The Crow and Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservations
The Crow Nation welcomes non-Indians to its biggest annual event. The bang-up three-day Fourth of July pow-wow, parade and rodeo has achieved international fame. The huge tipi encampment at Lodge Grass draws visitors from all over the world to purchase Indian arts and crafts of exquisite workmanship and to enjoy the swirl of color surrounding this big competition pow-wow.
US 212 heads east across the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Reservations’ common boundary. The reservations’ topographical differences are as diverse as the tribes’ traditional cultures and approaches to modern life. While the Crow Reservation consists largely of upland grazing lands the Northern Cheyenne is a place of dry, rugged pine-clothed hills.
Lame Deer is the Reservation’s principal town, where the impressive new tribal offices stand in contrast to the surrounding exceedingly modest homes.
Ashland, on US 212 just off the reservation’s eastern boundary, is a sad straggle of a town offering basic services. The Ashland District of the Custer National Forest office and St. Labre Indian School are located here. Begun in 1884 by four Urseline nuns, the school currently provides K-12 education to 700 children at three locations on the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Reservations. The Ashland campus includes a unique tipi-style church and the excellent Cheyenne Indian Museum. On display is a large collection of Native American artifacts representing several Plains Indian tribes. Photos of tribal elders and school children from times past hang on adjoining hallway walls. Museum hours vary, but you can generally find someone to open up for you. 406-784-2200.
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