KULR8: Thousands celebrate the 98th Annual Crow Fair with jobs in mind

Friday was a day of celebration, remembrance and reflection at the 98th Annual Crow Fair, Powwow & Parade, a tradition that started in 1903.

Montana Senator Steve Daines was among the honored guests.

During the senator’s visit to Israel, he presented a resolution from Crow Nation to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and in return, Netanyahu gave Daines the Israeli flag to present to Crow Nation, a show of strength, solidarity and understanding.

Crow Tribal Chairman Darrin Old Coyote tells KULR-8 his people have been oppressed for decades and it’s events like the parade that give hope to a tribe that’s been struggling for so long.

Chairman Old Coyote says he believes the senator’s trip to Israel also highlights the struggle Crow Nation has gone through for decades.

A lot of tribal leaders tell KULR-8 they’re concerned about jobs.

As Senator Steve Daines presented the Israeli flag to Crow Nation tribal members, jobs were on the minds of many of the Crow people.

“There’s a hope right now in the community that poverty will eventually end, but it’s a challenge,” says Old Coyote.

Unemployment is real among the Crow people and tribal leaders tell KULR-8 if coal jobs go away, unemployment will climb to more than 80 percent.

Coal is their main source of revenue.

Old Coyote tells KULR-8 the Crow people have a lot of land, but don’t have the financial resources to start their own farming and ranching to help diversify the Crow people into the mainstream economy and society.

We asked Senator Daines about jobs for the Crow people, specifically when it comes to coal. He tells KULR-8 coal mining is critical to the future of Crow Reservation and he’ll continue to fight for them, and he says it’s a tough fight.