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Joe Medicine Crow

Dr. Joe Medicine Crow is the Crow Tribal Historian and the oldest living man of the Crow tribe. In 1939, he was the first member of the Crow tribe to obtain a master’s degree. His Master’s thesis, “The Effects of European Culture Contact upon the Economic, Social, and Religious Life of the Crow Indians”, remains the most widely read source on Crow culture. He has received honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Southern California and Rocky Mountain College.

Medicine Crow is the last traditional Plains war chief, having achieved the war deeds necessary to be declared a "chief" during World War II. He served in Europe, and earned the Bronze Star, a US Forces individual military decoration for acts of bravery or merit, or for meritorious service. Medicine Crow was also honored for his service to France during World War II when he received the National Order of the Legion of Honor from the French government on June 25, 2008. He was recognized for leading a war party that, under fire, retrieved dynamite to use to attack German guns. He also overcame a German soldier in hand-to-hand combat on a street in France (sparing his life), and captured fifty SS horses at a farm where German officers were staying. Joe Medicine Crow has also been nominated for the Congressional Gold Medal. Interviews with Dr. Medicince Crow were included in the 2007 Ken Burns PBS series "The War." In those interviews, he describes some of his World War II experiences.

For his war deeds and "contributions to the preservation of the culture and history of the First Americans" and his "importance as a role model to young Native Americans across the country," and other services to America, Joe Medicine Crow will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor, on August 12, 2009.

Dr. Medicine Crow is a guest speaker at Little Bighorn College, the Custer Battlefield Museum, and several other colleges throughout the nation. Also an author, his books include, A Handbook of Crow Indian Laws and Treaties, and From the Heart of the Crow Country. He lives on the Crow Reservation in Lodge Grass, Montana.

Counting Coup: Becoming a Crow Chief on the Reservation and Beyond
Format: Hardcover
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9;

Picture a Crow Indian elder, his wizened eyes catching yours in the ancient flicker of firelight. His mesmerizing stories span the ages, from Custer to World War II to the 21st Century. He is the last traditional chief of his people. He is over 90 years old. Now picture that same man lecturing at colleges nationwide, and addressing the United Nations on the subject of peace.

National Geographic presents the amazing life story of Joseph Medicine Crow, the man who begins life as Winter Man. Trained as a warrior by his grandfather, Yellowtail, he bathes in icy rivers and endures the ceremony of "counting coup"—facing fierce combat with an enemy Sioux boy.

An operation at the local hospital brings the young Crow face-to-face with his worst fears: a Sioux, a ghost, and a white man. He excels at the white man's school and is raised in the Baptist faith. He translates the stories of the elder chiefs, becoming the link to the ancient traditions of the pre-reservation generation. His own dramatic and funny stories span both ages, and the ancient Crow legends are passed on in the storytelling tradition.

Joseph Medicine Crow's doctorate degree was interrupted by the call to arms of World War II. On the battlefields of Germany he earned the ancient status of War Chief by completing the four war deeds required of the Crow warrior.

In 1948 the Crow Tribal Council appointed Joseph Medicine Crow (now called High Bird) their Tribal Historian and Anthropologist.

Counting Coup is a vibrant adventure narrative, bringing Native American history and culture alive for young readers. Joseph Medicine Crow's story illuminates the challenges faced by the Crow people as hurricanes of change raged through America. His epic story and its lessons are an essential legacy for us all.

Additional Information
128 pages | 5.55" x 8.55"

Authentic Indigenous Text
$21.95

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