Photo by Pete Souza
Many national news sources across the country recognized his passing and fascinating life last month. NPR reported that Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow, who lived in Montana, was the last war chief of the Crow tribe, a historian, a celebrated WWII veteran, and one of the first Crow to earn a master’s degree. He was also one of the last people to have heard living testimony from the battle of Little Bighorn. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.
“Dr. Medicine Crow dedicated much of his life to sharing the stories of his culture and his people. And in doing so, he helped shape a fuller history of America for us all,” the White House said in a
Medicine Crow had ties to Carnegie Museum of Natural History, where he worked as a consultant on the Alcoa Foundation Hall of American Indians, which opened in 1998.
“If the walls of that exhibit could talk, Joe’s would be among the important voices,” said
Pat McShea, a program officer at Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
Medicine Crow’s story is featured in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s hall as an
example of how American wars sometimes allowed Native Americans to continue their warrior traditions.
While serving in World War II, Medicine Crow unknowingly completed the requirements to become a war chief. He lead a war party across German lines without losing a man, touched an enemy without killing him, disarmed an enemy, and stole German soldiers’ horses.
Read more about Medicine Crow’s life….