One Horn’s Peace Mission

One Horn’s Peace Mission

In the long ago, members of the Crow tribe made their home in parts of Glacier Park. A popular story around Blackfoot campfires tells how the Crows were driven from the Glacier area down to their present homeland in South/East of Montana. At that time most of the Blackfoot were living in Alberta and Saskatchewan. A Blackfoot man named One Horn came down to the St. Mary’s Lakes area to camp with the Crows and discuss with them his desires for a permanent peace between the two tribes.

One Horn stayed with the Crows in their camp, his women kept up their household there amid the Crow tipis. They had many guests and, in turn, were often invited to the lodges of others. The Crow chief and One Horn became good friends and often went hunting together.

So it was until a Crow braggart one night told his fantastic story of bravery against the Blackfoot. The tipi was filled with guests that night. The Crow claimed that he had been wounded and his partner killed, while they were attacked by a whole village of Blackfoot. Despite a bad arrow wound, the Crow stated, he made a heroic escape through all the people. To prove his tale, he produced the Blackfoot arrow and showed everyone there his wound.

One Horn laughed when he saw the arrow. “That arrow is my own” he told the listeners. “I surprised two horse thieves in our camp one morning and killed one. The other one dropped his weapons and ran. I wounded him with an arrow from my quiver.” At that he reached into his quiver and pulled out an identical arrow. The braggart hurriedly left the lodge while the guests jeered him.

One night, soon after, one of the Crow chief’s wives stole into One Horn’s lodge and brought him a warning. She had overheard her man agree to help the braggart kill One Horn for the price of five horses.

The next morning One Horn dressed in his finest clothes, took his weapons and rode his horse into the middle of the camp circle. From there he shouted to the Crow Chief, for all to hear:  “My friend, your plan to help that braggart in killing me has been found out. I have the spiritual guidance of my Grizzly Bear Medicine, and I challenge you both to fight me here and now.” The Crow chief made no reply and remained in his tipi. The braggart, whose lodge was at the other end of the camp, grabbed his horse and hurriedly rode into the woods.

One Horn packed up his belongings and returned North to his People. After telling them of his adventures he called on the men to help him in driving the Crow people far away from the Blackfoot country. War parties were formed among all three Blackfoot divisions and the Crows were soon put to flight. They never again moved back to the Glacier Park country.

From A Good Medicine Collection by Adolf Hungry Wolf

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