returned to Indian Territory overcame many obstacles. Often the men were 
met with distrust by tribal members. People criticized their appearance and new 
ways. Buffalo Meat eventually became a deacon of a Baptist church and served as 
head chief of the Southern Cheyenne. Before landing the deacon position he 
wrote a letter to Pratt saying he longed for the Florida days when he was never 
hungry or poor, and the white people were his friends. He said his clothes were 
badly worn, and he would not receive new clothing for a long time.' In 
Oklahoma, Buffalo Meat, Bear Killer, Chief Killer, Hail Stone, and Star are 
known to have worked at various jobs; wherever they could find employment. 
The men farmed, raised cattle, cut wood, dug wells, made bricks, and became 
leaders in their communities. 

Upon his release from Fort Marion, the Cheyenne named John Tichkematse 
(Squint Eyes) went on to study at Hampton Institute. Later he became an 
employee of the Smithsonian Institution, working in various departments. There 
he was trained in taxidermy and learned to display birds and mammals. He col- 
lected bird specimens for the museum. He traveled with anthropologist Frank 
Cushing to study the Native people of New Mexico, Florida, and Arizona. He 
later served in the cavalry and police forces before settling in Lame Deer, MT. 
While in Montana he took up ranching and became an active member of the 
Mennonite church. 

Several of the men went on to further their education after their release. 
Roman Nose helped to organize the Roman Nose Gypsum Company in 1903. 
Others hired out as scouts. Many returned home where they joined police forces, 
organized ceremonial dances, founded Christian missions, created local businesses, 
taught at agency schools, farmed, ranched, headed tribal councils, and preserved 
traditional societies. However, the whereabouts of many warriors could not be 
traced, according to Lookingbill. A strong bond was created amongst the men dur- 
ing their banishment. These men gathered courage through their exile and were the 
trail blazers to a new and foreign movement. They met many challenges and — most 
importantly — refused to become culturally extinct. 

Boarding Schools 

One of the most damaging and catastrophic federal Indian policies was the 
enforcement of boarding school education for Native Americans, and the impacts 
are still being felt today. Beginning in 1884, Cheyenne children at a very young 
age were forcibly taken from their families and taken to the Catholic boarding 
school, St. Labre Indian School, at Ashland, MT, just off the reservation. This was 
the year that the Northern Cheyenne Reservation was formed, and the people 
were forced to live a sedentary, non-warlike lifestyle. This was a complete change 



92 




PLATE T\VEL\K: \\AU DANCF. AT lOKT MAKION" 

The performances pictured by Cohoe were so popular that people started lining up at 7 p.m. to rush 
to the fort. Over 2,000 spectators at one time reportedly watched the performances. The dancers per- 
formed the War Dance of the Plains Indians, a striking contrast with the Victorian ladies and gentle- 
men with their bustles, fans, suits, and top hats. (Reprinted with permission of University of 
Oklahoma Press) 



from their former culture. An Indian Bureau school opened at Busby on the reser- 
vation in 1904, the Tongue River Boarding School. 

St. Labre Indian School began with a humanitarian purpose. It was opened 
by Bishop John Brondel, the Vicar Apostolic of Helena, MT. A soldier stationed 
at Fort Keogh in Miles City had contacted the bishop because he was concerned 
about the poor living conditions of the Northern Cheyenne Indians. On April 3, 
1884, the first mass was held at St. Labre Mission, which was named after St. 
Benedict Joseph Labre. '' The mission provided two meals a day, and after an early 
supper the children were dismissed. Some ol the parents accompanied their chil- 
dren to school and stayed all day until school was let out." Some of the parents 
refused to send their children to St Labre because "there is too much praying and 
talking of Christ," according to Indian Bureau Agent J. TuUy. TuUy told his super- 
visors in Washington, DC, however, that he knew how to enforce school atten- 
dance: "first by persuasion and then by withholding harness and other goods sent 
here for issue to them."' 



Early Education on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation 



93 



The goals for teachers at both schools included religious conversion as well 
as education. In a letter written in 1940 by Principal Jerry N. Thompson of the 
Tongue River Boarding School at Busby to the superintendent of the Tongue 
River Agency, he said, "All boarding pupils were lined up on the porches of the 
dormitory on Sunday morning and from there marched under the direction of a 
teacher to the church of their choice for Sunday school from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 
a.m. Then they marched back to the dormitory after services ended."'" 

The school standards usually included getting Natives to dress, speak, and 
look like white people. Their hair was cut; their diet changed; and their language, 
religion, and culture were suppressed. The boarding school program was designed 
to remove traditional culture, family patterns, and communal behaviors." The 
children were immediately confronted with a language barrier and were removed 
from their families and all that was familiar. Unaccustomed to separations from 
family and home, they became quite homesick and often became physically ill. 
The children could not acclimatize to the regimentation and were often overcome 
with depression. School attendance was a problem throughout the years. Parental 
resistance to the acculturation took on different forms, such as refusing to send 



^' 



V 



nvnr 




1 1 



r 




1 5nr 



ff 



The girls from the Tongue River Boarding school in Busby are standing in front of the Mennonite 
church. The students were required to go to church. (Photo from the Mennonite Collection) 



94 



children to school, sending orphaned or less desirable children, complaining to 
agents, and reinforcing tribal customs during home visits. '- 

An Indian Compulsory Attendance Law was passed by Congress in 1891. 
Indian Bureau agents were responsible lor school attendance and keeping schools 
filled. The Secretary of Interior was empowered to withhold rations and annuities 
il children did not attend school. One of the most harmful ideas lor solving the 
attendance problem was separating children and their families for longer periods 
of time. Advocates of boarding schools argued that educational training, in com- 
bination with several years of separation from family, would diminish tribal cus- 
toms and take care of school absenteeism. The separation from family was the 
foundation of Lt. Pratt's educational philosophies. 

As a result, it became the policy ol boarding schools to limit home visits. 
Children were allowed to go home for only one weekend a month at the Tongue 
River Boarding School and St. Labre Boarding School. Some students and fami- 
lies remember the school as being their only source of food and shelter. 
Nevertheless, they were devastated by long-term effects of the students' separation 
from family and community. Home visits were regulated by school officials, and 
if the school considered a child's home unsuitable for any reason, parents were 
denied permission to have their children visit. Loss of family contact during 
childhood created a hardship on children and families. Some parents voluntarily 
placed their children in school, whereas others evaded or opposed the mandatory 
enrollment. 

In some situations parents went to great lengths to hide children and make 
false claims of sickness to protect and keep their children home: 

James Deafy has two children enrolled in the Busby School. According to cus- 
tom they are allowed to go home over week ends once each month. They were 
given this privilege at their regular time, but a week later their mother came for 
them to go home again. The principal told her that they had been home the 
week before. The mother contended that it was their time now, and after con- 
siderable argument, she took the children against the principal's protest. 

The principal did not feel justified in using physical means to prevent her, 
and she took the children against his protest. He phoned the superintendent 
who advised him to have the police go that evening and tell Mrs. Deaf)' that she 
would have to appear before Indian court at Lame Deer the next day. She 
should be ready when police called in the morning. 

She told the policeman positively that she would not go to Lame Deer. 
During the night the husband missed her from the house and went in search of 
her. He found her in a small outbuilding hanging from the rafter with a rope 
around her neck. The husband hastily cut the rope but it was sometime before 
they were sure she would live. This incident indicates to what extremes some of 
the parents will go to have their way about the children attending school." 



Early Education on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation 95 



Parents were, also aware of the health risks of enrolling their children in boarding 
schools where they could be exposed to serious contagious diseases. 
Communicable diseases thrived in overcrowded and communal environments of 
reservation boarding schools. In 1930 the Tongue River Boarding School located 
at Busby suffered from crowded conditions in the dormitories. Tongue River 
Agency Superintendent C. B. Lohmiller wrote a letter April 29, 1930, to the 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs describing the deplorable living arrangements. 
He said, "The small dormitory for boys measured 28.5 by 16.5 feet, and 19 boys 
sleep in 10 beds. The beds are single size, and two boys sleep in each bed. The larg- 
er dormitory for boys measures 39.5 by 32.5 feet and has 12 single-size beds and 
sleeps 21 boys. In the dormitory for small girls, 24 girls sleep in 12 single size beds. 
The total dormitory should house 68 students, but 83 students sleep in the dor- 
mitories."'^ 

Tongue River Agency Supervisor George Miller wrote a report on Education 
on the Tongue River Reservation Nov. 30, 1928, describing the health crisis where 
44% of the children at the Tongue River Boarding School had trachoma and 52% 
of the pupils at the Birney Day School had it. (Trachoma is a chronic contagious 
bacterial condition that can result in blindness if untreated.) He described horrific 
conditions at the boarding school: 

The laundress and the poorly equipped laundry the past few months probably 
help to account for the soiled condition of the children's clothing. The lack of a 
supply of both hot and cold water was mentioned in section one of this report. 
Boys washing in a dark room, without warm water, can't be expected to get 
very clean. No individual combs were used by either boys or girls. On the boys' 
side of the building no toothbrushes were to be found. Ventilation of the dor- 
mitories and classrooms was fairly good, but the whole building has an unsani- 
tary odor. This is due to lack of careful cleaning, especially in corners, and to 
unsanitary plumbing — clogged toilets and drain pipes. '^ 

Tuberculosis was also a huge problem. Pupils with contagious diseases were 
theoretically excluded from attending school, but tuberculosis, trachoma, and 
other diseases thrived in classrooms and overcrowded dormitories. The diseases 
became a threat to not only boarding school students but also to the reservation 
population. Students returning home often spread the sicknesses to family mem- 
bers. According to statistics taken in 1911 by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 
31% of the poptilation on the Tongue River Reservation had tuberculosis and 
nearly 17% had trachoma."' 

Correspondence beuveen Superintendent Boggess and the Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs in Washington, DC, dated 1923 states: "I feel that our physician is 
giving more careful attention to the children excused from school than any other 
physician we have had here. I keep a record of the excused children and from time 



96 



to time, we discuss the cases. So many of these are tubercular that there is no hope 
of returning a large percentage ol: them to the class room."'" Tuberculosis 
remained the greatest health problem on the reservation as late as 1947. In a report 
prepared by Dr. H. W. Kassel and Field Nurse Miss Francis Cleave they said sta- 
tistics indicated that 800 cieaths per 100,000 population were due to tuberculo- 
sis. Venereal disease and trachoma were still prevalent and special care and precau- 
tions were being taken to prevent an increase. '- 

"Vocational" Training at the Boarding Schools 

Congress never appropriated enough money to fully support the reservation 
schools. The lack of funding resulted in the overcrowding and contributed to the 
spread oi disease. It also meant that the schools utilized student labor to subsidize 
the daily operations. Pupils assisted with building repairs, washed and ironed 
laundry, fixed uniforms, milked cows, grew and harvested crops, cleaned, hauled 
water and coal, and participated in kitchen duties. 

At the time, the administrators believed they were providing the children with 
skills that would help them be productive members of mainstream society: 

So far as developing the boys into farmers, one of the most gratifying endeavors 
of the Busby School is that 10 Indian boys were given 5 heifers, and they stayed 
at the school all summer and looked after those heifers, raised feed for them, 
and otherwise took care of them. This is the first time that has happened in 
this school. They were also given a sow each, and the results have been an aver- 
age of 8 pigs to the sow. Now if that isn't getting the lads started in the right 
direction, I do not know what a right start would be. In general the school has 
produced its own potatoes, beef, pork, and milk, and in addition 1,000 bushels 
of grains such as wheat, rye, barley, and oats and much alfalfa.''' 

At the Tongue River Boarding School, the supervisor of home economics, Carrie 
A. Lyford, described her program with much enthusiasm in a letter dated March 
II, 1936: 

The children are learning good habits ol work through the limited amount of 
detail work carried on. The girls mend, iron, cook, and clean. The boys clean, 
milk, carry wood, and do other errands. All the older boarding school girls 
report to the sewing room in small groups for 10 week periods. They hem 
towels, sheets, and pillow cases and make holders, bloomers, night gowns, 
aprons, and school dresses. 

All the girls, both day and boarding pupils, join the 4-H Club aher they are 
ten years old. Each of these girls sews one-half day each week on carehilly 
graded problems, following the Montana 4-H Club program. Each girl has a 
box in which she keeps her work carefully, and she takes it to her home or 
room to do homework. The girls are taken to Billings to select their patterns 



Early Education on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation 97 



and materials. Their shopping trip marks an eventful day for them. When they 
go to Billings, they are taken to various places of interest as well as to the dry 
goods stores. 

They are also taken once a year to the reservation Achievement Day: a few 
go to the county Achievement Day. Once a year they entertain the Boy Scouts 
at a party which they plan. In the late spring those who have completed their 
work creditably are taken on a camping expedition. The girls are learning poise 
and confidence and are having very happy times.-° 

Looking back at the boarding schools, Indian educators today point out that 
much of the trades training for boys and domestic training for girls was not real- 
ly "vocational" training. It did not provide the job skills necessary for employ- 
ment. Students learned skills that were useful, but much of the labor was tedious 
and dull. A small percentage of the students actually made a living at the trade 
they learned in school.'' 



1. Mann, H. (1997). Cheyemie-Arapaho education: 
1871-1982. Niwot: University Press of Colorado. 

2. Lookingbill, B. (2006). War dance at Fort 
Marion: Plains Indian war prisoners. Norman, OK: 
University of Oklahoma Press. 

3. Lookingbill, War dance at Fort Marion. 

4. Lookingbill, War dance at Fort Marion. 

5. Lookingbill, War dance at Fort Marion. 

6. Little Bear, R.E. (1983). History of Northern 
Cheyenne education, p. 6. Available at Chief Dull 
Knife College Library at Lame Deer, MT. 

7. Schonenbach, M. A. (n.d.). History of St. Labre 
Mission, pp. 1-2. Available at Chief Dull Knife 
College Library at Lame Deer, MT. 

8. Roth, M. J. (1966). Education contributions of St. 
Labre's Mission to the Cheyenne Indians, p.i. 
Available at Chief Dull Knife College Library at 
Lame Deer, MT. 

9. Tally, J. (1884, June 30). Monthly Report on the 
Tongue River Agency. McCracken Library, Buffalo 
Bill Historical Museum, p. 4. 

10. Thompson, J. (1940, Feb. 13). Letter on reli- 
gious instruction at the Tongue River Boarding 
School. Letter received by Office of Indian Affairs, 
Record Group 4, Proselytizing Files, 8NS07597013, 
National Archives and Records Administration, 
Denver, CO. 

11. Davis, ]. (2001). American Indian boarding 
school experiences: Recent studies from Native per- 
spectives. Magazine of History, 15(2), 20-22. 



12. Davis, American Indian boarding school experi- 
ences. 

13. Stevens, C, supervisor of schools. Monthly 
Report, April 15 to May i, 1923. Report received 
by Office of Indian Affairs, Record Group 3, 
Classified Files, 8NS07597010, National Archives 
and Records Administration, Denver, CO. 

14. Lohmiller, C.B., Superintendent of Tongue 
River Agency {1930, April 29). Inspection Report 
received by Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 
Washington, DC, Record Group 75, Records of 
the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1926-1952, iONS-075- 
97-013, National Archives and Records 
Administration, Denver, CO. 

15. Miller, G.F., Supervisor of Indian Schools (1928, 
Nov. 30). Report on Education received by 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington DC, 
Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs, 1926-1952, iONS-075-97-013, National 
Archives and Records Administration, Denver, 
CO. 

16. United States Department of the Interior. June 
30, 1911. Annual Report of the Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs, p. 152. 

17. Letter on education/health matters at the 
Tongue River Boarding School, April 11, 1923. 
Letter received by Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 
Washington, DC, Record Group 9, General 
Correspondence Files, ONS-075-97-010, National 
Archives and Records Administration, Denver, 
CO. 



i8. Kassel, H.W. & Cleave, K.F. (1947, July 29). 
Report on health issues on the Tongue River 
Agency received by Commissioner oi Indian 
Affairs, Washington, D C, McCracken Research 
Library, Buffalo Bill Research Museum, Cody, WY. 

19. Letter on education/health matters at the 
Tongue River Boarding School, September 10, 
1940. Letter received by Commissioner Indian 
Affairs, Washington DC, McCracken Research 
Library, Bufflilo Bill Research Museum, Codv, WY. 



20. Lyford, C.A. (1936, March 16). Report on edu- 
cation at the Tongue River Boarding School 
received by Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 
Washington, DC, Record Group 75, Bureau of 
Indian Affairs Files, 1926-1956, iONS-075-97-013, 
National Archives and Records Administration, 
Denver, CO. 

21. Archuleta, M.L., Child, B.J. & Lomawaima, 
K.T. {2000). Away from home: American Indian 
boarding school experiences. Phoenix, AZ: Heard 
Museum. 



Early Education on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation 



99 



Contemporary Northern Cheyenne Education 



n 



THE Northern Cheyenne leaders Chief Dull Knife and Dr. John 
Woodenlegs were important advocates for education for the Northern 
Cheyenne, and both helped to encotirage schooling on the reservation. 
Chief Dull Knife emphasized the importance of schools in 1878 even before the 
Northern Cheyenne had their own reservation.' A century later, Woodenlegs said, 
"The time is past when we have to keep living in some old, broken down way. 
Education is the key to our future."' 

Their efforts to help the Cheyenne learn a new way of life were not intended 
to support assimilation or replace the students' Cheyenne culture. Instead, they 
wanted to obtain the resources needed for the Cheyenne to survive in a soci- 
ety dominated by the non-Indian, American culture. Among the many issues to 
which Northern Cheyenne leaders have devoted their energy, education has been 
the toughest in which to achieve success. Yet the Northern Cheyennes now are 
beginning to see the benefits of schooling that Chief Dull Knife and John Wood- 
enlegs envisioned. 

Attitudes toward education today continue to be shaped by the history of 
education on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. Among the most important 
factors affecting schooling today are the legacy of the early boarding schools, which 
eventually led Cheyenne leaders to pursue greater influence and control over local 
schooling and to minimize the effects of racism on students and parents. Another 
important factor is the persistent poverty on the reservation. One might well say 
that Custer did less violence to the Cheyenne people than a hundred years of 
poverty. Nearly 40% of Northern Cheyenne families live under the poverty level, 
which was exacerbated in 2007 by $3-per-gallon gasoline and the remoteness of 
the Northern Cheyenne homeland (about a hundred miles from an urban center). 
According to the 2000 census, unemployment fluctuated from 60-85%, for jobs 
are scarce and often seasonal on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. Almost 



42% of the reservations people were under the age of i8, and another 50% were 
between the ages oi 18 and 64.' 

Like students in other reservation communities where job opportunities are 
scarce, many Cheyenne high school students need help to deal with peer pressure 
regarding substance abuse, overcome poor preparation for the demands of high 
school, access the academic resources needed to succeed, take care of family and 
financial needs, and see the relevance of high school graduation to their future 
opportunities. These are the daunting conditions that Cheyenne educators must 
address. 

The 1960s and the 1970s were a critical time in the history of Indian edu- 
cation, and the Northern Cheyennes had an important role. During this time, 
a national movement for greater tribal control of schooling was supported by 
legislation in 1965 (Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) and 
1972 (the Indian Education Act). The Northern Cheyenne Tribe assumed control 
of the governance and the facilities of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) school 
in Busby in 1972, making it one of the first in the nation to provide its children 
schooling through a contract between the BIA and the tribal council. 

In the same year, the tribe established a vocational education program, which 
three years later was chartered as one of the nation's first tribal colleges. Chief 
Dull Knife College was granted full accreditation by the Northwest Commis- 
sion on Colleges and Universities in 1995. Then the community initiated another 
first — a public high school in Lame Deer. These successes demonstrate that when 
the Northern Cheyenne decide to tackle an issue about which they are deeply 
concerned, they do it in a big way. And they usually succeed. 

Overview 

Over the last several decades. Northern Cheyenne educational achievement has 
increased dramatically among adults. By 1980, the majorirv' of Northern Chey- 
enne adults (55%) had completed high school. At this time. Northern Cheyenne 
high school education was keeping pace with schooling among American Indians 
across the country even though it was still lower than for residents of Montana 
generally (74%). In 1980 only a small percentage (3%) of the Northern Cheyenne 
had completed a college degree, compared to 18% of all Montanans. 

Similar to national patterns, education has generally increased with each new 
generation of Northern Cheyenne. For example, the 1989 Northern Cheyenne 
Educational Census^ showed that just 20% of Cheyennes 65 years or older and 
half of adults ages 45-64 had completed 12 years of schooling at that time. Impor- 
tantly, among the next younger group of adults (ages 25-44), 80% had achieved 
12 years of schooling. 



However, unlike the majority of Americans, the Northern Cheyenne have 
recently seen increasing dropout rates among their youth and young adults. Only 
two thirds {66%) oi young adult Northern Cheyennes (ages 19-24) had completed 
12 years of school by 1989, and less than 60% ol high school seniors were graduat- 
ing.^ Unfortunately, the dropotit rate has remained high since the early 1990s. 
Other American Indians across the nation also have experienced this decline in 
the levels of schooling among young adults. ^' The implications of high dropout 
rates are serious for reservation schools, which now must find new ways to help 
students finish high school and become eligible for college and other postsecond- 
ary education. 

Such changes are related to the different opportunities and conditions of 
schooling that each generation has faced. Earlier generations sometimes lacked 
schools to attend. When the Northern Cheyenne Educational Census was con- 
ducted in 1989, some older Cheyennes reported that they only received a third 
grade education because there were no higher grades to attend. Several of these 
people even went to the third grade several times because they wanted to continue 
to go to school. 

In the past. Northern Cheyenne leaders fought to increase schooling oppor- 
tunities at every level. The Northern Cheyenne are now served by several types of 
schools — private, tribal, and public — that provide a range of pre-kindergarten to 
12 schooling opportunities. With the accreditation of Chief Dull Knife College, 
the educational circle was completed for providing education opportunities from 
preschool to at least two years of higher education. These schools now are trying 
to increase resources to help Northern Cheyenne students stay in school until they 
graduate and continue to college. 

Each of the four school districts serving the reservation is described in the 
following sections: St. Labre Catholic Mission School, Northern Cheyenne Tribal 
School (formerly known as Busby Tribal School), Colstrip Public School, and 
Lame Deer High School. 

St. Labre Catholic Mission School 

Both Catholic and Mennonite missions were established initially to educate and 
"assimilate" the Northern Cheyenne. However, only the St. Labre Catholic Mis- 
sion in Ashland, MT, (just east of the reservation) has offered both day school and 
boarding facilities. It serves both Northern Cheyenne and Crow Indian students. 
St. Labre Catholic School is still part of the St. Labre Mission founded a century 
ago. It is a privately administered Roman Catholic school, which serves an almost 
exclusively Indian population. The Northern Cheyenne students are primarily 
from Ashland and Lame Deer communities. St. Labre is probably the best known 



Contemporary Northern Cheyenne Education io3 



of the schools serving the reservation because of its successful national direct-mail, 
fund-raising activities. Once an impoverished mission, over the last several decades 
it has built a large and relatively stable endowment from private donations. 

As a Catholic school, St. Labre emphasizes spiritual as well as academic de- 
velopment. The history of St. Labre closely parallels national priorities in Indian 
policy. In the earlier years of its history, missionaries at St. Labre favored assimila- 
tion. Older Cheyennes relate how some tribal members, inspired by the sermons 
of St. Labre missionaries, roamed the reservation on horseback, roping and pull- 
ing down sweat lodges. While some recall harsh or negative experiences in this 
boarding school, others express gratitude for the care they received during difficult 
times on the reservation.'^ 

Today, St. Labre staff integrates Roman Catholic values with respect for the 
traditions of the community. Now some St. Labre clergy participate in sweat lodge 
activities with members of their parish. Due to its commitment to provide educa- 
tional programs with private funding, St. Labre does not allowed federally funded 
special education programs to be offered. However, it does provide some remedial 
instruction with the intent to mainstream students as quickly as possible. 

An important part of St. Labre school's history is the changes in governance 
in 1978. From 1978 through 1984 St. Labre School operated under a contract with 
the Bureau of Indian Affairs. During that time, the school was governed by a 
community-elected school board, and the facilities were leased from the St. Labre 
Mission. In 1985, however, the governance was again assumed by the Catholic 
diocese of Great Falls, MT. A community advisory board, elected mostly from the 
Northern Cheyenne Reservation area but including one member from the Crow 
Tribe, provided input to the school management.'' 

Funding for the school improved radically when it became a private Catholic 
school again. As a contract school, it received federal monies of about $400,000 
per year, but with the change to private status, its budget increased to $1.7 million. 
At that time, St. Labre charged a minimal tuition but had a scholarship program 
for students in need. In 1985, the composition of the faculty and staff was primar- 
ily non-Indian;'" there was one Cheyenne and one Sioux teacher, one Cheyenne 
counselor and 15 Cheyenne paraprofessionals. In 2007 the enrollment at St. Labre 
was about 500 students, with about 210 elementary students, 120 middle school 
students, and 150 high school students. 

In the 1980s and early 1990s, between a third and a half of the students attend- 
ing St. Labre Catholic Mission School were from the Crow reservation, located 
just west of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. Today over 90% of the students 
at St. Labre are Native American, and of those 62% are Northern Cheyenne. ' ' The 
high school continues to be accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools 
and Colleges. Some of the classes offered at St. Labre are home economics, busi- 



104 



ness, music, art. Native American literature, history and tribal governments. Na- 
tive language, and culture. '- 

In recent years, some members of Northern Cheyenne Tribe have felt that St. 
Labre Mission should share the money they have made off ot the "plight and pov- 
ert)" of the people.'' In 2004, St. Labre brought in $27 million in contributions 
through donations; and its assets from investments, buildings, and land amounted 
to $89.4 million.'"' 

Dr. Jeffrey Sanders, a professor at Montana State Universit)'-Billings, said, 
"There is often friction on reservations between mission and boarding schools and 
some tribal members. Although some mission schools are remembered for positive 
contributions, many tribal members have been leh with bad leelings over abuse, 
the dismissal oi Native cultures, or other problems. For many Indians, mission 
schools or boarding schools represent the symbol ol majorir\' culture trying to 
forcefully assimilate a Native people."'^ Controversy over the mission resources 
has continued in recent years. 

Busby Tribal School 

As tribes won the right to provide educational services to their members in 1972 
under the Indian Education Act, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe contracted with 
the BIA to administer the school at Busby. Its governance became the responsibil- 
ity of an interim all Cheyenne school board, according to Dr. Richard Little Bear, 
who was elected to the first school board. '^' It was one of the first BL\ schools in 
the country to be converted to an Indian-controlled school. Tribal members had 
been upset about conditions in the school. In its early years as a boarding school 
administered by the BIA, strict and sometimes abusive policies were directed at 
the students.'" The unhealthy conditions of the 1920s and 1930s were described in 
the previous chapter. In 1969, the conditions were still very bad. 

Daniel M. Rosenfelt"* summarized the conditions at the BIA boarding and 
day school, which served 98 boarders and 223 elementary and secondary day stu- 
dents.''' Consultants to the Senate Subcommittee reported to U.S. Sen. Edward 
M. Kennedy that "the Busby School, both day and boarding students, seems to be 
operating as a custodial institution." Further, the school was reputed to have an 
unusually high suicide attempt rate.^" 

Rosenfelt described the process of developing the tribally controlled school. 
First they had to bridge the barriers between the community and the school. This 
effort was aided by the parent participation requirements ol Title I, and a "Paren- 
tal Involvement Program in Education" project kmded by the Donner Founda- 
tion of New York. Gradually, he said, a consensus formed among the community 
that it, rather than the BIA, should operate the Busby School. The BIA, in turn, 



Contemporary Northern Cheyenne Education i°5 



seemed eager to relinquish control of the school. In July 1972, an elected Busby 
School Board assumed control of the school under a $795,000 contract.-' Thus, 
the tribe changed the BIA's Tongue River Reservation Boarding School to Busby 
Tribal School. 

The first chairman of the Indian-controlled school board was Ted Risingsun. 
He was eager to transform the school from the assimilationist school that he re- 
membered from his youth during the 1930s: 

Everything was like in the military. I was a little boy, and with the other little 
boys, we would get up when the whistle blew, dress when the whistle blew, go 
out and "police" the grounds picking up little pieces of paper and things so we 
would learn to be "responsible." We were punished if we spoke to each other 
in Cheyenne, and we were made to feel ashamed that we were Indians and 
ashamed of our families. When I got a chance to go home, I cried that I did not 
want to come back [to school.] But my family said that I must go back. So I 
became deaf I have been told that it was not a physical problem, but hysterical 
deafness. But I could not hear, and my family could not send me back to the 
school. I still, today, have trouble with my hearing sometimes. I think it goes 
back to what happened to me as a child. The Indian schools have done terrible 
things to Indian children. -- 

Risingsun described being forbidden to speak his Native language: "I'd never 
spoken English, but at school I was expected to use it. I didn't even know that 
my name [in English] was Ted Risingsun. I hung my head. If there had been a 
bilingual [or multi-cultural] teacher there, things would have been different."'^ 

Busby School has changed a great deal. With more control by the tribe, it has 
become more responsive to community concerns and teaches Cheyenne students 
more about their history, culture, and language. However, it has continued to face 
problems in providing the kinds of schooling Cheyenne students need. Busby 
Tribal School's unique mandate to provide schooling to any Cheyenne student 
who wants to attend has resulted in a large number of students from other com- 
munities on the reservation choosing to go there, overtaxing the school. 

Among the three schools serving the reservation in the 1980s, Busby Tribal 
School had the smallest resource base with which to provide comprehensive ser- 
vices for grades K through 12.-^ For example, in the 1985-86 school year. Busby 
Tribal School received only about $650,000 from the BIA for administration of 
the school and about $332,000 in federal grants for special programs such as bilin- 
gual education, special education, and Title IV Indian education. 

Busby Tribal School's enrollment declined dramatically from 207 in 1972 to 80 
students in 1985. Declines in the early 1980s were related to the school being closed 
because the building was assessed as hazardous; there was not enough funding for 
adequate maintenance.'^ During this time, Busby Tribal School was governed by 



106 



a five-person board elected within the portion oF the reservation located in Big 
Horn Cotmt}', the westernmost part of the reservation. Students attending Busby 
Tribal School were primarily from Busby, but a substantial proportion was bussed 
from Lame Deer. Dropout rates estimated in the late 1980s was 54%.''' In recent 
years, the school changed its name to Northern Cheyenne Tribal School to more 
accurately reflect its mission to serve the entire reservation. In 2007, enrollment 
had climbed again to about 175 students. Both Northern Cheyenne and Crow 
students attend the school. 

CoLSTRip Public School 

Colstrip grew from a small settlement to a boom town during the energy boom 
of the early 1970s, as discussed in the energ\' chapter. Twenty-rvvo miles north of 
the reservation, Colstrip is in one oi the states wealthiest school districts. It prides 
itself on an abundance of academic and athletic facilities and a wide variet)' of 
learning opportunities tor its students. Colstrip schools are governed by a six- 
member school board elected district-wide, with one board member elected from 
the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. Facult)' and staff composition in the 1980s 
included 51 teachers and staff in the high school. Only three American Indians 
worked for the school district, one as a counselor, one as the home school coordi- 
nator, and one as an elementary teacher.^ 

The budget for Colstrip High School increased from a little under a million 
dollars in 1980 to over $2.8 million in 1985 as a result of Public Law 874 (which 
authorized funding for reservation students in lieu of taxes from residents) and 
from the Johnson-O'Malley program (which provided special funding to school 
districts with Indian student enrollments)."^ When this law went into effect, the 
public school district in Colstrip admitted increasing numbers of Northern Chey- 
enne students. Colstrip's student body reflects the population of the town and 
surrounding area, which is primarily white, middle- and working-class. Liveli- 
hoods of these families include primarily mining-related work, service jobs, and 
ranching. 

In the late 1980s about a third of the students were from the Northern Chey- 
enne Reservation, primarily from Lame Deer, although there were students from 
Busby as well. Some students lived as far as 75 miles from the school. Although 
the Indian students comprised a minority of the student body, the Indian students 
at Colstrip represented the single largest concentration of Indian students in the 
three schools serving most reservation residents at that time. 

Enrollment of Indian students in the high school has typically ranged from 
28% to 38% of the total high school enrollment. Total enrollment in Colstrip 
High School declined sharply between 1982 and 1989, primarily because of the 



Contemporary Northern Cheyenne Education lo? 



end of construction on local power plants. High school enrollment was as high 
as 452 in 1985, but it decreased by more than half by 1987. Enrollment in Colstrip 
High School also was affected by the establishment oi Lame Deer High School 
in the 1990s, which drew away some Northern Cheyenne students. Enrollment 
increased again in later years. In fall 2006 enrollment in Colstrip High School was 
231, and 422 students were enrolled in the elementary schools. 

Lame Deer Public Schools 

Since 1909 the town of Lame Deer has had a public school district that served 
elementary and junior high students. In the 1940s, two buildings housed the kin- 
dergarten through 8''' grades in Lame Deer.-'' While the early schooling provided 
by the Lame Deer School District was primarily intended to assimilate students, 
Lame Deer Schools subsequently increased the focus on Northern Cheyenne his- 
tory and culture in the curriculum and hired Northern Cheyenne teachers and 
teacher aides. Northern Cheyenne members ol the school board represent com- 
munity needs and interests for the benefit ol students. 

Starting in the 1960s, the Northern Cheyenne initiated efforts to add a high 
school to the Lame Deer Public School District, pointing out the excessive bus- 
sing and the high drop out rates (42-54%) for its students who traveled to other 
high schools. "^^ Lame Deer was the only area of its size in the entire state without 
a public high school; each of the other six reservations in the state had one. Some 
rural students were bussed as far as 150 miles daily to attend classes in Colstrip, 
Hardin, Busby, or Ashland. Some students did not want to attend St. Labre Cath- 
olic School in Ashland, 23 miles from Lame Deer; Busby Tribal School, located 16 
miles from Lame Deer; or Colstrip public schools, 22 miles from Lame Deer. 

During most recent decades, the largest concentration of Northern Cheyenne 
students has attended Colstrip schools. Typically up to 30% of students enrolled 
in the Colstrip public schools have been Cheyenne. Nevertheless, the Northern 
Cheyenne dropout study report^' showed that about 42% of Cheyenne students 
dropped out ol Colstrip High School compared to only 8% of white students. 
Although students attending Colstrip High School typically had more courses to 
choose from and some services for American Indian students, they also reportedly 
experienced more prejudice and discrimination than at other local schools. Native 
Studies were not offered at Colstrip until recently. '- 

Gail Small, then a teenager, remembered what it was like to attend the high 
school in Colstrip during the boom years. "We were really treated badly as Indian 
students," she said. "They called us 'prairie niggers,' everything you can imagine. 
We had to really fight just to hold our ground."'' While Small went on to graduate 
from the University of Montana and to get a law degree Irom the University of 



108 



Oregon, the high school experience never left her memory. She founded Native 
Action in Lame Deer in 1984, and the organization later fought for the local high 
school. 

Native Action became involved after its youth organizer, Jay Wolf Black, 
surveyed young people and discovered that a high school was their number one 
priority. Native Action presented petitions signed by high school parents to the 
two county school superintendents. One of the Native Actions donors, Archie 
Alexander, a retired administrative lawyer, volunteered to be the lead attorney. 
Indian school superintendents from around the country donated their time as 
expert witnesses. The local school board, the tribal government, and the school 
superintendent worked together for the new high school, but they were opposed 
by all the neighboring school districts. Every Indian child was worth $10,000 in 
federal impact aid; the new high school threatened to take millions from the other 
schools, according to Small. Alter the new district was created. Congress allocated 
$7.3 million to build a permanent facility. '^ 

After a lengthy effort, the Montana Office ol Public Instruction approved the 
establishment of a public high school district in Lame Deer in 1994. This decision 
required Congressional approval for the federal funds to build the school. When 
the high school was built, students who had previously quit school re-enrolled to 
complete their education. "'" Having a public high school in Lame Deer now means 
that Cheyenne students no longer have to leave their community or reservation to 
receive a public education. 

Despite its successful beginning. Lame Deer High School has faced many of 
the same challenges faced by the other high schools in ensuring that students stay 
in school and graduate. Students' skepticism about schooling can be traced to the 
negative school experiences of family and community members in the boarding 
school era as well as contemporary prejudice. Sttidents in all the schools also suffer 
from poor preparation in early years, leading to frustration and failure in high 
school; distraction from schooling related to substance abuse and peer groups; 
and perceptions of the irrelevance of school credentials to getting good-paying 
jobs in the local economy.^'' Additionally, students are negatively affected by the 
high turnover levels of staff and teachers that are characteristic of schools on the 
reservation.' Such changes contribute to a lack of continuit)' in instruction in 
core subjects such as math and science that are critical for school success and col- 
lege preparation. Parents continue to worry about the lack of student motivation, 
poor school performance, and drug and alcohol use.''* 

In fact, dropout rates at Lame Deer High School have been as high as at the 
other local high schools. Lame Deer High Schools dropout rate is suggested by 
the high school completion rates reported by the Montana Office of Public In- 
struction. The completion rate at Lame Deer High School was 48% in 2003, 45% 



Contemporary Northern Cheyenne Education 109 



in 2004, and 56% in 2005. According to these figures, about the same number of 
Northern Cheyenne students drop out of Lame Deer as out of the other area high 
schools.^'' 

An alterNative high school program has helped to improve the completion 
rates at Lame Deer High School. Students now have opportunities to receive ad- 
ditional attention and individualized instruction. Additionally, special initiatives 
to improve reading, math, and science instruction at all levels have contributed to 
a greater proportion of students moving toward proficient skill levels in math and 
science, as shown by the Montana Office of Instruction reports for 2005-06. 

Nevertheless, Northern Cheyenne students still have not performed as well as 
the Cheyenne educators feel they can. One positive sign is the increasing numbers 
of high school graduates who enroll in college. This indicates that student at- 
titudes toward education are improving. In 2005, half (50%) of St. Labre students 
enrolled in college, 37% of Lame Deer High School graduates; and 35% of North- 
ern Cheyenne Tribal School students enrolled in college. Although this falls short 
of the 57% for all Montana high school graduates, the gap seems to be closing. 

Reservation Initiatives 

Educators on the reservation are involved in many programs designed to increase 
the performance of students, beginning with the very youngest and including 
older students who need supplemental instruction. Programs for middle school 
and high school students, such as Talent Search and Upward Bound, serve several 
local schools. For more than 40 years, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe has obtained 
support for Head Start centers to provide early learning experiences for pre-school 
children. The Northern Cheyenne Head Start program administers services to 3- 
5-year-old children of low-income families with a comprehensive program to meet 
their emotional, social, health, nutritional, and psychological needs. 

In addition a disability program is provided for children aged newborn to 
five years. With seven centers across the reservation. Northern Cheyenne pre- 
schoolers develop the skills that help to prepare them for school. Additionally, 
many Head Start centers incorporate Cheyenne language and culture into their 
programs. Chief Dull Knife College partners with the Northern Cheyenne Head 
Start program to help Head Start teaching staff complete an associate degree in 
early childhood education. For the last eight years, Lame Deer Public School has 
participated in GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Under- 
graduate Programs). This provides tutoring, computer access, and a wide range of 
enrichment activities during the school year and in the summer.''" 

GEAR UP also provides services to parents, such as access to computers, 
workshops, and training. GEAR UP works closely with other programs such as 



Talent Search as well as the new Upward Bound program at Chief Dull Knife 
College to help Northern Cheyenne students complete high school successfully 
and prepare for entering college. The tribal college facult\' members work closely 
with Lame Deer High School to offer courses for which students can receive credit 
following graduation and enrollment at the tribal college. Other cooperative ef- 
forts include developing a new math curriculum that can better prepare students 
for college level math. 

Lame Deer Schools coordinate with the Northern Cheyenne Boys and Girls 
Club in Lame Deer to offer a safe place for students to go after school where they 
can receive academic help as well as recreational and other learning opportunities. 
When the Boys and Girls Club of the Northern Cheyenne Nation was formed in 
1993, it was only the third Boys and Girls Club ever to be established on an Ameri- 
can Indian reservation. Its mission is to promote healthy lifest)4es and leadership 
for social, educational, vocational, cultural, and character development. 

The Boys and Girls Club occupies a 15,000 square-foot building formerly 
donated to the Northern Cheyenne Tribe by the St. Labre Indian School Associa- 
tion. The building includes a gv'mnasium, classrooms and meeting rooms, offices, 
and kitchen facilities. This is one ol two centers the club operates, one in Lame 
Deer and another in Ashland. The total membership in both clubs is 700 children. 
Lame Deer serves an average ot 100 children per day, while Ashland serves 35. 

Cheyenne children are among the most critically at-risk group in the United 
States for exposure to methamphetamine abuse. The club recently started a 
METHSmart program, which teaches the risks and consequences of tising the 
drug. In July of 2000, then-Attorney General Janet Reno visited the club in Lame 
Deer to recognize its excellence and effectiveness. She directed the Department 
of Justice to provide seed money for this and other programs like it. Educators 
on the reservation have formed an informal group to address their common con- 
cerns. The Circle of Schools includes Lame Deer Elementary and High Schools, 
Colstrip Elementary and High Schools, St. Labre Indian Elementary and High 
Schools, Northern Cheyenne Tribal Elementary and High Schools, Ashland (el- 
ementary) Public School, the GEAR-UP initiative, the Northern Cheyenne Head 
Start Program, and Chief Dull Knife College. This Circle is an outgrowth of the 
statewide P-20 movement that gained popularin' in about 2003. It was gaining 
a foothold on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation until an ill-conceived move- 
ment to establish a Northern Cheyenne Board of Regents was launched. After two 
years, the tribal council stopped this effort, and the tribal president said that any 
future efforts would be headed by Chief Dull Knife College. 

Consequently, the Circle re-fornied and has been meeting regularly at various 
venues. Chief Dull Knife College's involvement in this Circle stems from statistics 
showing the kind of students who were enrolling at Chief Dull Knife College 



Contemporary Northern Cheyenne Education 



and at other institutions of higher learning. The over-all goal of the Circle of 
Schools is to systematize educational approaches from all of the diverse schools 
w^ho serve Northern Cheyenne students and other area students who come to 
college. The Circle aims to plug the achievement gaps in all academic areas but 
especially in math, science, and communications (English). The intentions are to 
remain non-political and to focus on bettering the educational opportunities of all 
of the students on or near the reservation. 



Conclusion 

As the information presented shows, the Northern Cheyenne Nation's education 
institutions have made remarkable progress in the last several decades in trying to 
fulfill the goals and dreams of leaders like Chief Dull Knife and Dr. John Wood- 
enlegs. Today, the tribe's education department supports these improvements by 
continuing to monitor the dropout and school completion rates of Cheyenne 
students. This department also works with high school graduates to access tribal 
scholarships and other funding sources to support their college goals. 

Northern Cheyenne educators from all four local school districts and the 
tribal college communicate with one another to address issues that arise. Despite 
the continuing needs to improve academic skills at the K-12 levels and to lower 
high school dropout rates, there is also good evidence that schooling is improving 
for the Northern Cheyenne. 

The fact that Chief Dull Knife College enrollment almost doubled between 
2001 and 2005 shows that more students are looking to local schools to help them 
prepare for their futures. Now with more resources in place to support higher 
achievement, Cheyenne educators are optimistic that more Northern Cheyenne 
students will graduate from high school and will continue to enter college and 
receive college degrees than ever before.^' 



I Ted Risingsun, who was a board member tor 6 Snipp, M., (1989). American Indians: The Pint of 

Chief Dull Knife College, often quoted Chief Dull this Land. NY: Russell Sage Foundation. 



Knife's statement. 



7T. Risingsun (personal communication), 1989. 



2 John Woodenlegs was tribal president from 1955 § Rowland, F. (1994)- Tribal education: A case study 
until 1968 and had an honorary doctorate from ^f Northern Cheyenne elders. (Doctoral disserta- 
Montana State University. The library at Chief Dull ^j^^ Montana State University). Baird-Olson, K., 
Knife College is named in his honor. ^ ^^^^^ ^ (^q^^) Recovery and resistance: The 

3 Bureau of the Census. Census 2000 Summary renewal of traditional spirituality among Native 
File 3 (SF 3). American women. American Indian Culture and 

4 Ward, C, & Wilson, D. (1989). Northern Research Journal 24(4): 1-35- 

Cheyenne educational household census. Report to 9 Bryan, W. L., & Yellowtail, W P. (1985). Future 

the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Lame Deer, MT. high school education options for the Northern 

w; J 0, wri VI ,u ("L J ,■ 1 Chevenne Tribe: An education planning and 

5 Ward & Wilson, Northern Cheyenne educational • v & 

household census. ' strategy study Report prepared for the Northern 

Cheyenne Tribe. Bozeman, MT: Bureau of Indian 
Affairs, Office of Indian Education Programs, U.S. 
Department of the Interior. 



10 Bryan & Yellowtail, Future high school educa- 
tion options tor the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. 

11 Stark, M. (2005, April 10). Giving and getting 
at St. Labre School: Northern Cheyenne sue for 
share of mission's wealth. The Billings Gazette. 
Retrieved from website: http://billingsgazette. 
net/articles/2005/o4/io/state/export/20i984.txt. 

12 St. Labre Indian Mission. (2007). Keeping the 
Miracle Alive. [Brochure]. Ashland, MT. 

13 Stark, Giving and getting at St. Labre School. 

14 Stark, Giving and getting at St. Labre School. 

15 Stark, Giving and getting at St. Labre School. 

16 R. Little Bear (personal communication), Dec. 

2007. 

17 Bryan & Yellowtail, Future high school educa- 
tion options for the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. 

18 Rosenfelt, D. M. (1973, April). Indian schools 
and community control. Stanford Law Review 2^(4), 
489-550. 

19 Rosenfelt said in his report that no graduate of 
Busby was known to have completed college in its 
50 year existence. However, this is not true. Little 
Bears sister, Delores Little Bear F^art, graduated 
from the school in Busby (then called the Tongue 
River Boarding School) in 1952. She went on to 
become a registered nurse and eventually a nurse 
practitioner. Although their freshmen class at 

the Tongue River Boarding School was large, by 
graduation time there were only two left in their 
class — her and Elizabeth White Fox. Hart, D. 
(personal communication), Jan. 8, 2008. 

20 Footnotes from the original: Letter from 
Arthur L. MacDonald, Ph.D.. and William D. 
Bliss, Ph.D., to Edward M. Kennedy, Jan. 7, 
1969, in SENATE COMM. ON LABOR AND 
PUBLIC WELFARE, THE EDUCATION 
OF AMERICAN INDIANS: A COMPEN- 
DIUM OF FEDERAL BOARDING SCHOOL 
EVALUATIONS, 84S (1969). OUR BROTHER'S 
KEEPER: THE INDIAN IN WHITE AMERICA 
40 (E. Cahn ed. 1970). 

21 Footnotes from the original: Officials from 
the BIA agency on the reservation and the Area 
Office in Billings, MT, suggested that the school 
become part of the public school system, but the 
community preferred to operate the school with 
funds obtained through contract with the BIA. 
T. Risingsun, chairman of Busby School Board, 
Busby, MT (personal communication), Nov. 22, 
1971. 



11 Northern Cheyenne Follow Ihrough Program 
proposal (1980), p. 8. Submitted to the U.S. 
Department of Education. Lame Deer, MT. 

23 Crawford, J. The special case of bilingual educa- 
tion for Indian students. Education Week 6(16), 44. 

24 Bryan & Yellowtail, Future high school educa- 
tion options for the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. 

25 Bryan & Yellowtail, Future high school educa- 
tion options for the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. 

26 Ward, C. (2005). Native Americans in the school 
system: family, community, and academic achieve- 
ment. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press. 

27 Bryan & Yellowtail, Future high school educa- 
tion options for the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. 

28 Bryan & Yellowtail, Future high school educa- 
tion options for the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. 

29 Lame Deer Schools website: http://www. 
lamedeer.k12.mt.us.phtemp.com/aboutus.htm 

30 Ward, Native Americans in the school system. 

31 Ward, C. (1990). Northern Cheyenne Dropout 
Study report, 1990. 

32 Colstrip currently offers classes in Native Studies 
and teaches a Northern Cheyenne language, read- 
ing, and writing program via satellite from Chief 
Dull Knite College. 

33 Jamison, M., Getting the big picture: Gail Small, 
Northern Cheyenne Reservation. Retrieved Dec. 11, 
2007, from http://www.missoulian.com/specials/ 
northernlights/ncheyenne.html 

34 G. Small (personal communication), Dec. 21, 
2007. Native Action 20th Anniversary Report, 1^84- 
200/ (2008). Lame Deer, MT, Native Action. 

35 Clifford, A. (1993). Northern Cheyenne struggle 
for high school after 30 years. Indian Country Today 
/i(8), p. Ai. 

36 Ward, Native Americans in the school system. 

37 Ward, C. & Widdison-Jones, K., (2007). Evalua- 
tion of the Northern Cheyenne RSI program. 

38 Ward, C. & Wilson, D., (1985). Northern 
Cheyenne adult education survey. Report to Dull 
Knife Memorial College, Lame Deer, MT. 

39 http://www.opi.mt.gov/measurement/Index. 
html 

40 Lame Deer High School website: http://www. 
lamedeer.k12.mt.us.phtemp.com/GearUp.htm 

41 Ward, C. & Widdi.son-Jones, K., (2006). Title 
III Evaluation Report: 2005-06. Chief Dull Knife 
College. 



Contemporary Northern Cheyenne Education 



113 



Chief Dull Knife College 



^ 



IN 1878, Chief Dull Knife said to his Cheyenne people, "We can no longer 
live the way we used to. There is a new way of life that we are going to know. 
Let us ask for schools, that way our children can attend them and learn this 
new way of life."' 

At the time, some of his people called him "the wife of a white man," accord- 
ing to Ted Rising Sun, a charge of treason at the time. Dull Knife knew as well 
as anyone the danger of empowering the white man. Yet he also recognized that 
education was essential for his people to survive and adapt to the changing times. 
He believed in adaptation, not assimilation. However, from the 1880s until the 
1970s, the only educational options were schools designed to assimilate students 
into the mainstream. 

From the time of the first English settlements, American Indians have been 
encouraged to participate in the rituals of Western civilization. The goal has sel- 
dom been enhancing the Indian students or the well being of their tribes. Educa- 
tion based on assimilation has never worked with the Northern Cheyenne people 
and others in similar circumstances, and these policies have had a residual negative 
effect. 

When the Northern Cheyennes sent their best and brightest students away 
to attend college, many dropped out and returned. Their parents and the com- 
munity knew they were good children and smart. Why did so few graduate? There 
were many reasons. Young people on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation and 
other reservations grow up in culturally distinct communities. Despite struggles 
with poverty, substance abuse, unemployment, and political disenfranchisement, 
the Northern Cheyennes and others have retained many distinctive cultural tradi- 
tions. The students were not prepared for the hostility they often encountered 
in larger academic institutions — school officials and classmates who believed in 
stereotypes of American Indians as "dirty," "lazy," "drunk," and "dumb." 



"5 




Student of the Year, 21 m is - 2006 

Mariah Maxwell was selected to be the college's American Indian College Fund Student of the Year 
for the 2005-2006 academic year. Maxwell is a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. It was a 
struggle for her to attend college because she has six small children, but because of her determination 
and dedication to her studies, Maxwell was on the CDKC President's List three times. She was a 
member of the American Indian Business Leaders Club for two years, including one year as president. 
She graduated from Chief Dull Knife College in 2006 and went to Montana State University-Billings. 
After she receives her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education, she plans to get her Master's Degree 
in Administration. (Photo by Kathleen Beartusk) 



116 




Student oi the Year, 2006-2007 

Chief Dull Knife College selected Tommy B. Robinson to be the American Indian College Fund 
Student of the Yeat for the 2006-2007 academic year. Robinson is an enrolled member of the Crow- 
Tribe, but he is part Northern Cheyenne and has lived on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation all his 
life. When he was in high school, he took out a loan that was just for the youth and started his own 
business raising cattle. While attending Chief Dull Knife College, he was the student senate president 
for one year and a member of the American Indian Science and Engineering Societ)' (AISES) Chapter. 
He made the CDKC President's List four times and the National Dean's List two times. Robinson 
graduated from Chief Dull Knife College in 2007 and went to Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK. 
He is majoring in biology with a concentration on health professions. After graduating from Oral 
Roberts Universit)', he plans to attend the University of Montana and get his Doctorate Degree in 
Physical Therapy. (Photo by Kathleen Beartusk) 



Chief Dull Knife College 



117 



Unlike many of their relatively care-free classmates, the college students from 
the reservations often were responsible for children of their own or for caring 
for elderly family members. The nearest community colleges and four-year in- 
stitutions were at least no miles from their extended family and cultural support 
systems on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. 

Nor were they prepared for the academic rigor they encountered at the 
larger academic institutions. Colleges and universities across the country struggle 
with high school graduates who are under prepared for college work." Northern 
Cheyenne students also lack American Indian role models and sometimes face 
under-prepared and/or unqualified K-12 teachers, inadequate school materials and 
equipment, and apathetic parental attitudes toward education. 

It therefore became obvious to a group of American Indian educators that 
a successful educational program must create higher education institutions that 
could provide learning experiences related to the students, their culture, and their 
environment. In 1968 the first tribal college opened its doors on the Navajo Res- 
ervation in the Southwest. This group of educators promoted the idea of creating 
colleges on their own reservations, and although initially opposed by the Bureau 
of Indian Affairs (BIA), the tribal colleges and universities movement was born 
and continues to thrive today. As word spread across the Northern Plains, tribes 
started colleges in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana. 

History of the College 

Chief Dull Knife College, originally known as Dull Knife Memorial College, began 
as a vocational training program, housed in Army tents, in Ashland, MT, in 1972. 
The original curriculum reflected the West's coal boom during the 1970s — train- 
ing Northern Cheyennes for mining and construction jobs as well as forestry. 

The program continued to operate out of make-shift facilities until 1975, 
when the Northern Cheyenne Tribe received funding from the Indian Technical 
Assistance Center of the Bureau of Indian Affairs for construction and operation 
of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Action Program, Inc. 

The tribe chartered the Indian Action Program in September 1975 by Tribal 
Ordinance 5(76). Tribal leaders, program staff, and the board of trustees soon rec- 
ognized the need for additional vocational programs, as well as general education 
and liberal arts. The first academic courses were offered in the winter of 1978 as a 
satellite campus of Miles Community College. 

During that quarter, a naming contest for the new tribal college was held, and 
Tim Wilson, a member of the Northern Cheyenne tribe who ultimately became 
a medical doctor, submitted the name Dull Knife Memorial College. Northern 
Cheyenne Tribal Council Ordinance 5(79) subsequently changed the name and 
authorized the college to award degrees. Although the academic curriculum from 



118 



1978-1979 was limited, the vocational curriculum grew to include wastewater dis- 
posal and surveying. The relationship with Miles Communit)' College continued 
through Fall Quarter 1979, when Dull Knife Memorial College was given accredi- 
tation candidacy status b)' the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. 

From 1979 to 1984, the college expanded its curricular offerings and also of- 
fered a wide variet)' of student activities including Region IX intercollegiate men 
and women's basketball teams. In 1985, Northern Cheyenne Tribal Council Or- 
dinance 8(85) chartered Dull Knife Memorial College, granting autonomy to the 
college and revising the charter to provide for an elected rather than an appointed 
board. To extend the benefits ol a tribally controlled college to other reservations 
in the state, the Northern Cheyenne college became the sponsoring institution for 
both Fort Belknap College and Stone Child College. The Northwest Commission 
on Colleges and Universities granted [ull accreditation to Chiel Dull Knife Col- 
lege in 1995. 

In 2001, the name of the college was changed to Chief Dull Knife College 
(CDKC) to emphasize the importance of Dull Knife as a chief of the Northern 
Cheyenne people. (Dull Knife is a Sioux name, but among the Northern Chey- 
enne, he is known as Vooheheva or Morning Star.) 

In 2007 Chief Dull Knife College was one of 36 tribal colleges and universi- 
ties in the United States, including seven within Montana — the most in any state. 
The curriculum has expanded to provide the Northern Cheyenne people and their 
neighbors with access to a variety of programs leading to the degrees of Associate 
of Arts, Associate of Applied Science, and certificates in several skill areas. 

The two-year institution is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Col- 
leges and Universities. It is a communit)'-based, tribally controlled college and 
land-grant institution. Its open-admission policy provides a standing invitation to 
Cheyennes and their neighbors in the region into the world of career and liberal 
arts education. 

Goals of the college include the following: 

1. To be financially stable and self-sufficient. 

2. To provide educational resources and experiences to assist community 
members in acquiring improved skills for work and life. 

3. To maintain an accredited institution of higher education on the Northern 
Cheyenne Indian Reservation capable of providing college transfer programs and 
vocational skills training to increase the educational level and meet the training 
needs of the sttidents and the community. 

4. To provide effective support services to students that will facilitate their 
successful completion of programs offered by the college. 

5. To provide a language program to preserve, teach, research and support 
traditional Cheyenne culture, language, and history. 



Chief Dull Knife College "9 



Cultural Mission 

Throughout its more than 30-year history, the college has provided a cultural 
foundation ior its students while also helping them prepare for a changing world. 
Almost 42% of the reservation's people were under the age of 18, and another 50% 
were between the ages of 18 and 64 in the 2000 Census. 'With this high propor- 
tion of young people, it follows that young Northern Cheyenne can find fewer 
and fewer elders, who are the keepers of Cheyenne knowledge, to learn from. 

Research on the reservation has shown that knowledge of the Cheyenne ways 
is correlated with educational success. "* The students must learn about their cul- 
ture and their history not just to keep that knowledge alive. It also gives students 
the foundation they need to succeed in other endeavors. They have to know who 
they are and from where they came. 

There is a healthy need in Indian country to "save" traditional American 
Indian cultures as an abstract, theoretical, and practical "good." After a century 
of military conquest, economic disenfranchisement, and political isolation, tribes 
need their traditional culture to be an active and critically important part of com- 
munity survival in education, economic development, and social integrity. This, 
in turn, contributes to the community's ability to build a sustainable society. 

The college fulfills its cultural mission in many ways. Like other tribal colleg- 
es, CDKC maintains a cultural heritage center (the Florence Whiteman Cultural 
Center) that sponsors programs in Cheyenne language, history, and culture from 
the Cheyenne perspective.^ Programs from this center sponsor language immer- 
sion camps and Native American Week every September. Community members 
participate with tribal college students and staff in a variety of activities, such as a 
bow and arrow shoot; a tipi-raising class and contest; a "handgame" tournament; 
and cultural mini-courses that demonstrate cutting dry meat, making frybread, 
and flint-knapping arrowheads. The college also certifies Cheyenne language 
teachers, as discussed in the language chapter of this book. 

In 2007, student Roman Fisher, 28, talked to a magazine reporter about the 
importance of Chief Dull Knife College. Fisher is an eighth generation traditional 
singer and drummer. His family taught him songs, and he hopes to pass these 
traditions on to others: 

There are so many Native Americans who think that high school is the last 

days of their education, and they go on to drink alcohol and do drugs The 

reason why I'm here is a lot high school students are raised on MTV or TV and 
becoming acculturated just by watching all that rap. They are starting to lose 
focus of their own ways like singing, traditional dancing, and the language. I 
have younger cousins who speak kind of Black, like how they do on TV. That's 
pretty weird to me growing up in a traditional family." 

The Cheyenne have encountered so much oppression. It's hard to get back 



to where we were. The people my age need to get back to that way of thinking, 
that knowledge of our traditional ways. That's important because there are so 
many tribes that have lost their way of life, their language, their land, and their 
identities. They are being acculturated into the modern ways.'' 

Tribal colleges, such as CDKC, were originally established to provide edu- 
cational programs in a culturally appropriate environment for students such as 
Fisher and for others who may not know as much about their origins. However, it 
has been difficult for the colleges to find funds for cultural programs. The funding 
formulas for tribal colleges ordinarily support only the most bare-bones student 
services and instruction. Tribal colleges can support activities directly related to 
only the most elementary functions of the institution, such as teaching mathemat- 
ics or English and keeping student records. 

Thus cultural projects, which formed the rationale for establishing tribal col- 
leges, often go unfunded. For example, CDKC in recent years had to reassign the 
Dean of Cultural Affairs position as part of the duties of the present president of 
the college. CDKC has received some funding in the cultural area, getting a grant 
from the Administration for Native Americans to teach fluent Cheyenne speak- 
ers to read, write, and develop Cheyenne language curriculum. The center also 
received funding from the state of Montana under the Office of the Governor's 
Tribal Histories and Equipment Initiative, an initiative that made this history 
book possible. 

Serving Community Needs 

It has been said that tribal colleges and universities are imder-fimded miracles. 
CDKC definitely fits that description. Despite financial limitations and the chal- 
lenges of serving this communit)', it has succeeded in increasing student enroll- 
ment, increasing student retention, increasing numbers of students realizing their 
educational goals, and expanding programs and services to the community. 

CDKC, like other schools on the reservation, must address the needs of a 
community characterized by persistent low educational achievement, povert}', un- 
employment, and underemployment across several generations. The tribal college 
was created to serve the Northern Cheyenne people, but it also serves students 
from surroimding communities, many of whom share the obstacles that the In- 
dian students face. Of the 300 students each academic year, approximately 85% of 
these students are American Indian; 70% are female; and a significant number of 
the students are either heads of households or are un-married, primary caregivers 
to young children. In addition, 90% of entering students are low-income, and 
80% are first generation college students.*^ Some of the students have disabilities. 

When one considers the social milieu that they were raised in, it is not sur- 



Chiej Dull Knife College 



prising that 90% of- the students are eHgible for federal student financial aid as- 
sistance, and 80% are fully eligible for Pell Grants. According to the 2000 census, 
nearly 50% of Cheyenne families live under the poverty level, and unemployment 
fluctuated from 60-85% because jobs are scarce and often seasonal on the North- 
ern Cheyenne Reservation.'' Clearly, without the opportunity to attend Chief Dull 
Knife College, most of these students would not have had the opportunity to 
pursue and realize their post-secondary educational goals. 

In 2007, one student described the importance of the tribal college to expand 
his circle of support to succeed. Perry Big Left Hand, 28, left the reservation to 
join the Army. He came back after six years of active duty and two tours in Iraq 
with a traiunatic brain injury. "When I was away in the Army, people asked me 




Cliief Dull Knite College serves the Northern C,he\eniie eomiiiunity and their neighbors, providing 
a foundation in the tribe's history and traditions while preparing students for the future. Pictured are 
(left to right) John J. Wooden Legs, president of the board of directors and Vietnam veteran; Ronelle 
Renee Beartusk, a student and a sixth generation descendant of Chief Dull Knife; and Sgt. Perry Big 
Lett Hand, .1 student who served for six years in the L'.S. Army. (Photo b\- Kathleen Beartusk) 



where I was from, and I would tell them Lame Deer, MT. They would ask me 
what kind oi hidian I was, and I would tell them I was Northern Cheyenne. 
Having a strong identity is important because it gives people something to look 
forward to. It helps prove people wrong about a certain identity, whether that is 
American Indian or whether someone is disabled," he said. 

Some people told him he wouldn't be able to do much alter his brain in- 
jury, but he was determined. Attending Chief Dull Knife College helps him be 
more active in his tribal culture and learn more about the history of his people. 
"People should be proud to be Northern Cheyenne. It defines my identity, being 
a survivor. I can help other people and show them what I did to overcome such 
obstacles.""' 

Nearly 60% of all Chiel Dull Knile College's graduates transition to a tour- 
year college or university. To make it possible for these students to continue their 
studies, the college has established and maintains articulation agreements with in- 
stitutions within the Montana University System that facilitate "seamless" transfer 
and acceptance of all credits and degrees earned at CDKC. 

The college also makes it possible for community members to earn bachelor's 
and master's degrees on-line primarily from Rocky Mountain College, a private 
four-year college located in Billings. In 2007, the college also had three staff 
members enrolled in an on-line MBA program through Gonzaga University. For 
the most part, students taking these degree completion courses were community 
members working within a local school system or tribal program. However, three 
CDKC stafi members completed bachelor's degrees and one a master's degree 
through the Rocky Mountain College on-line program. In 2007 an employee 
at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, two employees at St. Labre Indian School, the 
CDKC Student Activities Director, and one Northern Cheyenne Headstart em- 
ployee were enrolled in advanced courses. 

Student Success 

CDKC is changing the poverty and unemployment levels, one graduate at a time. 
The graduates have been employed in a wide range of both general labor and 
professional positions. Many of the vocational students in the areas of carpentry, 
welding, heavy equipment operation, and secretarial science held positions both 
on and off the reservation. Most vocational graduates were employed with the 
Montana Power Company (PPL Montana) and had maintained that employment 
for over 20 years. They worked as utility men, plant apprentices, boilermakers, and 
office personnel with PPL. In 2007, one female graduate was the administrative as- 
sistant to the company president and therefore involved with management, while 
another was involved with the company's personnel department. Other vocational 



Chief Dull Knife College i ^3 



graduates had started their own construction businesses, found employment with 
tribal agencies such as Northern Cheyenne Housing Authority and Northern 
Cheyenne Utilities, or returned to college to pursue a transfer curriculum. 

Graduates of the Associate in Arts degree programs had also found employ- 
ment in a wide range of positions. The immediate past academic dean at CDKC 
(Judith Davis) was a graduate of the college after completing her bachelor's degree 
and master's degree and returning to the college. A student who graduated with an 
emphasis in business (Jerry Fozzard) started his own international medical place- 
ment service headquartered in Illinois and provides placement opportunities for 
doctors and nurses throughout the world. 

Other associate degree graduates went on to complete teaching and/or coun- 
seling degrees (Janice Breyer, Jewel Davenport, Robert Shotgunn, AJvera Cook, 
John Currier) and were employed in local school systems both on and off the 
reservation. In 2007, the president of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe (Eugene Little 
Coyote) was also a graduate of Chief Dull Knife College as were several tribal 
employees. The college recruited several of its own graduates who went on to 
complete bachelor's and master's degrees (Michelle Spang, Rae Peppers, Verda 
King, Debra Reed, Michelle Curlee). 

The dean of students at the college (Zane Spang) in 2007 was a CDKC 
graduate as were the Upward Board Program director (Evelyn Roundstone) and 
counselor (Delores Shoulderblade) and the college's bookstore director (Michelle 
Threefingers). CDKC alumni also filled part-time faculty, secretarial positions, 
administrative assistant positions, maintenance positions, and various student 
activity positions at the college. 

The success of these graduates resulted from several CDKC initiatives, as well 
as their own hard work. CDKC expanded its science curriculum to include the 
courses needed by students who would like to pursue science and technology or 
health fields as majors in their bachelor's and graduate degrees. 

The tribal college increased the number and range of opportunities for col- 
lege students to participate in internships that helped prepare them for successful 
transitions to four-year programs. Over the last several years more than two dozen 
students participated in internships either on the CDKC campus in science, math, 
and technology, or on the campuses of the University of Montana in Missoula and 
Montana State University-Bozeman. These experiences helped students feel bet- 
ter prepared to pursue bachelor's and gradtiate degrees alter they graduate from 
CDKC." 

CDKC was a major participant in the National Science Foundation's Tribal 
College University Partnership (TCUP), through which it enhanced math and 
science teaching through innovative pedagogy and rigorous evaluation. It devel- 
oped and expanded science programs with a grant from the National Science 



124 




Dr. Alonzo Spang graduated from Colstrip High School in 1953 as class valedictorian. He went on to 
earn a doctorate in education and became the first American Indian (and Northern Cheyenne) agency 
superintendent of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. After a distinguished career with the BIA, 
Spang became president of Dull Knife Memorial College in 1994. (Photo by Kathleen Beartusk) 



Foundations Rural Systemic Initiative (RSI) program. It developed innovative 
and effective techniques in learning skills and established learning labs to assist 
students with self-paced software programs in math courses. 

The USDA Extension program at the college expanded it services to the res- 
ervation community and offered a variety of financial workshops, tax preparation, 
and nutrition programs designed to target community needs. 

The tribal college has stretched the horizons oi reservation residents, some of 
whom never previously considered a trip outside of Montana. At the same time, 
cultural exchanges and internships may have helped dispel stereotypes by everyone 
involved. For example, three faculty members and several students participated in 



Chief Dull Knife College 



125 



cultural exchanges in Mali over three years. In Africa, they worked with farmers 
and Peace Corps volunteers to deliver Integrated Pest Management information, 
helping Malian farmers learn about how to combat the cowpea pest problem. '- 

CDKC students successfully interned at Brown University, the University of 
Montana^ and Montana State University in "Bridges" programs. Although most 
of these internships were science related, it gave participating students an oppor- 
tunity to experience other cultures and communities. 

Work With Other Schools 

The drop-out rates on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation are high and the col- 
lege preparation is poor, as discussed in the preceding chapter. Therefore, CDKC 
has felt compelled to help improve schooling lor Northern Cheyenne students 
by coordinating with and supporting pre-K-12 schools that serve the Northern 
Cheyenne Reservation. As mentioned in an earlier chapter, this has included 
working closely with Lame Deer High School to offer college level courses for 
students planning to enroll at CDKC. Other initiatives include providing math 
and science instruction and technical assistance to math and science teachers at 
the elementary and middle school levels. 

CDKC received support from the National Science Foundation through 
its Rural Systemic Initiative (RSI) to develop math and science courses for lo- 
cal teachers that helped them master the material they needed to improve their 
classroom instruction. This project, which was very successful in attracting teach- 
ers from all ol the local schools, contributed to improvements in math and sci- 
ence skill levels among Northern Cheyenne students. Another National Science 
Foundation project, funded though the Tribal College and University Partnership 
(TCUP) program, provided the resources to improve CDKC curriculum in both 
math and science. In 2007, the positive impact of this project was starting to show 
in students' increased success and higher performance in math and science.'' 

With the experience gained in these programs, CDKC began reaching out 
to the Lame Deer High School, where many CDKC students graduated, to work 
on improving math and science preparation at the secondary levels. This effort 
was also coordinating with the new Upward Bound program that CDKC was 
awarded in 2007, which serves students at St. Labre Indian School, Lame Deer 
High School, and Northern Cheyenne Tribal School. 

Limits on Facilities and Staffing 

When the U.S. Congress enacted the Tribal College or University Assistance Act 
in 1978, it authorized $5,820 per pupil to serve as the baseline institutional funding 



126 



at each college. This amount has never been appropriated, however. The tribal col- 
leges have had to operate with as little as $2,800 per ISC (Indian Student Count), 
up more recently to $4,200 per ISC, tar below actual costs per student.''* 

This federal funding is based upon the number of Indian students at each 
tribal college. About 15% of the CDKC students are not covered by the federal 
funding. In Montana, the state provides some funds to the tribal colleges for edu- 
cating such non-Indian students, who are referred to as non-beneficiary students. 
Each year the presidents of the seven Montana tribal colleges have to implore the 
appropriate state legislative committee to appropriate funding for these students. 
Even when the Montana Legislature approves funding, it is typically only $1,500 
per student. This means that CDKC supplements the state of Montana approxi- 
mately $4,000 per non-beneficiary student yearly. 

In short, Chief Dull Knife College must depend largely upon special funding 
to launch new academic programs or services. CDKC has demonstrated steady 
but meager growth over the vears in a fiscal sense, but it has not kept up with 
the expanding student population. Between 2002 and 2007, CDKC increased 
its student headcount by 10% per year and the full-time student enrollment by 
20% each year. The lack of funding for staff has severely limited the college's 
ability to provide essential programs. With more students, the college needs addi- 
tional classrooms, library and archival space, laboratories, and student recreational 
facilities. 

In order to sustain the most basic operations required to meet accreditation 
standards and institutional effectiveness, the college had to cut two faculty posi- 
tions, the dean of cultural affairs, finance manager, an archivist within the library 
and culture studies area, three facility maintenance positions, and the institutional 
development position. With these necessary reductions in staff, the remaining 
staff had to assume additional responsibilities, making it impossible for the college 
to add programs and services with existing staff. The success being realized with 
increased student enrollment and the identified need for expanded programs and 
services has seriously been impacted by reductions in funding. 

Like most tribal colleges, Chief Dull Knife College was born in meager facili- 
ties — Army tents in Ashland, MT, and operated there for three years until a small 
building (12,000 square feet) was built in Lame Deer using funding from the 
Indian Technical Assistance Center of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The original 
facility was constructed primarily for vocational training purposes. In subsequent 
years, construction grants from the National Science Foundation, USDA, and 
the American Indian College Fund/Lily Foundation have allowed the college to 
remodel the facility. It currently houses laboratories and classrooms for science, 
math, computer science, agriculture, and secretarial science courses, as well as the 
college's extension program. The facilities heating system was also converted from 



Chief Dull Knife College 1^7 



coal-fired boilers co propane heat. While an electrical retrofit was completed as 
well, expanded technolog}' in the classrooms and labs created additional electrical 
complications. 

In I9''9, the college acquired a tacilirv tor the college library; it was originally 
constructed tor the tribal commodit}' distribution program, and building trades 
students remodeled it. An adjacent building, built to house an inpatient drug and 
alcohol program, was giyen to the college in 1980. With the assistance ot renoya- 
tion grants, the colleges building trades students remodeled the facilirw which 
houses tour classrooms, taculn" and stati otifices, the college cafeteria, bookstore, a 
student learning lab, and the college administration offices. Many students haye 
children. The college remodeled an old BIA mechanical shop to make a day care 
center. Later it was conyerted to a student actiyit)' center. 

Untortunately, these remodeled buildings were not originally created as col- 
lege tacilities so their designs are less than ideal, and they are not energ\- efficient. 
Records indicate an ayerage of 390 hours ot instructional use per year in a tacilin^ 
designed tor 2~o hours. The largest room on campus tor classes and/or community' 
meetings is 1,200 square feet, which preyents the college from hosting workshops, 
seminars, classes, and meetings tor more than 60 people. 

By working creatiyely with many different agencies and nonprofit organiza- 
tions, CDKC has been able to build some new tacilities on campus and make some 
older ones more efficient. The new buildings are the Early Childhood Learning 
Center funded by HUD and USDA, the adult education/literao" center funded 
by the Lily Foundation and USDA, the yocational skills center tunded hv L'SDA, 
the Florence Whiteman Culture Center funded by the Lily Foundation, and a 
recently completed yisiting lecturer center funded by USDA. 

.■Vll of these tacilities were designed and constructed utilizing sustainable 
green-build technolog^• in cooperation with the American Indian Housing Ini- 
tiatiye. This is a national collaboration in public scholarship joining Penn State 
Uniyersit)-, the Uniyersit}' ot \\ ashington, the Uniyersit}- of Wisconsin, and Chief 
Dull Knife College. The initiatiye demonstrates green building technologies and 
sustainable deyelopment strategies. The straw-bale buildings haye resulted in low- 
ered utility- costs to the college. 

Xeyertheless, as CDKC grows, it will need additional land tor the campus 
and construction funds. The most immediate needs are for a new classroom/office 
complex, a student multipurpose center, a new library, and a new maintenance 
tacilirw 

Conclusion 

Chief Dull Knife College and other tribal colleges and uniyersities proyide a cul- 
tural education as well as a more standard academic education to .American Indian 



128 



students. Through education, the Cheyennes can adapt to the changing world, as 
Chief Dull Knife wanted them to do. They can continue to develop their local 
economy and tribal government and preser\'e Indian rights to land and resources. 
\\ ith their cultural education, the students can help to revitalize their language 
and culture. Knowing more about who they are and where they come from forti- 
fies the students tor their roles in modern socierv", whether they continue their 
studies at other universities, take positions in the private or public sector, or create 
their own businesses. 

^As student Roman Fisher told the Tribal College Journal: "A lot of people 
mv age are just now beginning to understand that we are losing our culture and 
language. Having our own histor\\ our own secrets, our own songs, stories of how 
we came to be — that s \\\\zi separates us from the rest of the world because we 
kno\\' where \\ e come from. 



I T. Risingsun was a board member for the tribal 
college who often quoted Chief Dull Knife's 
statement. 

1 .\lliance for Excelleni Education. (2006). Paying 
doubU: Inadequate hi^ scfroob and community 
college remediation. Washington, DC: AlUance for 
Excellent Education. 2006. Retrie\'ed December 
200- hom http://wn-w.aU4ed.org/files/archi\-e/pub- 
lications/remediation.pdt 

3 Bureau of the Census. Census 2000 Summai}' 
File 3 (SF 3). 

4 Ward, C. J. (2005). SaniY .Afnencans in the school 
system: Family community aitd academic achieve- 
ment. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press. 

5 Simonelli. R. (2003). Keeping it alrve: Centers 
contribute to cultural renaissance on college cam- 
puses. Tribal College Journal iy{z). Winter 2003. 

6 Btaun. J. (200S1. Whats in a name? Tribal 
colleges nourish students" cultural idenrii\'. Tribal 
College Journal 19^^, Spring 2008. 

- Houser, S. (1991). Underfunded miracles: 
Tribal colleges. Washington. DC: Department of 
Educarion Indian Nations at Risk Task Force, 1991. 
A\-ailable online in fiill text from ERIC 545772 
http://www.eric.ed.gov 



8 Enrollment, student financial aid, matriculation, 
and retention data from Chief Dull Knife College 
files. 

9 Bureau of the Census. Census 2000 Suminar>' 
File 3 ( SF 3). 

10 Braun (2008). 

u Ward. C. & Widdison-Jones, K. (2006). Title 
in Evaluation Report: 200^-06. Report to CDKC. 

12 CDKC research teaches from Mali to Lame 
Deer. Tribal College Journal i(f(2). Winter 2004. 

13 .Madsen, B., Hodgson, T, & Ward, C. {2006). 
Pathways to success in pre-college mathematics. 
Tribal College Journal 18(2), Wmier 2006. 

14 Tribal colleges: An ititroduction. Alexandria, VA: 
American Indian Higjier Education Consortium, 
n.d- available at http://w\»^w.aihec.org/documents/ 
Research/intro.pdf 



Chief Dull Knife College 



lis 



Energy Development on the 
Northern Cheyenne Reservation 

We can no longer live the way we used to. There is a new way of hfe that we 
are going to know. 

Chief Dull Knife, 
1878' 



LITTLE DID Chief Dull Knife know in 1878 what that "new way of life" 
would be like for his people. Less than a century later, the Northern Chey- 
ennes, who had lived for centuries as part of the land and as stewards of 
Mother Earth, would be asked to rip their Mother apart to mine coal. And if they 
wouldn't, others — -newcomers to Cheyenne country — would. 

In the early 1920s the Northern Pacific Railroad was looking for land in 
eastern Montana. Its mine at Red Lodge was not producing enough coal to fuel 
railroad s locomotives. More than that, the men who mined the coal had become 
increasingly prone to strike. Geological surveys of the Rosebud country in 1913 
and 1915 had found a significant field of sub-bituminous coal. After some corpo- 
rate soul searching, the railroad decided to shih its coal-supply production facility 
from Red Lodge to a new coal camp called Colstrip in 1923.- (It should have been 
"Coalstrip," but an error in the Post Office's administration in Washington left the 
tiny village with its name misspelled forever. ') No one could have predicted at the 
time the impact that the discovery of coal and its development at Colstrip would 
have on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, 20 miles away. 

Northern Pacific hired a construction contractor, Foley Brothers of Minne- 
sota, to operate its new coal mine. They originally planned to use steam shovels to 
remove the "overburden" (the layer of earth above the seams of coal) and scoop out 
the coal. An enormous amount of reasonably clean water would have been needed 
to make the steam for the shovels, and the Foley engineers quickly learned that 
the water in the Colstrip area was heavily alkaline, which would have seriously 
corroded the expensive machinery. The only alternative lay in electric power.'' 

It just so happened that in 1924 a utility company in Montana was avail- 
able to provide that electric power to the Colstrip coal mining camp. It was the 
Montana Power Company. The Montana Power Company grew out of a great 



131 



dish of corporate spaghetti cooked up during the beginning of the 20th century. 
Big business in Montana grew under the direction of John D. Ryan, whose ap- 
titude for business aUies and mineral alloys alike brought the properties of the 
old copper kings together as the Anaconda Copper Mining Company in 1915. At 
one time this collection of businesses owned all but one of the state's newspapers 
and accounted for three-fourths of Montana's payroll. Some authors said that a 
significant portion of their money went to the state's legislature.^ 

To Anaconda, Ryan added the Montana Power Company in 191 2. Collec- 
tively called simply The Company, the Anaconda Copper Mining Company and 
the Montana Power Company ruled the region. Anaconda owed its success partly 
to Ryan's vision of a technologically cutting-edge mining operation, which in the 
early 20th century meant the electrification of its mines.'' 

In 1924, Montana Power built a 100-mile transmission line from Billings to 
Colstrip, enabling Foley Brothers to open its first pit with what was at the time the 
largest mechanical shovel ever built. Colstrip became the first open-pit coal mine 
in the United States to be completely electrified.^ 

Energy development brought a few opportunities to the Northern Cheyennes 
from the 1920s through the '50s, but it also brought problems. A few Cheyennes 
worked occasionally in the Foley mines in Colstrip, where they camped during 
the work week near cliffs inhabited by a spirit they called the Yellow Painted Man. 
The Yellow Painted Man visited them in their camp, providing them with spiritual 
comfort while they worked almost as migrants 20 miles from their home. When 
the cliffs crumbled before the rugged power of a dragline, the Yellow Painted 
Man vanished with them. No Cheyenne has seen him since, and afterward the 
Cheyennes refused to work for the Foleys.^ 

Wallowing Bull v. Termination 

In the 1940s, energy companies realized that the Northern Cheyenne Reservation 
had some of the region's richest fossil fuel resources. In 1948, two energy promot- 
ers, Martin Naddy and A.E. Beeler, convinced Tribal President John Russell that if 
the tribe were to petition the Secretary of the Interior to terminate (end its status 
as a federally-recognized Indian tribe), there would be a hefty payment to every 
Cheyenne man, woman, and child on the reservation. They said that the potential 
oil revenues would make the Northern Cheyenne people rich.'' 

The tribal government was young and inexperienced, having been created in 
its modern form only 13 years earlier under the federal Indian Reorganization Act. 
The coimcil passed a resolution requesting termination, which, fortunately, was 
denied by the Secretary of the Interior. The next tribal chairman, Rufus Wallowing 
Bull understood that termination would mean the loss the Cheyennes' homeland 



132 



and dissolution oi the Cheyenne as a tribe. Their cukure might crumble like the 
cliffs inhabited by Yellow Painted Man. Wallowing Bull convinced his fellow tribal 
members that survival lay in the strength, not the dissolution, of the tribe. 

The Cheyennes were lucky. If the Russell's administration had petitioned for 
termination in the 1950s instead oi the 1940s, the Interior Secretary would have 
accepted their decision. By then, termination was the federal policy. In particular, 
Congress targeted the resource-rich tribes for termination. Indeed many tribes 
became destitute after losing their tribal status.'" 

However, the people elected Rufus Wallowing Bull in 1948, and he served 
until 1952. The writer Mari Sandoz once remarked that someday the Cheyennes 
would put up a statue of^ Rulus Wallowing Bull in Lame Deer." Historian Richard 
Drinnon called Wallowing Bull a "tribal patriot. "'- 

Race and Energy 

In the coal town oi Colstrip, racism was as bad or worse than in other reservation 
border towns. Aside from the handful of Cheyenne miners who worked there lor a 
few years, the coal camp had only a few Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) employees, 
and some Cheyenne children attended Colstrip High School. Dr. AJonzo Spang 
graduated from Colstrip High School in 1953 as class valedictorian. Spang went 
on to earn a doctorate in education and became the first Indian (and Northern 
Cheyenne) agency superintendent oi the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. After a 
distinguished career with the BIA, Spang became president of Dull Knife Memo- 
rial College (now known as Chief Dull Knife College) in 1994. 

Spang graduated from high school a year ahead of local rancher Wally McRae, 
who doesn't remember racism being a problem. "When I went to school," remem- 
bers McRae, "roughly half of the graduates came from the reservation. The other 
half came from Colstrip. I was in the middle. I didn't come from either place. But 
there were not two factions. There was a cohesive community spanning between 
Lame Deer and Colstrip that held us together."" 

Racial, cultural, economic, and community divisions often act with subtlety, 
not always with the glare of ethnic slurs, but with different, almost whispered, 
feelings on both sides. Wholly different Colstrips emerge from each. "One of the 
good things about being a youngster," explained Spang, "is that you don't know 
that you're being discriminated against, so it doesn't hurt your psyche right then. 
After, you reflect on things. 

"For instance, I was never invited to a home. My brother and I and others, 
we were never invited to homes over there, but other non-Indian students were 
invited to their homes in Colstrip. People really didn't acknowledge you. We were 
the darlings on the football field or on the basketball court or on the baseball 



Energy Development on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation I33 




134 



diamond, but once diat final whisde blew, all that evaporated, and I was just another 
Cheyenne from the reservation."'* 

He certainly seemed to have been popular with his fellow students. Spang's 
high school classmates elected him as their delegate to Montana's Boys' State. 
When the principal submitted his name to the Women's Club, he was rejected. Go 
back and get another candidate, they told the principal. Another election — this 
time Spang won by a wider margin. The Women's Club relented and allowed 
Spang to go to Boys' State, so long as a non-Indian student would accompany 
him as a co-delegate.'"' Yet whatever new challenges the coal camp brought to the 
Northern Cheyennes, they were paltry compared to what happened next. 

Cheyenne Coal Leases 

In 1974, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) declared 
an oil embargo against the United States. The "energy crisis" oi the 1970s set in 
motion a frenzy of activity by states and corporate interests eager to find new 
sources of fuel. One of these new sources was coal. In 1976, Montana historian K. 
Ross Toole called the Northern Cheyenne "the most important Indian tribe in this 
country.""' He described them as having taken "a page from the Shah of Iran" and 
quoted the tribal attorney calling the Cheyennes "the American Arabs. "'^ 

In late 1965, a consulting geologist made inquiries to the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs (BIA) superintendent of the Northern Cheyenne agency about obtaining 
a permit to explore the reservation for coal. The superintendent, charged with 
developing income-producing opportunities for the tribal government and indi- 
vidual Cheyennes, "responded enthusiastically."'** More than half the people on the 
reservation were unemployed, and the average per capita income was $1,152 — less 
than half the Montana average. He was overruled by the BIA Billings Area Office, 
which said that bureau regulations required competitive bidding. 

For the first two months of 1966, area and agency BIA officials pieced together 
a public coal permit sale. They persuaded the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Council 
that the sale was in the tribe's best interests.''^ In three permit sales (1966, 1969, and 
1971), the BIA departed from normal Department of the Interior regulations and 
allowed bidders to claim embarrassingly large parcels of land. The BIA permits 
included no environmental safeguards.'" 

By the end of the third coal lease sale, over 56% of the reservation had been 
leased to energy companies and speculators. BIA Area Director James Cannon 
initiated the coal sales partly in response to the extreme poverty of the Northern 
Cheyenne Reservation.-' When Peabody Coal Company bid 12 cents an acre for 
exploration rights, the BIA considered it a "very good" offer. Naively, BIA consid- 
ered Cheyenne coal a "white elephant" and wanted to make it as attractive as pos- 



Energy Develop)nent on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation I35 



sible to industry. Only later did BIA realize that similar coal already had received 
bids of $i6 to Sioo an acre — lOO to looo times higher than Peabody's bid."' 

Gradually tribal members became more aware of these coal contracts and 
their ramifications. Activists arranged for a busload of tribal members to travel to 
the Southwest to see for themselves what strip mines looked like and to talk with 
the Navajo people impacted by them. Cheyenne allottees (people who owned 
reservation land individually) became upset about exploratory drilling on their 
lands and on Indian burial grounds. They formed a landowners association. Tribal 
President Allen Rowland and several council members began asking questions 
about why their coal was worth only 17.5 cents a ton in royalties when their gravel 
was selling for 18 cents. 

In 1972 Consolidation Coal (Consol) returned to the reservation with an 
astounding offer. Consol wanted to build lour plants to gasify Cheyenne coal on 
the tiny reservation, in effect turning it into an industrialized city. In exchange, 
Consol offered millions of dollars in bonuses plus — important for the rural, iso- 
lated reservation — a $1.5 million community health center. Consols offer tipped 
off tribal officials about the true value of their coal.'' 

Most Cheyennes agreed that energy development would mean more jobs and 
a better economy for the reservation. When asked what positive changes would 
result from coal mining, however, nearly one third (104 out ol 346 respondents) 
"spontaneously said there would be no good changes from coal development." 
The respondents cited many negative effects — most of the same issues with which 
non-Indians were also concerned — crime, 'people pollution," loss of friendships 
and social ties.''' 

The prospect of a reservation overrun by white energy and construction 
workers was particularly disturbing. With only 600 families on the reservation, 
it was obvious that outsiders would fill most of the new jobs. "With more whites 
coming in, the Cheyenne way of life will soon be forgotten," a young woman said 
to an interviewer. "There will be nothing but half breeds and Indians thinking 
white, walking around."'*^' 

The tribal members benefited from the perspective of a newcomer to the 
reservation, Nancy Owens, who had jtist finished a dissertation on the energy and 
construction boom in reservation border towns in the Four Corners region of the 
Southwest.' She said, "The social problems ordinary boomtowns experience are 
bad enough, but Cheyennes carry over a hundred years of negative experience 
with the very people who might come to the reservation for jobs... The continuing 
discrimination in nearby white-dominated border towns reaffirms their belief that 
only where they are in the majority can their lives be led in relative dignity."'** 

Ted Risingsun, cultural leader and occasional member of the tribal council, 
became a popular spokesman for tribal members. In response to the Consol offer, 



136 



he said, "One thing I might do it the reservation were leased to coal companies is 
to buy myself the most expensive elkskin scalp shirt anybody ever had. You know 
how our ancestors used to tie scalps on their scalp shirts. Well, I would tie pieces of 
coal on mine. I'd buy the biggest pink Cadillac I could find. Then I'd drive around 
the country and dance in all the Indian powwows." 

Turning serious, he said, "I think I would rather be poor in my own country, 
with my own people, with our own way of life than be rich in a torn-up land 
where I am outnumbered lo to one by strangers."''' 

After months of listening to their constituents and doing their own investiga- 
tions, the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Council voted ii to o on March 5, 1973, to 
seek cancellation ol all the permits and leases. The new tribal attorneys, Alvin J. 
Ziontz and Steven H. Chestnut, petitioned the Secretary of Interior saying the 
permits and leases violated 36 federal regulations.^" According to the tribe's attor- 
ney Steven H. Chestnut, it was "apparent that the Bureau of Indian Affairs — on 
whose advice and counsel the tribe relied — had been inept, uninformed, and sadly 
overmatched. "'' 

The BIA is part of the Department of Interior, which had improved its 
regulations governing environmental issues on Indian lands prior to the second 
and third Northern Cheyenne coal sales. The new regulations required study 
of the land in question. "However," Chestnut charged, "the BIA proved itself 
either unable or unwilling to implement the admirable intent of this regulation."*- 
The late 1960s and early 1970s were a period ol dramatic changes in the nation's 
environmental laws, and the Bureau ol Indian Affairs' lar-flung offices apparently 
couldn't keep up." 

Secretary of the Interior Rogers C. B. Morton, reluctant to undermine his 
own field staff, refused to cancel the leases outright. Instead, a year after the peti- 
tion, on June 4, 1974, Morton placed the leases on indefinite hold, a de facto 
victory for the tribe and a face-saving measure lor bureau employees. 

The tribe had taken on some of the most powerful multinational energy 
companies in the world and won. The Cheyennes knew they had defeated BIA 
bureaucrats in Billings as well. "We were bad Indians," recalled tribal elder Ted 
Risingsun, "and they've been punishing us for it ever since. "'"^ Tribes across the 
Northern Plains learned from the Cheyennes' example. Both the neighboring 
Crow Tribe and the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation in 
North Dakota also challenged coal leases and permits on their reservations. Other 
tribes imposed temporary moratoriums on energy development while they stud- 
ied their situation.'^ In 1980, an act of Congress finally cancelled the Cheyenne 
leases and gave the Northern Cheyennes clear title to their land.*^' 

In the process of fighting the coal leases, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe formed 
a clear position in regard to strip mining. It also developed a variety of programs 



Energy Development on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation 137 



and institutions designed to make them less dependent on the federal trustee 
for guidance. The Northern Cheyenne Research Project (NCRP) was founded 
in 1973 with a grant from the federal Office of Native American Programs. The 
NCRP quickly acquired a wide array of personnel and consultants, ranging from 
scientists recruited to live and work on the reservation to tribal members research- 
ing community and cultural attitudes.^'' 

The NCRP continued its work throughout the 1970s and early '80s, includ- 
ing natural resource inventories of the reservation and anthropologists' papers that 
tried to translate the Cheyenne worldview. In addition to providing the crucial 
information needed by the tribe to maintain a credible Tribal Natural Resources 
Office, the NCRP also documented the attitudes, both positive and negative, of 
reservation residents toward energy development. In the subsequent battle over 
clean air, the NCRP studies fortified the tribe's position. 

Clean Air v. Jobs 

The Northern Cheyennes had good reason to fear the effects of a boomtown. 
They had watched as the tiny coal camp at Colstrip on their northern bound- 
ary had exploded in the early 1970s when the Montana Power Company began 
construction of a new energy center. Construction workers, miners, and plant 
technicians potired into Rosebud County. 

Vilified as little more than an extended trailer court by many people in the 
state, Colstrip's engineers and blue-collar workers went there because they wanted 
to earn a living to support their families in a decade when interest rates and infla- 
tion had seriously eroded employment rates. Once there, they found themselves 
labeled "people pollution," a term promoted by a sociologist researching the social 
impacts ol development on the region.'^ 

When the Montana Power Company later proposed construction of two ad- 
ditional generators on its coal-fired power plant, it drove the already volatile Col- 
strip issue into a full-fledged war in which the Northern Cheyenne Tribe flexed 
its growing political muscle. In 1976, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe objected to 
Montana Power Company's plans to expand the Colstrip power plant by 1,400 
megawatts and by the prospect of several other coal-fired power plants in the 
area. Tribal members discovered that they had a new weapon: The Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA) had adopted regulations under the Clean Air Act that 
allowed states and local governments to protect their air. 

Prevention of Significant Deterioration regulations classified most areas of 
the United States as Class II, where the air was reasonably clean, but some new 
pollution was allowable. EPA designated national parks and wilderness areas as 
Class I. States and local governments had the option of choosing the Class I desig- 



138 



nation (which would keep their air relatively pristine) or the Class III designation 
(which would allow the most pollution). 

The Northern Cheyenne Tribe convinced the EPA and eventually the courts 
that tribes had authority under the law to redesignate and protect their air shed. 
The courts said that the tribe, through the Northern Cheyenne Research Project, 
had adequately studied the social, environmental, and economic impacts.^' On 
Sept. i6, 1976, the EPA announced that the tribe's Class I standard would be 
applied to the new generators.^" 

The decision infuriated Montana Power Company. Engineers had designed 
Units 3 and 4 to work within the Class II designation, not Class I. Montana 
Power President Joseph McElwain filed a lawsuit against the agency. "Somebody, 
sometime, has to tell the federal government that it can't change the name of the 
game every 30 minutes without being challenged," McElwain told a reporter. "It's 
too costly lor the people and businesses ol this nation lor the EPA to play games 
with peoples' pocketbooks and lives."*' 

The Cheyenne petition for clean air met with heavy resistance not only from 
energ)' companies but also from the chairman of the neighboring Crow Tribe, 
Patrick Stands Over Bull, a staunch supporter of coal development on his own res- 
ervation.^- Coal was a very divisive issue on the Crow Reservation, and some other 
tribal members supported the Cheyenne clear air effort, including two members 
of the Crow Coal Authority, Dale Kindness and Ellis "Rabbit" Knowshisgun.*' 

For several years, the Crows had negotiated coal leases with a number ol 
mining companies, including Shell, Amax, Gulf, Westmoreland, and Peabody, 
although only Westmoreland was actually mining coal in 1977. "Tribal leaders," 
a Washington Post reporter observed, "have hired a dozen public relations men' 
fluent both in Crow dialect and English to circulate among the far-flung tribal 
members and convince them of the virtues of coal exploitation."^^ The Crow dis- 
pute spilled over the border to the Northern Cheyenne Reservation and to the 
EPA offices in Washington, DC. 

In August, the EPA temporarily shut down the construction site in Colstrip. 
The construction contractor Bechtel immediately laid off 107 workers, and union 
demonstrators angrily took to the streets of Billings in front of the federal build- 
ing. Their signs said, "Starvation Kills Faster than Bad Air" and "Out of Work 
and Hungry? Eat an Environmentalist!" Electricians, heavy equipment operators, 
pipefitters, laborers, and their families broadcast their message: This was not sim- 
ply a battle between the faceless capitalist exploiters of nature versus the protectors 
of the earth. This was also a fight over who would be allowed to make a living for 
their families.''^ 

The Environmental Protection Agency held a series of public meetings in 
southeastern Montana. As expected, the Colstrip meeting consisted mostly of a 



Energy Development on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation I39 



pep rally for construction. A local advocacy group called Montana People for 
Progress accused the agency of acquiescing to "extremists."'*^ 

The agency heard different opinions at its hearing in Lame Deer. Three of the 
speakers — Ted Risingsun, Joe Bear, and Sylvester Knowshisgun — w^ere all tribal 
councilmen. All three were about the same age and had grown up as friends. 
Each had become prominent in different churches on the reservation, Risingsun a 
deacon in the White River Cheyenne Mennonite Church, Knowshisgun a Pente- 
costal pastor, and Bear a Mormon bishop. 

But their divergent spiritual paths were not so much dillerences as prefer- 
ences, and they knew the Cheyenne heart as well as any. Risingsun told the agency 
of his pride in the label "obstructionist" — the Cheyennes of a century before were 
called the same thing. Bear pointed out that the air was all that was left to the tribe; 
"we want to keep it." Knowshisgun argued that the government seemed more 
interested in protecting trophy fishing than in protecting human rights. Other 
speakers, including Cheyenne Native rights activist Gail Small and medicine man 
Charles Whitedirt, said that the construction in Colstrip would do violence to the 
tribe, from destroying medicinal plants to undermining tribal sovereignty.^^ 

The tribe held up construction on the $i billion Colstrip project for three 
years, forcing the utilities to install better pollution-control devices. Then on Sept. 
17, 1979, the Montana Supreme Court ruled that construction on Units 3 and 4 
could continue. While some viewed the construction of the power plants as a 
defeat for the tribe, the Class I battle had significant benefits locally and nation- 
ally. As a result of the Northern Cheyennes' Class I air, the company was required 
to use the best pollution-control technology available at the time. Montana Power 
had to pay for air monitoring stations so the tribe could keep track of whether 
the plant met its commitments. Cheyenne people were trained to monitor the 
air. The company had to meet a quota for the number of Northern Cheyenne 
employees and had to give preference for Cheyenne contractors.'"^ Edwin Dahl, 
the Northern Cheyenne tribal administrator for the agreement and a primary 
force behind the redesignation decision, said it had resulted in jobs for 200 of 
the 3,000 resident tribal members and had increased the standard of living on the 
reservation tenfold.^' 

Nationally, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe's action changed forever the way 
that tribes looked at federal environmental laws. The tribe was the first govern- 
ment — state, local, or tribal — in the country to choose Class I. Congress adopted 
regulations in 1977 that formalized the tribal authority for redesignation, thus 
adding weight to the earlier EPA administrative decision. 

Once the Cheyenne breached the dam, there was a flood of tribal initiatives 
to protect reservation air sheds. Two other reservations in Montana — Fort Peck 
and Flathead — obtained Class I redesignations. Those tribes also decided to pro- 



140 



tect their air quality despite the constraints that it imposed upon their own plans. 
Fort Peck's Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes were most concerned about coal-fired 
power plants, and the Salish and Kootenai Tribe of the Flathead Reservation were 
worried about sawmills.'"'^ Later, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe developed its own 
Tribal Water Standards under a different law, the Clean Water Act. In 2007, the 
tribe was one ot only a handful of tribes in the country that had established its 
own water quality standards.''' 

Surface v. Mineral Ownership 

Given the mineral wealth that lay just below the surface of Cheyenne country, 
the challenges continued. One of the factors that makes the energy wars of the 
American West so bitter is the "split estate:" In much of the West, one landowner 
owns the rights to the land's surface and another, the minerals that lay underneath. 
When the minerals are strip mined, the landowner completely loses the use of 
the surface, and other mineral development methods have serious impacts on the 
surface, too. 

Congress had long recognized the potential value of the Northern Cheyenne 
coal.'- In 1926, Congress formally allotted the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. 
This was part of a national policy that opposed communal land ownership and 
divided reservation lands up amongst individual tribal members, often opening 
the "surplus " reservation land to homesteading. 

The Cheyenne allotment law specified that the subsurface minerals belonged 
to the tribe, but they would belong to the allottees in 50 years. Congress appar- 
ently believed that by then, the Cheyennes would have been completely integrated 
into mainstream American society, and their commitment to tribal or communal 
ownership of resources would have disappeared. Congress's belief turned out to 
be a complete misreading of Native cultures generally and Cheyenne culture in 
particular, where land is more than real estate and symbolizes who a person is, not 
simply where a person lives. ''^ 

WTien the mineral ownership was about to shift from tribe to individuals in 
1976, the tribe brought the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court in what became 
known as the Hollowbreast Case. The nation's highest court confirmed that a 
Native community has a vested right to its own natural resources, and the disposi- 
tion of those resources would be the decision not of individual landowners but the 
tribal government. ^''The FioUowbreast decision meant that Native communities 
nationwide could be secure in their ownership of their own natural resources. 

Fiowever, the F^ollowbreast decision also opened the door to more conflict 
between the tribal government and individual landowners. In 1980, the Northern 
Cheyenne Tribal Council approved a contract with the energy giant Atlantic Rich- 



Energy Development on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation H^ 



field Company (ARCO) to explore the reservation for oil and gas. The conflict 
created a constitutional crisis on the reservation as the tribe used its governmental 
powers to protect its proprietary interests in the oil. The contract covered the 
entire reservation, not just specifically tribal lands. Landowners, alarmed that their 
property could be overrun by corporate prospectors, sued in the tribal court to 
stop the exploration, and when the tribal judge decided the case in favor of the 
landowners, she was fired by tribal chairman Allen Rowland. ^^ 

Rowland, a fierce opponent of coal development, understood that oil and gas 
development generally was much less destructive than coal strip mining. He was 
also motivated by the same argument that had moved BIA officials in the 1970s — 
the extraordinary poverty on the reservation demanded some sort oi response, and 
the only resources available to the Northern Cheyennes were their minerals. 

The ARCO agreement also won support by a wide margin at the polling place 
when members voted at two local referenda on the matter. Opponents said off-res- 
ervation voters — who would receive benefits without suffering the impacts — had 
swung the vote, heavily influenced by the council's promise to distribute ARCO's 
$6 million bonus to the members. The bitterness of the ARCO deal struck deep: 
A constitutional revision was passed many years later to provide for a separation 
of powers between the tribal courts and the council, although whether the court is 
truly independent of the council continued to be an open question.^'' The feelings 
of the traditional community were made clear by the holding of the Sacred Arrow 
Worship ceremony to pray for assistance and direction in the face of one of the 
country's most powerful corporations.^ 

In the end, ARCO drilled seven holes, all of them dry, and found no oil or 
gas. It left the reservation in 1984. The controversy created a deep rift between 
some landowners and their elected leaders. Yet, as in the Hollowbreast case, the 
control of reservation resources remained a question for the tribal government, 
not individual members, to decide.^** 

Conclusion 

American Indian activism since the 1960s is often defined in terms of well-pub- 
licized national milestones, such as the takeover of Alcatraz Island in 1969, the 
Trail of Broken Treaties and the American Indian Movement (AIM)'s occupation 
of the Bureau of Indian Affairs offices in Washington, DC, in 1972, and the 1973 
standoff at Wounded Knee, SD. While these events received much attention, the 
Northern Cheyennes were working behind the scenes toward nationhood, achiev- 
ing milestones, not headlines. 

They utilized modern tools to exercise their sovereignty over their land, their 
air, and their minerals. Fighting against some of the most powerful companies in 



142 



the world, they saved their reservation from being strip mined and ttirned into an 
industrial center. When sociologist Joane Nagel visited the reservation in 1993 for 
research on a book on Indian activism, she heard tribal elder Ted Risingsun take a 
rather unenthusiastic view of AIM and other activist groups.'''' For his people had 
mobilized themselves on their own terms and with their own resources to create 
their own road to sovereignty. 



1 Ted Risingsun often quoted Chief Dull Knife's 
words and provided them in Cheyenne (personal 
communication). 

2 Evans, W. B., & Peterson, R. L. (1970, July). 
Decision at Colstrip: The Northern Pacifies open- 
pit mining operation. Pacific Nortlnvcst Quarterly 
(5/(3), 130-131. 

3 M. Holswarth, Colstrip resident (personal 
communication) 

4 Foley Brothers, Inc., Foley Brothers. Inc., an eighty 
year story, 8. 

5 Toole, K. R. (1972). Twentieth-century Montana: 
A state of extremes (loi). Norman: University of 
Oklahoma Press. Howard, J. K. (1943). Montana, 
high, wide, and handsome (84). New Haven: Yale 
University Press. 

6 Johnson, C. (1988). Electric power, copper, and 
John D. Ryan. Montana: The Magazine ofWestern 
History 38U), 28. 

7 Wolcott, V. A. (12 November 1925). Colstrip's 
electrical equipment is unusual. Coal Age 28(10). 
663. 

8 B. Tall Bull, Northern Cheyenne elder (personal 
communication) 

9 Mike Mansfield Papers, University of Montana. 
MS 65, Series III. Box 24, folder 16: Beeler and 

Naddy. 

10 Ambler, M. (1990). Breaking the iron bonds: In- 
dian control of energy development (p. 20). Lawrence: 
University Press of Kansas. 

11 Hunter, J. to Sandoz, M., 9 September 1953, 
Mari Sandoz Correspondence (microfilm reel 
MS00020), Lincoln: University of Nebraska. 

12 Drinnon, R. (1987). Keeper of the concentration 
camps: Dillon S. Myer and American racism (p. 237). 
Berkeley: University of California Press. 

13 W. McRae (personal communication) 

14 A. Spang (personal communication) 

15 A. Spang (personal communication) 

16 Toole, K. R. (1976). The rape of the Great Plains: 
Northwest America, cattle and coal (pp. 50-68). 
Boston: Little, Brown and Company. 



17 Toole, The rape of the Great Plains, 66-67. 

18 Ziontz, Pirtle, Morisset & Ernstott, Attorneys 
for the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Petition of the 
Northern Cheyenne Tribe to Rogers C B. Morton, 
Secretary of the Interior, concerning coal leases and 
permits on their reservation. Seattle: Ziontz, Pirtle, 
Morisset & Ernstoff, 1974, II-4. 

19 Ziontz, et al.. Petition of the Northern Cheyenne 
Tribe: II-4. 

20 Chestnut, S. H. (1979). Coal development 
on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. In U.S. 
Commission on Civil Rights, Energy Resource 
Development (p. 173). Washington, DC: Govern- 
ment Printing Office. 

21 Toole, The rape of the Great Plains, 51-52. 

22 Ambler, Breaking the iron bonds, 62-90. 

23 Ambler. Breaking the iron bonds, 65. 

24 Nordstrom, J., Boggs, J. P., Owens, N. J., & 
Sooktis, J. (1977), The Northern Cheyenne Tribe 
and energy development: Vol. i. Social, Cultural, and 
Economic Investigations. Lame Deer, MT: Northern 
Cheyenne Tribe, 158-159, Tables IV-5 and IV-6. 

25 The Northern Cheyenne Tribe and energy develop- 
ment, i: 164-165. 

26 The Northern Cheyenne Tribe and energy develop- 
ment, 1: 164. 

27 Owens, N. (1979). The effects of reservation 
bordertowns and energy exploitation on American 
Indian economic development. Research in 
Economic Anthropology 2, 303-337. 

28 The Northern Cheyenne Tribe and energy develop- 
ment, i: 167. 

29 Ashabranner, B. (1982). Morning star, black sun: 
The Northern Cheyenne Indians and America's energy 
crisis, (pp. 92-93). New York: Dodd, Mead, and 
Company. T. Risingsun (personal communication) 

30 Toole, The rape of the Great Plains, 56-66. 

31 Chestnut, Coal development on the Northern 
Cheyenne Reservation, 165-166. 

?2 Chestnut, Coal development on the Northern 
Chevenne Reservation, 165. 



Energy Developmoit on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation 



143 



We Will Keep our Cheyenne Home Forever 



» 



IN Lame Deer, Busby, Birney, Ashland, and Muddy Creek, MT, the Northern 
Cheyenne people remember the heroism of their ancestors. For them, history 
is not just a subject that people study in school and then forget. They know 
that their people nearly became extinct in the i88os. Nearly every gathering — from 
powwows to school board meetings - opens with a prayer and a reference to the 
long journey from Indian Territory back to Montana. The official tribal stationery, 
with pictures of Chiefs Dull Knile and Little Wolf on the top, says, "Out of defeat 
and exile they led us back to Montana and won our Cheyenne home, which we 
will keep forever." 

However, there is less awareness on the reservation and elsewhere of the na- 
tional precedents that the Northern Cheyenne Tribe and its people have set in the 
20th century. They have broken new ground for tribal sovereignty in education 
and environmental law, and they have been pioneers in social justice for both In- 
dian and non-Indian communities. Some of these milestones are described earlier 
in this book, and this chapter provides more recent examples. 

•In July 1972, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe became one of the first tribes 
in the country to transform a Bureau of Indian Affairs school into a tribally-con- 
trolled school during the new Indian-controlled school movement. 

•The Northern Cheyenne Tribal Council in 1974 started a revolution in 
American Indian energy policy, preventing some of the largest multinational en- 
ergy companies in the world from strip mining the reservation and turning it 
into an industrial complex. Other tribes subsequently followed the Cheyennes' 
example and challenged their coal leases on the same basis. 

•In 1976, the tribe brought one of the state's most powerful corporations to 
its knees for several years by utilizing federal environmental law to protect the 
reservation airshed. The Environmental Protection Agency stopped construction 
of the Colstrip coal-fired power plant expansion and forced the utilities to install 



145 



costly air pollution control technology. The tribe was the first in the nation to 
utilize this provision oi national environmental laws, and today more than a dozen 
other tribes manage their own air quality programs. 

•In 1986, Northern Cheyenne elder William Tall Bull was one of the Indian 
leaders who demanded protection for American Indian graves and the return 
of "spiritual beings" housed in museum storerooms. He helped U.S. Sen. John 
Melcher write the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act in 
1990 and later was appointed by the Secretary of Interior to serve as the only 
American Indian on the committee that wrote the regulations for the law. His 
passing was noted in the Congressional record by U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse 
Campbell March 19, 1996. 

•In 1991, the Federal Reserve Board sent a shock wave through the banking 
world when it ruled in favor of Native Actions challenge of the First Interstate 
Bank merger. It forced bankers nationwide to look at how they could better serve 
communities. 



The Land in the 2ist Century 

As THEY enter THE 2ist century, the Northern Cheyenne people draw upon these 
victories and the strength of their ancestors to face contintiing threats to their 
land, culture, and people. They must battle constant pressure from energy devel- 
opment companies, internal strife about development, and outsiders' ignorance 
about what it means to be an American Indian in the United States today. The 
Northern Cheyenne Tribe became everyone's favorite Indians for a period of time 
in the 1970s when they turned down millions of dollars for their coal. The words 
of Ted Risingsun (a respected elder, Korean War hero, and a direct descendant of 
Chief DtiU Knife) were cited widely by environmentalists: "I think I would rather 
be poor in my own country, with my own people, with our own way of life than 
be rich in a torn-up land where I am outnumbered ten to one by strangers. "' The 
Cheyenne's courageous battle to protect their land mystified many at the time and 
led to a romanticized image of the Cheyenne that haunted them later. 

With all the money offered to the Cheyenne for their coal in the 1970s, why 
didn't they just take the money and move? Outsiders often misunderstand the 
importance of reservations to American Indian people, seeing it as a form of apart- 
heid where Indian people are segregated from others. As a result of this misunder- 
standing, misguided "friends" of the Indians have tried for more than 500 years 
to integrate them into the American system of individual land ownership. Often 
these attempts have been combined with efforts to take their lands and resources. 
While many have been motivated by greed, others have sincerely misunderstood 
the Indians' attachment to their land. People who considered themselves friends 



146 



of the Indians have championed the cause ot assimihition with missionary-Uke 
zeal, saying "We ought to give them freedom, we ought to give them Hberty, and 
we ought to give them their rights." 

So why do the Northern Cheyennes choose to hve on their reservation. Not 
all do — about one-third of all American Indians live on reservations and one-half 
of all enrolled Northern Cheyennes live on their reservation." More might rettirn 
if there were more jobs. Those who stay or return have various reasons. They love 
their land. They stay to be with their families and so their children can benefit 
from time spent with family elders. They participate in tribal traditional and re- 
ligious activities. They get more medical and economic benefits from the federal 
and tribal governments than members who live elsewhere. Many feel strongly that 
they want to serve their people and often leave to complete their education, later 
returning to work. It is the only place where they can expect to hear and speak 
their language and be surrounded by people of their culture. Many of their ances- 
tors are buried there. 

Culture may not materialize in the form that outsiders expect. Tribal members 
may wear silk suits with their beads and braids and have degrees from Harvard 
or Boston Universit)'. Their culture often thrives within them, invisible to outsid- 
ers, not necessarily hanging across their chests in a medicine bag. All cultures 
face pressure toward mainstream values from television, Nintendo, glossy fashion 
magazines, etc. But the land gives American Indian people a better chance of 
retaining important aspects of their culture and language. 

Within their boundaries, the Northern Cheyenne have been able to retain 
nearly complete ownership, unlike most other tribes in the West. Elsewhere, non- 
Indians acquired large percentages of the land ownership as a result of homestead 
laws and allotment laws passed by Congress in the late i8oos and early 1900s. For 
example, the Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation in Montana 
lost over half of their reservation, mostly the rich agricultural land of the Flathead 
Valley.^ Fortunately for the Cheyenne, their land was not as desirable for agricul- 
ture. Then in the 1950s, under the far-sighted leadership of John Woodenlegs, the 
Northern Cheyenne Tribe developed an unallotment program to prevent allot- 
ments (owned by individual Indians) from being sold outside the tribe. The tribe 
was assisted by the Association on American Indian Affairs (a nonprofit organiza- 
tion formed in the 1920s dedicated to working with Indians).^ As a result of the 
Hollowbreast U.S. Supreme Court decision discussed in the energy chapter in this 
book, the tribe also controls the minerals under the reservation. 

However, tribal members must continue to worry about threats to its land, 
cultural resources, and air from development on the boundary and outside, es- 
pecially in the area of the Tongue River Valley. In 2004, Fidelity Exploration & 
Production Company filed a lawsuit in federal court to determine if the Northern 



We Will Keep our Cheyejine Home Forever ^47 



Cheyenne Tribe owned half of the Tongue River Bed. The energy firm had ob- 
tained several oil and gas leases along the Tongue River from the state of Montana 
in 2002. Fidelity wanted to prove that if the state owned the land, then Fidelity's 
leases applied to that land beneath the river. 

Tongue River has historical and spiritual significance to the tribe. The area 
was their last sanctuary for retaining their unique cultural identity. A cottonwood 
grove along the Tongue River floodplain was used as a camp from at least the i8oos 
until 1930. Religious ceremonies, including the annual renewal of the Medicine 
Bundles, took place at this camp. The Northern Cheyenne recognize the spiritual 
nature of water in general and of the Tongue River in particular. They make cloth 
and tobacco offerings to the river. Important ceremonial events, such as fasts, 
sweats, and the Sun Dance, Sacred Hat, and Ghost Dance ceremonies have been 
performed in the Tongue River valley. Spirits live in the springs there."' William 
Tall Bull in 1991 testified that as development occurs in the Powder River region, 
the Northern Cheyenne people will have fewer and fewer undisturbed places to 
go to collect ceremonially significant pigments and plants. He told them that off 
reservation pollution from the Colstrip power plants was making some medicinal 
plants unsafe.^' 

In November 2007, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ended the Fidelity riv- 
erbed dispute by dismissing the company's case because the statute of limitations 
had expired. Once again, the tribe was successful in retaining its land rights. 
However, Fidelity's development plans continued on the other side of the river. 
That area continued to be threatened in 2007 by coal bed methane development 
and by the Montco coal-strip mine and railroad.'* 

South of the reservation, coal bed methane development had begun. Sky- 
rocketing fossil fuel prices and new technologies made methane the boom fuel of 
the new century in Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado. It was replacing coal for 
electric power generation. To produce methane involves drilling a grid of wells 
that pump the water out of the coal beds and discharge the methane. It drains ir- 
replaceable aquifers in an already arid land and discharges water full of salts, min- 
erals, ammonia, and other substances. Very little is known about how draining 
so many aquifers will affect the groundwater system, according to Native Action, 
a grassroots organization based in Lame Deer involved in protecting Northern 
Cheyenne resources for over 20 years. '^ 

The tribe, Native Action, and the Northern Plains Resource Council sued 
the federal government over coalbed methane development in the Tongue River 
Valley and the Power River Basin areas outside the reservation, and as of 2007, 
they had prevented it. Gail Small of Native Action said, "Over the years, the tribe 
has used its limited dollars to protect the region from massive exploitation. This 
has given us time to get our young people educated. The elders are ready to pass 



148 



on the land to the next generation and hope they are ready to manage it."'° 

So kr, the tribal government has turned its back on coal mining on the reser- 
vation, and the oil and gas exploration has been unsuccessful. However, there is no 
guarantee that the tribe can resist forever. In a referendum election in November 
2006, a majority of people actually voted for coal development (664 to 572). The 
topic of coalbed methane was more hotly discussed at the time, and more than 
twice as many people voted against developing coalbed methane on the reserva- 
tion (841 to 365)." 

The Economy and Health 

Some say that the Northern Cheyenne peopie continue to pay a horkbie price 

FOR THEIR IAND AND THAT CuSTER DID lESS VIOLENCE TO THE ChEYENNE PEOPIE THAN A 

hundfed years of poveriy. Hltngeris a daiiy feautv THERE. A SURVEY IN 200I found 
that over two-thirds of the households experienced occasional hunger, and one- 
third experienced persistent hunger.'- Nearly 50% of Cheyenne families live under 
the poverty level. With few businesses on the reservation, unemployment is al- 
ways high; it fluctuates between 60% and 85% because of the number of seasonal 
jobs.'^ 

Even amongst Indian people, twice as many Northern Cheyennes are poor, 
and they are four times as likely to be poor compared with all people in the coun- 
try (26% of all American Indians and Alaska Natives live below the poverty line 
compared with 12% of all the people in the country). '^The reasons for the poverty 
vary. Millions of dollars flow into the reservations each year in the form of con- 
tracts, grants, loans, and salaries. If the local economy has not been developed, 
most of this money flows out again, spent at non-Indian owned businesses such 
as grocery stores and car dealers, paid in federal taxes, and invested in banks far 
from the community. 

Poverty correlates with poor health nationwide. A report on federal funding 
in Indian Country published by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission in 2003 said 
that American Indian people are 650% more likely to die from tuberculosis than 
other Americans, 318% more likely to die from diabetes, 670% more likely to die 
from alcoholism, and 204% more likely to suffer accidental death when compared 
with other groups. It blamed such health disparities on poverty, poor education, 
and lack of access to health care. The Indian Health Service spent 50% less per 
person ($1,600 per year) for comprehensive health services in its hospitals and 
health clinics compared with public and private health insurance plans, according 
to the report. In fact, the federal government spent more on health care for prison- 
ers than for American Indians.'^ 

Lesser people might be daunted by these problems, but the Northern Chey- 



We Will Keep our Cheyenne Home Forever H9 



ennes have never complacenrly accepted their fate. When left without any health 
care facility, they demanded and received a new clinic. When denied the banking 
services most communities take for granted, they demanded and received their 
own bank. When they were the only area of their size to lack a high school in the 
whole state, they fought for and won their own high school. The high school is 
now part of an educational system that is attempting to change the future of the 
reservation, one graduate at a time. 

Northern Cheyenne Health Clinic 

Headh care is one of the mostessentlal services in kjralAm erica. When the U.S. 

GOVERNM ENT SIGNED A TSEATY WITH THE NORIHERN ChEYENNE AND Ar\PAHOE TrIBES IN 

1868, it agreed to provide health care, "' but health services in the community have 
never been adequate for the needs. Health care was a function of the Department 
oi Interior until 1955 when the Indian Health program was transferred to the 
Public Health Service.' 

In Lame Deer, a hospital had been built in 1926 at a time when various 
diseases had reached epidemic proportions on the reservation, as described in 
the education history chapter. In 1955, the hospital was reduced to a clinic. The 
poor services provided by the hospital and its downgraded status as a clinic forced 
the Cheyennes, who continued to be ravaged by tuberculosis even in the 1950s, 
to travel all the way to Crow Agency to seek treatment. Author Mari Sandoz, 
who was in the area researching her novel about the Cheyennes' flight from exile, 
Cheyenne Autunuh lelt compelled to write President Harry S. Truman about the 
conditions.'** 

In 1975, the Indian Health Service and the Northern Cheyenne Tribe sought 
and received lunds to build a new clinic. Twenty years later, however, this clinic 
burned to the ground in May 1996. The destruction of the clinic created a health 
crisis for the Northern Cheyenne people. Initially, services were scattered through 
out the community and were housed in temporary trailers and buildings. Some 
services were transferred to the Crow/Northern Cheyenne Hospital in Crow 
Agency, 45 miles away. 

Out of the ashes of the old clinic, hope sprang for a new, larger facility. Be- 
cause of the fire, the Northern Cheyenne Service was given higher priority to 
receive a new facility. Planning began immediately. The Northern Cheyenne 
Board of Health contracted to build a new, $14.4 million clinic under federal self- 
determination statutes. Three years after the old clinic burned, the new, 62,000 
square-feet Northern Cheyenne Health Clinic was completed in 1999. The num- 
ber of staff was doubled, and new services were added. 

Donita Sioux, the project coordinator for the Northern Cheyenne Health 



150 



Clinic, told Indian Country Today, "The health services are now under one root, 
and patients are treated in a sparkling btiilding that rivals medical clinics in the 
state's largest cities. The facility also includes a rock-floored healing room that's 
designed like a sweat lodge. It's a place where families and patients can go to pray 
or otherwise find solace. The design is more culturally relevant to the tribe, to 
the people."''^ In 2007, the clinic continued to serve the needs of the Northern 
Cheyenne people. 

First Interstate Bank 

In the iate 1980s, Native Action recognized the need for the tribe to be able to 
control its own money and leverage it to build an economy. They hired a banker 
and local researchers to conduct an economic survey, which discovered that 90 
people on the reservation were either in business or wanted to open their own 
businesses — if they could obtain financing. Some of the entrepreneurs were hair 
stylists, fur buyers, and tax accountants; they wanted to start video stores, expand 
their ranches, and start construction companies. "There was a fascinating array 
of talent that we never realized we had," Native Action Executive Director Gail 
Small said.-" The survey looked at all the money coming into the reservation and 
explored what could be done with that money if it were not spent or invested 
outside the boundaries. 

First Interstate Bank, a family-owned corporation based in Billings, MT, 
claimed to serve the reservation. However, the reservation lacked even an Auto- 
matic Teller Machine (ATM). Few people could get loans, partially because lend- 
ers believed they could not collect collateral in case of default on the reservation. 
Native Action researched a little known provision of federal banking law, the 1977 
Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), which requires banks to meet the credit 
needs of low- and moderate-income people in local communities. Up until that 
time, it was just a piece of paper that had never been used. After First Interstate 
Bank applied to federal regulators to merge with a sister bank in Wyoming, how- 
ever. Native Action charged the bank with redlining the reservation. In January 
1990, the organization formally accused the bank's branch in Colstrip, MT, of 
profiting from Northern Cheyenne transactions without providing enough loans 
to tribal members. First Interstate officials were infuriated at the uppity organiza- 
tion. The Federal Reserve Board sent a mediator to Montana to see if agreement 
could be reached. It could not. 

So on Oct. 7, 1991, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve for the first 
time in history rejected a merger application solely on the bank's failure to satisfy 
requirements of the CRA. It said the Colstrip bank was not adequately serving 
the credit needs of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. The vote was three to 



We Will Keep our Cheyenne Home Forever ^S' 




The tribe's elders often ask to deal directly with Barbara Braided Hair, branch manager of First 
Interstate Bank in Lame Deer, who has helped them feel more comfortable about using a bank for the 
first time. (Photo bv Kathleen Beartusk) 



two with Alan Gteenspan casting the tie breaking vote. The decision rocked the 
banking world. A front-page story in American Banker, the New York City-based 
magazine, said the decision was a warning to all holding companies nationwide 
to monitor the community-lending records of its subsidiaries."^ The front page of 
the Billings Gazette proclaimed, "Fed Sides with Native Action." First Interstate, 
the third largest commercial bank in Montana with $629 million in assets, had to 
meet the demands of the Northern Cheyennes. It was the first time that teeth had 
been put into the CRA. 

By then, the tribal members had organized a Chamber of Commerce to take 
the lead in the negotiations with the bank. The tribal members wanted an ATM 
and eventually their own bank. They wanted $10 million in new loans, and they 
wanted a bank training program so that local people could fill the jobs at the bank. 
After holding up the merger for nearly two years, the agreement was signed Sept. 
18, 1992, by representatives of the diverse groups that eventually got involved in 
the process — the bank, Native Action, the Northern Cheyenne Area Chamber of 



152 



Commerce, the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Council, and the Northern Cheyenne 
Livestock Association." 

To make the bank possible, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe had to enact some 
important governmental changes. By referendum, the tribal membership passed 
a reorganization that separated legislative, judicial, and executive branches.-' To 
make lending more attractive on the reservation, the tribe adopted a commercial 
code. Each state has a Uniform Commercial Code to guarantee legal obligations 
and protect property interests in a uniform manner. As separate jurisdictions, In- 
dian reservations must provide a similar guarantee in order to attract business in- 
vestments. Native Action drafted a Tribal Uniform Commercial Code, which after 
much public review and comment, was adopted by the Northern Cheyenne Tribal 
Council in 1998. The code provides consistency and fairness to debtor/creditor 
relationships on the reservation, while recognizing the tribal courts and the tribe's 
unique cultural heritage.-'' 

While they started out as adversaries. First Interstate Bank and the tribe 
became allies. Within three and a half years. First Interstate Bank reached the 
agreed open lending goal of $10 million. The ATM machine had so much use 
that it made First Interstate realize a bank would work there. First Interstate Bank 
developed a manager trainee program that's targeting Native Americans and was 
working on an internship program to draw recruits from tribal colleges. A tribal 
member, Barbara Braided Hair, became the branch manager, and she helped build 
trust amongst tribal members. The bank also helped tribal members both on and 
off reservations obtain housing loans.-'* "If (the Lame Deer) community is not 
successful, the branch won't be successful," Maria Valandra told Indian Country 
Today. Valandra is an enrolled member of the Chippewa-Cree Tribe who also 
served as the company's vice president for community development. "I believe the 
CRA is not something we just comply with. It's another way that we can give back 
to our communities." 

The bank became involved in several programs on the Northern Cheyenne 
Reservation to provide financial education, including going to housing lairs to 
promote home ownership programs and teaching kids how to save. The branch 
hosted a "minibank" in Lame Deer schools, which was operated by students who 
set their own policies and handled cash. The money went into individual ac- 
counts at First Interstate Bank that could only be accessed by students.-'' Thus the 
bank invested in tomorrow's entrepreneurs, business owners, and family financial 
managers who may continue to transform the local economy. Asked about what 
led to Native Action's success with this project. Small said, "You have to include 
everybody to achieve anything." The process involved local business people, both 
Indian and non-Indian, Montana Legal Services, the school superintendent, and 
the tribal chairman at the time, Edwin Dahl. 



We Will Keep our Cheyenne Home Forever ^53 



Conclusion 

The Northern Cheyenne people do not spend much time congratulating them- 

SED/ES on the MIIESTONES THEY HAVE ACHIEVED IN THE NATIONAL ARENA. ThEY E\CE TOO 
MANY PROBLEMS IN THEIR COM M UNITIES EVERYDAY TO DO THAT. NeVERIHEIESS, KNOWL- 
EDGE OF THESE VICIDRiES CAN PORHFY THEM IF EVER THEY FEEL DAUNTED. WlULAM TaLL 
BuiLUSED TO SAY, "We ARE THE ANCESTORS OF THOSE YET TO BE BORN." NoW IN THE 2ISt 

century Cheyenne people are still making history, fighting against all odds for 
their people, and they have many non-Indian friends by their sides. Today's war- 
riors are lawyers, doctors, nurses, teachers, professors, language scholars, religious 
leaders, activists, students, and janitors. Many are invisible to outsiders, and their 
dedication and creativity may not be known by their community members. In- 
stead, they are quietly doing their jobs with an eye to not only the past btit also 
the future of their people. 



1 Ashabranner, B. (1982). Morning star, black mn: 
The Northern Cheyenne Indians and America's 
energy crisis (pp. 92-93). New York: Dodd, Mead, 
and Company and T. Rjsingsun (personal 
communication) 

2 The total number of enrolled was 8,500 and 
the total number on the reservation was 4,200. 
Tobacco/ gas tax reimbursement. (June 2006). 
The Nation: Tribal Report of the Northern Cheyenne 
Nation /(y), 4. 

3 William, B. (1996). Montana's Indians Yesterday 
and Today. Helena, MT: Farcountry Press, p. 120. 

4 Weist, T. (1977). A History of the Cheyenne People 
(pp. 196-197). Billings: Montana Council for Indian 
Education. 

5 Final Statewide Oil and Gas Environmental Impact 
Statement. 

6 In March 2007, the Colstrip coal-fired power 
plant owners were forced to install equipment to 
cut greenhouse gases, based upon the demands of 
the tribe. (Johnson, C. (2007, March 24). EPA, 
tribe, plants settle dispute. The Billings Gazette.) 
The Tall Bull arguments are contained in the 
Final Statewide Oil and Gas Environmental Impact 
Statement and Proposed Amendment of the Powder 
River and Billings Resource Management PLtns. 
Washington, DC: Department of Interior, January 
2003. Retrieved Dec. 11, 2007, from http://w\vw. 
mt.blm.gov/mcto/cbm/eis/NCheyenneNarrati- 
veReport/Chap7.pdf 

7 Tongue River ruling upheld (2007, Nov. 8). The 
Billings Gazette. Retrieved Nov. 8, 2007. from 
http://www.billingsgazette.net/articles/2007/11/08/ 
news/state/25-tongueriver.txt 



8 Native Action 20th Anniversary Report, 1984-2007 
(2008). Lame Deer, MT, Native Action. 

9 Native Action 20th Anniversary Report. 

10 Small, G. (personal communication), )an. 15, 
2008. 

11 Retrieved Jan. 15, 2008 from http://www.cheyen- 
nenation.com/newso6.html 

12 Davis, J, Hiwalker, R., Ward, C, Feinauer, E., 
Youngstrom, C & Lemperle, M. (Oct. 2001). The 
relationship of food assistance program participa- 
tion to nutritional and health status, diabetes risk 
and food security among the Northern Cheyenne 
(Report to USDA). Ambler, M. (Summer 2002). 
Rita Hiwalker: Confronting the reality of food and 
hunger. Tribal College journal i^i^^, 30-31. 

13 Bureau of the Census. Census 2000 Summary 
File 3 (SF 3). 

14 Ogunwole, S. U., (2006). We the People: 
American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United 
States. Wishington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau, 
pp. 11-12. 

15 U.S. Civil Rights Commission (2003). A Quiet 
Crisis: Federal Funding and Unmet Needs in Indian 
Country (No. 005-907-00596-1.) Washington, DC: 
U.S. Civil Rights Commission. 

16 Kappler, C. (1972). Indian Treaties, 1778-188}. 
Washington, DC: Interland Publishing, Inc. 

17 Remarks by Commissioner of Indian Affairs 
Glenn L. Emmons. (1957, October 30). Depart- 
ment of the Interior Information Service, p.i. 
NARA: RG 75 Records of the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs, Northern Cheyenne Agency, Lame Deer, 
MT, Decimal Subject Files, 1926-1952, Box i Trans. 
From 10NS-075-97-013. 



154 



i8 Mari Sandoz to Harry S. Truman, lo October 
1949, Mari Sandoz Correspondence (microfilm reel 
MS00016, University of Nebraska, Lincoln). 

19 Northern Cheyenne Health Clinic Completed. 
(1999, Nov. 15). India}! Country Todiiy,. 2. 

20 G. Small (personal communication), Dec. 21, 
2007. 

21 Braitman, E., (1991, Oct. 10). CRA report trips 
merger in Montana. American Banker 156(197), 1. 

22 Community Reinvestment Proram Mutual 
Agreement of Cooperation and Understanding 
(1992, Sept. 18). 



23 Shay, B. (2003, March 16). Banking on tradition: 
Northern Cheyenne Reservation gets own bank. 
The Billings Gazette. Retrieved Dec. 7, 2007 from 
http://billingsgazette.net/articles/2003/03/16/busi- 
ness/export99468.txt 

24 Native Action 20th Antiiversary Report. 

25 Selden, R. (2002, Jan. 31). Prodded by federal 
law, bank finds good business on reservation. 
Indian Country Today. Retrieved Dec. 7, 2007, 
from http://www.indiancountry.com/content. 
cfm?id=ioi223i275 

26 Shay, Banking on tradition. 



We Will Keep our Cheyenne Home Forever 



155 



Contributors 



rx 



MARJANE Ambler wrote the Coming Home chapter and the conclud- 
ing chapter (We Will Keep our Cheyenne Home Forever). She first 
visited the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in 1974 as a journalist 
covering the Northern Cheyenne coal lease controversy. Since then she has spe- 
cialized in American Indian natural resource and education issues. From 1995 until 
2006, she was the editor and publisher of the Tribal College JouniaL a quarterly 
magazine covering the 35 tribal colleges in the American Indian Higher Education 
Consortium. In 1990, the University Press of Kansas published her book, Breaking 
the Iron Bonds: Indian Control of Energy Development. 

Kathleen B. Beartusk took many of the photographs in this book and helped 
prepare other graphic images. A member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, she 
has worked for Chief Dull Knife College (CDKC) for 26 years. She received her 
associate degree from CDKC in 1993. She does a lot of design and desktop pub- 
lishing for the college. A fifth generation descendant of Chiel Dull Knile, she has 
five children ages 19 through 34. She raised them as a single mom. Four of her 
children got degrees from or are beginning their educational journeys at Chief 
Dull Knife College. Her oldest, Adam, is now working on his Master's in Business 
Administration. Her other son, Uriah Two Two, 28, is doing his third tour in Iraq. 
He went into the Army right out of high school. She has six grandchildren. 

Joan Hantz wrote the chapters on Early Education, The Girl Who Saved her 
Brother, and Balloon Bomb in Lame Deer; and she contributed research to the 
Coming Home chapter. A Montana native, she is a graduate of the University of 
Montana. She received her Library Science Degree from the University of Arizona. 
She has worked in the library profession for 25 years and has been library director 
at the Dr. John Woodenlegs Library in Lame Deer for nearly six years. She met 
her husband while attending the University of Montana. They have been married 
for 25 years and have two sons. Hantz first became involved with this project when 



157 



Dr. Richard E. Little Bear asked her to do research at the National Archives and 
Records Administration in Denver. She came across many documents with names 
and places that she recognized. Making contacts and interviewing folks in the area 
was also satisfying to her. She hopes that the children of Montana will gain a sense 
of the Cheyenne community from this book. 

Richard E. Little Bear wrote the Preface and the Language chapter and edited 
all of the chapters. He was born in Lame Deer and was raised in Busby until he 
was 15 years of age. He was primarily raised by his Grandma Rosa Little Bear. He 
attended Northern Cheyenne Tribal Schools (then known as the Tongue River 
Boarding School) until the eighth grade. He then attended high school in Lind, 
WA, where he was the only American Indian student for three years. He gradtiated 
from Lind High, attended Centralia Community College, Wenatchee Valley Col- 
lege in Washington State, and Bethel College in Kansas, from which he earned a 
Bachelor's Degree in English. He earned a Master's in Educational Administration 
from Montana State University in Bozeman, MT, and a Doctorate in Educational 
Administration from Boston University in Boston, MA. Since 1996 he has been 
employed at Chief Dull Knife College, first as the dean of cultural affairs, then as 
the acting president, then as the president, and now as the dean of cultural affairs 
and the president. He is married to Jan Little Bear, who works for the Northwest 
Regional Educational Laboratory in Portland, OR. Between them, they share five 
children and five grandchildren. 

Patti Means wrote the article about Joseph Whitewolf She also contributed 
research for several chapters, including the concluding chapter ("We Will Keep our 
Cheyenne Home Forever), Chief Dull Knife College chapter, the tribal presidents 
list in the appendix, and the Early Education chapter. A graduate of Chief Dull 
Knife College, she has worked there for 10 years, first at the library and then as 
the student support services coordinator. An enrolled Northern Cheyenne, she 
has lived on the reservation most of her life. She and her husband, David, have 
three sons (Jarrad, Chauncey, and Kale) and four grandchildren. She said she has 
enjoyed working on this project, especially doing the research. 

Mina Seminole wrote the chapters on Northern Cheyenne Sacred Sites and 
Objects. Cheyenne Peace Pipe, and District Names. She contributed research on 
the Coming Home chapter. She is an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne 
Tribe. She enjoyed working on the project because in her youth, she heard many 
stories from her parents and grandparents. Through her research on this project, 
she became even more appreciative of the ancestors' sacrifices so that generations of 
Cheyenne people can continue. Although she has left the reservation for short pe- 
riods for education and employment opportunities, her family ties always brought 
her back home. She comes from a family of 12 children, and she is the second old- 
est. During her high school years, she went to a boarding school in Flandreau, SD. 



158 



Aher graduation her desire tor education and adventure took her to Cleveland, 
OH, where she attended business school. She met her husband there; he is from 
the Omaha Tribe in Nebraska. They have 3 children, 13 grandchildren, and 2 great 
grandchildren. When she started work at Chief Dull Knife College in 2005, her 
desire to take college classes became a reality. In May 2008, she planned to receive 
her Associate of Arts degree in Native American Studies. 

Linwood Tall Bull wrote the Native Plants chapter. He is an enrolled member 
of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe and a descendent of Tall Bull, the leader of the 
Dog Soldiers who was killed at Summit Springs in 1869. Linwood Tall Bull is 
a Vietnam Era veteran as well as a Headsman for the Dog Soldiers Society, an 
ancient society that has always protected and preserved the ways of the people. 
He follows in the footsteps of his father (WiUiam Tall Bull), teaching the heal- 
ing qualities of plants and teaching Ethnobotany at Chief Dull Knife College. 
He believes that Indian Education for All is one ol the best things happening in 
Montana schools today. Every tribe in Montana and throughout the United States 
has a colorful, interesting history; strong stories and legends; knowledge about 
plants and healing; and survival skills. Knowing more about each other will help 
non-Indian and Indian children learn to live together well, he believes. When they 
start to learn more about Indian history and culture, all children in our schools 
will be getting an education about the best of both worlds. That is why he is proud 
to work on this Tribal Histories Project. 

Carol Ward wrote the Contemporary Education and co-wrote the Chief Dull 
Knife College chapters. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago 
in 1992. Her interest in American Indian education led to her work as a research 
specialist for the Administration for Native Americans in Washington, DC, for 
five years. In the early 1980s, she worked as a consultant to Chief Dull Knife 
College and then as a staff and faculty member from 1987-1990. As a result of this 
work, she completed a dropout study on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reserva- 
tion, which was published as a monograph, Native Americans in the School System 
by AltaMira Press in 2005. She joined the sociology faculty at Brigham Young 
University in 1990 and teaches classes in racial and ethnic relations, sociology of 
education, community, and qualitative and survey methods. She has continued 
to work with the Northern Cheyenne over the last 17 years on issues related to 
K-12 and higher education, substance abuse recovery, and the effects of welfare 
reform on food insecurity and health conditions. These projects have involved 
community surveys as well as interviews with members of the Northern Cheyenne 
community. She is currently conducting research concerning the effectiveness of 
recent innovations in the math and science curriculum and expansion of student 
services at Chief Dull Knife College. 

Bill Wertman co-wrote the Chief Dull Knife College (CDKC) chapter and 



Contributors '59 



contributed research to the Coming Home chapter. He is vice president ot the 
college, where he has been employed for 28 years. Prior to his employment at 
CDKC, he was the director of student development at Busby Schools for seven 
years. He earned his bachelor's degree from Eastern Montana College and his 
master's degree from Montana State University-Bozeman. A life-long resident of 
southeastern Montana, Wertman has two daughters (Jodean and Lindsey) and a 
son (Devin), all oi whom have completed studies at CDKC. Devin is currently 
pursuing a bachelor's degree at Rocky Mountain College. Wertman enjoys work- 
ing at the college because he likes assisting students as they explore and ultimately 
realize their educational dreams. Each day brings new challenges and opportuni- 
ties for both personal and institutional growth. 

Dave Wilson wrote the Agriculture and the Energy chapters and helped 
research several of the other chapters. He has a Bachelor's of Arts in History, a 
Master's of Arts in Classics from the University of Kansas, and a Ph.D. in History 
from Brigham Young University. He began working at Chief Dull Knife College 
in 1985, was on the staff of the tribal college from 1986 to 1990, and since then has 
considered Rosebud County as his home. He is now an assistant professor of His- 
tory and American Indian Studies at Utah Valley State College in Orem. He says 
that his "real " Ph.D. came from the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, where his 
"committee" consisted of William Tall Bull, Ted Risingsun, Florence Whiteman, 
Lee and Juanita Lonebear, Alonzo Spang, and Richard Tall Bull. The research for 
these chapters was based mostly on archival sources, with a few interviews. 



160 



APPENDIX A 



Northern Cheyenne Veterans List 







THIS LIST WAS compiled primarily by Janet Mullin. The people who worked 
on this list tried to include everyone, but there are undoubtedly omis- 
sions, especially in the list from the i88os. If someone has been omitted, 
contact Janet Mullin at the Jessie Mullin Picture Museum in Lame Deer {406) 
477-6460. 



Last Name 


First Name 


Date 
Enlisted 


Date 
Discharged 


Branch 


Allen 


Dean 


1977 


1979 


Air Force 


American Horse 


Allen Ward 






Navy Korea 


American Horse 


Francis 


12/11/1968 






American Horse 


Roger 


5/22/1962 


6/2/1969 




American Horse 


Marvin 






Army 


American Horse 


Terry 






Marine 


American Horse 


Ward 








Archambeau 


Irene 


1944 


2/??/i95i 


Army 


Arwood 


David, Sr. 


1950 




Army 


Arwood 


Herbert W. 








Arwood 


Waldo 








Bahr 


Frances 






Marine 


Baldeagle 


Hugh 






Army 


Barrus 


Hunter 


1998 


2003 


Navy 


Baylor 


Teresa Trusty 








Bear 


Joe, Sr. 


1/11/1950 


1/14/1954 


Army 


Bearchum 


Benjamin 








Bearchum 


Ella Jean 








Bearchum 


Frank, Jr. 








Bearchum 


Jerome, Jr. 


11/25/1946 


4/16/1947 


Army 


Bearchum 


Robert, Sr. 






Marine 


Bearchum 


Tyrone 






Navy 


Bearchum 


Wallace, Sr. 


10/16/1950 


4/10/1954 


Army 


Bearcomesout 


Joe, Sr. 


1951 


1954 


Army 


Bearcomesout 


Charles 






Marine 


Bearcomesout 


Lorelie 






Army 


Bearcomesout 


Michael, Jr. 






Marine 


Bearcomesout 


Peter Harold I 


'997 


2001 


Army 



Source 

Legion 

Museum 
Newspaper 
Museum 
Museum 

Museum 

Newspaper 

Legion 

Museum 
Museum 
Legion 
Legion 



161 



Last Name 


First Name 


Date 
Enlisted 


Date 
Discharged 


Branch 


Source 


Bearquiver 


Edmond 






Army 


Museum 


Bearquiver 


Frank, Jr. 










Bearquiver 


Frank, Sr. 






Army 


Museum 


Bearquiver 


James 








Legion 


Beartusk 


Jerome, Jr. 








Legion 


Beartusk 


Kenneth 


2/2/1942 


10/20/1945 




Newspaper 


Beartusk 


Ralph 








Legion 


Beartusk 


Jerome, Jr. 








Newspaper 


Beartusk 


Reuben 


1951 




Army 


Museum 


Beckman 


Eugene 


4/20/1951 


n/13/1953 


Air Force 


Family 


Beirdreau 


Albert 










Bement 


Albert R. 






Marine 




Bement 


Clarence 








Legion 


Bement 


Clarence, Mickey 






Army 


Bement 


Myron W. 


2004 


2005 


Army 




Bement 


Raymond 








Legion 


Big Back 


Eugene 


1950 




Army 


Museum 


Big Back 


Eugene, Jr. 


1977 


1981 


Army 




Big Back 


Charles 


1890 


1892 


Casey Scout 




Big Back 


James 






Marine 


Museum 


Big Back 


Kimberly 


1990 




Marine 


Museum 


Big Back 


Robert 








Legion 


Big Foot Gardner 


Joseph 


1950 




Army 


Museum 


Big Foot Gardner 


Willie 








Legion 


Big Hawk 


Doug 








Museum 


Big Hawk 


William 






Army 




Big Head 


Clayton Lee 










Big Head 


Clifford 






Army 


Museum 


Big Headman 


William 








Legion 


Big Lefthand 


Perry 






Army 




Big Lefthand 


Rafeal 






Army 




Big Medicine 


Joseph 






Army 


Museum 


Bigback 


Kimberly 










Brady 


Alex 


1965 






Museum 


Brady 


Dana 










Brady 


Steve 










Bighead 


William Grovei 










Bites 


James 


1/7/1952 




Marine 


Legion 


Bixby 


Lawrence 








Legion 


Bixby 


Lloyd 




1951 


Killed, Korea 


Museum 


Bixby 


James 








Legion 


Bixby 


Sam 








Legion 


Black Horse 


Reuben 


11/27/1890 


5/26/1891 


Scout 




Blackstone 


Louis 


1950 




Army 


Legion 


Blackstone 


Charles 


11/27/1890 


5/26/1891 


Troop C 




Blackstone 


Mathew 






Marine 


Museum 


Bobtail Horse 








Scout 


Museum 


Bolson 


Frank 


9/ 1 7/ 1 940 


7/15/194S 


Army 


Legion 


Bolson 


Roy Guy 








Legion 


Brady 


Alex 


1965 






Museum 


Brady 


Arnold 






Marine 




Brady 


Dana 


1997 


2001 






Brady 


Deanna 






Marine 




Brady 


Gilbert 


11/16/1969 


8/22/1972 


Marine 




Brady 


Joe 






Army 




Brady 


Joel 






Army 





162 



Last Name 


First Name 


Date 
Enlisted 


Date 
Discharged 


Branch 


Source 


Brady 


Marlin 


1985 


1986 


Army 




Brady 


Maynard, Sr. 










Brady 


Merlin 






Navy 




Brady 


Otto 








Legion 


Brady 


Raymond 


3/3/1943 


12/27/1945 


Army 


Legion 


Brady 


Steven G 






Marine 




Brady 


Wilson 








Legion 


Braine 


Carl 










Braine 


Gary 






Army 




Brave Love 


Greg 








Museum 


Brien 


Kenneth Buddy 


■1943 


1945 


Army 




Brien 


Phillip 






Navy 


Museum 


Brien 


Ronald Bruce 










Buffalohorn 


John 


5/3/1890 


4/2/1891 


Troop A 


Legion 


Bullcoming 


Dana 






Marine 




Bullcoming 


Donald, Jr. 






Marine 




Bullcoming 


Dwight 


1973 


1975 


Marine 


Museum 


Bullcoming 


George 






Army 


Museum 


Bullcoming 


Carrier 










Bullcoming 


Tom 






Army 


Museum 


BuUsheep 


Martin 










Burgess 


Fritz 


1966 




Army 




Burns 


Bernadette 






Navy 




Burns 


George Dempsey 






Museum 


Burns 


George E. 


1/11/1951 


1/10/1955 


Air Force 


Legion 


Burns 


Kyle 


7/1/2002 




Marine 




Burns 


Robert, Sr. 


1952 


1956 


Navy 


Museum 


Cady 


George 






Army 




Cady 


Klee 






Army 




Cain 


Leslie E. 






Air Force 




Charette 


Earl 






Navy 




Chavez 


Daniel 






Army 


Museum 


Chavez 


John 






Army 


Museum 


Chavez 


Thornton 






Army 


Museum 


Chavez 


William 






Army 


Museum 


Clubfoor 


Huge 






Marine 


Museum 


Clubfoot Adams 


Peter 


11/16/1945 


11/15/1948 


Army 


Legion 


Cooley 


Francis 










Corneliusen 


Robin 


1/1/1974 


1/1/1980 


Army 


Museum 


Crazymule 


James 








Legion 


Crazymule 


Kenneth 


12/5/1968 


3/6/1974 






Crazymule 


Lee 


5/8/2005 




Navy 




Crazymule 


Thomas 








Legion 


Crazymule 


Xavier 






Army 


Museum 


Cummins 


Richard Walker 5/12/1942 


5/31/1946 


Army 




Curley 


Billford 






Army 


Museum 


Curley 


Joe, Jr. 






Army 


Museum 


Curley 


Joe, Sr. 






Army 


Museum 


Curley 


Logan 






Army 


Museum 


Dahle 


Edwin 






Navy 


Legion 


Divesbackwards 


Sam 




2/15/1945 




Legion 


Divesbackwards 


Strane 


4/7/1943 


2/22/1946 


Army 


Legion 


Eaglefeathers 


Anthony 






Army 




Eaglefeathers 


Milton 








Legion 


Eaglefeathers 


Oliver, Glenn 




6/10/1960 


Army 




Eaglefeathers 


Toni 






Army 





Northern Cheyenne Veterans List 



163 



Last Name 


First Name 


Date 
Enlisted 


Date 
Discharged 


Branch 


Source 


Eastman 
Eastman 


Dalmer K. 
Robert 










Legion 


Elkshoulder 


Andrew 








Marine 




Elkshoulder 


Leonard 


1/14/1966 


1/14/1969 


Army 




Elkshoulder 


Mark 












Elliott 


Ervin 




4/14/) 


;977 


Army 


Legion 


Elliott 


Myron L. 










Legion 


Ewing 


Pierre 












Farr 


Frank 


4/24/1944 


12/5/1 


944 


Army 


Legion 


Fightingbear 


Herbert 


10/17/1942 


11/9/1 


945 


Army 


Legion 


Firecrow 


Joseph 


1945 


1947 






Legion 


Fisher 


Bernadine 


11/1/1945 


1947 




Army 


Legion 


Fisher 


Daniel Sr. 








Army 




Fisher 


Emery Sidney 




1982 




Army 




Fisher 


Floyd 


1955 


1958 




Navy 


Legion 


Fisher 


James 


10/31/1944 


11/8/1 


945 


Navy 


Legion 


Fisher 


Jason Jerry 


1961 


1964 




Army 




Fisher 


Phillips Brother 








Museum 


Fisher 


Russell 










Legion 


Fishing Hawk 


Curtis 


1977 


1990 




Army, Nav)' Seals 


Family 


Flatness 


Kellie 












Flatness 


Lonnie 








Marine 


Museum 


Flatness 


Ollie 








Army 


Museum 


Flores 


Angeline 












Flores 


Anthony 








Army 




Flying 


John Paul 








Army 




Flying 


Larry 


1/15/1968 


7/10/: 


[970 


Marine 




Flying 


Parker 










Legion 


Foot 


James 












Foote 


Adrian 








Army 




Foote 


Edward Jr. 








Marine 




Foote 


Joseph 












Foote 


Richard 








Army 




Fox 


Deanna 








Marine 




Fox 


Joe, Sr. 










Legion 


Gardipe 


George R. 


8/14/1942 


12/25/ 


'1945 






Glenmore 


Floyd 


1965 


1967 




Army 


Museum 


Glenmore 


Ronnie 


1964 


1965 




Army 


Museum 


Gray 


Eddie 


1997 


2000 




Marine 




Gray 


Joe, Jr. 








Nav)' 




Gray 


Teddy 


3/20/1941 


3/16/1946 


Army 


Legion 


Green 


Tambouzi 








Army 




Grinsell 


Edward, Jr. 








Army 


Museum 


Grinsell 


Edward, Sr. 








Air Force 


Museum 


Grinsell 


Floyd 








Army 


Museum 


Grinsell 


John J. 








Army 


Museum 


Grinsell 


William J. 








Army 


Museum 


Hairy Hand 










Scout 




Hardground 


Francis 












Hardground 


Thomas M. 


11/3/1950 


3/21/1956 


Army 


Legion 


Hardrobe 


Colonel 


10/27/1876 


4/20/ 


1891 






Harris 


Chester 








Air Force 


Legion 


Harris 


Clinton 


1965 


1967 




Army 




Harris 


Francis 








Air Force 


Legion 


Harris 


George 


1/20/1942 


10/5/1 


945 


Marine 


Legion 


Harris 


Gilbert 










Museum 



164 



Last Name 


First Name 


Date 
Enlisted 


Date 
Discharged 


Branch 


Source 


Harris 


Lafayette Lafe 






Navy 




Hart 


Eugene 






Army 


Museum 


Hart 


Robert 






Army 


Museum 


Haselhun 


Homer 










Hawk Inee 








Scout 




Headswift 


Wayne 


10/6/1967 


10/7/1970 


Army 




Heart 


Hubert 






Nav)' 




Hill 


Shandon 






Army 




Hisbadhorse 


Ernest 


12/15/1942 


12/15/1944 


Army 


Legion 


Hiwalker 


Hank 








Museum 


Hiwalker 


George III 


4/5/1977 




Army 




Hiwalker 


Weaver 


1966 


1968 


Marine 




High Walking 


Frank 






Arm)' 




High Walking 


Micah Rae 






Army 




HoUowbreast 


William 


7/11/1917 


6/20/1919 


Army 




Horn 


Harold 










Horn 


Harold. Jr. 






Army 


Museum 


Horn 


Kenneth M. 


1973 


1975 


Army 


Museum 


Horn 


Mike 


1972 


1976 


Army Ranger 


Museum 


Horn 


Miles 






Army 


Museum 


Horn 


Steven 






Army 


Museum 


Horn 


Bruce 






Marine 


Museum 


Horn 


Denver 






Marine 


Museum 


Hurff 


MoUie 


2004 


2006 


Army 




Iron Hand 


Rufus 


1951 


1955 


.AJr Force 


Legion 


Issues 


John 


5/3/1890 


4/2/1891 


Troop A 




Issues 


Ira 


1949 


1951 


Army 




Issues 


Irene 


1/25/1944 


3/9/1946 


WAG 


Legion 


Johnson 


Wolfe 










Jones 


Hugh, O. 










Kellum 


Bruce 






Army 




Kellum 


George 










Kills On Top 


Frank 










Kills On Top 


Harold 


6/??/5i 




Air Force 




Kills On Top 


Peter 










Kills On Top 


Rufus 






Army 




Kills On Top 


Troy 


1984 


1990 


Army / N. Guard 




Killsnight 


Avon 








Legion 


Killsnight 


Eli 








Legion 


Killsnight 


Ferdinand 










Killsnight 


Marcian 






Army 




Killlsnight 


Martin 






Army 


Mu.seum 


Killsontop 


Frank 








Legion 


Killsontop 


Harold 








Legion 


Killsontop 


Paul 








Legion 


King 


Eva, Littlewolf 








Legion 


King 


James D. Sr. 


8/22/1941 


10/28/1945 


Air Force 


Legion 


King 


Raymond 






Marine 


Museum 


King 


Rudolph Sr. 


7/8/1943 


12/26/1945 


Army 


Mu.seum 


King 


Rudolph, Jr. 


5/18/1970 


3/16/1973 


Army 




Knowshisgun 


Hector 






Air Force 


Legion 


La Ranee 


Christopher 








Legion 


La Ranee 


Henry 










Laforge 


Benjamin 










Lafountain 


Anthony 


1980 


1981 


Army 




Latountain 


Anthony, Jr. 






Army 





Northern Cheyenne Veterans List 



165 



Last Name 


First Name 


Date 
Enlisted 


Date 
Discharged 


Branch 


Source 


Lafountain 


Tammy 






Army 




Lahn 


Burt 






Coast Guard 




Lahn 


Catherine 






Air Force 




Lame Woman 


Virgil 






Army 


Museum 


Larance 


Albert 








Legion 


Larance 


Christopher 








Legion 


Larance 


Maynard 










Last Bull 


Fred 








Museum 


Limberhand 


Elmer, Sr. 


4/24/1944 


11/11/1945 


Army 


Legion 


Limberhand 


Elmer, Jr. 


1949 


1953 


Army 


Museum 


Limberhand 


Maurice, Sr. 






Army 


Museum 


Limpy 


Francis 








Legion 


Limpy 


Fred 






Army 




Limpy 


Fred, Jr. 






Army 




Limpy 


Homer 


1962 


1963 


Army 




Limpy 


Lisa 






Army 


Museum 


Little Bear 


Cleveland Larce 1966 


1969 


Army 


Museum 


Litde Bear 


Pete 








Legion 


Litde Bear 


Richard 






Army 


Museum 


Litde Bird 


Glenda 






Marine 


Museum 


Litde Bird 


Harry 








Legion 


Litde Bird 


James 


1942 


1946 


Army 


Museum 


Little Bird 


Joe 






WWII 


Museum 


Little Bird 


Joey 






Marine 


Museum 


Litde Bird 


Lloyd 






Marine 


Museum 


Little Coyote 


Barry 










Little Coyote 


Eugene 






Air Force 


Legion 


Little Coyote 


Monte 


2002 


2003 


Army 


Museum 


Little Coyote 


Perry 










Little Mouth 


Mike 










Little Mouth 


Preston 








Legion 


Littlesun 


Alfred 


2/??/42 


5/22/1945 


Army 


Museum 


Littlesun 


Horce 


1942 


1945 


Army 


Legion 


Littlebear 


Paul 










Littlebird 


Harry 










Litdebird 


James 


6/15/1942 


4/6/1946 


Army 




Little Coyote 


Eugene 






Air Force 


Legion 


Little Coyote 


Monte Jr. 


2002 


2003 


Army 




Litdehead 


Charles 






8th Cavalry 




Littlehead 


George 








Legion 


Littlesun 


Horace 








Legion 


Littlewhirlwind 


Anthony 






Navy 




Littlewhirlwind 


Benidice 






Army 


Museum 


Littlewhirlwind 


Blaine 






Army Airborne 


Museum 


Littlewhirlwind 


Cletis Loc 


■cwood 




Navy 




Littlewhirlwind 


Howard 






Legion 




Littlewhirlwind 


Joseph 








Legion 


Littlewhiteman 


David, Jr. 


1974 


1980 


Navy 




Littlewhiteman 


David, Sr. 


1951 


1954 


Air Force 


Museum 


Littlewhiteman 


Tom 






Army 




Littlewhiteman 


Wayne F. 


1946 


12/31/1946 


Marine 


Legion 


Littlewolf 


George 








Legion 


Littlewolf 


Lanard 










Locker 


Walter Rusty 






Vietnam 


Museum 


Loneelk 


George 


1950 




Army 


Museum 


Loneelk 


Manuel 






Navy 





166 



Last Name 


First Name 


Date 
Enlisted 


Date 
Discharged 


Branch 


Source 


Loneelk 


Wilson 








Legion 


Lonebear 


Bob 




10/5/1955 




Museum 


Lonebear 


Robert 


11/5/1943 


12/4/1945 


Air Force 




Long Sioux 


Clifford 






Army 


Museum 


Longjaw 


John 








Legion 


Longjaw 


Joseph 






Marine 




Longjaw, Marshall 


Arthur 


11/20/1950 


11/3/1953 


Army 


Legion 


Looks Behind 


Leonard 






Army 


Museum 


Mac Fadden 


Fred 


7/24/2008 


4/6/2019 


Air Force 




Magpie 


James 






Army 




Magpie 


Malina 






Navy 




McMakin 


James 


11/11/1941 


7/31/1945 


Army 




Medicine Bull 


Bert 








Legion 


Medicine Bull 


Fred Jr. 






Army 


Museum 


Medicine Elk 


Bruce 






Army 


Museum 


Medicine Elk 


Colin 






Army 




Medicine Elk 


James 


1965 






Museum 


Medicine Elk 


Peter 


10/12/1944 


11/12/1946 


Army 


Legion 


Medicine Elk 


Thomas 




2/13/1948 


Air Force 


Legion 


Medicine Elk 


Wayne 






Army 


Legion 


Medicine Top 


John 






Army 


Museum 


Mexican Cheyenne 




11/27/1890 


6/11/1892 


8th Cavalry 




Miles, Seminole 


Nelson 






8th Cavalry 




Moore 


Charlotte Louise 




2003 


Marine 


Morgan 


Claude 










Morrison 


Cedrick 






Marine 




MuUin 


James L. 


11/25/1942 


1/18/1946 


Army 




Mullin 


James N. 










Neiss 


Clayton 






Marine 




Old Bull 


James 








Legion 


Old Mouse 


Roger 


6/9/1961 


8/11/1965 


Air Force 




One Bear 


Jim 






Army 


Museum 


One Bear 


Robert 






Air Force 


Legion 


One Bear 


Wayne 


1950 


1953 


Army 


Legion 


Parker 


Clyde 






Army 




Parker 


Edwin 








Legion 


Parker 


Gabriel 








Legion 


Parker 


Lyie 








Legion 


Parker 


Morris 








Legion 


Parker 


Shirley 








Legion 


Parker 


Winfred 








Legion 


Parker Peters 


George Stephen 




Marine 




Peck 


Francis 


2/15/1954 


5/14/1954 


Army 




Phipps 


Jesse 






Army 




Pittman 


Robert 


11/28/1950 


"953 


Marine 


Museum 


Pittman 


RoyH. 




2/21/1920 


Navy 




Prairie Bear 


Aloysius 








Legion 


Pretty Boy 


Mario, Jr. 






Army 




Red Bird' 


LyIe 








Legion 


Red Bird 


Samuel 








Legion 


Red Cherries 


Frank 








Legion 


Red Cherries 


Merlyn Lee 






Marine 


Museum 


Red Cherries 


Adolph 


1951 




Army 


Legion 


Red Cherries 


Carol 


2/24/1955 


8/4/1960 


Air Force 




Red Fox 


Ervin 








Legion 


Red Fox 


Ralph 








Legion 



Northern Cheyenne Veterans List 



167 



Last Name 


First Name 


Date 
Enlisted 


Date 
Discharged 


Branch 


Source 


Redcloud, Bigtoot 


Carl Pete 


2/6/1943 




Army 




Redrobe 


Jasper 








Legion 


Redwoman 


Dominic 










Ridgebear 


Jerry 


1950 




Army 


Museum 


Ridgebear 


One 


12/7/1977 


3/11/1978 






Ridgewalker 








Scout 




Riding In 


Cecil 


5/21/1941 


10/15/1945 


Marine 




Risingsun 


Collins 








Legion 


Risingsun 


Harry 


2/2/1943 


4/1/1946 


Army 


Legion 


Risingsun 


Peter 






Air Force 


Museum 


Risingsun 


Phillip 


1890 


1891 


Scout 




Risingsun 


Teddy 


1951 




Army 


Legion 


Robinson 


Bee 










Robinson 


Buell D. 


1/4/1951 


12/29/1952 


Army 


Legion 


Robinson 


Cornelius 


5/24/1944 


10/18/1944 


Army 


Legion 


Robinson 


Lynwood 






Army 




Rockroads 


Tom Jr. 






Army 


Museum 


Roundstone 


Wayne 






Army 


Museum 


Roundstone 


Wendell 






Army 


Museum 


Rowland 


Allen 








Legion 


Rowland 


Donald 








Legion 


Rowland 


Eugene 






Prison, Korea 


Museum 


Rowland 


Frank 








Legion 


Rowland 


Rex 








Legion 


Rowland 


Richard Leroy 






Army 




Rowland 


Willis T. 






Troop L 8 th 




Runsabove 


Leroy 






Army 


Museum 


Runsabove 


Lloyd L. 


3/29/1944 


1/30/1945 


Navy 




Russell 


Clifford 






Army 


Legion 


Russell 


Harry 








Legion 


Russell 


Hubert 








Legion 


Russell 


John Jr. 


10/5/1966 


10/4/1972 


Army 




Russell 


Winfield 








Museum 


Ryan 


Van Sr. 






Army 


Museum 


Sampson 


Aaron Boyd 




9/27/1984 


Marine 




Sandcrane 


Edward 


1950 




Army 


Museum 


Sandcrane 


James 










Sandcrane 


Joe 


1950 




Army 


Museum 


Sandcrane 


Michael 


5/2/1960 


5/14/1964 


Army 




Sandcrane 


Peter 








Legion 


Sandcrane 


Henry 


4/23/1942 


9/10/1945 




Legion 


Schwartz 


JoeH. 




6/11/1946 


Army 




Selage 


James 






Army 


Museum 


Selage 


May 








Museum 


Selage 


Nicholas M. 










Seminole 


Burton 






Army 


Museum 


Seminole 


Emmanuel, Jr. 


1990 


1994 


Army 


Family 


Seminole 


Eugene 






Marine 


Museum 


Seminole 


Frederick Dale, 


Jr. 






Navy L 


Seminole 


John 


1950 




Army 


Museum 


Seminole 


Ronald 








Museum 


Seminole 


Miles 










Seminole 


Stephen 






Marine 




Shanta 


Miranda 






Army 




Shavehead 


Francis 


1950 




Army 


Museum 


Sherman 


Oliver C. 








Legion 



168 



Last Name 


First Name 


Date 
Enlisted 


Date 
Discharged 


Branch 


Source 


Shoulderblade 


Berndine 


12/8/1970 


12/7/1976 


Army 




Shoulderblade 


Francis 


5/11/1942 


8/13/1944 


Army 


Legion 


Shoulderblade 


James 






WWII 


Museum 


Shoulderblade 


Windelyn Valdi 


D1/8/1970 


2/22/1972 


Army 


Legion 


Simpson 


Earl Thomas 






Army 




Siouxcalt 


Laforce 






Marine 




Sloan 


Roger 










Small 


Clinton 








Legion 


Small 


Edward 








Legion 


Small 


George 


2/5/1943 


7/26/1946 


Army 




Small 


Horace 






Army 


Museum 


Small 


Ivan 








Legion 


Small 


John 








Legion 


Small 


Kim 






Navy 




Small 


Max 








Legion 


Small 


Melvin 








Legion 


Small 


Ralph 








Legion 


Small 


Thomas 






^X'WIl 


Museum 


Small 


Worth R. 








Legion 


Smith 


George J. 


2/5/1943 


7/26/1946 


Army 




Soldier 


Manford 










Solis 


Carl 


1967 


1968 


Vietnam 


Museum 


Solis 


Joseph 






Army 




Spang 


Dylan 






Army 




Spang 


Donald 








Legion 


Spang 


Edward 








Museum 


Spang 


Jake 






Army Reserve 




Spang 


Lyman 








Legion 


Spang 


Marvin 






Army 




Spang 


Norman 






Navy 


Museum 


Spang 


Pete 








Museum 


Spang 


Wilber 






Army 


Museum 


Spang 


Wilber, Sr. 


1967 


1969 


Army 


Museum 


Spear 


James Bites Jr. 










Speelman 


Benjamin 






Army 




Speelman 


Ervin 










Speelman 


Gilbert 






Nav)' 




Speelman 


Irvin Lee 






Army 


Legion 


Speelman 


Jeffery 






Air Force 




Speelman 


Leslie . 




2002 


Marine 




Speelman 


Orville 






Air Force 


Legion 


Speelman 


William 








Legion 


Spotted Eagle 


Douglas 


1966 


1968 


Army 




Spotted Elk 


Abraham 






Marine 


Museum 


Spotted Elk 


Charles 










Spottedwolf 


James 


10/16/1950 


10/15/1953 


Army 


Legion 


Spottedwolf 


Jennie Lou 






NavT 




Spottedwolf 


John 








Legion 


Squint Eyes 


John 


1920 




Scout 


Museum 


Standing Elk 


Benno 


8/4/1949 


12/20/1950 




Legion 


Standing Elk 


Edwin 


4/21/1969 


1970 


Marine 




Standing Elk 


Eugene 










Standing Elk 


George 


4/6/1951 


3/6/1955 


Air Force 


Legion 


Standing Elk 


Melvin 






Army 




Standing Elk 


Wayne 








Legion 


Standsintimber 


John Jr. 






Navy 


Museum 



Northern Cheyenne Veterans List 



169 



Last Name 


First Name 


Date 
Enlisted 


Date 
Discharged 


Branch 


Source 


Stange Owl 


Alfred 






Navy 


Museum 


Strange Owl 


Gabriel 






Army 




Strange Owl 


Gordon 






Army 


Museum 


Sweetmedicine 


Willie 








Legion 


Stumphorn 


Frank 


9/7/1879 


4/30/1895 


Scout, 5th Infantry 




Tall Bull 


Charles 






Army 


Museum 


Tali Bull 


Floyd 






Army 


Museum 


Tall Bull 


Neil 






Marine 


Museum 


Tall Bull 


Nelson, Jr. 






Army 


Museum 


Tall Bull 


Nelson, Sr. 






Army 


Museum 


Tall Bull 


Wayne Allen 






Marine 


Museum 


TallbuU 


Albert 


1965 






Museum 


TallbuU 


Charles 










Tallbull 


Edmond 




1966 


Army 


Museum 


TallbuU 


Joe Jr. 






Army 


Museum 


Tallbull 


Lloyd 




2006 


Army 




Tallbull 


Lynwood 


1965 




Army 


Museum 


Tallbull 


Russell 


1950 




Army 


Museum 


Tallbull 


Thomas Craig 




2005 






Tallbull 


Vern 








Museum 


Tallbull 


William 


8/30/1942 


11/20/1945 


Army 


Museum 


Tallwhiteman 


Clarence 




1/2/1951 


Killed, Korea 


Legion 


Tallwhiteman 


Jasper 








Legion 


Tallwhiteman 


Raymond 






Navy 


Legion 


Tallwhiteman 


Russell 






Army 


Museum 


Teeth 


Austin 


1969 




Army 


Museum 


Teeth 


Lincoln 


1/9/1976 


3/25/1977 


Marine 




Teeth El-Vase 


Charles 






Indian Wars 




Threefingers 


Antone 






Army 




Threefingers 


Jack Johnson 




8/22/1985 


Army 




Threefingers 


Jessica 






Army 




Threefingers 


Joseph 






Army 


Museum 


Threefingers 


Joseph III 






Army 


Museum 


Threefingers 


Judas 


1998 


2006 


Marine 




Threefingers 


Tony 






Army 


Museum 


Thunderbird 


Richard 






Cavalry 




Timber 


John Gilbert 






Navy 




Trout 


Neil 


1965 


1971 


Marine 




Turtle 


Jacqueline 


1983 


1989 


Marine 




Trusty 


Theresa 








Legion 


Twobulls 


Joseph 








Legion 


Twomoons 


Austin 








Legion 


Two Moons 


Billy 






Army 




Two Moons 


Matthew 








Legion 


Two Two 


Raymond Sr. 






Army 


Museum 


Two Two 


Stephen Jr. 








Legion 


Two Two 


Vincent 






Army 


Museum 


Underwood 


Harold 


1944 


1946 


WWII 


Museum 


Walker 


Alonzo 


8/2/1968 


9/3/1971 


Army 




Walker 


Jerry 






Army 




Walker 


Sam 


6/1/2005 


6/3/2005 


Army 




Walksalong 


Joe 










Walksalong 


Laroche 






Army 




Walblast 


Gilbert 






Army 


Legion 


Walkslast 


lames 


1968 


1970 


Army 


Museum 


Walkslast 


Joe 






Army 


Museum 



170 



Last Name 


First Name 


Date 
Enlisted 


Date 
Discharged 


Branch 


Source 


Walksnice 


Leroy 








Legion 


Wallowiing Hill 


Shandon 


2002 


2003 


Arm\' 




Walters 


Bristle Coolidge 1950 




Army 


Museum 


Walters 


Ford Buford 






Scout 




Walters 


George 






Scout 


Museum 


Wandering Medicine Lomar 






Marine 


Museum 


Wandering Medicine Mark 








Museum 


Waters 


Joe Jr. 


1974 


1976 


Army 


Museum 


Waters 


Joseph Sr. 


1951 


1954 


Arm\' 




Weaselbear 


Elroy Ja\' 


1995 


1999 


Marine 


Museum 


Weaselbear 


Robert 








Legion 


White 


Stamper 








Museum 


White 


Wallis 


1950 




Army 


Museum 


White 


Willis 








Legion 


White Shield 


Steven 


1974 


1978 


Marine 




White Crane 


Jasper 






Army 


Museum 


Whitedirt 


Charles 


1965 






Museum 


Whitedirt 


Doreen 






iArmy 


Museum 


WTiitedirt 


Patrick 


1950 




Army 


Museum 


Whitehawk 


Andrew 








Legion 


Whiteman 


Clarence 




10/16/1951 


Killed, Korea 


Museum 


Whiteman 


Frank Paul 






Air Force 




Whiteman 


Leroy 








Legion 


VChiteman 


Milton Buster 








Legion 


Whiteman 


Richard 










Whiteman 


Willis 








Legion 


WTiitewolf 


Calvin 






Army 


Museum 


Whitewolf 


Daniel 


9/19/1961 


10/15/1964 


Marine 




Whitewolf 


Isadore 






Nasy 




Whitewolf 


Leo 








Legion 


Whitewolf 


Joe 


2/9/1944 


11/2/1945 


Army 


Legion 


Whitewolf 


Joe 


1965 






Museum 


Whitewoman 


\ernell 






Navy 




Wild Hog 


Adam 








Legion 


Wild Hog 


John 


5/3/05 




Army 




Wild Hog 


John 


1/7/1882 


1/6/1883 


Scout/Ft. Reno 




Wild Hog 


John Bird 


9/18/1890 


5/15/1891 


Hunter 8th 




Wilson 


Arthur 








Legion 


Wilson 


Curley 


1950 


1953 


Army 


Museum 


Wilson 


Michael 






Marine 




Wilson 


George C. 








Legion 


Wilson 


Peter 






Marine 




Wilson 


James 








Legion 


Wilson Curly 


William Alfred 


12/29/1950 


12/8/1953 


Army 


Legion 


Wolfblack 


Henry 








Legion 


Wolfblack 


Oran C. 








Legion 


Wolf Name 


William 


5/3/1890 


4/30/1891 


Troop A 




Wolfchief 


Harshey 


11/27/1890 


4/20/1891 






Wolfchief 


Lyman Jr. 






,\rniy 




Wolfchief 


Niles 






Army 




Wolfchief 


Norman 


3/4/1947 


8/30/1948 


Arm)' 


Legion 


Wolfchum 


Francis 










Wolfchum 


John F. 








Legion 


Wolfname 


Ciciley 






Army Airborne 




Wolfname 


Forrest Daniel 










Wolfroads 


Paul 








Legion 



Northern Cheyenne Veterans List 



171 



Last Name 


First Name 


Date 
Enlisted 


Date 
Discharged 


Branch 


Source 


Wolfv'oice 


Dewey 








Legion 


Wooden Legs 


John Joseph 


9/27/1967 


5/25/1970 


Army 




Wooden Legs 


Matthew 








Legion 


Woodenthigh 


Teddy 








Legion 


Woundeye 


Melvin 


8/1/1941 


10/12/1945 


Army 


Legion 


White 


Willis 








Legion 


Yellowhair 


Patrick 








Legion 


Yelloweyes 


David 








Legion 


Yellowfox 


Charles 








Museum 


Yellowrobe 


Lloyd 










Yellowrobe 


Moses 


5/26/1947 


2/10/1948 


Air Force 


Legion 


Yellowrobe 


Uydell 


1995 


1999 


Marine 


Museum 


Yellowrobe 


Vydel Ross 


Sept. 1995 


Sept. 1999 


Marine 


Museum 


Yellowrobe 


Waldo 








Legion 


Yellowrobe 


William 


1890 


3/??/i905 


Caseys Soldier 




Young Bear 


Arthur 








Legion 


Youngbear 


Benjamin George 


12/16/1966 


9/1/1969 


Army 


Youngbear 


Leonard 






Marine 


Museum 



Northern Cheyenne Active Duty and Unknowtsi Status List 
As OF December 2007 

This list was compiled primarily by Janet Mullin. The people who worked on this 
list tried to include everyone, but there are undoubtedly omissions, especially in 
the list from the 1880s. li someone has been omitted, contact Janet Mullin at the 
Jessie Mullin Picture Museum in Lame Deer (406) 477-6460. 



Last Name 


First Name 


Branch of Service 


Status 


Bahr 


Michael Ray 


Marine 


Active 


Beckman 


Jason 


Army 


Active 


Blackwolf 


Hubert, Jr. 


Airborne 


Active 


Bullcoming 


Wilson 


Army 


Unknown 


Fisher 


Eugene, Jr. 


Air Force 


Unknown 


Fisher 


Lance R. 


Marine 


Active 


Kellum 


George Anthony 


Army 


Active 


Lei 


John, Jr. 


Army 


Active 


Lei 


Robbv 


Army 


Active 


Mann 


Fred' 


Army 


Reserves 


Pretty Boy 


John 


Army 


Active 


Rising Sun - Glenn 


losie 


Army 


Active 


Roundstone 


Harlan 


Marine 


Unknown 


Roundstone 


Jewel 


Army 


Unknown 


Shoulderblade 


Julius 


Army 


Unknown 


Snow 


Kristen 


Air Force 


Active 


Two Two 


Tyson 


Marine 


Active 


Two Two 


Uriah 


Army 


Active 


Zimmer 


Tristin 


Naw 


Unknown 



172 



APPENDIX B 



Tribal Presidents 



n 



Rufus Wallowing 

December 1935-September 1936 

Joseph White Bear 
September 1936-June 1938 

Eugene Fisher 
September 1938-May 1940 

William Red Cherries 
June 1940-January 1943 

John Stands in Timber 
March 1943-July 1943 

William Red Cherries 
July 1943- September 1944 

Eugene Fisher, Sr. 
September 1944-July 1947 

John Russell 

July 1947-September 1948 

Rufus Wallowing 

September 1948-September 1952 



Eugene Fisher, Sr. 
September 1952-March 1955 

John Wooden Legs 

March 1955 - September 1968 

Allan Rowland 

September 1968 - September 1984 

Windy Shoulder Blade 
September 1984 - December 1985 

Mark Elk Shoulder 

December 1985 -January 30, 1986 

August 18, 1986 - August 30, 1986 

John Buffalo Horn 
January 1986 - August 1986 

Charles Yellow Fox 

August 1986 - September 1986 

Robert Bailey 

September 1986 - October 1986 

October 1986 - September 1988 

Edwin Dalile 

September 1988 - December 1989 



173 



John Wooden Legs, Jr. 
December 1989 —January 1990 

Edwin Dahle 

January 1990 - November 1992 

Llevando Fisher 

September 1992 - December 1996 

Wilham Walks Along 
December 1996 - January 1998 

Norma Gourneau 
January 1998 - March 1998 

Joe Walks Along, Sr. 

March 1998 - November 2000 

Geri Small 

November 2000 - 2004 

Eugene Little Coyote 
November 2004 - February 2008 

Geri Small 

February 2008 - Present 

This list was compiled by the Northern Cheyenne TeCH Project. It was retrieved 
by Patti Means on June i^, 20oy,from the website http:/btc. montana.edu/tech/North- 
ern_Cheyenne/NC_Presidents. htm 



174 



Indi 



ex 



Note; Ittilicized pa.ge numbers indicate 
illustrations and the accompanying captions. 



rX 



Abram, David, 41 

acculturation, resistance to, 94 

Achievement Day, 98 

adult education/literacy center, 128 

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, 84 

agriculture, 53-61 

air quality, 138-140, 145, 146 

alcohol and alcoholism, 32, 41-42, 109, 120, 

128, 149 
Alexander, Archie, 109 
Alexander, Rowdy, 57 
Alford, Danny, 36 
Algonquian languages, 36 
Algonquian-speaking peoples, j/ (map) 
allotment laws, 6in20, 141, 147 
alterNative high school, no 
Amelanchier alnifolia (June berry/sarvisberry), 

64-65 
American Banker (periodical), 152 
American Horse, 55 
American Indian activism, 142-143 
American Indian Housing Initiative, 128 
American Indian Movement (AIM), 142-143 
Anaconda Copper Mining Company, 132 
Anderson, Robert, 53, 59-60 
animals, humans appearing as, 28 
animals, in creation stories, 13-20 
Antelope, 90 

antelope, in creation stories, 17 
Antelope Creek, 50 
appetite stimulation remedies, 65 
aquifers, and methane production, 148 
Arapahoe Tribe, and Fort Laramie Treaty, 25 
archaeologists, and spirit lite, 82 
Ankara Tribe (Ree Tribe), 51 
Arikarees, in creation stories, 20 
Arrows, Sacred, 85, 87, 88 



arrow shafts, 66 

Arthur, Chester A., 30, 47 

articulation agreements, 123 

Ashland District, 47-48, 48 (map) 

assimilationist education, 90, 104, 106, 115 

Assiniboine Tribe, 141 

Association on American Indian Affairs, 147 

authors, background of, 157-160 

Automatic Teller Machine (ATM), 151, 152, 153 

baJd eagle, in creation stories, 17 

balloon bombs. World War II, 75-77, 76 

banking services, 146, 150, 151-153 

bank training program, 153 

Battle of the Litde Big Horn, 25, 67, 68, 71, 86 

Battle of the Rosebud, 67, 68 

battles in escape from Indian Territory, 26-28, 

27 (map), 83, 145 
bear, in creation stories, 17 
Bear, Joe, 140 
Bear Butte, 85, 88 
Bear Killer, 90, 92 
Bear's Heart, 90 
Bear Shield, 90 
Beartusk, Kathleen B., 79 
Beartusk, Ronelle Renee, 122 
Bechtel, 139 
Beeler, A. E., 132 
berry plants, 65-66 

BIA. see Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) 
Bia, Fred, 42 
Bighead, Kate, 68, 70 
Big Left Hand, Perry, 122, 123 
Big Moccasin, 91 
Big Nose, 90 

birds, in creation stories, 17 
Birney District, 48 (map), 49 



175 



Birney Ditch (Tongue River Irrigation Project), 

57. 59 
Black Coyote, 67, 68-70 
Black Hairy Dog, 88 
Black Hills, 18 
Black Lodge people, 50 
Black Wolf, James, 23 
Bluff Creek Battle, 27 (map) 
boarding schools, 92-97, loi, 106 

see alio specific boarding schools 
boomtowns, social problems oh 136, 138 
bows and arrow shafts, G(> 
box elder tree, 64, GG 
Boyle, Hugh, 55 
Boys and Girls Club of the Northern Cheyenne 

Nation, m 
Boys Clubs of America, 56 
boys identically dressed, in creation story, 19-20, 

2in3 
Braided Hair, Barbara, 752, 153 
Brave Wolf 50 
Brave Woman (Buffalo Calf Road Woman), 

67-70, 69 
Brondel, John, 94 

buffalo, in creation stories, 14-18, 19-20 
buffalo berry {Shepherdia canadensis), 65 
Buffalo Calf 90 
Buffalo Calf Road Woman (Brave Woman), 

67-70, 6^ 
Buffalo Gap, 18 
Buffalo Hat, 88 
Buffalo Meat, 90, 92 
Buffalo People, 18 
Bull Hump, 30 
Buntin, John, 57, 58 
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) 

and Busby Tribal School, 105-107 

and coal leases, 135-137 

employees of at Colstrip coal camp, 133 

Indian Technical Assistance Center, 127 

St. Labre Mission School and, 104 

and tribal colleges, 118 

and tribal control of school, 102 
burial and reburial, 23-25, 81-82, 84, 146 
Busby, Sheridan L., 49 
Busby District, 48 (map), 49 
Busby Tribal School, 105-107, 108 
Buzzard, 90 



Campbell, Ben Nighthorse, 
Camp Merritt, 56 
Camp Sheridan, 27 (map) 



[46 



Cannon, James, 135 

Carlisle Indian School, 90 

Gates, Gwendolen, 78 

cattle branding, ^4, $7 

cattle killing, 55-56, 57 

cattle ranching, 54, 55 

CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps), 59 

CDKC. see Chief Dull Knife College (CDKC) 

ceremonies and ceremonialism 

Cheyenne language and, 45 

on escape from Indian Territory, 28 

for healing, 53 

on journey home, 25 

reburial, 82 

to remove aftereffects of war, 79 

retention of x 

Sacred Arrow Worship, 142 

sites of 87, 148 
Chamber of Commerce, 152 
Chestnut, Steven H., 137 
Cheyenne Immersion Camps, jy, 40 
Cheyenne language 

animacy and inanimacy in, 37 

dictionaries of 36, 38 

forbidden in boarding schools, 106 

history of 36-38 

in Montana, 35 

preservation of, x, 38-40 

and spirituality, 45 

teaching, 44, 121 

website, 36 
Chief Comes in Sight, Gj^ 69 
Chief Dull Knife College (CDKC) 

accreditation of, 103 

articulation agreements, 123 

Cheyenne language preservation at, 38-40 

and Circle of Schools, 111-112 

community needs and, 121-123 

cultural mission of 120-121 

curriculum of 119, 124, 126 

enrollment of 127 

facilities of 127-128 

goals of, 119-120 

history of, 118-120 

and Northern Cheyenne Head Start 
program, no 

staffing of 127 

student success, 123-126 
Chief Killer, 90, 92 

chokecherry {Prunns virginiana), 65-66 
Circle of Schools, 111-112 
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), 59 



176 



Class I air qualin-, 138-140 

Clean Air Act, 138-139 

Clean Water Act, 141 

Cleave, Francis, 97 

Clinton, William J., 84 

coalbed methane development, 148, 149 

coal contracts, 135-136 

coal mining, 131-132, 135-136, 139-142, 149 

collective agriculture projects, 60 

college enrollments, no, 115-118 

Colstrip 

histor>' of, 131-132 

public schools, 107-108, 133 

support for coal mining in, 139-140 

town of, i}4 

townspeople of 133-135 

Women's Club, 135 
Colstrip coal-fired power plant, 138, 145-146, 

I54n6 
Community' Education and Training Act 

(CETA), 60 
Communit)' Reinvestment Act (CRA), 151, 

15^. 153 

Company, The, 132 

see also Montana Power Company (PPL 
Montana) 

Consolidation Coal (Consol), 136 

contributors, background of 157-160 

corn, in creation stories, 19-21 

Corn Dance, 53 

cowboys, ^4, jj 

coyote, in creation stories, 17-18 

Crazy Horse, 50 

creation stories 

"The Great Race," 14-18 

"How the Earth was Made," 13 

"Old Woman's Water," 18-21, 2ini, 2m3 

spiritual harmony in, 83 

"The Thunder and the Winter Man," 14 

Crook, George, 67 

Crow Agency, 150 

Crow Coal Authority, 139 

Crow/Northern Cheyenne Hospital, 150 

Crow Reservation, 104 

Crow Tribe, ix-x, 67, 137, 139 

Cr)'stal, David, 35 

cultural exchanges, 126 

cultural heritage preservation, ix-x, 120-121 

cultural identity, 41-42, 94, 147 

culture and language teachers, 38, 44 

Gushing, Frank, 92 

Custer, George A., 25, 71, 86 



Dahl, Edwin, 140, 153, 173, 174 
Darlington Agency, 25, 2j (map) 
Deafy, James, 96 
deaths 

at Battle of Little Big Horn, 25, 68 

causes of for American Indians, 149 

ofChiefDuU Knife, 30 

on escape from Indian Territory, 28-30, 70 

at The Fight "WTiere the Girl Saved Her 
Brother, 67 

at Fort Keogh, 70 

at Fort Robinson, 23-25, 29-30 

in Indian Territory, 26 

from tuberculosis, 97 
Deer Medicine Rocks, 85-86 
depression remedies, 64 
diabetes remedies, 149 
diarrhea remedies, 64 
dictionaries, of Cheyenne language, 36, 38 
disease, 70, 96, 97, 149 
Divesbackwards, Nancy, 53 
domestic training vs. vocational training, 98 
Donner Foundation, 105 
Downstream District, 51 
Drinnon, Richard, 133 
dropout rates, 103, 107, 108, 109-110, 126 
drugs and drug abuse, 32, 41-42, 109, iii, 120, 

128, 149 
Dull Knife 

descendants of 79, 122 

and education, loi, 112, 115 

escape from Indian Territory, 26-28, 2j 
(map), 70, 145 

at Fort Robinson, 28-30 

Fort Robinson breakout, 30 

name origin, 32n9 

and peace pipe, 72 

portrait of, with Little Wolf j/ 

relocation to Indian Territory, 25-26 

on tribal stationery, 145 
Dull Knife Memorial College, 118-119 

see also Chief Dull Knife College (CDKC) 

Eagle's Head, 90 

Early Childhood Learning Center, 128 

economic survey, 151 

economy, agriculture and, 60 

Eddy John R., 56, 57 

education 

achievement in, 102, 120 

advocates for, loi 

alterNative high school, no 



Index 



177 



education (continued) 

assimiiationist, 42, 90, 104, 106, 115 

boarding schools, 92-97 

in Cheyenne language, 44 

European-based vs. tribal, 89 

families and, 95, 105 

federal funding for, 127 

painful connotations of x, 41 

on the reservation, 110-112 

skepticism about, 109 

vocational, 97-98 
educational institutions, 112 

see also specific schools 
Elementary and Secondar\- Education Act, 

102, 105 
Elk Horn Scrappers, 51 
energy crisis of 1970s, 135 
energy development, 123, 131-132, 138-140, 

145-146, I54n6 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 

138-140, 145-146 
Erect Horns, in creation stories, 20, 2in3 
escape from Indian Territory, 26-28, 27, 70, 145 
Extension program, 125 

families, separation oi" students from, 95 

farming, 53, 56-60 

fasting, 85 

Fat Horse Creek, 50-51 

federal government, 56, 109, 127 

see also U.S. entries 
Federal Reserve Board, 146, 151 
Fidelit)' Exploration & Production Compan\', 

147. 148 
Fight Where the Girl Saved Her Brother, the, 

ix, 67 
First Interstate Bank, 146, 151-153 
Fisher, Allen, 57 
Fisher, Roman, 120-121, 129 
Flathead Reservation, 140, 141, 14^ 
flesh offerings, 86 

Florence Whiteman (Ailtiiral Outer, t20, 128 
Florida Boys, 90, gi 
Foley Brothers, 131, 132 
Forsyth, George A., 87 
Fort Belknap College, 119 
Fort Keogh, 27 (map), 30, 70 
Fort Laramie Treat}' (1851), 25 
Fort Marion, 89-91, 9^ 
Fort Mead, 27 (map) 
Fort Peck Reservation, 140, 141 
Fort Reno, 2/ (map) 



Fort Robinson, 24, 25, 27 (map), 28-30 

Fort Robinson Break Out Spiritual Run, u 

Fort Wallace, 27 (map) 

4-H Clubs, 98 

Four Sacred Arrows, 85 

Gathering His Medicine, 29 

GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and 

Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), 

110— III 
geological surveys of Rosebud country, 131 
Ghost Dance Ceremony, 148 
Girl Who Saved Her Brother, the, ix, 67 
Giving Place, the, 50 
Glenmore, Rhoda, 35, 43-44 
gold. Black Hills discovery of 25 
Gonzaga Universitv, 123 
Gray Beard, 90 

grazing permits, for white ranchers, 56 
Great Depression, 59 
"Great Race, The" (story), 14-18 
Great Sioux Reservation trear\', 25 
Greenspan, Alan, 152 
grief and mourning, 40-41 
Grinnell, George Bird, 56 
ground of coherence, 41 

Hail Stone, 90, 92 

Hampton Institute, Virginia, 91-92 

Harris, Bessie, ix 

headache remedies, 64 

Head Chief, 55, 56 

Head Start, no 

health care, 149, 150 

health remedies, 63-65, 149 

health risks, 70, 96, 97, 149 

Heap of Birds, 90 

Highwalker, ^4 

Hill Where People are Taught, The, 85 

History of the Cheyenne People, A (Weist), viii, ix 

Hollowbreast Case, 141, 14^ 

home economics, training in, 98 

homestead laws, 147 

hoop game, 18-19, 2in4 

Horse Roads, 50 

horses, 19, 53, 60 

Hostile Savage stereorv'pe, 43 

Howling Wolf 90 

"How the Earth was Made" (story), 13 

Hualapai people, 42 

Huffman, L. A., 68 

humans, appearing as buffalo, 28 



178 



humans, creation of, 14 
hunger, 25, 48, 50, 56, 149 
hunting rights, 70 
hunting season, 65-66 
hysterica] deafness, 106 

identity, language and, 41-42 

imprisonment of Northern Cheyenne, 23-24, 

28-30, 41, 89-91 
Indian Action Program, 118 
Indian Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), 59 
Indian Compulsory Attendance Law, 94 
Indian-controlled school movement, 145 
Indian Education Act, 102 
Indian Health Service, 149, 150 
Indian Reorganization Act, 132 
Indian Technical Assistance Center, 127 
Indian Territory 

escape from, 26-28, 27, 70, 145 

relocation to, 25-26 

resistance to relocation to, 68-70 
indigenous languages, 35, 36, 44-45 

see also specific languages 
individual ownership and production, 58 
internship programs, 126, 153 
Iron Shield, 50 
Iron Teeth, 68, 70 
Iron Teeth, Susan, 28-30 

Japanese balloon bombs (Wind Ship 

Weapons), 75-77, 76 
Jimtown, 51 

Johnson-O'Malley program, 107 
Jumping Bull, 86 
June Berry {Amelanchier alnifolia), 64-65 

Kassel, H. W, 97 

Kee (Navajo student), 42 

Keeper of the Sacred Hat, 23 

Kennedy, Edward M., 105 

Kill Eagle, 68 

Kills Night, Mabel, 38 

Killsnight, Merlin, 57 

Kindness, Dale, 139 

Kirby, 51 

Knowshisgun, Ellis "Rabbit, ' 139 

Knowshisgun, Sylvester, 140 

Kootenai Tribe, 141, 147 

Labre, St. Benedict Joseph, 94 
Lake DeSmet, 87-88 
Lakota Tribe, 25 



Lame Deer District, 30, 48 (map), 49-50 
Lame Deer public schools, io8-no, iii, 126 
land allotment and ownership, 58, 60, 6in20, 

141-142, 147 
language and culture teachers, 38, 44 
languages, 35, 36, 41-42, 44-45 

see also specific languages 
Lawrence, Jason, S7 
Lean Bear, 91 
Left Hand, 90 
Leman, Wayne, 36 
Lily Foundation, 128 
Limpy, 90 

Little Bear, Richard E., 105-107 
Little Bear Hart, Delores, ii3ni9 
Litde Bird, Steve, 23 
Litde Chief, 90 
Little Finger Nail, 28, 29-30 
Little Medicine, 90 
Little Wolf 

escape from Indian Territory, 26-28, 2/ 
(map), 70, 145 

portrait of, with Dull Knife, ji 

relocation to Indian Territory, 25-26 

self-exile of, 51 

in story of Lake DeSmet, 87 

surrender at Fort Keogh, 30 

on tribal stationery, 145 
Lohmiller, C. B., 96 
Lone Bear, James, 75-76 
Lone Bear, Juanita, 75-77 
Lonefight, William Harjo, 42 
Long Back, 90 
Lookingbill, 92 
Lujan, Manual, Jr., 84 
Lyford, Carrie A., 98 

magpie, in creation stories, 17-18 
Making Medicine, 90 
man, creation of, 14 
Mandan Tribe, 51 
manly-hearted women, 28 
Mann, Henrietta, 89 
Marquis, Thomas D., 28-29 
Match (prisoner at Fort Marion), 90 
Maxwell, Mariah, 116 
McElwain, Joseph, 138-139 
McKenzie, (General), 88 
McKinley, William, 30, 47 
McLaughlin, John, 48, 54 
McRae, Wally, 133 
medicinal plants, 63-66, 148 



Index 



179 



Medicine Arrow, 71 

Medicine Rocks, 86 

Medicine Water, 90 

Medicine Wheel Alliance, 84 

Melcher, John, 84, 146 

memorial services, 23, 24 

Mentha arvenis (Wild Mint), 6^-64^ 

methamphetamine abuse, iii 

methane production, 148, 149 

METHSmart program, in 

Miles, John D., 25-26 

Miles, Nelson A., 30, 32, 50 

Miles Community College, 118-119 

Miller, George, 96 

Mills, Madison, 23 

mineral ownership, 132-133, 135-137, 139, 141, 

147 
mint, wild (Mentha arvenis), 63-64 
Modified Petter Alphabet, 36 
Monnett, John, 26, 2j, 28 
Montana, 2/ (map), 127, 145 
Montana Boys' State, 135 
Montana Legal Services, 153 
Montana Office of Public Instruction, 109 
Montana Power Company (PPL Montana), 

123, 131-132, 138-140 
Montana State Historic Preservation Award, 84 
Montana University System, 123 
Montco coal-strip mine, 148 
Morning Star, see Dull Knife 
Morton, Rogers C. B., 137 
motorcycle rally at Sturgis, SD, 85 
mud, in creation stories, 13, 14 
Muddy Creek District, 48 (map), 50-51 

Naddy, Martin, 132 

Nagel, Joane, 143 

National Science Foundation, 124-125, 126 

Native Action, 109, 146, 148, 151 

Native American Graves Protection and 
Repatriation Act, 23, 84, 146 

native plants, 53, 63-66, 148 

nausea remedies, 64 

New Deal, 59-61 

Nez Perce, 26 

Noble Savage stereotype, 43 

No Brains, 55, 56 

nonlingual people, 42 

Northern Cheyenne Area Chamber of Com- 
merce, 152 

Northern Cheyenne Board of Health, 150 

Northern Cheyenne Boys and Girls Club, iii 



Northern Cheyenne Educational Census, 102, 

103 
Northern Cheyenne Head Start program, no 
Northern Cheyenne Health Clinic, 150 
Northern Cheyenne Indian Action Program, 

Inc., 118 
Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, 48 
(map) 

acreage increased by William McKinley, 47 

and boarding school education, 92 

First Interstate Bank and, 153 

fossil fuel resources of 132 

land allotment, 58, 60, 6m20, 141-142, 147 

in late 19th century, 54 

see also Tongue River Indian Reservation 
Northern Cheyenne Livestock Association, 153 
Northern Cheyenne Research Project (NCRP), 

138-139 
Northern Cheyenne Steer Enterprise, 58-59 
Northern Cheyenne Tribal Council 

and American Indian energy policy, 145 

and Cheyenne language, 36 

and Chief Dull Knife College, 118-119 

contract with Atlantic Richfield Company 
(ARCO), 141-142 

presidents of 173—174 

termination request by, 132-133 

and Tribal Uniform Commercial Code, 153 

vote to cancel coal permits and leases, 137 
Northern Cheyenne Tribal School, 107, no, 126 
Northern Cheyenne Tribe 

and Busby Tribal School, 105-107 

control of tribal school, 102 

and federal environmental laws, 140 

and Indian Health Service clinic, 150 

precedents set by, 145-146 

separation of powers in government of 142 

and St. Labre Mission, 105 

and Tribal Uniform Commercial Code, 153 
Northern Pacific Railroad, 131 
Northern Plains Resource Council, 148 
Northwest Commission on Colleges and 

Universities, 119 
North Woman, ix, 27 (map), 28 

Office ol the Governors Tribal Histories and 

Equipment Initiative, 121 
Oldman, Patty, S9 

"Old Woman's Water" (story), 18-21, 2ini 
on-line degree completion programs, 123 
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Coun- 
tries (OPEC), 135 



180 



orphans, in creation stories, 20 

Owens, Nancy, 136 

ownership, individual vs. tribal, 58, 147 

P-20 movement, iii 

paint, as adornment in creation stories, 18-19 

Parental Involvement Program in Education 
project, 105 

Pawnees, in creation stories, 20 

Peabody Coal Company, 135, 139 

peace pipes, 71—72, 72 

pemmican, 65, 66 

Pennsylvania State Universit)', 128 

people pollution, 138 

Petter, Rodolphe, 36, 47 

Petter Alphabet, 36 

Pine Ridge Agency, 27 (map), 30, 49 

pipes and pipe smoking, 71-72, 72 

Platero, Dillon, 42 

pollution, 138, 148 
see also air quality 

poverty, loi, 121-122, 135, 137, 142, 149 

Powell, Peter J., 85 

Pratt, Richard Henry, 89-90 

Prevention of Significant Deterioration regula- 
tions, 138-139 

Pringle, Robert M., 57, 6ini2 

prisoners held at Fort Marion, 90-91 

prisoners of war, World War II, 73 

Prunns virginiana (chokecherry), 65—66 

public high schools, 102 

Public Law 874, 107 

Punished Woman's Fork, 2^ (map) 

Rabbit Town, 48 

Race Track, 18 

racism, 42-43, 115, 133-135 

rage, suppressed, 41 

ranching vs. farming, 56-59 

rations, 25, 50, 56 

reburials, 23-25, 80-84, 146 

Red Cloud Agency, 28 

Red Lodge mine, 131 

Red Tassel, in creation stories, 20 

Ree Ceremony, 53 

Ree Tribe (Arikara Tribe), 51 

relocation projects, effects of, 41, 68—70 

Reno, Janet, in 

repatriation of American Indian remains, 

23-25, 84, 146 
reservations 

agriculture and economy of, 60 



reservations (continued) 

importance of to American Indian people, 
146-147 

poverty on, loi, 121-122, 135, 142, 149 

resources, control of 142 

sale of surplus land, 58, 141 

surplus land of, 141 

see also individual reservation names 
Rising Bull, 90 
Risingsun, Ted 

and battle to protect land, 146 

and Colstrip project, 140 

on Dull Knife, 115 

and Indian-controlled school board, 106 

memory of Indian New Deal programs, 59 

as tribal spokesman to Consol, 136-137 
Robinson, Tommy B., /// 
Rocky Mountain College, 123 
Roman Nose, 87, 90, 92 
Rosa arkansasa (Rose Bush), 64 
Rosebud County, 138 
Rosebud/Ree District, 51 
rose hips, 64 

Rosenfelt, Daniel M., 105 
Rowland, Allen, 136, 142, 173 
Rowland, Franklin, 76 
Rural Systemic Initiative (RSI), 125, 126 
Russell, John, 132, 173 
Rustling Corn Leaf, 21 
Ryan, John D., 132 

Sacred Arrow Keeper, 88 

Sacred Arrows, 85, 87, 88 

Sacred Arrow Worship ceremony, 142 

sacred ceremonies, 45, 53, 142 

Sacred Hat, 23, 88 

Sacred Mountain, 18 

Sacred Woman, 88 

Salish Tribe, 141, 147 

Sand Creek Battle, 27 (map), 83 

Sanders, Jeffrey, 105 

Sand Hills of Nebraska, 70 

Sandoz, Mari, 132-133, 150 

Sarvisberry (Amelanchier alnifolia), 64-65 

Scabby People Place, 49 

scalp shirts, 137 

schools, see education; specific schools 

Seminole, Louie, 54 

sexism, 68 

Shave Head, 90 

Shepherdia canadensis (Buffalo Berry), 65 

Shoulderblade, Pius, 59-60 



Index 



181 



Sioux, Donita, 150-151 
Sioux Tribe, 141 

see also Lakota Tribe 
Sitting Bull, 50, 85-86 
skull collection, 19th-century, 23 
Slim Walking Woman, in creation story, 17 
Small, Clinton, St., j/ 
Small, Gail, 108-109, HO' 148. i53 
Small, Geri, ix 
Small, Vernon, j/ 
Smithsonian Institution, 92 
Soaring Eagle, 90 
So'taahe language, 36, 45 
Spang, Alonzo, 12^, 133 
Spang, Bently, 43 
Spang, Kermit, 57 
spirit life, 23-25, 81, 82, 132, 148 
spiritual harmony, 83 
spirituality, and Cheyenne language, 45 
spirituality, evolution in expression of, x 
spiritual quests, 87 
split estates, 141, 142, 147 
Spotted Elk, 91 
Spotted Tail Agency, 2j (map) 
Spotted Wolf- Yellow Nose, drawing by, 6g 
Squint Eye, 90 

St. Labre Catholic Mission, 30, 48, 94, 103-105 
St. Labre Indian School, 92-94, 104-105, 110, 

121, 126 
St. Labre Indian School Association, iii 
Standing Elk, Henry, 59-60 
Standing on the Ground, in creation story, 20 
Standing Wolf 91 
Stands in Timber, John, 71, 173 
Stands Over Bull, Patrick, 139 
Star, 90, 92 
starvation, 48, 65, 68 
stereotypes, effect of 42-43, 115 
Stone Child College, 119 
straw-bale buildings, 128 
strip mines and strip mining, 44-45, 136-137, 

145. 148 
Stubborn/Shy People, 47-48 
students 

boarding schools and home visit limitations 
on, 95 

challenges of college, 115-118 

at Colstrip public school, 107-108 

Mariah Maxwell, 116 

and minibanks, 153 

profile of at CDKC, 121-122 

Tommy B. Robinson, /// 



students (continued) 

success of 123-126 

of Tongue River Boarding School, 9$ 
Sturgis, SD, 85 
Sun Dance, x, 18, 86, 88 
surplus land, 58, 141 
sweetbreads (thymus gland), 18 
Sweet Medicine, 21, 2in3, 85, 88 
Sweet Root Standing, 21 

Talent Search, no, iii 

Tall Bull, Linwood, 53, 66 

Tall Bull, William, 53, 65, 8^, 146, 148, 154 

Tall Bull (warrior), 68 

teacher certification and teaching, 38, 94, 109 

tea plants, 63-65 

Tell Them We Are Going Home (Monnett), 26 

Thompson, Jerry N., 94 

Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold 

Reservation, 137 
"Thunder and the Winter Man, The" (story), 

14 
Tichkematse, John, 92 
tipi stakes, 66 
Title I, Elementary and Secondary Education 

Act, 102, 105 
Tongue River and Valley, 147-148 
Tongue River Boarding School, 93-94, 94, 

95-97. 1131119 
Tongue River Indian Civilian Conservation 

Corps (CCC), 59 
Tongue River Indian Reservation, 30-32, 47, 

56, 59, 6inn, 97 

see also Northern Cheyenne Indian 
Reservation 
Tongue River Irrigation Project (Birney Ditch), 

57. 59 
Toole, K. Ross, 135 
tourist attractions, 91 
trachoma, 96, 97 
trauma, historic, 32 
treaties, 25, 150 

Tribal College and University Partnership 

(TCUP), 124-125, 126 
Tribal College or University Assistance Act, 127 
tribal colleges, 118, 121, 127 

see also specific colleges 
tribal council, see Northern Cheyenne Tribal 

Council 
tribal courts, 142 

Tribal Histories and Equipment Initiative, 121 
Tribal Natural Resources Office, 138 



182 



tribal politics, 60 

tribal sovereignty, 141, 142, 145 

Tribal Uniform Commercial Code, 153 

Tribal Water Standards, 141 

Tribes, joining of, iinj 

Tschergi, Matt, 58 

tuberculosis, 97, 149 

Tully, J., 94 

Turkey Springs Battle, ij (map) 

Two Moons, 50, 68 

Two Two, Uriah, j8, 79 

unallotment program ot Northern Cheyenne 

Tribe, 147 
unemployment, loi, 122, 135, 149 
University of Washington, 128 
University of Wisconsin, 128 
Upstream District, 51 
Upward Bound, no, iii, 126 
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 125, 

128 
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban 

Development (HUD), 128 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 

138-140, 145-146 
U.S. Office of War, 75 

Valandra, Maria, 153 
venereal disease, 97 
veterans of armed forces, ix, 73, 78, 79, 84, 122, 

161-172 
Veteran's Upward Bound program, 73 
visiting lecturer center, 128 
vocational education and training, 97-98, 102, 

123-124, 128 

Walks Night, 55- 56 
Wallowing Bull, Rufus, 132-133, 173 
War Dance at Fort Marion, gj 
Watahomigie, Lucille Jackson, 42 
water birds, in creation stories, 13 
weasel, at Lake DeSmet, 87 



Weist, Tom, viii, ix, 25, 49 

Wessells, HenryW.,Jr., 29 

Westmoreland mining company, 139 

wheel game, 2in4 

WTiite Birney, 49 

White Bull, 50, 68, 87 

Whitedirt, Charles, 140 

White Dirt, Gilbert, 23 

White Fox, Elizabeth, ii3ni9 

Whiteman, Milton, 59-60 

white ranchers, resentment toward, 56 

White River, 49 

White River people, 49 

white settlers, 28 

white soldiers, 67 

Whitewolf, Joseph, St., 73, 75 

Wild Hog, S4 

Wild Hog Basin, 51 

Wilson, Tim, 118 

Wind Ship Weapons (Japanese balloon 

bombs), 75-77, 76 
Winter Man, in creation stories, 14 
winter of 1877, 68 
WolfBlack,Jay, 109 
Wolf Road, 87 
Wolf's Marrow, 90 
wolves, in creation stories, 17 
women 

in creation stories, 14, 17, 18-21, 2ini 

manly-hearted, 28 

overlooked in history, viii-ix, 67-70, 6g 

in stories, 88 
Woodenlegs, John, loi, 112, n2n2, 147 
Wooden Legs, John J., 122, 173 
Woodenlegs (warrior), 68 
words, coinage of new, 37 
World War II, 59. 73. 75-77- 76, 84 

Yellow Painted Man, 132 
Young Mule, John, 55 

Ziontz, Alvin J., 137 



hide. 



183 





r 'hief Dull Knife College's book begins, as it must, with the Cheyenne Creation 
C_^Stories. Then it transports the reader across a broad spectrum of Northern Cheyenne 
life — the land, the history, and the culture. 

The past and the present ride side by side in the book, just as in everyday Northern 
Cheyenne life. The Gid Who Saved her Brother is the heroine of her ov/n chapter. Shortly 
before the Battle of the Little Big Horn, she charged a group of Crow Indian scouts and 
white soldiers to save her brother. A ledger book drawing from the Smithsonian archives illus- 
trates the text. 

Two more modern heroes are also featured, Joseph Whitewolf, who earned a POW 
Medal in World War II, and Uriah Two Two, who received a Purple Heart in Iraq. A photo 
of Sgt. Uriah Two Two's victory dance shows him dressed in his Army uniform with cere- 
monial smudges on his face. 

Today, Northern Cheyenne warriors also win their victories in court rooms, classrooms, 
and the halls of Congress. This book documents the nearly incredible number of national 
precedents set by the Northern Cheyenne Tribe from the i8oos through 2007. Other sub- 
ject areas covered include ethnobotany, the Northern Cheyennes' hard fought battle to 
return to their homeland, spirituality, and the history of education on the reservation. Some 
of the material, such as the history of Cheyenne District Names, never before has been col- 
lected in written form. 

The tribal college recruited nine writers and researchers, who drew their material from 
a variety of sources, including archives, interviews, and traditional stories. Published with 
funding from the Montana Tribal Histories project, the book is designed to augment cur- 
riculum at schools throughout the state. It is also designed as a college text. All levels of read- 
ers will find something of interest. 

Rather than perpetuating romanticized images of Northern Cheyenne people, the book 
strove for realism. The culture is no longer centered on the buffalo and the horse as it was 
in the late 1800s; 21st century Northern Cheyennes have websites, body ^^^siass:^. 
piercings, and i-Pods. Yet the Cheyennes still retain their honoring cer- / 
emonies, give-way ceremonies, dances, songs, and ways of worship and | 
interacting with each other. They still enjoy just getting together, w 
preferably with the prospect of a good traditional meal.