About 75 percent of the Crow tribe's approximately 10,000 or more enrolled members live on or near the reservation. Eighty-five percent speak Crow as their first language. This tribe was called "Apsaalooke," which means "children of the large-beaked bird." White men later misinterpreted the word as "crow." 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 Crow Reservation is in south central Montana, bordered by Wyoming on the south, with its north western boundary about 10 miles from Billings.
For many years the vast coal deposits under the eastern portion of the reservation remained untapped. One mine is now in operation and providing royalty income and employment to tribal members. The Crow operate only a small portion of their irrigated or dry farm acreage and about 30 percent of their grazing land. They maintain a buffalo herd of 300 head.
Attractions include The Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area features spectacular scenery, wildlife viewing, boating, fishing and camping. There are two visitor centers, one at Fort Smith and one at Yellowtail Dam. Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument/Reno-Benteen Battlefield commemorating the Sioux/Cheyenne victory over the Seventh Cavalry. The Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument features museum exhibits, an interpretive center and ranger-led programs. Chief Plenty Coups State Park, home and grave site of the well-known Crow chief, Plenty Coups. There is a display of Crow artifacts and history, and a scenic picnic area.
Crow Agency becomes the 'tepee capital of the world' in mid-August during the annual Crow Fair celebration. Cultural tours offered through Little Bighorn College, which can be reached at (406) 638-3104. You may also contact the Tourism Office and Visitor Center for more information about the Crow Indian Reservation by calling 406-638-7272.