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FACTBOX-America's Crow Indians, the "children of the large-beaked bird"

by Ellen Wulfhorst | @EJWulfhorst | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Friday, 10 June 2016 12:00 GMT

By Ellen Wulfhorst

CROW AGENCY, Montana, June 10 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - America's Crow Indians, who recently participated in a will-writing project to help protect the inheritance of their property, live on a reservation in southeastern Montana.

Here are some facts about their lives and land.

- The Crow Reservation originally established by a U.S. government treaty in 1851 was 31 million acres (12.5 million hectares) of land, but another treaty 17 years later whittled it down to 8 million acres (3.2 million hectares). It is now about 2.3 million acres (931,000 hectares).

- The tribe was originally called "Apsaalooke," meaning "children of the large-beaked bird" which was misinterpreted by white settlers as "crow."

- Some 85 percent of tribal members speak Crow as their first language.

- Women played major roles in traditional Crow culture, which was matrilocal, meaning a husband would move into his wife's family.

- The ancient Crow were nomads who hunted bison on America's Great Plains, grew tobacco and lived in tepees.

- The Crow Nation traditionally was organized into three bands - the Mountain Crow, River Crow and the Kick in the Bellies.

- Today's Crow reservation has three mountain ranges, the Wolf, Bighorn and Pryor Mountains, and a herd of wild horses with sturdy bodies and wide faces which is believed to be descended from those brought by Spanish explorers and colonists in the 1700s.

(Reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)

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