Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Joe Medicine Crow
Joseph Medicine Crow (born 1913 near Lodge Grass, Montana) is a Crow historian and author. His writings on Native American history and reservation culture are considered seminal works, but he is probably best known for his writings and lectures concerning the Battle of Little Big Horn.
He was born on the Crow reservation in Montana. His stepgrandfather, White Man Runs Him, was a scout for George Armstrong Custer and an eyewitness to the battle. He grew up hearing stories of the momentous event.
He attended the University of Southern California, earning a masters degree in anthropology in 1939. His thesis, The Effects of European Culture Contact upon the Economic, Social, and Religious Life of the Crow Indians, has become one of the most widely cited documents concerning Crow culture.
After serving in the U.S. military in Europe during World War II, he returned to the Crow Agency and was appointed a chief of the Crow nation. In 1948, he was appointed tribal historian and anthropologist.
A noted author, his books have included Crow Migration Story, Medicine Crow, the Handbook of the Crow Indians Law and Treaties, Crow Indian Buffalo Jump Techniques, and From the Heart of Crow Country. He also authored a children’s book entitled Brave Wolf and the Thunderbird.
Now well into his 90's, he remains active writing and lecturing. In 1999, he addressed the United Nations and was granted an honorary doctorate from USC at the age of 90. He is a frequent guest speaker at Little Bighorn College and the Little Big Horn Battlefield Museum and has appeared in several documentaries about the battle.
“As a member of the Crow tribe, and as a professional researcher, I think I’m doing quite a nice job of telling the Crow Indian story in the proper ways.”
“No one wins [in war]. Both sides lose. The Indians, so called hostiles, won the battle of the day, but lost their way of life."
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