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Joseph Medicine Crow, historian and last Crow Tribe war chief, dies at 102 | Minnesota Public Radio News

5.4.16

Joseph Medicine Crow, historian and last Crow Tribe war chief, dies at 102 | Minnesota Public Radio News: "He is the last person alive to receive direct oral testimony from a participant in the Battle of the Little Bighorn: his grandfather was a scout for General George Armstrong Custer," the White House said in a statement when it honored Medicine Crow with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, in 2009.

"Wearing war paint beneath his uniform and a sacred feather beneath his helmet, Joseph Medicine Crow completed the four battlefield deeds that made him the last Crow war chief," President Obama said during the ceremony. "Dr. Medicine Crow's life reflects not only the warrior spirit of the Crow people, but America's highest ideals."

Medicine Crow, whose Crow Tribe name was "High Bird," was also the first member of his tribe to earn a master's degree, Eric says. He went on to receive several honorary doctorates.

"Joe was a true American hero," Darren Old Coyote, chairman of the Crow Tribe, told the Billings Gazette. "He was a great man in two worlds."


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