Crow Indian Reservation

I have decided to veer slightly off the direct subject of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses.  But not too far, as the Crow Indians are very much a part of the horses and have played an important role on who these horses are today.

July, 2011
July, 2011

I took this next few paragraphs directly form the Crow-Appaalooke website.  You can click CROW to go directly there.

“The homeland of the Apsáalooke have three major mountain ranges: Iisiaxpúatachee Isawaxaawúua (Big Horn Mountains), Cheétiish (Wolf Teeth Mountains) and Baáhpuuo (Pryor Mountains); rich rolling hills, plains, grasslands, badlands water and wetlands. The Iisiaxpúatahcheeaashisee Aliakáate (Little Big Horn River)— (Big Horn River) and Bilippítshuhke (Reno Creek) flow through the reservation and create wooded valleys with abundant fish and wildlife. The Crow high country has elk, deer and buffalo herds in some Montana’s richest alpine range land. The tribal members reside in six major towns and in the countryside across the 3,000 square miles of Crow Country (a territory bigger than Rhode Island yet smaller than Connecticut). One of the nation’s richest deposits of strippable low sulfur coal lies along the eastern sector of the reservation. One active coal mine, the Sarpy Coal Mine, and several oil and gas fields yield important resources to the Crow Tribal Government. In 2002 a new constitution was adopted by the Crow Tribe which includes a judicial, legislative and executive branch.

In Indian Country the Apsáalooke/Crow People are renowned for their cultural vitality, particularly for the mid-August Chichaxxaasuua, the Crow Fair. This event is often called the largest family reunion in the world. Over 10,000 Crow people live in the encampment of over 1,700 teepees and 1,200 tents. Crow families move their households including horses to camp. The Tepee Capital of the World features a morning parade of the Apsáalooke/Crow People and their horses in full regalia, cars and flat bed trucks bedecked with beadwork and attire, an afternoon all Indian rodeo and race meet and an evening intertribal powwow. On the banks of the Little Big Horn River the fairgrounds is rich in historic context, for the Little Bighorn Battlefield is only two miles to the south, and a short distance from the Big Horn and Yellowstone Rivers and the Bozeman Trail.
The nineteenth century Apsáalooke chief, Eelapúash stated, “The Crow Country is good country. The Great Spirit has put it exactly in the right place, while you are in it you fare well; whenever you go out of it; whichever way you travel you fare worse.” (Chief Eelapúash, circa 1830)
Chief Plenty Coups was the last chief to gain that status in the traditional Crow manner. He lived until 1932, leaving his land and home as a park for all people.

The climate on the reservation varies from humid above 7,000 feet in the Bighorn Mountains, with 24 inches of annual precipitation, to semi-arid around 2,900 feet near Hardin, with 12 inches of annual precipitation. Vegetation varies from conifer forests to grasslands. Approximately 75% of the precipitation falls from March through July. The frost-free period (growing season) ranges from 115 days at Busby, 123 days at Hardin, 126 days at Wyola, to 135 days at Crow Agency. The last spring frost occurs as late as May 24 and frost may occur as early as September 16th.
This portion of Montana enjoys “Indian Summers” which frequently extend into November. This is a time of warm sunny days and cool evenings. The mean annual temperature is 45.5 degrees Fahrenheit (F) with a summer high of 110 and a winter low of –48 degrees F.”

View from the top,good

So in one my many trips in 2012, I brought back a couple rescues from the Crow Indian Reservation.  My daughter and I both adopted a dog.  It was by chance that I found this rescue group.  Rez Dog Rescue.  My daughter Amber was looking for a dog to adopt.  She had been looking for a while and through our online searches we found them.  After goggling the founder of the rescue in hopes to learn more, I found this article from last October.  You can click on SHERI to read it.

From that article I learned about the incredible need for homes for strays on the reservation.  Amber and I decided that is where she should adopt.  As we looked through the list of dogs up for adoption, Bill and I also decided that we had room for one more dog in our family.

I coordinated the six-hour ride home with two dogs (one a puppy, 6 weeks old, the other 1-year-old) with my trip to the Pryors in October.  They both were excellent car riders and I appreciated the company.

Jasper, 6 weeks old.  October, 2012
Jasper, 6 weeks old. October, 2012
Amber and Nyah right after they met for the first time. October, 2012
Amber and Nyah right after they met for the first time. October, 2012
Nyah and Jasper, December, 2012
Nyah and Jasper, December, 2012
Jasper, December 2012
Jasper, December 2012

Sheri and her friend Bernie work hard at finding homes for these dogs.  In fact, it goes way beyond that.  Sheri spends thousands of dollars out of her own pocket to help with medical expenses on these dogs.  Many come to her sick and in need of medical attention.  Where others may decided to euthanize a dog or puppy, Sheri gives them a much longer chance.  She gives the dogs and puppies she rescues a chance for a happy life, no matter how long or short that will be.

She is many times faced with tough decisions that I am not sure how she makes.  I also want to add that Sheri has a full time job and then comes home to a house full of puppies and dogs to care for.  Yes, many are fostered in her own house waiting for their forever home.

I am not sure why the situation on the Reservation is the way it is.  But like many places right here in the US and in my home state of Montana, there are many animals in need.

And so this leads me to this post.

The website: Animal Rescue is having their challenge right now.  The State winner gets 1,000 dollars.  It is really easy.  All you need to do is go to their site and vote.  Everyday please.  Click on VOTE to go to the site.  The first time you are there you will need to enter REZ DOG RESCUE under the shelter name and then  type in Hardin, MT for the city and state.  Rez Dog will come up and then you can click “vote”.  The next day when you go to this site, Rez Dog will show up and all you have to do is press vote.  Simple.  Thank you  so much!  A 1,000 dollars is just a drop in the bucket for this rescue, but they appreciate all the drops they can get!

So now I have 5 Pryor Rescues in my family.  Three Mustangs and two Dogs and I have to say, they are the best animals in the world!


Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Kootenai, November 2012
Kootenai, November 2012

22 thoughts on “Crow Indian Reservation

  • Thank you so much for the plug, Sandy! We so appreciate all you do with us and for us and for the horses! What interesting info about Crow. I never knew that.

  • Jasper and Nyah look like two very happy dogs! And I love that picture of Kootenai in the snow 🙂

  • Voting was easy!! Good luck to them. I put a note on my computer screen so I won’t forget each morning. What date does it end?

  • Wonderful information and kudos to you for adding the site to vote!
    You can be sure I will vote as soon as I post my comment!
    I just love your photos of Jasper and Nyah..they sure are two of the luckiest doggies in
    the world, along with all of your other “critters”!!
    I found this very interesting information about the Crow Native Americans and would love to go to the Crow fair one year.

  • I wonder what it is with reservations and stray dogs. I volunteered for a week on a Native American reservation in Arizona about five years ago. I remember there being so many stray dogs there as well, just roaming around in the desert. I think some families may have fed a couple, but they didn’t really belong to anybody and were semi-wild. They got close to you if you had food, but mostly shied away if you tried to pet them. I avoided petting them–I didn’t know if these dogs had any kind of infections or where they had been but my heart ached seeing them. I remember one night our group of volunteers (all poor college students) cooked hamburgers inside the rec center where we were staying for the week. The dogs all circled around the building because they could smell the hamburgers!

    It was so heartbreaking to see these dogs all in desperate need of a home. I will adopt a dog someday–I just don’t have the funds right now or the means. Good for you on adopting–horses and dogs! (I definitely don’t have the accommodations or know how to take care of a horse!)

      • I’ve heard of cases similar to this where they’ve had big groups of volunteers catch the dogs and vets have volunteered their services to spay and neuter the dogs. Then most of the dogs were released back out. Because it’s too many dogs to catch, keep, and adopt out. And all of them would probably not be “suitable” to be adopted. That way the dogs weren’t continuing to reproduce which would hopefully control the problem in the future.

      • Hi Sarah, I am not sure if they can do that on the reservation. Maybe Bernie or Sheri will see this and let us know if that is possible. If they don’t answer here, I will contact them and ask.

  • Kudos to you Sandy for bringing this issue to light! You are exactly right–it is the lack of financial means to spay/neuter and provide necessary vaccinations. I am founder of a dog rescue and I have taken in rez dogs from our state. I have to admit they are the best dogs I have ever known. I truly believe they know you saved their life and they will repay that kindness ten-fold with love and loyalty. There is a spiritual healing these dogs can provide a soul, just as watching the beloved Pryor Mustangs will do.

    • Thanks Liz! Yes, you are right, my little guy gives us pure joy! Even though he was only 6 weeks when we got him, I don’t think they ever forget living on the streets.

  • I will be more then happy to vote every day…I like helping resuces that are doing such a wonderul thing for any animals

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