Chief Plenty Coups house preservation

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Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has released a Decision Notice to repair and preserve two structures at Chief Plenty Coups State Park on the Crow Indian Reservation in Big Horn County. The park is a National Historic Landmark. Public comments were accepted from Feb. 3, 2023 to midnight on March 6, 2023, but no comments were received.

FWP proposes to fully stabilize the foundations of the Chief’s House and Store, stabilize the House porch and replace decking, survey and repair log rot, replace all chinking and daubing, and repair windows and trim on both structures. The roof on the House may be fully replaced if funds allow under the planned contract or in the next 5 years if additional funds are necessary and successfully secured. All work will follow government historic preservation protocols.

Read the FWP public notice here: https://fwp.mt.gov/binaries/content/assets/fwp/news/public-notices/2023/region-5/chiefshouse_dn_3-13-2023.pdf

Chief Plenty Coups Painting by Dave Holman
Chief Plenty Coups Painting by Dave Holman (tap or click image to enlarge)

Chief Plenty Coups (1848 – 1932) was the principal chief of the Crow Nation (“Apsáalooke”) and a visionary leader.

He allied the Crow with the whites when the war for the West was being fought because the Sioux and Cheyenne (who opposed white settlement of the area) were the traditional enemies of the Crow.

Chief Plenty Coups had also experienced a vision when he was very young that non-Native American people would ultimately take control of his homeland (Montana), so he always felt that cooperation would benefit his people much more than opposition.

He very much wanted the Crow to survive as a people and their customs and spiritual beliefs to carry on. His efforts on their behalf ensured that this happened, and he led his people peacefully into the 20th century.

Chief Plenty Coups was born into the Crow tribe in 1848 at the-cliffs-that-have-no-name (possibly near Billings, Montana), to his father Medicine-Bird and his mother Otter-woman. He was originally given the birth name Chíilaphuchissaaleesh, or “Buffalo Bull Facing The Wind”.

Chief Plenty Coups State Park

Situated within the Crow Indian Reservation in south-central Montana, 40 minutes south of Billings, this day-use park preserves the log home, sacred spring, and farmstead of Chief Plenty Coups. This state park is a National Historic Landmark.

To learn more about Chief Plenty Coups State Park you can either call or write:

Phone: 406-252-1289
Email: akind@mt.gov

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