SUPPORT THE VISIONS OF

CHIEF PLENTY COUPS

The Chief Plenty Coups Honor Guard will be traveling to Arlington, VA on November 11, 2021, to participate in the 100-year anniversary ceremonies of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Honor Guard, with Crow Nation ceremonial drummers, dancers and tribal leaders, will honor their legendary leader Chief Plenty Coups, who 100 years ago was selected by his fellow Native American Chiefs to represent all native tribes at the inaugural ceremonies of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

This project is supported by and will be documented by the Montana State Parks Foundation, in partnership with Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.

THE BACKGROUND

On November 11, 2021, at 7:30 AM EST, the Chief Plenty Coups Honor Guard will attend the centennial ceremonies, in Arlington, Virginia where they will perform and pay tribute to our nation's unknown fallen soldiers, just as Chief Plenty Coups did a century ago. When Chief Plenty Coups attended the inaugural ceremonies for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, he was the only Native American Chief present that day. While he was given no formal opportunity to speak or pay homage to the fallen soldiers, he chose to rise and oer a blessing in his native language before laying his ceremonial headdress and coups stick on the tomb as an offering. Those items now reside at Arlington National Cemetery.

The “Visions of Chief Plenty Coups” project will create lasting, accessible video assets that capture the story of Chief Plenty Coups' participation in the inaugural ceremonies at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the subsequent performances of the Chief Plenty Coups Honor Guard, dancers, and drumming group at the 100th anniversary.

Chief Plenty Coups’ home and the legacy he left behind are well represented at his namesake State Park. This is a chance to tell the story to a much broader audience than those who visit the park each year. Two Native American filmmakers from Montana will lead the project.

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THE VISIONS OF CHIEF PLENTY COUPS

DOCUMENTARY PROJECT

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Crow tribal members will guide them in the production of a documentary-style film chronicling how his fellow Native American Chiefs selected Chief Plenty Coups to represent all native tribes at the inaugural ceremonies of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 100 years ago.

Our project will document the lead-up and preparations made by the Honor Guard and others and their performance and participation in the 100th-anniversary ceremony. The film will include historical footage and other resources to tell the story of Chief Plenty Coups' involvement in the inaugural event in 1921.

 

Upon completion, we'll work to share the film with educators, state park partners, tribal partners, and regional media outlets across the West. This project will tie a nationally significant event to tribal and state park interests in Montana and provide context to this culturally historic milestone that happened over 100 years ago. It will also tell the story of a new generation of tribal members traveling to the Tomb to participate in the 100th-anniversary ceremony as a rare opportunity to provide cultural and historical context to an event that many passionate historians overlook.

Opportunities like these do not present themselves often. It is the perfect time to revisit the significance of the Chief Plenty Coups, the history of the tribe, the story of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the State Park that bears the Chief’s name.

... AND YOU CAN HELP!

The Montana State Parks Foundation is seeking funding to ensure this historic event is documented and the story is told in a meaningful way.

We plan to hire tribal filmmakers, editors, and other specialists as needed to properly shoot, edit, and produce a documentary-style film that can be shared across many platforms. Additional funding is needed for principle photography, video editing, film distribution, and travel expenses for Honor Guard members.

Consider making your donation today.