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Crow Native Days Bring 50,000+ Visitors to Montana Each Year

crow native days

Nestled approximately 10 miles from Billings in south-central Montana, the Crow Indian Reservation is the largest reservation in Montana that spans 2.2 million acres. Bordered by Wyoming on the south, North and South Dakota to the east, Idaho to the west, and Canada to the north, Montana is home to seven Indian reservations and the state-recognized Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

All About Crow Nation

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The headquarters is in Crow Agency, and the Crow Tribe has 11,000 members, with almost 8,000 residing on the reservation. The original name of this Native Tribe is Apsáalooke,” which means “children of the large-beaked bird.” Unfortunately, after colonization, the white man misinterpreted the world as “Crow.”

The majority of this tribe speaks the Native Indian language of Crow. Every year, the Crow Tribe celebrates Crow Native Days in June and the Crow Fair and Rodeo in July. The Crow Nation is governed by the Crow Tribal Council. It comprises three branches of government, the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches. You can learn more about the Crow Tribal Executive Branch here.

The late and great Chief Plenty Coups was the last chief to have the traditional Crow status until he passed on in 1932.

Crow Native Days

The Annual Crow Native Day and the Crow Fair Rodeo occur in the summer months and serve as a widely popular way to honor and celebrate the Indigenous people of this sacred Montanan land. As part of the annual celebration, the Apsaalooke Nation holds the Crow Fair Powwow, the Crow Fair Rodeo, the Crow Fair horse races, and the Crow Fair Parade — that all take place on the banks of the Little Bighorn River.

The over 100-year-old Native Days Event in the “Teepee Capital of the World” usually lasts a weekend and has a full schedule of horse racing, Native American dance and regalia, a wide array of dance contests, and many more exciting activities. The dance contests are divided by age groups and categories like Crow Style, Chicken, Grass, and traditional Native dances.

The four-day powwow is one of the biggest in the country and is held each year in Crow Agency, Montana, just south of Hardin. The event begins on a Thursday and lasts through the weekend. Crow Fair attracts more than 50,000 spectators and visitors worldwide.

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