Migration NewsFrom the Stars and Stripes archives
Crow Indians visit Frankfurt to promote reservation tourism
November 6, 1972
A BAND OF Crow Indians is whooping it up in Europe to promote tourism to Indian country — "reservations" definitely included.
Emma Tillie Birdhat, Patrick Stands Over Bull, Gladys Plenty Hoops, Sharon Sun Goes Slow, and David Goes Through the Enemy With his Clothes On, are among the 14 Crows who are trying to get Europeans to fly to the United States next summer and tour Indian reservations.
The Crows, dancers and musicians all, want Europeans to come and see their ceremonies, regalia and reservation life. They are getting help in their promotion efforts from the United States Travel Service. The idea behind the project is to attract European currency to the U.S., generate good will and bring in income for the Indians.
THE CROWS, with federal aid, have built a modern 60-unit motel called appropriately enough Sun Lodge on their reservation. The motel is a half mile from the Little Big Horn River in Montana. Tourists from Europe will use the Crow reservation as a base while exploring other reservations in Montana and Wyoming. The Europeans also will get a look at how the Northern Cheyenne, Arapahoe, Shoshone, Flat Head and Blackfoot tribes live.
European tenderfeet will swap the peace pipe around council fires, explore ghost towns and visit the spot where Custer bit the dust. The Crows will entertain and act as guides. They have even built tepees in front of the motel for tourists who want to sleep like real braves and squaws.
Philip Beaumont (Braids on Top), a World War 11 Air Force veteran and spokesman for the group, said that the Crows have been greatly encouraged so far by the reaction of the crowds they have performed before in England, Denmark and Germany.
"We have been mobbed by youngsters wherever we have appeared. Even the ones who don't speak any English are fascinated by Indians," he said.
BEAUMONT, an instructor in the Indian Studies program at Eastern Montana' State College and a rancher, said that life for the Crows is better than for most other Indian tribes chiefly because the tribe has a wealth of good land.
"We all live in modern houses and have new cars," he said. "Within our group here we have several machinists, ranchers and teachers."
The U.S. Travel Service helped the Crows to market their tours in Europe by arranging for them to sell their travel package through Neckermann Travel, Germany's largest air tour operator.
Neckermann plans on sending between 600 and 1,000 Germans, Italians and Frenchmen off to the reservations starting in the spring and to triple the number the following year.
THE 14-DAY and 21-day tour packages are being promoted within Europe as visits to Cowboy and Indian land and will include a four-day stay on a working ranch as well as visits to Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Glacier National Parks.
While in Frankfurt, the Crows — seven men and seven women — performed their songs and dances in full regalia in the toy department of a local store before a crowd of about 150 persons. Surprisingly, most were middle-aged.
All went smoothly for the Crows on their 21-day swing through Europe. However, upon arrival in London, their first stop, the Indians discovered they had left the peace pipe back on the reservation. That would never do, so the Crows borrowed a peace pipe from the Dunhill Pipe Museum.
The Crows were in Italy and France last week to try and drum up more business. While in Paris the Crows laid a wreath on the tomb of Marshal Ferdinand Foch at the Invalides. It's only fitting since Foch, the great Allied leader in World War I, was made a blood brother of the Crow while visiting the reservation in the 1920s. The Crows named him "Chief of Chiefs," and that's the inscription on his tomb.