My tribe is interesting in that they treated war differently than European countries did. The Crow Tribe along with other Plains Tribes (category of tribes that mine is in) didn't fight necessarily over territory but more for reputation and courage. The Plains Indians also rarely fought to the death or destroyed each other's villages. Instead, their war customs were mostly just injuring their opponent in battle but without harming him, stealing an enemy's weapon or horse, or forcing the other tribe's warriors to retreat. In effect, the Crow sometimes were enemies of neighboring tribes. Because of this, the Europeans who first met them were actually surprised by how often the Crow tribe fought with their neighbors. 1743 was the first time the Crow encountered their first Europeans; the two La Vérendrye brothers from French Canada. In my research I can’t find much information on this encountered expect that these explorers called the Crow beaux hommes or in English; handsome men. In the summer of 1806 the Crow Indians met William Clark’s party exploring the Yellowstone River near Billings, Montana. Sadly though, they had all of their horses stolen in two nighttime raids. Clark’s party of 12 was bringing back a large group of horses to use for trade at the Mandan Villages in North Dakota. 24 horses were stolen while they were building dugout canoes near Park City and the other 17 were stolen from Nathaniel Pryor and his party while he was traveling to Hardin, Montana. Although I wouldn’t necessarily say this encounter was ‘positive’, the Crow tribe wasn’t terribly affected. The Crow are naturally nomadic, so if they moved around it wasn’t because they were forced to.
Today most Crow people still live on a reservation south of Billings, Montana. The tribal ‘headquarters’ if you will, are located at Crow Agency, Montana. The crow tribe consists of roughly 12,000 enrolled members.
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