People of the Poudre

Native Americans in Larimer County, Colorado: 12,000 y.a. - 1878

by Lucy Burris

Introduction | Paleo-Indian Occupancy 12,000 - 7,500 BP | Archaic Occupancy 7,500 - 1,800 BP or 150 AD
Native American Occupancy Ceramic, 150 AD - 1850 | Timeline | References


This paper will provide a framework for human occupancy of the area currently designated 'Larimer County, Colorado' by indigenous peoples from prehistory until dispossession in 1878. Larimer County includes the drainages of the Big Thompson and Cache La Poudre rivers to the west and extends east to present day to Interstate-25, demarcations on the North and South are equally arbitrary based on modern politics (see Figure 1). Today the area is primary Plains grasslands but also includes foothills, mountains, and river habitats. Archaeological evidence indicates that the area has been used almost continuously from Paleo-Indian times up to the modern era by Paleo-Indians, by Archaic groups, and by Ceramic cultures. This paper will look at each of the major occupying peoples, the climate and resources available to them during their occupancy, their history before coming into the area, and explore why they left.

Figure 1: Map Locations in Larimer County, Colorado, Central High Plains

Paleo-Indian Occupancy 12,000 - 7,500 BP

Although there isn't complete agreement, the generally accepted theory for the peopling of the Americas is that sometime during the last Ice Age when the level of the oceans dropped sufficiently to expose the land mass of Berginia between Siberia and Alaska (between 24,000-15,000 years ago), people walked from the Asian land mass to the American continent. Their travel further inland was delayed by massive continental ice sheets. The land bridge may have remained open until as late as 10,000 BP (Stone 1999: 26), so there were likely to have been multiple migrations from Asia. By possibly as early as 14,000 BP, people were able to move south into what is currently the lower United States. This section will look at the Paleo-Indians and their three cultures: Clovis, Folsom, and Plano. The period before the appearance of the Clovis culture is called Pre-Clovis. At this time there is still some debate about the existence of a culture before the Clovis groups. At best the data is sketchy and the evidence subject to interpretation so this group will not be included here.

The Paleo-Indians lived during a period of climatic change. The ending of the Wisconsin Glacial period marked the end of the Pleistocene Ice Age which lasted from 2 M y.a. until about 10,000 y.a. During the ice age, the world's climate had been cooler and seasonality was reduced from what we experience today. The Paleo-Indians experienced a warming climate and increased seasonality and saw a change in their environment as conditions became less favorable to the plants and animals which had been successful during the Ice Age. These people are often characterized as "big-game hunters".


The Clovis period ranges from 12,000 - 11,000 BP. At this time the climate in northern Colorado was about 10 F degrees colder than we experience today. The Clovis people hunted megafauna (mammoths, sloths, bison, extinct horse, and camel) in the steppe-like conditions present at the end of the Ice Age. Around 12,000 BP the Colorado area experienced a mini-drought which may have helped these nomadic hunters by concentrating their megafauna prey near water sources. The distinctive stone Clovis projectile point was 3-6 inches long with a lancelet shape and a basal flute. These Clovis points were thought to have been used as spears in hunting the preferred mammoth prey (Gilmore et al. 1999: 31, 57; Stone 1999: 32).

The Clovis people are found all over North America although no sites have been discovered in Larimer County. It is likely they came through the area since a site has been located in Weld Count at Dent (near Milliken). The Dent kill site was the first Paleo-Indian site to exhibit man-made projectile points actually in a mammoth. The Dent evidence suggests that Clovis people actively hunted mammoth rather than simply scavenging weak or dying animals (Gilmore et al. 1999: 57). Archaeological evidence suggests that they selected animals which were isolated from the herd, mostly juveniles (Stone 1999: 33).


From 11,000 - 10,000 BP the Folsom people lived in a climate that was about 5 degrees cooler than we know today. They saw increased seasonality compared to the Clovis people with colder winters and warmer summers. The pine-spruce woodlands seen by the Clovis were disappearing into tall and short-grass prairie as the climate became drier. The changing climate brought a change in diet for the Folsom people. The very large megafauna had all but disappeared leaving bison and smaller animals like antelope, wolf, coyote and even turtle for subsistence (Gilmore et al. 1999: 32, 64).

The Folsom people perfected the art of pressure flaking fluted stone projectile points. The 1-3 inch long points extended the beauty and workmanship of the Clovis point to a degree not seen since (Gilmore et al. 1999: 64, 68-69). Discussion still explores the purpose of fluting since it is difficult to produce, often destroys the point during fabrication, and weakens the point structurally. Theories for creating the flute include the formation of a large, flat surface area for hafting using lashing methods (creating a large area for friction effects, Wilmsen 1974: 52), creating a drainage hole for blood as an aid in killing prey, and simply that they did it because they could and they found it attractive and a way to display skill.

Like the Clovis people, Folsom cultures are found in many parts of North America. The Lindenmeier site in Larimer County was one of the first locations to provide extensive information about the Folsom people. At the time Lindenmeier was used as a campsite by the Folsom people, the area would have been a lush meadow and marsh land. The Folsom people found it a comfortable camping area and used it many times because of the reliable water supply, good supply of gravel for making tools, and its' sheltered location (Gilmore et al. 1999: 64-67). Like many sites occupied by early people, the Lindenmeier location is in a transition zone with easy access to the plains and to higher elevations (Stone 1999: 36). Besides stone tools, artifacts recovered at Lindenmeier include bone needles and inscribed bone pieces which may have been used for games or jewelry (Gilmore et al. 1999: 67). Grinding stones indicate that grains and seeds were part of the diet (Stone 1999: 39).


The Plano people (10,000 - 7500 BP) used an even greater diversity of resources than the Folsom people. The climate was still cooler and more moist than today and more of the woodland was giving way to prairie grasslands. The Plano people developed unique cultures based on the area in which they lived in contrast to the more general cultures of the Clovis and Folsom people. In Colorado two traditions developed: to the west and in the mountains a broader subsistence pattern emerged, in the east a subsistence pattern focusing on bison hunting developed (Stone 1999: 41).

The western people, due to lack of herd animals or megafauna were generalized hunter-gatherers with a generalized toolkit. The animals they used had limited migration routes, so their seasonal rounds were less varied than those of the east. As a consequence their tools were made from local material with less refinement (Stone 1999: 45-46).

The eastern people as mentioned, developed a subsistence pattern based on the bison. Their toolkit was specialized using more exotic materials and with more refinement of fabrication (Stone 1999: 41-44). Projectile points were large but no longer fluted (Gilmore et al. 1999: 69). The eastern Plano were a semi-sedentary people moving between plains and foothills (Gilmore et al. 1999: 69). The diet included bison, as well as other large and small mammals; plant foods included sunflower, prickly pear, amaranth, and limber pine. (Gilmore et al. 1999: 69, 89; Stone 1999: 41). It is with the Plano people that we start to see more organized hunting methods, for example driving a herd of bison over a cliff or up an arroyo into a snow drift to kill more animals (referred to as topographic traps). This type of hunting required more participants than the individual kills of the Folsom people, so the Plano people probably had some type of social organization to manage hunting and resource distribution (Gilmore et al. 1999: 69).

In Larimer County, the Gordon Creek burial site, dated 9700 symbol 177 \f "Symbol" \s 10 250 BP, indicates eastern Plano burial practices in this area. The female body was arranged in a flexed position and grave goods included three biface tools, a polished stone, a hammerstone, and four elk incisors one of which was perforated among other objects (Gilmore et al. 1999: 82).

Because of the Paleo-Indian reliance on big-game hunting, it is suspected that they were only transitory users of the mountains to the west. This changed with the Archaic Period.

Archaic Occupancy (7,500 BP - 1,800 BP or 150 AD)

With the climatic change of the Holocene, a new cultural adaptation took place, this was defined as the Archaic period. The Archaic period is distinguished from the prior periods in the adaptation for local conditions, the use of seasonal rounds, and a significant shift from reliance on big-game hunting to a use of many more of the available food resources (smaller mammals, grains, seeds, etc) - a broad spectrum adaptation. In addition to the Plains Archaic traditions, Larimer County is likely to have seen occupancy by people of the Mountain tradition during this same period. The Mountain tradition is a specific offshoot of Great Basin cultures which adapted to the Rocky Mountain environment.

Plains Archaic

The Plains Archaic period lasted from 7500 BP until the adoption of ceramics and bows and arrows by the plains nomads (around 2000 BP, Stone 1999: 56, 63). During this time, Colorado had drier temperatures and experienced periods of drought during the years between 7000 BP - 6500 BP and 6000 - 5000 BP. Conditions became sufficiently dry that bison essentially disappeared from the eastern Colorado plains as their preferred short grass vegetation was replaced by cacti and woody shrubs (Stone 1999: 17). The Pleistocene fauna had been completely replaced by Holocene species (as an example, bison antiquus was replaced by bison bison, a smaller animal which moves in larger herds, Stone 1999: 16). By the end of the Archaic period, climate conditions, animal, and plant life were similar to what we are familiar with today (Stone 1999: 16-17).

Compared to the preceding Plano period, projectile points were smaller and there was an increase in the use of ground stone tools. Storage cists [sic, cisterns?] appear during this period as do stone boiling fire pits (Gilmore et al. 1999: 91) and pit houses (Stone 1999: 58). People during this period made longer stays in base camp, used more gathered resources, and were able to rely on stored food (Stone 1999: 58). Due to the dry conditions, animal herds were smaller during the Archaic than during the previous Plano period. As a consequence mass kill sites are rare; hunting methods focused instead on ambush and stalking techniques (Stone 1999: 61).

Although human population densities may have dropped during the Archaic Period, evidence of occupation is available in Larimer County. The Trail Ridge Game Trail (in Rocky Mountain National Park) provides a good example of a seasonal game drive arrangement. The converging drive lines formed by three stone walls and five semicircular blinds would have enabled 15 - 20 people to trap and kill many elk (Gilmore et al. 1999: 116). Lindenmeier was used during the Archaic Period, as well (Gilmore et al. 1999: 106). A ceremonial site near Estes Park, Old Man Mountain, may have been used for vision quests and as a sacred site by the Archaic people (Gilmore et al. 1999: 133).

Mountain Tradition

Discussion continues about whether the mountains were used on a seasonal basis by people from lower elevations (like the game drive mentioned above) or whether there was year-round occupation. During the ice age, the Santana Glaciation would have made upper elevations inhospitable but by 10,000 BP these glaciers had retreated (Gilmore et al. 1999: 33). Black suggests that by the Archaic period there was year-round occupation and a specific cultural adaptation was developing (Stone 1999: 137). The Mountain tradition encompassed the area of the upland parks and peaks along the Continental Divide and the Front Range and eastern Foothills. The cultural adaptation included a seasonal round based on winter camps in the foothills and late summer and early fall game drives in the higher elevations. Although many occupation sites have not been found in the Foothills those that are tend to be located near permanent water in south facing rock shelters or along rock walls. Higher elevation sites include game drive features where animals such as mule deer, elk and bighorn sheep could be ambushed and base camps located in protected locations near water and often near several ecozones. By the 1300s AD, the Mountain tradition was replaced by Numic speakers from the Great Basin to the west (Stone 1999: 136-144).

Native American Occupancy (Ceramic, 150 AD - 1850)

Cultural Suceession in Colorado 1700-1870

The previous section presented the Archaic cultures seen in Larimer County; similar cultures were developing around the rest of North America based upon their specific geographic environment. When ceramic objects start to appear in any of these cultures, the culture shifts from Archaic to Ceramic. A second diagnostic of the transition to Ceramic is the shift from atlatl-dart to bow-arrow hunting technology. These methods may have been used simultaneously for several hundred years, however (Gilmore et al. 1999: 153). The Ceramic period lasted from roughly 2000 BP (0 - 150 AD ) until permanent European contact in the area. For northern Colorado, the Ceramic period ends around 1850 AD (Stone 1999: 57). During the Ceramic period regional cultures transformed into the Native American cultures we are more familiar with today. During this transformation, many Native groups changed their geographic locations and lifeways. This section will look at the Native American groups who have lived or used Larimer County. Specifically, the history of the Apache, the Comanche, the Ute, the Kiowa, the Arapaho, and the Cheyenne will be examined in some detail. Since the Cheyenne and Arapaho are more familiar in Larimer County history, highlights of their cultures will be briefly presented as well. The Ceramic period is usually divided into three phases: Early (150 AD - 1150 AD), Middle (1150 -1450), and Late (1450 - 1850). In the area of north central Colorado, there is relatively little to distinguish Early and Middle Ceramic periods from the preceding Archaic culture. Since the people in the area remained nomadic, ceramics (being bulky and fragile) and horticulture (requiring favorable growing conditions) from Woodland people to the east were slow to take hold. What is important about the Early/Middle Ceramic cultures is that they appear to have abandoned the area around 1450, possibly due to a drought that began in 1350 and ended around 1500. This left the area available for the Apaches to move in from the north around 1550, during the Late Ceramic period (Stone 1999: 64-84). Figure 2 shows the movement of the various Native American groups through Colorado from 1700 - 1870.


The Apache are an Athapaskan speaking tribe which migrated south from their homeland in Canada's Northwest Territories and were present in Colorado by 1525. In the Platte River region they were primarily bison hunters and traded with the Caddoan groups to the east for corn and with Pueblo groups to the south. More sedentary Apache groups (known as the Dismal River culture centered along the Republican River) produced ceramics which are diagnostic of occupation by the Apache. Dismal River pot fragments have been found in mountain areas which indicates that they either used the mountains themselves or traded with others who did. Around 1700, the Comanche with their advantage of horses began pushing the Apache southward. By 1725, the Apache had moved to southeastern Colorado and would ultimately move into New Mexico. (Gilmore et al. 1999: 310-313).


The Comanche are a branch of the eastern Shoshoni of Wyoming. The Shoshoni are a group of Numic speakers who migrated from the southern Great Basin area into northern Utah and western Wyoming about 1000 years ago (Stone 1999: 128). The Comanche moved from the mountains onto the plains in the late 1600's by way of the low passes along the Wyoming-Colorado border. By 1705, they had obtained the horse and made the shift from being dog nomads to fully adapted horse nomads in an area ranging east from the Front Range out onto the plains. The Comanche became a source of horses for tribes to the north, obtaining their own horses by raids on the Spanish and Americans in New Mexico and Texas and in turn being raided by the Arapaho and Cheyenne from the north (Stone 1999: 152-153). Lewis and Clark (1805) mention that during their expedition the Comanche were located at the head of the Arkansas River and ranged to the plains going east, an area abundant with wild horses and those raised by the Comanche (Mooney 1898: 166-167). Better organization by the Arapaho and Cheyenne in warfare created pressure, which along with Kiowa migration, pushed the Comanche south of the Arkansas by 1830 (Stone 1999: 152-153). About 1790, the Kiowa and Comanche had agreed to a peace and by 1840 the Kiowa and Comanche had established a peace agreement with the Cheyenne (Mooney 1898: 162-164).


The Ute are also a Numic speaking tribe which spread from the southern Great Basin (today's southern Nevada- California border) into southern Utah and western Colorado about 1000 AD (Stone 1999: 128). As slaves of the Spanish in the 1600s, the Ute learned to ride and were instrumental in trading horses to northern tribes after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 (Cassells 1983: 193).

Of the Ute bands occupying Colorado, none seemed to have occupied Larimer County on a sustained basis. The Yampa Ute were located along the Yampa River and ranged as far east as North Park. The Parusanuch were located along the Upper Colorado and ranged as far east as Middle park. The Manuche were located east of the Rocky Mountains and ranged along the Front Range from Denver south to Trinidad. (Stone 1999: 150-151). The scarred bark trees in Rocky Mountain National Park provide evidence of Ute use of the area around 1800 (in the spring bark was peeled for food or medicine, Gilmore et al. 1999: 323-324).


The ancestral home of the Kiowa, according to their oral traditions, is the mountain headwaters area of the Missouri River in Montana (near present day Three Forks). During a hunting expedition a dispute arose between two chiefs over an antelope udder (a delicacy). The winner of the dispute took his portion of the tribe and moved southeast crossing the Yellowstone, continuing until they met the Crow. By agreement the Kiowa took up residence to the east of the Crow. For a time they returned periodically to the mountains but eventually they moved onto the plains where they encountered the Arapaho and Cheyenne. The meeting with the Crow is estimated to have occurred around 1700. While the Kiowa were neighbors of the Crow they adopted the Crow "sun-dance medicine" around 1765. The Kiowa had obtained horses, probably from the Crow, by 1748. For a time the Kiowa took up residence in the Black Hills, but pressure from the Dakota and Cheyenne forced them to move southward (by 1800), living on the North Platte (by 1805; Mooney 1898: 166), the South Platte, the Republican, Smokey Hill and eventually Arkansas River where they ultimately settled at the headwaters of the Cimarron River. After confrontation with neighboring tribes they secured control of all area south of the Arkansas and north of the Wichita Mountains and the headwaters of the Red (Canadian) River (Mooney 1898: 153-161).

Whether the Kiowa actually occupied present day Larimer County or stayed on the plains further to the east is unclear. Mooney indicates that the Kiowa kept ties to their friends the Crow and returned to the mountains when they could, so it is likely that they used the area during their travels. What is known is that during the Kiowa's occupation of the Black Hills, their neighbors to the south were the Comanche, who were driven even further south when the Kiowa began migrating (Mooney 1898: 161-164). The Kiowa had left northern Colorado by the early 1800s and were established in southeastern Colorado by 1830 (Mooney 1898: Kiowa Migration Route Map).


The early history of the Algonquian speaking Arapaho is less clear than that of the Cheyenne, Kiowa, or Comanche. Their oral traditions suggest (but are not in clear agreement) that at one time they grew corn and were located east of the Missouri River, possibly in northern Minnesota. A closely related group, the Gros Ventres, were located near the Red River in Minnesota from around 1100 AD until 1600 AD. It is seems likely that the Gros Ventres and Arapaho were a single group during that time. A split occurred around 1650 and the Gros Ventres moved north to present day Saskatoon, Canada and the remaining Arapaho moved west onto the northern plains. They continued to move southwest and crossed the Missouri by the late 1700s. It is unclear when the Arapaho acquired horses, but they appear to have become mounted by the time they joined with the Cheyenne. In 1804, Lewis and Clark reported that the Arapaho were camped at the head of the Padouca Fork of the Platte River and the Cheyenne River. Their territory was bounded on the north by the Cheyenne River, south to what is now eastern Colorado, and spread from the Rocky Mountains to the Black Hills. They wintered on headwater streams on the eastern slope of the mountains and ranged onto the plains, into Nebraska and Kansas to hunt buffalo. By 1811 the Arapaho had linked up with the Cheyenne (Weist 1984: 29). Although the two tribes were closely affiliated, they maintained separate customs and languages.

By 1832, the Arapaho occupied an area ranging from Trinidad in southern Colorado north to Independence Rock in Wyoming and east to the Colorado border with Kansas and west to the Continental Divide (Mooney 1898: The Kiowa Range Map). The Arapaho claimed Colorado as their heartland with each band having a favorite wintering location (Trenholm 1970: 52). In 1914, Oliver Toll (1962) and two Arapaho elders visited Estes Park to document the Arapaho names for features there.

The Arapaho were organized into four bands which lived independently with their own chief during most of the year. During summer, the full tribe would convene for ceremonial activities. Ceremonies included the Sun Dance and rites for the sacred Wheel and the Flat-Pipe. In addition to band affiliation, Arapaho men belonged to age societies. Males passed through each of the eight age societies as they matured, starting at age twelve in the Blackbird or Kit-Fox society through the Water-Sprinkling-Old-Men society (comprised of the seven high priests of the tribe). The societies maintained cultural traditions, provided organization for warfare, and provided religious guidance. The Buffalo Lodge was a single society for women whose ceremonies recognized the white buffalo woman. In addition, the Seven Old Women (medicine women) provided a similar function to the senior men's priest society.

In Arapaho society marriage could be family sanctioned or romantic, but everyone was married (except for a small group of guards during their term). In a family sanctioned marriage, the marriage was arranged by the one of the man's female relatives negotiating with the woman's brother or other male relative. The woman had little say in the matter, usually following her male relative's guidance. A woman could elope with a man in a romantic marriage and although this was considered dishonorable, atonement could be made with gifts to her family. After marriage, the couple would live with the woman's family in their own tipi. Polygamy was practiced freely. When a husband died, his brother was required to marry the widow. When a man died, his body was placed in state with fine clothing until burial the following day. The body was buried in the hills, with hair cut from grieving relatives included in the deep grave. A man's best horse was killed and left next to the grave. Arapaho did not have property rights, upon a death a man's possessions were taken by those who wanted them.


The Cheyenne are an Algonquian speaking group whose origin stories place them on lake shores in a far northern woodland, somewhere between the Great Lakes and Hudson Bay (in Ontario, Canada). At some point they began to migrate southwest and eventually established themselves on the prairie boundary and lake region of extreme northern Minnesota, possibly near the headwaters of the Mississippi River. During these moves the Cheyenne were hunters and gatherers relying on fishing and plant resources. During their stay in northern Minnesota they acquired dogs to use as beasts of burden. When the Sioux arrived in northern Minnesota in 1650, they found the Cheyenne already present.

Around 1675 the Cheyenne moved southwest again, this time to the head of the Minnesota River in southwestern Minnesota. At this location they adopted corn agriculture and began living in permanent villages with earth lodges and stockades; food storage began and the bow and arrow were introduced. With the bow and arrow they were able to make periodic trips onto the plains to hunt buffalo. The Cheyenne may have had direct contact with Europeans before 1680 since it is documented that a group from the Minnesota River village traveled three hundred miles to Fort Crevecoeur (modern Peoria, Illinois) to request that the French explorer La Salle visit their village to trade beaver pelts and furs. During this period the French and British fur traders provided guns to the tribes they were friendly with to assist their warring against tribes aligned with the competition. The Cheyenne were unable to obtain guns and were continually under attack by the better armed Cree, Chippewa, and Assiniboin.

In 1700, the Cheyenne left their villages along the Minnesota and settled on the Sheyenne River in North Dakota where they once again established permanent villages and took up corn, bean, and squash agriculture. They remained here from 1700 to about 1790. The plains were even more assessable so buffalo hunting became a more important part of their subsistence. A traditional yearly round included planting crops in the village in the spring, moving onto the plains to hunt during the summer, returning to the village in late summer to harvest, and then returning to the plains for a fall hunt, ultimately returning to the village for the winter to live off the stored surplus of the year. Trade became important for the Cheyenne during this time since they had surplus bison material and surplus food crops. They developed buffalo hide tipis and acquired guns while on the Sheyenne. About 1750, the Cheyenne acquired horses - possibly through trade. Horses could carry 200 pounds or pull 300 pounds on a travois and travel twice as far as a dog. Horses allowed hunting without moving the whole camp, which in turn gave the women more time to tend crops, store foods, and work on hides and fur tanning. Due to continued attack from the Cree, Chippewa, and Assiniboin, the Cheyenne abandoned their villages over the course of about 50 years and resettled on the Missouri River. Pressure there from the Sioux caused them to continue westward.

By 1780 they had established themselves in the Black Hills and made the complete conversion to Plains hunters. On the northern plains the Cheyenne fulfilled a role as traders, procuring food and European manufactured goods from villages on the Upper Missouri (Arikara, Hidatsa, and Mandan) which they traded to other nomadic Indians for buffalo robes, porcupine quill work, dried meat, and horses (Jablow 1994: 28, 44-46). In 1806, the Cheyenne had their first modern encounter with white men when their camp was visited by Meriwether Lewis. In the 1820's the Cheyenne with their allies the Arapaho were recorded as making frequent horse raids on the Kiowa and Comanche to the south; they also pressured the Crow to the east by establishing hunting grounds to the west of the Black Hills.

In 1834, William and Charles Bent established a trading post, Bent's Fort, on the Arkansas River (near present day Las Animas, Colorado) which allowed the Cheyenne and other nearby nomadic groups to trade directly for European goods without using the Upper Missouri intermediaries. A portion of both the Cheyenne and Arapaho groups shifted their ranges south to use Bent's Fort. This created the initial separation of both tribes into northern and southern bands. In 1835, a trading post was established at St. Vrain on the South Platte River to trade with the northern bands.

During the course of their movements, the Cheyenne adapted their original agricultural traditions to their nomadic existence. They spent most of the year in self-sufficient extended family groups. These groups joined during the winter into bands of 300-350 members. When a man married he moved to his wife's family but remained a member of his birth band. During the summer the bands joined as a tribal unit for major ceremonies and a tribal hunt. The Cheyenne had three major ceremonies: the Arrow Renewal (unique to the Cheyenne), the Sun Dance (common to most Plains tribes), and the Animal Dance. The Cheyenne were governed by a Council of Forty-Four, a group which met during the summer to make decisions for the tribe. The Council was composed of four representatives from each of the ten bands and four tribal head chiefs. The Council of Forty-Four worked closely with the Men's Societies which served both military and social functions.

In Cheyenne society great value was placed on chastity. Unmarried girls were chaperoned by older women or mothers. Courtship was carried on at a distance; the couple seldom had time alone until after they were married. Women usually married in their late teens or early twenties. Men had to prove their abilities in hunting and warfare before marriage, so generally married in their twenties. Polygamy was permitted with a man preferring to marry sisters. Marriage could be ended by either party by divorce or death. When a person died the body was wrapped in robes and placed in the crotch of a tree, on a scaffold, or under rocks with a man's weapons and horse or a woman's utensils nearby for the afterlife (Weist 1984; Hoebel 1978: 93). The survivor's lodge and belongings were given away to others.

Permanent European Contact (1850 - Removal)

By 1830, first the Apache, then the Comanche, then the Kiowa, and finally the Arapaho and Cheyenne with incursions by the mountain Ute occupied Larimer County. The earlier occupants were pushed out by pressures from adjacent tribes for hunting areas. These tribes were in turn pressured by other tribes' movement due to fur trading and European expansion.

The first Europeans to reach present day Colorado were members of Coronado's expedition in 1540. Although this group did not reach as far north as Larimer County, they did introduce European trade goods and began a written record of events (Gilmore et al. 1999: 309). Spanish gold seekers reached the South Platte in 1720 (Kavazanjian 1975: 8). Mexico opened fur trade in 1822 and trappers were likely to have traversed the Platte drainage in search of beaver pelts and other furs (Gilmore et al. 1999: 309).

By the 1840s white settlers were crossing Cheyenne and Arapaho hunting land on their way west over the Platte River Road (part of the Oregon Trail). The cattle with the wagon trains grazed large areas of grass which the buffalo would not cross driving the buffalo from their normal grazing lands. The white settlers also brought contagious diseases. In 1845 measles and whooping cough epidemics ravaged the Plains groups. Cholera followed in 1849 coming with a fresh wave of gold-seekers headed for California. These epidemics may have killed half of the Cheyenne living between the Platte and Arkansas rivers. (Weist 1984: 43-44).

Not unexpectedly, tensions rose between the Cheyenne and Arapaho and the emigrants. In September 1851, Indian Agent Thomas Fitzpatrick secured a treaty (known as the Laramie Treaty) with many of the Plains Indian tribes which was intended to reduce tensions. The Arapaho and Cheyenne were assigned the territory between the North Platte and Arkansas rivers from their headwaters to the fork of Platte. Within two years, however, the government was building roads across these lands, the buffalo herds were shrinking, and settlers were moving onto prime hunting grounds.

In 1861, the Treaty of Fort Wise reduced the Cheyenne-Arapaho holdings to a small area south of Sand Creek on the Arkansas River. While this was satisfactory to many Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho, it was not for the northern bands or for the Southern Cheyenne Dog soldiers. In 1861, the Civil War broke out and most of the regular army troops were returned to the east. Volunteer armies were raised to provide protection against both "hostile" Indians and Confederate invasion (Weist 1984: 44-48). Colorado's Governor Evans issued a proclamation during the summer of 1864 "designating all Indians remaining out as hostiles, whom all persons were authorized to kill and destroy as enemies of the country wherever they might be found" (Mooney 1898: 176). On November 29, 1864, Colonel John M. Chivington used white uneasiness with respect to Indian fears to lead a volunteer army of 700 in an attack on an encampment of friendly Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho with the order to take no prisoners. The attack killed 137 people mostly women and children. This massacre lead to the biggest uprising in Plains Indian history (Weist 1984: 49-54).

Conflicts between the Indians and whites continued until the 1890's. In the 1867 Treaty of Medicine Lodge Creek the combined tribe of Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho gave up all their Colorado land and were moved to a new reservation in Oklahoma (Hoebel 1978: 115). A reservation for the Northern Cheyenne was established in southeastern Montana in 1864 (the Tongue River reservation, Weist 1984: 104). Most of the Cheyenne and Arapaho bands eventually settled on these reservations.

In Larimer County, trappers from Fort Laramie, Wyoming led by Antoine Janis established the first permanent settlement in 1858 at what is now LaPorte (Kavazanjian 1975: 8). In 1864, Camp Collins was established by the Army near present day Fort Collins to provide protection for the mail stage, emigrants, and settlers from "hostiles". A small Northern Arapaho band, led by Chief Friday, was still in the area, having no interest in moving to the Southern Arapaho camp on Sand Creek. This group was friendly to the whites and worked for local ranchers. They were directed to stay in the area of Camp Collins for protection and food rations. They were unable to follow their previous subsistence methods since the local wildlife had been reduced by overall population pressures. When Camp Collins was closed in 1867, the Arapaho were homeless and destitute. Proposals for a reservation along the Cache la Poudre were rejected due to the existing stage route and settlers. By 1878, Chief Washakie of the Shoshone allowed the remaining bands of Northern Arapaho to settle on the Wind River reservation in Wyoming (Swanson 1975).

In 1878 all remaining Indians were required to move to their respective reservations, including spouses of whites. Antoine Janis moved to the Pine Ridge reservation with his Sioux wife (Moriarty 1975). At this point all Arapaho (to Wyoming and Oklahoma), Cheyenne (to Montana and Oklahoma), Kiowa (to Oklahoma), Comanche (to Oklahoma), and Apache (to New Mexico) had been removed from the state of Colorado. The Ute were placed on two reservations in southwestern Colorado.

1 This report will use the following dating conventions: y.a. for years ago (as measured from today, 2000 AD) and BP, before present (as measured starting with 1950 AD). Readers may encounter other dates such as BCE, before current era (starting with 0 AD and moving back in time) or CE, after current era (starting at 0 AD and moving ahead in time). BC corresponds to BCE and AD corresponds to CE. As an example the year of 1900 AD is 100 y.a. and essentially 50 BP and 1900 CE. The year 1000 BC is 3000 y.a., 3000 BP, and 1000 BCE. Years ago is commonly used when exact dates are unknown and the intent is to convey a range of distant times. BP is specifically used when a date has been obtained by radiocarbon dating; a BP date based on radiocarbon dating should include an error estimate. AD, BC, BCE, CE are used when accurate calendar dates are available. BCE and CE are preferred due to their secular connotation.
2 Since many of the sites mentioned in this report are located on private property no specific location information has been provided.
3 Dates from this point forward will be given in AD format with the AD omitted.
4 Unless otherwise noted this section is extracted from Mooney (1898: 152-172 and supplemental maps).
5 Unless otherwise noted this section is extracted from Trenholm (1970: 3-81).
6 Since more complete information is available for the Cheyenne than for other groups who used Larimer County, this section will be somewhat longer than the others. The Arapaho, being Algonquian speakers, are thought to have had similar customs and history to the Cheyenne. The Cheyenne also provide a good illustration of the changing culture of native people after the arrival of Europeans. The Cheyenne provide a contrast as well to the Utes and Shoshoni who remained mountain oriented where the horse was less valuable. Unless otherwise noted this section is extracted from Weist (1984: 9-38). Also see Hoebel (1978) for more detail on Cheyenne cultural practices.


Paleoindian 12-11 BP Clovis (Dent)
11-10 Folsom (Lindenmeier)
10-9 Plano (Gordon Creek Burial)
Archaic 7.5-1.8 BP Plains Archaic (Trail Ridge Game Trail)
(150 AD) Mountain Tradition
Early/Mid Ceramic 1300 AD Numic speakers move from southern Great Basin into Utah, Wyoming and Colorado
1450 Plains Ceramic abandon Colorado
Late 'long ago' Apache (Athapaskan) in Northwest Territory of Canada
Ceramic   Cheyenne (Algonquin) near Hudson Bay - gathering
    Arapaho (Algonquin) in western Minnesota - farming?
    Kiowa in central Montana
    Utes (Numic) in western Colorado
    Shoshone (Numic) in Wyoming
  1525 Apache in eastern Colorado - hunting
  1540 Coronado's group entered Colorado - European trade begins
  1650 Arapaho move east and south - hunting

Cheyenne begin westward migration - farming

  1600s Ute slaves of Spanish learn to ride
  1680 Pueblo Revolt - Utes get horses
  late 1600s Comanche move from Wyoming to eastern Colorado - hunting
  1700 Comanche push Apache south with horses

Arapaho cross the Missouri River - hunting

Cheyenne in eastern North Dakota - farming

Kiowa meet Crow - pick up Sun Dance

  1720 Spanish gold seekers reach the South Platte
  1725 Apache in southern Colorado / New Mexico
  1750 Kiowa settle in Black Hills, South Dakota
  1780 Cheyenne in Black Hills - hunters & traders, push out Kiowa
  1804 - 1806 Lewis & Clark expedition

Arapaho on the Platte River - hunters

Kiowa on North Platte, push Comanche south

Comanche on Arkansas River

Ute in Estes Park

  1811 Cheyenne and Arapaho link up in Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, push Kiowa south
  1830 Comanche and Kiowa south of Arkansas River
  1834 Bent's Fort on Arkansas; split Cheyenne & Arapaho tribes
  1835 Fort St. Vrain on South Platte
  1840's Emigrants on Oregon trail, 49er's to gold fields

Measles, whooping cough, cholera epidemics

  1851 Treaty of Laramie - Cheyenne and Arapaho get land between North Platte and Arkansas
  1858 LaPorte established (Colona)
  1861 Civil War begins

Treaty of Fort Wise - creates Sand Creek Reservation for Cheyenne and Arapaho

  1864 Sand Creek Massacre - 137 Cheyenne & Arapaho killed

Camp Collins established

Northern Cheyenne reservation in Montana established

  1867 Camp Collins closed - Arapaho starving

Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho reservation established in Oklahoma

  1878 Arapaho allowed on Wind River Shoshone reservation in Wyoming

All Native Americans required to be on reservation


Castles, E. Steve
1983 The Archaeology of Colorado. Johnson Books, Boulder, CO.

Gilmore, Kevin P. Marcia Tate, Mark L. Tenant, Bonnie Clark, Terri McBride, and Margaret Wood
1999 Colorado Prehistory: A Context for the Platte River Basin. Colorado Council of Professional Archaeologists, Denver.

Hobble, E. Adams
1978 The Cheyennes: Indians of the Great Plains. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, New York.

Gable, Joseph
1994 The Cheyenne in Plains Indian Trade Relations 1795-1840. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln.

Kavazanjian, Nancy
1975 Splendor of Poudre Valley attracted waves of settlers. The Triangle Review, 7/13/77.

Mooney, James
1898 Calendar History of the Kyowa Indians. In The Seventeenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC.

Moriarty, Bob
1975 Larimer County was Indian home. The Triangle Review, 7/16/75.

Stone, Tammy
1999 The Prehistory of Colorado and Adjacent Areas. The University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.

Swanson, Evadene
1975 When the Indians left. The Triangle Review, 7/2/75.

Toll, Oliver W.
1962 Arapaho Names and Trails. privately published.

Trenholm, Virginia Cole
1970 The Arapahos, Our People. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.

West, Tom
1984 A History of the Cheyenne People. Montana Council for Indian Education, Billings.

Wiliness, Edwin N.
1974 Lindenmeier: A Pleistocene Hunting Society. Harper and Row, New York.

Summaries of Primary Sources in Local History Archive

1. Toll, Oliver W., Arapaho Names and Trails, 1962, booklet, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Report of a 1914 trip to Estes Park with Arapahos Gun Griswold (73 years old)and Sherman Sage (63 years old) and interpreter Tom Crisping (38 years old, official interpreter for Arapaho on the Wind River Reservation, Wyoming). Intention to document place names from period when Arapaho hunted in the Park. Names (in an approximation of Old Arapaho - phonics based) for Estes Park peaks, lakes, trails, including name basis. As an example, Long's Peak and Meeker Peak together were referred to as the "Two Guides" or "nesotaieux" because they are the landmarks of the whole region and from the east form a double peak. Arapaho = Father of All, includes creation legend. Booklet includes Arapaho sign language and basic words.

2. Kavazanjian, Nancy, Splendor of Poudre Valley Attracted Waves of Settlers, 07/13/1977, The Triangle Review, 8-9, clipping, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Earliest Spanish expedition along the South Platte - 1720, looking for gold. Arapaho, Cheyenne and Sioux used Cache la POUDRE Valley for hunting - favorite spot. Camped near the mouth of Box Elder Creek and near LaPorte. First permanent settler in Larimer County were trappers from Ft. Laramie in 1858. Led by Antoine Janis, French-Canadian guide, staked a claim in 1844, and returned in 1858, seeing 150 Arapaho at site. Was given all the land from the foothills to the mouth of Box Elder. Tues came out of mountains to steal horses from settlers. Timnath ranch of James B. Arthur was used as a fort in 1862 when a false alarm of Indian raid was given. Friday Fitzpatrick (chief of Arapaho) educated in St. Louis Catholic school. Found as a child in 1831,on the Santa Fe trail by Thomas Fitzpatrick. 1861, treaty of Fort Wise signed with Arapaho by Albert G. Boone (grandson of Daniel Boone) ceding all lands east of the mountains to the government and forcing Indians to a southeastern reservation. Friday refused to sign until 1863 under threat of food ration removal. 1863 soldiers stationed at LaPorte to address growing Indian problem.; in 1864 a flood forced the army post to relocate to higher ground at Camp Collins. Indian unrest in Wyoming caused the Overland Stage to reroute through Colorado, stopping in LaPorte for stages to Denver and Lithium. By 1869, Friday's band was forced to move to the Wind River Reservation due to lack of an acceptable place to live and growing inability to get food. By 1870, the only Indians in northern Colorado were the wives of the LaPorte settlers who were ordered to reservations in 1878 (husbands had to either abandon their wives or go with them).

3. Ray, Roy, Early-Day Account of Indian Lore in Northern Colorado, 11/01/1981, Senior Voice, 16, clipping, , vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

West of Windsor, near the head of Fossil Creek, is a site of dozens of distinct teepee rings outlined with stones. Crude forts built by white men: B.H. Eaton homestead south of Windsor and at the old Pinkerton trading post to the southwest of (Ft. Collins?). Arapaho Council tree was on Strauss place west of Timnath. Possibility of an Indian burial ground on the bluffs south of Windsor, but no evidence besides arrowheads and pits. Cache La Poudre River (French for "hide the powder") named by Antoine Janis, scout for General John C. Fremont; he hid powder from camp based on threat of Indian raid. Spot of cache marked by a granite slab northwest of Ft. Collins, erected in 1910 by the Cache la Poudre DAR. But possibly the cache occurred in 1836 when trappers were fleeing Indians and needed to lighten their load.

4. Indians of Colorado, April 1940, Colorado State Library Extension #3 (reissue), booklet, , vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Seems to contain many inaccuracies compared to other sources. Treaty of 1861, Cheyenne and Arapaho ceded their lands in Eastern Colorado to government but Indians failed to abide by the treaty and waged vigorous warfare against the whites in an attempt to drive them from the plains. On October 28, 1867 a second treaty was signed in which the Indians ceded all their lands between the Platte and the Arkansas and agreed to removal to Indian territory. Utes are a branch of the Shoshonean family which occupied the central and western parts of Colorado (and parts of Utah and New Mexico). Enemies of Arapaho and Cheyenne. As of 1940, the only reservation in Colorado was home to Utes -- the Consolidated Ute Agency with headquarters in Ignacio. The Comanche occupied the eastern part of Colorado south to Mexico (when and where is not clear). The Kiowa occupied the area along the Arkansas and Canadian Rivers entering Colorado (again no specifics on dates).

Arapaho are of the Algonquian family and called "Blue Sky Men" or "Cloud Men" by the Cheyenne. Arapaho call themselves "Inunaina" or "our people". Considered to be among the tallest of the plains Indians. Considered religious and given to observing ceremonies such as the Sun Dance (disagrees with Toll here). Distinct from other tribes in their practice of burying the dead. Migrated from the Red River area of northern Minnesota and settled near the head of the North Platte. A Southern group moved toward the Arkansas River and had conflicts with the Kyowa and Comanche. After the Medicine Lodge Treaty of 1867, the Southern Arapaho and Southern Cheyenne were placed on a reservation in Oklahoma. In 1876, the Northern Arapaho joined the Shoshoni on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. They became citizens in 1892.

Cheyenne are also of the Algonquian family. Called "Shaiena" or "people of alien speech" by the Sioux, but call themselves "Bzitsiistas" which means "people alike" or "our people". Migrated from Minnesota north of the Minnesota River. First recorded contact with whites was in 1667 when they met the French. Were agriculturists (like the Arapaho) prior to 1700 when forced westward by the Sioux. Were hunters when met by Lewis and Clark in the Black Hills in 1804. Migrated further south to the upper Platte and down to the Arkansas. In 1876 participated with the Sioux in the Little Big Horn battle, claimed to have lost the most men in the battle. Reservation is now in Montana.

Additional information about style of dress, social organization, and shelters.

Watrous, Ansel, History of Larimer County: A Peace Council With the Utes, 95, excerpt, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American, full text REF 978.8 Watrous, A.

In September 1865, the Territorial governor, John Evans held a peace council with the Southern Utes, led by Chief Ouray, at Fort Garland in the San Luis Valley to settle conflicts with the Utes and Mexicans. A battalion of the 21st New York cavalry, then stationed at Camp Collins, escorted Governor Evans. Utes ceded all claims to the San Luis Valley and areas west of the Rocky Mountains with existing settlements. Ouray died in 1880.

6. Gates, Zethyl, Where the Indians Met, 10/01/1982, Senior Voice, 20, clipping, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Arapaho Indian Council tree, cottonwood, located northwest of Timnath. 110 feet tall, 16 foot circumference. Stood on the sandy flats of the Cache la Poudre river. Meeting place for Arapahos and Cheyenne. Overlooked the foothills from the mouth of the Poudre to Big Thompson canyon. First documented by Mrs. A.K. Yount based on discussion with Chief Friday who said "we meet there". Mrs. John Rigden lived near the tree as a pioneer child; she recalled seeing cloth tied in tree as part of an Indian woman's burial scaffold, so the tree was also called "Squaw Tree". (Note that tree scaffolds are in contradiction with #4 about Arapaho burials). Tree burned to the ground about 1932 (fifty years before 1982 article).

7. Utes, Comanches Make Peace, 07/13/1977, The Triangle Review, clipping, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Ute-Comanche Peace treaty signing festival July 24, 1977 in Ignacio, CO. Utes and Comanches ceased hostilities in the late 1800s but a treaty was not concluded, instead ended in fighting. 1977 event plan to resolve unfinished treaty.

8. Swanson, Evadene, Shifting the Arapaho, excerpt, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

9. The Indian Legend About Horsetooth, excerpt, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Valley of Contentment (today's Horsetooth Reservoir?) was once guarded by a giant so that no buffalo, deer or antelope were hunted in the valley. Chief Maunamoku lead Indians to slay the giant. In killing the giant, the Chief slashed at his heart first in the center then on the right and then on the left with a tomahawk from the heavens. The next day the giant had turned to stone and is known as Horsetooth Rock.

10. Indian Days on River Here Told for Pioneer Women, 11/13/1949, Fort Collins Coloradoan, clipping, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

John Colhoff, historian for the Sioux Indian Museum in Rapid City, S.D. was the grandson of Ki-Ya_ksa Indians who lived in the Fort Collins area. Referred to the Cache la POUDRE as "Minni Luzahan" or "Swift Current".

11. Hoffert, Amanda, My Role Model, 05/25/1994, Fort Collins Coloradoan, B1, clipping, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Essay about Amy Bencenti and Lorraine Nakai, Native American daughter and mother.

12. Poppen, Julie, CSU Orders Removal of Sweat Lodge, 08/02/1996, Fort Collins Coloradoan, A1, clipping, , vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Sweat lodge erected on CSU in 1993 by Environmental Learning Center; mandated removal due to conflict of church and state. Cites liability issues, shift to ceremonial rather than educational purposes. Better suited to location on private land.

13. Poppen, Julie, Debate Rages Over Sweat Lodge, 08/04/1996, Fort Collins Coloradoan, B1, clipping, , vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Kenny Frost, advocate for Ute Nation in CO, considered sweat lodge and sweat leader, Lawrence Little Thunder, as fraudulent and dangerous. Debra Reed, director of CSU Native American Student Services says sweat lodge is mismanaged and improperly used. Also at issue, separation of church and state (but Danforth Chapel is allowed to remain.)

14. Getz, Robert, Teaching a Way of Life, 10/13/1992, Fort Collins Coloradoan, clipping, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Profile of Jennifer Iron (born 1962), information processing specialist and teacher of Navajo language and culture.

15. Swanson, Evadene, Big Rib Role Remains a Mystery, 02/11/1976, The Triangle Review, clipping, vertical file -Ethnic Groups: Native American

Story of discovery of photograph of Big Rib, an Ogala Sioux chief, second in rank to Red Cloud in the 1860-70s. Photograph by William Gunnison Chamberlain of Denver, active in area from 1861-1881. Connection to local history unclear.

16. Lang, Sandy, Museum Sports Diversity, 04/28/1994, The Triangle Review, clipping, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Latest exhibit at Fort Collins Museum "Many Faces of Diversity" funded by a $2,000 grant from the Josten Foundation composed of photos, family history, artifacts, and personal items. Scope includes Native Americans to German Russian immigrants to Hispanic settlers.

17. Norman, Sally, The Dancers, 04/19/1993, Fort Collins Coloradoan, B1, clipping, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Photo essay of First Community Contest PowWow at the Northside Aztlan Center.

18. Police Stop Indian, 11/18/1908, Fort Collins Express, clipping, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Report of police confrontation with Chicililly. Actions of police and writing reflect the anti-Indian feeling of the time. (reprinted in 6-23-1976 in unidentified source)

19. Moen, Vicki, Indian Grave, report, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Description of an Indian grave found on May 11, 1969 on the Moen Ranch about 40 miles north of Fort Collins. Site was in an open area on an eastward facing slope. Grave was covered by large (50 -100 pound rocks). Grave goods includes a corner-notched knife, corner-notched projectile points, bone beads, stone beads, a stone pendant, butchering tools, awls, utilized flakes and other artifacts. Body was a male, over forty years of age, assumed to be a chief based on the quantity, variety, and workmanship of the artifacts. Was probably Plains Archaic, Early Woodland and Pre-pottery (0-500 AD). During a transition period between spears and bow and arrow since both weapons were found. Orville Parsons and John Bush (archaeologists) compiled much of the information and classifications.

Fort Collins Soldiers Fought Indians, 09/29/1973, clipping, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Describes the encounter of Col. William Collins (11th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry based at Ft. Laramie, WY) with Cheyenne and Sioux at Julesburg and Mud Springs near Rush Creek.

21. Blake, Peter, Original Owners (Indians) now Returning to Denver, 03/16/1969, Rocky Mountain News, 5, clipping, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Laramie Treaty of 1851 guaranteed to Arapaho and Cheyenne all lands east of the Rockies between the South Platte and Arkansas River, these rights were reaffirmed by the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. 1861 lands in the Pike's Peak area to whites. Nov. 29, 1864 Sand Creek (north of Ft. Lyons) attack lead by John M. Chivington, elder in the local Methodist Church, 900 white men killed 200 Cheyenne and Arapaho (mostly women and children).

In 1969, Indians returning to Denver, one of four pilot cities for the Adult Vocational Training Act. Although the Indian population is highly mobile, local schools like having Indian students since it entitles the school to a special federal government subsidy. Denver is headquarters for the National Congress of American Indians and the Tribal Land Rights Association.

22. Proctor, Gordon, Indian Maiden Saved 3 Captive Whites, 01/19/1980, Fort Collins Coloradoan, A13, clipping, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Ute Susan, sister of Chief Ouray, captured by Arapaho in 1863 as a young girl. Returned to tribe by Major Simpson Whitely. In 1879, Utes from White River reservation slaughtered many of the whites and took three women and 2 children captive. Josephine Meeker and her mother were among the captives and were kept for a month. Reason for release is not given but some accounts credit Ute Susan (but undocumented) with being kind to the captives. Ute rebellion was attributed to discontent with whites farming on the reservation. Ute party included a chief Douglass and brave named Persune.

23. Sapakoff, Gene, Youth Uncovers Old Indian Bones, 08/19/1979, Fort Collins Coloradoan, clipping, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Zach Day, 8 years old, finds human skeleton on father's (Vic Day) farm, 1 mile east of Interstate 25 and 4 miles north of Highway 14. Bones are estimated to be 200 years old and of an Arapaho woman, possibly with arthritis according to retired CSU Anthropology professor Michael Charney (also Director of the CSU Center for Human Identification).

24. Bennett, Virginia, Indian Tradition and Culture Part of Burgess Roye's Artwork, 02/08/1993, Fence Post, 52, clipping, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Ponca Indian artist, Burgess Roye, of Parachute, CO.

25. An Indian Prayer, clipping, vertical file -Ethnic Groups: Native American

26. Harness, Susan, American Indian Combined Celebrations, 12/18/1994, Fort Collins Coloradoan, B3, clipping, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Recollections of Anita Morin, current Ft. Collins resident, of week long combination Christmas, New Year, and Acbadadea thanksgiving celebrations on the Crow Indian reservation in Montana during the 1930s.

27. Murphy, Diana, Native Students, Family Rank on Top, 03/27/1995, Fort Collins Coloradoan, C1, clipping, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Profile of Carolyn Fiscus, professor of education and director of Native American Student Services at CSU. Member of the HoChunka (Winnebago) tribe, born 1948, raised on tribal reservation in Omaha, Neb.

28. Ferrin, Ida Davidson, Many Moons Ago, 1976, The Filter Press, booklet, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Stories told to author by Goes-in-Lodge, an Arapaho medicine man from the Wind River Reservation.

29. Yelm, Betty and Dr. Ralph L. Beals, Indians of the Park Region, July 1934, Rocky Mountain Nature Association (Rocky Mountain National Park), booklet, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Anthropology - Provides a brief topology, geologic, and climatic overview of the Rocky Mountain National Park area. Of note for Native Americans is the lack of good flaking materials in the area; only quartz, obsidian, and felsite are found and only in small quantities. The majority of worked material found in the region was brought in from the Plains and is mostly chert and quartzite. As of this printing (1934) 27 archaeological sites had been found within or near the Park, mostly in the Big Thompson drainage, 4 in the Cache La Poudre, and two in the Colorado River drainage. Stone tool artifacts include scrappers, points, etc. as well as manos (hammerstones), and a few matates (flat grinding stones). Suggests that Park sites were temporarily used for hunting excursions, larger campsites on the Plains. Pottery (surprisingly since it is heavy and bulky to carry around), was found at 8 sites, all of relatively plain design so probably only used for cooking purposes; may indicate an extreme western edge to the ceramic area centered on the lower valley of the Platte, Missouri (Mound Region). People of Park region had traits of the Plains tribes but had a more restricted nomadic lifestyle, supplemented the diet with berries, grasses, seeds, nuts, and fish. Likely to have been the ancestors of the modern Ute and Shoshoni. Arapaho came late to the Plains (still east of the Black Hills as of 1806).

Ethnology section is similar to Ethnology of Rocky Mountain National Park by Dr. Ralph L. Beals, National Park Service 1936 (#61 below).

30. Norman, Sally, Navajo: Cultural Lessons Are Interwoven with Language, 04/05/1994, Fort Collins Coloradoan, B1, clipping, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Navajo language lessons are taught by Jan Irons, a Navajo. Navajo is the most widely spoken Native American language in the US.

31. Poppen, Julie, Sweat Lodge Taken Down, 08/07/1996, Fort Collins Coloradoan, A1, clipping, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

The controversial sweat lodge at CSU was dismantled sometime on Monday 8/5 or Tuesday. Feelings are mixed, but most say the issue if over.

32. Harness, Susan, Good Turn in Larder County Saved Lives Later, 05/28/1995, Fort Collins Coloradoan, B6, clipping, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Story of capture of Susan, a Ute Indian, at 13 and held for several years by an Arapaho war party from Chief Lefthand's band (offered to trade her to J.N. Hollowell, a resident of the Big Thompson Valley in 1863). Rescued by Company B of the First Colorado Volunteer Cavalry under Major Whitely, just before being burned at the stake near present day Greeley. In 1879, due to previous kindnesses of whites, Susan was instrumental in the release of two white women captured in the White River Massacre (1879). Compare to Gordon Proctor Indian Maiden Saved 3 Captive Whites 01/19/1980, Fort Collins Coloradoan, A13 (#22) which does not claim Susan was responsible for release. Citation from Watrous' History of Larder County.

33. Harness, Susan, Tribes May Not Have Understood Treaties, 04/02/1995, Fort Collins Coloradoan, B5, clipping, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

First treaty with Cheyenne in 1825. Next treaty on September 17, 1851 identified boundaries and agreed to provide provisions and agents to conduct trade. February 18, 1861 treaty: all Arapaho and Cheyenne would relinquish their lands except for a small tract and agree to settled habits (reservation, would get 160 acres, $15,000/yr for 15 years). But not clear that content of treaties was clear to the Indians, because many of the concepts had no clear comparison in Indian culture (i.e. roads, reservation, farms, settlement); also an assumption that each tribe operated under a single leader / authority to make decisions (vs. egalitarian where one person may not speak for all, and followers do so by personal decision). Indians seldom received committed monies or materials, or didn't know how to use them when received (i.e. flour).

Shep Husted Tells Facts of Indians and Trail Stories, 05/01/1923, Fort Collins Express Courier, 5, clipping, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Shep Husted (outfitter for Oliver Toll's 1914 trip to Estes Park with old Arapaho) talked to the Mountain Club at the Physics Building (CSU?). Arapaho were in possession of Estes Park prior to the whites not the Utes as often thought. See also Oliver Toll Arapaho Names and Trails 1962 (#1).

35. Harness, Susan, Treaties Shatter Tribes, 04/09/1995, Fort Collins Coloradoan, B3, clipping, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Treaty of 1868 said punishment for crimes by Indians or whites would be handled by white law. 1877 treaty said that food would be given to children only if they attended school and to adults only if they took up farming (unless aged, infirm, or sick). Treaty of 1890, all land but bottom land (or grazing land) ceded to government and religious societies were able to receive 160 acres for their own use.

36. 1992-93 Bear Singer, May 1993, Wyoming Indian High School, booklet, , vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Creative arts yearbook from the Wyoming Indian High School, includes essays, poems, art.

37. Archaeology Group Talk on Porcupine Hill, 03/18/1979, Fort Collins Coloradoan (?), clipping, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Jim Marcotte, anthropology graduate student at CSU gives a slide show on the prehistoric site of Porcupine Hill in Summit County. Porcupine Peak dates between 8,000 BC and 1000 AD and was likely used for a summer hunting base camp. It is unique in that a complete tool kit for butchering and hunting was found there. Marcotte has also worked at Lightening Hill north of Fort Collins with CSU anthropology department head Liz Morris.

38. "First, Bake the Oven - Then Bake the Bread, 10/29/1975, Fort Collins Coloradoan, clipping, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Students in the Heritage Square Unit at Riffenburgh School built a beehive oven to make ceremonial Indian bread as part of Octoberfest (copied from the traditional bread baking ovens introduced by the Europeans to the Pueblo of the southwest).

39. Balandran, Tony, "Live Clean Life" Actor Tells Kids at Lincoln, 05/14/1994, Fort Collins Coloradoan, A1, clipping, "Cherokee, Cree", vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Cherokee and Cree actor, 90 year old, Iron Eyes Cody talked to students at Lincoln Junior High. Cody was in Ft. Collins to sign copies of the book Rick and Jim's Real Reel Actors which includes biographies of Cody and other Indian actors. The book was produced through the efforts of Fort Collins author Richard Payne and artist James Griffith. Cody and Jay Silverheels are the only American Indian actors to have stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

40. Poppen, Julie, Indian Leaders Asked to Help Pack Up Lodge, 08/08/1996, Fort Collins Coloradoan, clipping, Lakota Sioux, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Spiritual leaders from the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota have been asked to assist in removal of the sweat lodge to assure tribal customs are followed.

41. Hagen, Mary, Medicine Eagle Feather Woman: Going Home to Help Her People Succeed, 09/28/77, The Triangle Review, 3A, clipping, Northern Cheyenne, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Ann Strange Owl Raben, owner of Owl Lodge, an Indian fine arts and crafts shop in Fort Collins, is returning to her home in Montana (the Northern Cheyenne reservation where she is known as Medicine Eagle Feather Woman) to set up a small workshop center in the town of Birney to provide employment for her people. The shop in Fort Collins will be managed by Margaret Hiza, a Crow Indian. Raben has been a technical advisor for the Denver Museum of Natural History's display showing the Cheyenne in 1860.

42. Moriarty, Bob, Larder County was Indian Home, 07/16/1975, The Triangle Review, , clipping, "Arapaho, Cheyenne", vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Larder county was home to Arapaho and Cheyenne Indian tribes during the middle 1800s. Primarily hunters and gatherers, and controlled plains to the Platte River. Arapaho = "he who buys or trades". Earliest encampments near Denver and Boxelder Creek and Lappet. Both Arapaho and Cheyenne (horseback based) disliked the Ute (foot based, mountain tribe). Antoine Janis, 1st permanent settler in Colorado north of the Arkansas, staked claim near Lappet in 1944 (lived there until 1878). On arrival saw 150 Arapaho lodges at Lappet. Served as a guide and interpreter between 1864 and 1867; in 1878 moved to Pine Ridge reservation with his Sioux wife. Little evidence of atrocities being committed by Arapaho or Cheyenne (besides stealing horses). In 1861 the Cheyenne and Arapaho ceded all the land east of the mountains to the U.S. government (including eastern part of Larder county). Only violence was in 1864; war escalated until mail to east was ended and required intervention of U.S. troops. In 1864, many of Arapaho moved to Wyoming following Sand Creek Massacre. Landmark cottonwood tree on James Strauss' farm in Timnath labeled the Council Tree - used by Plains tribes for councils and hanging of Ute or Pawnees by Arapaho or Cheyenne.

43 The Indians of Colorado, 1957, The State Historical Society of Colorado, Denver, booklet, vertical file -Ethnic Groups: Native American

Originally published in 1952 by LeRoy R. Hafen. Earliest stone tools found in Colorado, "Sandia" point dated about 20,000 years ago. Followed by Clovis points dated about 13,000 y.a.; two points were found at Dent, CO with mammoth bones. Folsom fluted points found at the Lindenmeier site near Ft. Collins dated about 10,000 y.a. Plainview points are similar but ungrooved and slightly younger. Eden and Scottsbluff points made between 7,000 and 9,000 y.a. In about 7,000 many animals became extinct - the prehistoric horse, camel , antelope, giant ground sloth, tapir, giant bison, wolf and others.

Woodland group, eastern CO about 600 AD. 1541, first European contact by Spanish in extreme southern Colorado, introduction of horses. Observed Indians living in tents, using dogs as work animals, no planting only hunting buffalo. 1800 Anglo-American entry into Colorado - Arapaho and Cheyenne enter the plains about this time being pushed westward by the Sioux (compare to date given in Toll for "smoking mountain" 1000 ya.). Utes were present in the mountains. Contact with whites brought horses, metal and firearms as well as cloth and blankets, beads, etc. Arapahos - Algonquian family from near the Great Lakes. Arapaho = tattooed on the breast. Cheyenne's also Algonquian, had been farmers on the Cheyenne River in North Dakota. All tribes were nomadic, moving to follow game and grass for horses. Key resource = buffalo, also ate antelope, small mammals and dog.

44. Swanson, Evade, When the Indians Left, 07/02/1975, The Triangle Review, clipping, "Arapaho, Shoshone", vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American -Chief Friday

Part 2 of a series in Annals of Wyoming, Spring issue (1975?) Many of Chief Friday's band worked for ranchers in the Fort Collins area in 1864-65 (period of stage stop burnings in Julesburg and elsewhere). Friday requested a reservation on the Cache la Poudre between Boxelder Creek and Greeley, resisting government efforts to move his band to southern Colorado. In 1864 band had 175 members; by January1867 this had declined to less than 100 (requesting meat and flour directly from governor). Fort Collins (?) was closed in March 1867, with no acceptable plans for Friday's band. In late 1860s (after 1868) Friday moved his band to near Lander, WY (not on reservation, Shoshone Chief Washakie did not permit Arapaho to share reservation until after 1870). In 1870, Arapaho were blamed for murders in the Lander area and Billy Patterson and an expedition of 75 white men attached the Arapaho camp, capturing 25 Indians, 14 ponies, and killing 4 people.

During the 1870s Friday served as a scout and interpreter for the U.S. Army. He was a scout for General George Crook during the battle of the Little Big Horn. Until his death in 1881, Friday received $300/yr for his role as an interpreter. His body was buried in an unmarked grave.

Friday had as many as 10 wives. His genealogy is in the National Archives; many of the family are buried in a special Friday family cemetery on the Wind River Reservation.

Friday was photographed by both William Henry Jackson and Mathew Brady. Jackson's catalog includes a photo of Friday with a rifle seated against a rock.

As a child he was called Washinum (Black Spot), signed the treaty of 1851 as Vash, also had a name which translated as "he who sits in the corner and keeps his mouth shut".

45. Swanson, Evadene, Chronology of Photographs of Chief Friday, personal notes, copy, Arapaho, vertical file -Ethnic Groups: Native American - Chief Friday

Photocopies of 6 photographs of Friday and associates with Swanson's notes indicating source, location, photographer, and photo context. Photos include 1) 1859 c. Group including Friday at the Cheyenne Agency. 2) 1860s a bust from a carte de visite style mount. 3) 1868, Friday in Indian apparel. 4) 1873 c. Friday leaning on a rock with a gun. 5) 1870s Friday with Crazy Bull. 6) 1877 Matthew Brady group photo. Also includes "The One Who Sleeps" Friday's 10th wife.

46. Swanson, Evadene Burris, Friday: Roving Arapaho, Spring 1975, Annals of Wyoming 47(1): 59-68, extract, copy, Arapaho, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American -Chief Friday

47. Swanson, Evadene, Pioneers Knew Friday All Week, 06/25/1975, The Triangle Review, , clipping, Arapaho, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American - Chief Friday

Part 1 of 2 part series which appeared in Annals of Wyoming, Spring issue (1975?) Friday Fitzpatrick, Arapaho Indian Chief. Named by Thomas Fitzpatrick when found near the Santa Fe Trail in 1831. Taken to St. Louis for a "white" education and considered by many to be Fitzpatrick's son; named Friday after Daniel Defoe's Indian "Friday" in Robinson Crusoe. Spent summers in Wyoming with mountain men and at fur trader rendezvous. By 1840s (Friday in his 20s) had returned to an Indian way of life. In 1851 signed the Indian treaty at Fort Laramie negotiated by T. Fitzpatrick. Of 10,000 Indians at event Friday and 10 others were selected to go to Washington to meet President Fillmore. Trip increased Friday's status with others in tribe and was considered a "chief" by the whites in Poudre Valley. Best white friend was Ebenezer Davis who settled near Timnath in 1859 and sold hay to mining camps. Sherwoods provided government rations. Arapahos camped near present day Drake Road and also on Sherwood place, on the Coy farm, and near the Strauss Cabin (location of the Arapaho Council tree). In 1864, received permission from Captain Love at Camp Collins to take a hunting party of 25 to the South Fork of the Cache la Poudre in September. Visited by Elizabeth Keyes Stratton at camp near fort in 1866.

48. Grable, Francis C., The Advance Guard, Chapter 5: A Lucky Day was Friday, 09/22/1909, The Weekly Courier, Fort Collins, 2, clipping, Arapaho, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American - Chief Friday

49. Hafen, Leroy, Broken Hand, the Life of Thomas Fitzpatrick, Mountain Man, Guide and Indian Agent, 1973, The Old West Publishing Company, 330, copy, Arapaho, vertical file -Ethnic Groups: Native American - Chief Friday

Excerpts from the book originally published in 1931 that reference Chief Friday. Page 97 recounts Fitzpatrick's original finding of Friday south of the Arkansas River. Page 145, Notes from Anderson referring to Friday's Indian name "Warshinunm" or black spot. Page 146 Friday journeys to (then) Fort William (later Fort Laramie) with Fitzpatrick in 1835. Appendix A (pp. 325-337) provides more specific detail on Friday, tracing his adoption by Fitzpatrick through his death in 1881 at age 56 (est.)

50. Friday, the Arapaho, 1978, The Wind River Rendezvous, v 8, n 5, copy, Arapaho, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American- Chief Friday

Short summary of Friday's life. Similar to information in Hafen and Swansen.

51. Gates, Zethyl, Arapaho Chief Thanks Frontier Family, 01/05/1980, Loveland Daily Reporter Herald, 3, clipping, Arapaho, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American - Chief Friday

52. Baun, Robert, English-speaking Chief Friday Makes a Mark as Negotiator, 11/01/1996, Fort Collins Coloradoan, B1, clipping, Arapaho, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American - Chief Friday

53. Clements, Josephine, Arapaho Chief in Northern Colorado, March 1994, Senior Voice, 14, clipping, Arapaho, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American - Chief Friday

54. Hafen, Leroy R., Colorado and Its People, copy, Arapaho, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American - Chief Friday

55. Photographs of Friday Grave Site in Wyoming, 1973, copy, Arapaho, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American - Chief Friday

56. Trenholm, Virginia, The Arapahos: Our People, copy, Arapaho, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American - Chief Friday

57. Records and correspondence on Chief Friday, misc, Bureau of Indians Affairs, copy, Arapaho, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American- Chief Friday

58. Daniels, Donna, Middle Park Indians to 1881: Prehistoric Indians of Grand County, June 1987, Grand County Historical Association Journal, V7, n1, journal, vertical file -Ethnic Groups: Native American

Clovis hunters in eastern CO, dating uncertain to 16,000 ya. Tools included scrapes, bifaces, flake knives, choppers, bone tools, and the distinctive Clovis point.

Folsom, 10-11,000 ya. Smaller, more finely made projectile points found in extinct (larger) bison. Lindenmeier site north of Fort Collins, not just a kill site but also domestic uses. Other Folsom sites near Greeley, La Porte, Orchard and the San Luis Valley.

10,000-7,000 Plano culture, distinctive spear points from Wyoming, CO. 7,000 ya, climate change - much warmer on the plains causing a movement up into the mountains. Archaic period 7,000-3,000 ya - smaller cruder points which were hafted to an atlatl (spear thrower). Archaics were hunters and gatherers having a seasonal round. Other technology includes mano and metate (grinding slab), baskets, nets, snares, fish hooks, and net sinkers).

About 0 AD, bow and arrow as tools, much smaller points, pottery in use 1100 - 1500 AD, eastern plains occupied by farming "Upper Republican" cultivation of maize (originally identified on the Republican River in Nebraska), cord-marked pottery and settlements in semi-subterranean lodges. Not clear whether these people moved into mountain or foothills areas.

By 500AD ancestors of historic Utes occupied much of western CO. Extensive description of Ute culture (dress, shelter, diet, division of labor, etc) in other articles in same journal. Also history of Utes and whites, government involvement and settlement on reservation.

Occupation of Larder County : 1727-1800, Comanches; 1820-1846, Arapahos and Cheyenne's

59. Spring 1999, Southwestern Lore, v 65, n1, journal, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

60. Clyde Brown's Scrap Books, "Indians" 1899-1904, Box #4

61. Beals, Dr. Ralph L., Ethnology of Rocky Mountain National Park, 1936, U. S. Department of the Interior National Park Service

62. Three Maps of Indian Country, September 1958, U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, fold out map, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

Fold out map showing probable locations of Indian Tribes north of Mexico as of 1500 AD (from Indians of the United States by Clark Wiser, Doubleday and Co.). Shows Arapaho in extreme north-eastern CO, Cheyenne in mid-central eastern CO and Ute in extreme SW CO. Second map shows culture areas and approximate location of tribes at time of printing (1958?), CO is in culture of "the Hunters of the Plains" with only Ute in SW corner. Arapaho are located in central WY and Cheyenne in WY/MT. 3rd map shows reservations as of 1948.

63. Van Orsdale, Capt. J. T., Rev. Sherman Coolidge, D.D., May1893, The Colorado Magazine, v1, n 2, original, ephemera file - Colorado Native Americans

Early background of William Tecumseh Sherman (bought from his Arapaho mother after the assault on her camp near present day Lander, WY in 1870 by a group of ex-soldiers from the left wing of Price's Army (Confederate States)), later baptized as Sherman Coolidge, raised by Captain C.A. Coolidge of the 7th infantry and wife. Trained for the ministry in Fairbault, MN, graduated and ordained in 1884. Served on the Wind River reservation (Fort Washakie) from 1885 until 1893 (on beyond?). Considered "proof … that the Native American Indian can be taught to take and hold a place among the citizens of the United States."

64. Coolidge, Sherman, D.D., The Indian of To-day, May 1893, The Colorado Magazine, v1, n 2, original, ephemera file - Colorado Native Americans

Coolidge, a native Arapaho, writes about current (1893) Indian policy. 1869 peace treaty between Arapaho and Shoshone, Arapaho located to Pine Ridge Reservation in SD, in 1876 permission from government to move to Wind River Reservation in WY to be near ancestors, familiar area (hunting, etc). Coolidge describes early education facilities (by Bishop Randall, Christian Church? and successors), eventual government education in 1890.

Work of church on reservation is not to build a liturgy in Arapaho or Shoshone tongue but to prepare the people for their duties in church and state. "The missionary may learn the Indian language for the sake of preaching the gospel; but the main effort is to educate the weaker race of the inferior language, life, and religion into the better language, life, and religion of the stronger race. Education promotes civilization and a common language promotes affiliation." 1891, government requested infantry (17) and cavalry (8 troops) enlistment of 55 men each. Coolidge sees this as a good occupation and a way to rapid civilization of young men too old for education and at loose ends. Lessens the chance of war between them and white people.

65. Photocopy of photograph of Ogalala group in 1877 or before (Fort Collins Pioneer Museum biog. pict. file # 1919J Neg 1919). The group could be the delegation of Sept. - Oct. 1877. People in photo in he Dog, Little Wound, Little Big Man, Young Man Afraid of his Horses, Sword, Yellow bear, Anton Jennis (sp), William Garaet (interpreter), Joseph Merriville, and Three Grizzly Bears. Photo and group is similar to #41 in the 1877 Jackson catalog.

66. Photocopy of Fremont's 2nd Expedition route map dated July 23, 1843 at St. Vrain (near present day Greeley, CO). Source unknown.

67. Oral history from John Mandeville. Source and date unknown.

Recounts story of Chief Colorow's desire and attempt to buy John's wife Clara and their baby near Cheyenne, WY.

68. They Must Necessarily Yield..., 1978, The Wind River Rendezvous, v 8, n 5, copy, Arapaho, vertical file -Ethnic Groups: Native American- Chief Friday

69. Mc Clelland, Frank, First News of Custer's Battle, Fort Collins Express-Courier, 8/11/01929, p. 11, vertical file - Ethnic Groups: Native American

The Brule Sioux had a system of passing along information of tribal interest. Whenever a big event occurred, runners would be sent to warn members of the tribe who had either permanently or temporarily moved from the tribal headquarters. In 1876, runners were sent to the four Brule Sioux women who lived in Laporte with their white husbands. This is the account of Custer's battle at the Little Bighorn from their Native American perspective.

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