Chief Plenty Coups had a vision when he was a boy in what is today known as the Crazy Mountains, that the white man would destroy the buffalo and his people. The sad part is that we almost did both but with his visions and cooperating with the white man he help to ensure the Crow’s future survival in a white man’s world. He was made a chief of the Apsáalooke (Crow) tribe by age 28. He was a man of war – and then a man of peace who was a leader and he worked at bridging the gap between two cultures.
These are some of the things we thought about as we visited Chief Plenty Coups State Park. The land, 195 acres, was left to the state in his will by himself and by his wife, Strikes the Iron, so that everyone could learn about the crow nation and enjoy the land. We enjoyed the visitor center that commemorates his life. It tells the story of how he lead his people by example to be the first to farm the land. Chief Plenty Coups helped his people to transition from living in a tipi and hunting buffalo – to an agricultural people on the reservation.