Montana offers many opportunities to learn about the indigenous cultures of its 12 tribes through celebrations, community attractions and history. From powwows to historic battlefields, plan to enjoy these experiences in Montana’s Indian Country.
100th Anniversary of Crow Fair and Rodeo
For an opportunity to experience native culture and festivities while celebrating 100 years of tradition, plan to attend the 100th Anniversary of Crow Fair and Rodeo from Aug. 15-20, 2018, at Crow Agency. This will be the centennial celebration of Montana’s largest Native American event, and one of the largest powwows in the nation. In addition to the powwow and parades, the celebration includes an Indian National Finals Rodeo (INFR) sanctioned All-Indian rodeo that will display the native horsemanship tradition through adrenaline-pumping competitions such as Indian Relay racing.
Rocky Boy’s Annual Powwow
Powwows are important celebrations of native culture where attendees can expect to enjoy traditional dancing, drumming, food, beautiful Native American regalia, and other special customs unique to each tribe. The Rocky Boy’s Annual Powwow at the Rocky Boy’s Reservation from Aug. 3-5, 2018, is the largest event hosted by the Chippewa Cree Tribe. You’ll enjoy events like regalia dancing and drumming competitions, as well as traditional food and cultural demonstrations.
Nez Perce National Historic Trail: Big Hole National Battlefield and Bear Paw Battlefield
There are many ways to learn about the Indian wars throughout Montana’s history while honoring the lives that were lost in battle. Explore the sacred Nez Perce National Historic Trail in Montana by starting at the Big Hole National Battlefield in Wisdom. The National Battlefield stands as a memorial to the people who fought and died on Aug. 9 and 10, 1877. To the north, the Bear Paw Battlefield in Chinookis the final stop on the 1,300 mile historic trail. It was here the Nez Perce Indians surrendered to the U.S. Army on Oct. 5, 1877, and Chief Joseph spoke these words during his infamous speech: “From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.”
A trip to learn more about tribal culture, tradition and history is a great way to discover your #MontanaMoment. Find more travel resources for Montana’s Indian Country, including events, trip ideas and where to stay.
If you’re not able to experience Montana’s Indian Country this year, here are a few annual events you can plan for next year:
Battle of Little Bighorn Reenactment
Find a truly authentic reenactment experience by watching the annual Battle of Little Bighorn Reenactment at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument at the end of June. The Real Bird family is committed to providing an immersive experience of the most famous Indian war battle over the anniversary of when it was fought.
The Arlee Celebration
The annual Arlee Powwow “Esyapqeyni” Fourth of July celebration is an opportunity to experience a historic summer powwow in Montana. Esyapqeyni, the native word for “Celebration,” is sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes and is the longest running tribal celebration of its kind.
North American Indian Days
The North American Indian Days, hosted annually in July by the Blackfeet Nation, is the largest and most impressive of the Blackfeet events. This celebration hosts Native Americans from every region of the country and Canada. Featured events include traditional dancing contests, Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) rodeo events, stick game tournaments, a parade, carnival, and Indian Relay racing.
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SOURCE Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development