Northern Cheyenne Nation

im Down
decorative triangles
The Northern Cheyenne kinship system reflects many of the values that are important to the people. These values are passed from generation to generation, preserving and perpetuating the culture of the tribe.
". . . My family is larger than that of most people. To belong to a Tribe and especially to be born and raised on a reservation means you have a family that numbers into the thousands. We share a beautiful land base that we cherish and where we have many memories in common. Our greatest treasure is not the material things we share but our Elders . They are our teachers. They hold our history in their minds. They connect us."
Sandra Spang, Western Heritage Center, Billings, MT.

Anthony Prairie Bear (Northern Cheyenne) works with youth in prevention programs on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana. He wants to bring youth back to traditional ways.

Play video
This drawing, created in 1879, depicts a historical camp scene of daily Cheyenne family life. Women can be seen cooking in pots and tanning an animal hide outside a tipi. A man smokes a pipe in the tipi entrance while children and dogs play nearby.

Tichkematse drawing of camp scene, 1879. Manuscript 290844, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution. NAA MS 290844; NAA INV 08601600
Discussion Question

How would you describe the mood of this drawing?

Boys and Girls Clubs on Native lands serve over eighty thousand children in twenty-four states. The club aims to improve children's grasp of their native language and culture. The Northern Cheyenne branch celebrated its twentieth anniversary in 2014 with a parade and dance. Jade Sookis and her children get ready for the dance at the post-parade lunch. Sookis was a member of the Boys and Girls Club when she was young and says: "It taught me a lot about my Northern Cheyenne culture. It taught me about where I came from, who I am."

Photograph by Larry Mayer, June 2014. Credited to Billings Gazette
Discussion Question

What people, activities, or events teach you about your culture and identity?

A mother from the Northern Cheyenne Nation makes art with her toddler at a tribal community gathering.

Photograph by Eugene Little Coyote, Courtesy of of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe.
Discussion Question

What can individuals and families gain by participating in community activities?

Edna Seminole and other members of the Northern Cheyenne Nation witness the dedication of a monument to honor their ancestors who escaped from Fort Robinson. Edna led the effort to have the memorial built on the site.

Photograph by John Warner, 2016. Credited to Billings Gazette
Discussion Questions

What values do communities demonstrate when they create monuments to their histories?

How do these monuments create a sense of belonging for community members?

Go to top
Crow Nation: Kinship Case Study
Oceti Sakowin: Kinship Case Study