Tribes recognized at Little Bighorn

by Joshua Zaffos

This summer, the National Park Service will finally acknowledge a missing chapter of history at the Little Bighorn National Monument. On June 25, the 127th anniversary of Custer’s Last Stand, the Park Service will unveil “Peace Through Unity” — a memorial to the American Indians who defeated General George Custer in battle in eastern Montana.

In 1881, five years after more than 1,500 Cheyenne, Lakota and Arapaho warriors routed Custer and the 7th Cavalry, the U.S. Army erected grave markers and a monument to the fallen U.S. soldiers. More than 100 years after that, the American Indian Movement placed its own iron plaque at the battlefield, but Congress didn’t commission an official monument to the native warriors until 1991.

The memorial will feature a ceremonial circle, 40 feet in diameter, partially surrounded by life-size bronze sculptures of warriors racing on horseback across the plains. For more information, call 406-638-2621 or visit www.sisterwolf.com/sculpture/index.html. © High Country News