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John Timothy

The Last War Chief - Joe Medicine Crow

Approx. 11"x14" Graphite/Charcoal on paper

Original - SOLD


Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow


Born October 27, 1913, Joseph Medicine Crow, from Lodge Grass, Montana, earned an Associates Degree in 1936 from Bacone College, and a Bachelor's Degree from Linfield College in 1938. He also holds four honorary doctorate degrees; from University of Southern California, University of Montana, Rocky Mountain College, and Bacone College. 

Prior to WWII, Medicine Crow – the first of his tribe to receive a Masters Degree, was working toward an advanced degree in Anthropology before joining the Army and being sent to Europe as a scout in the 103rd Infantry Division. Wearing war paint beneath his uniform and a sacred eagle feather beneath his helmet during battle, he fulfilled the four tasks required by his Crow Nation to gain his warrior chief status; He touched an enemy in battle, captured a weapon, led a war party, and stole a horse. He actually stole fifty SS Officers horses.  

Awarded the Bronze Star by the US Army, the Government of France also made him a Knight of the French Legion of Honor—France’s highest honor.  In August 2009 at 95 years of age, Medicine Crow  was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest U.S. civilian award, by President Barack Obama.

       An accomplished author, Medicine Crow has written several books including Counting Coup: Becoming a Crow Chief on the Reservation and Beyond;  From The Heart of Crow Country:  The Crow Indians’ Own Stories; Brave Wolf and The Thunderbird; and The Last Warrior.

 By 2013, Joseph Medicine Crow, a founding member of the Traditional Circle of Indian Elders & Youth, had become the last living Plains Indian war chief.  One of Bacone's most honored alumni, Medicine Crow passed from this life April 3rd, 2016, under hospice care in Billings, Montana.



Artwork created by Center for American Indians, Cultural Interpreter John Timothy, Muscogee (Creek) Nation

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