Valley of the Chiefs (Aashbacheeitche)

Crow Nation, MT

Our convener

Bighorn Valley Health Center is a federally-qualified health center that champions an integrated approach to healthcare delivery, and considers their patient to be the entire community, and not just the individual in an exam room.

Dr. Megkian Doyle

Director of Raising Places

CONTACT

megkian.doyle@bighornvalley.org

(406) 994-7489

10 West 4th Street

Hardin, MT 59034

FOLLOW

The rural town of Valley of the Chiefs sits on the Crow Reservation in southeastern Montana. Known in the Crow language as Aashbacheeitche, its small size belies its importance to the Crow Nation. One of four reservation communities, and the heart of the Lodge Grass District, the town is where Bacheeitche (strong moral leaders) once were commonplace. It’s now a place of pronounced scarcity and geographic isolation.

History

Today, a new generation of leaders in Valley of the Chiefs is contemplating the complicated picture of their community. 73% homeland loss and 80% population loss in two generations have caused economic dispossession and a radically altered social world for Crow people. Many members of the community have adopted a survival mentality, with violence and substance abuse perpetuating a cycle of stress toxic to everyone, especially the youngest children. However, in recent years various initiatives have taken root around family support systems and learning opportunities, stewardship of neighborhood infrastructure, after-school youth support, food sovereignty and renewable energy. A new sense of hope, and motivation for change, can be felt in the air.

Culture

Crow culture is alive and well in this tiny town, where 50% of residents speak their native language. Indigenous land and social values are honored together in a strong faith community. The entire tribe gathers yearly for Crow Fair, a weeklong festival of native music and culture. In addition to natural resources such as fertile land, drinkable water and wildlife, this community has a record of success in crisis, strong past and emerging leaders, a robust social media community and an excellent sense of humor.

Population

450 people

Geographic Size

0.3 square miles

Our Design Team

The structure of each Raising Places Community includes both a convening organization
and a group of local leaders, called the design team.

James and Sarah Budd

Alpacas of Montana

Quincy Dabney

Mayor, Town of Lodge Grass

Shane Doyle

Tribal Education Directors National Assembly

Casaja Fritzler

Bighorn Valley Health Center / Crow Awakening

Elvin Fritzler

Crow Tribe / Spear Sighting Ranch / Crow Cowgirls Traveling Basketball Coach

David Graber

Greenwood Farm / Bighorn Valley Health Center / Wyola School

Roger Kitts

Red Fox Construction

Tiffany Nomee-Dabney 

Arise LG / Lodge Grass Public Schools

Emerald Parisi

Central Montana Abolitionists / Katie’s House

Shelly Sutherland

Bighorn Valley Health Center

Jean Wallace

H.E.A.R.T. Healing, Empowerment and Resilience Training

THE LATEST FROM VALLEY OF THE CHIEFS (AASHBACHEEITCHE)

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