Scene from the Native Reign music video, Morning Star People , August 1996. Photo: Kenn Bisonette
A Northern Cheyenne performing group that combines
traditional Native American dances, skits, with contemporary music
to celebrate the history and traditions of the tribe. The Cheyenne
migrated to the Dakotas from the Great Lakes region in the 1700s,
and were there when Lewis & Clark made their well-documented
travels through the region. About 1830, the Cheyenne divided, one
band staying near the Black Hills of South Dakota, Northern
Wyoming, and southeastern Montana; the other larger group moved
south to Colorado, western Kansas, and Oklahoma. It is the first
group, the Northern Cheyenne, whose culture
Native Reign celebrates. General George Armstrong Custer met his stunning defeat
at the hands of the Northern Cheyenne at the Battle of Little Big
Horn in southeastern Montana. The Northern Cheyenne people were
forced from their Montana homeland and driven to Oklahoma. Battling
severe winter weather and encounters with the U.S. Cavalry,
decimated by disease and malnutrition, they struggled to walk back
from Oklahoma in 1878-79 to return to their beloved homeland.
Native Reign 's video
Morning Star People tells
Today the Northern Cheyenne reservation consists of
445,000 acres of primary grazing land, timber land and rolling
hills in southeastern Montana; the capital of the Northern Cheyenne
Reservation is at Lame Deer. The Northern Cheyenne are organized
under a constitution and by-laws adopted in 1936. The governing
body is the Tribal Council whose president and members are elected
at large by tribal members.
Native Reign is composed of
Northern Cheyenne youth whose primary purpose is to instill respect
for the environment, their traditional culture, and a lifestyle
free of drugs and alcohol. They share their message with other
young people through a program of skits, dance routines, songs, and
fashion shows at schools and assemblies throughout the western
United States and Canada. Each group member promotes the need for
education, respect for the environment, development of personal
skills, respect of tribal elders and a strong spiritual foundation.
On April 9, 1999, they received the Governor's Award at the State
Capital Building in Helena from Montana Governor Marc Racicot for
their success in showing Montana youth an alternative lifestyle to
teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, gangs, and violence.
Project documentation includes a seven-page report,
thirty 8 x 10 color photographs; several newspaper articles and a
local tabloid article on the group; an audio cassette; and four
videos: 1) Morning Star People (Northern Cheyenne Tribe);
2) "Encouraging our Young People," a lecture by a Cheyenne Elder;
3) Native Reign performing at the Rimrock Mall in Billings, MT; and
4) "Visions of a Native Youth" performed by Native Reign.
Originally submitted by: Max Baucus, Senator.
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.