CROW AGENCY — The Crow Fair Celebration Powwow & Rodeo is underway at Crow Agency. It began on August 14 and continues through August 19.
The annual event includes parades, a four-day powwow, a rodeo, and horse races. It is the largest Native American event in Montana and one of the biggest powwows in the country, according to organizers.
Hosted each year in Crow Agency by the Apsáalooke people of the Crow Indian Reservation just South of Hardin, the event is also known as the “Tipi Capital of the world.”
Crow Fair attracts more than 50,000 spectators and participants from around the world.
The big celebration on the Crow reservation is important to tribal members and also draws from tribes all over the country.
Tribal member and friends rode horses in the parade at the Crow Fair.
“This is a time for family gatherings,” said Crow Chairman Alvin Not Afraid, Jr. “A time for family, food and fun, rodeo, and Powwow.”
Not Afraid and U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) rode at the front of the procession.
“To come up from Apache land up here, this is the first time for us,” said Dallas Loretto, a member of the Hickoria Apache Nation in New Mexico “And it’s nice to bring our culture here also and just to see the native unity.”
‘The teepees and the parade,” said Aaryonna Vigil, Junior Miss Hickoria and Loretto’s niece. “That and all the vendors that were here. Pretty big.”
“What this Crow Fair does is it allows tribes from all over the country and also Canada to share in culture and tradition of crow,” said Dion Killsback, a member of the Northern Cheyenne. “And also make new friends and see old friends.
Non-tribal members from other countries also come to Crow Agency.
“Last year we had some Mideast folks, we had folks from Germany, Poland, France, Spain, Portugal, even South America was really neat, we had even some folks from the continent of Africa,” Not Afraid said. “Coming to camp shaking hands and watching the fesitivites.
It’s an experience they’ll take home.
“The people we’ve met have been so loving and caring,” said Loretto. “There’s just so much friendships we’ve made the past two days we’ve been here.”
“Very fun, very exhilarating,” said Killsback.
“Just an honor to be riding horseback here today,” said Daines. “Such a Montana kind of event.”
“Crows have always had to fight for survival and they’re still here,” said Not Afraid. “And I keep that close to my heart.”