'Everything Good Is There': Exploring the Material Culture and Historic Landscapes at Chief Plenty Coups State Park

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Reeves, Jessica Gayle
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Middle Tennessee State University
Alaxchiiaahush, Plenty Coups, was the final chief of the Crow people. His spiritual vision quest as a young man showed him that cooperation with the coming White settlers was the only way to survive, and he led the Crow people through the assimilation of the reservation period. He died at age 84 and requested that his land and house be dedicated as a park for all people. In 1965, it became a Montana State Park, and it tells the story of Plenty Coups and of the Crow people to thousands of visitors each year. This thesis examines how material culture and landscape analysis can enhance the existing narrative and center Crow voices in discussions about Crow culture. It analyzes the collection of artifacts at Chief Plenty Coups State Park and shows how deliberate Plenty Coups was in his assimilation efforts; giving a little when necessary to maintain his and his people’s cultural integrity.
Chief Plenty Coups, Crow Indians, Landscape Studies, Material Culture, Montana, State Parks