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Crow Fair Gathers Community After A Year Apart

Two dancers walk across the arena to find a seat after grand entry on Saturday August 21, 2021.
Olivia Reingold
Yellowstone Public Radio
Two dancers walk across the arena to find a seat after grand entry on Saturday August 21, 2021.

The Crow Nation hosted its 102nd Crow Fair last week after a trying year, filled with covid-related deaths and social isolation. Some tribal members said this was their first time seeing each other in over a year.

Saturday morning in Crow Agency for the first time in two years, Crow tribal members were parading through the powwow grounds. They rode on horses in their finest regalia.

Eric Morrison watched among a group of family members. He says it's great to see everyone at last.

“Yeah the pandemic it really put a hold on everything… and we couldn't really go around each other and see each other until this year it's good to see everybody,” Morrison said.

Crow Fair was canceled last year because of COVID-19. This year, as the Delta variant rips through the state, festivities moved forward but with some noticeable changes. Masks were handed out at the entrance gate and signs said wearing them was required.

Morrison is excited to continue the Crow Fair tradition with his daughter.

“I dance Powwow. I dance Crow style.”

Across the powwow grounds, Mya Walks Over Ice dismounted her horse after a long ride in the parade. She said she loves seeing family after not seeing them for so long. Although now they're a few people short.

“Last year, I lost my grandma Rina, my grandma's sister. And that was pretty hard, like, and then our family got it too. It was just pretty difficult because I couldn't see them.”

Walks Over Ice said it’s an emotional boost to see everyone in the community, even as the pandemic continues.

Taylar Stagner is Yellowstone Public Radio's Report for America Indigenous affairs reporter.

Taylar Stagner covers tribal affairs for Yellowstone Public Radio.