Yellow Bird: Young warriors compete in challenge
"Montana is fast becoming the new Minnesota for me. It’s right next door to the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. The Three Affiliated Tribes have a close relationship with many of the tribes in Montana.

And last week, I spent six days in Montana — at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, to be exact.

The Sahnish or Arikara always have time on the agenda to talk about their role in the battle, and this year was no exception. And while I was there for the Sahnish presentation, my primary assignment was to cover one of the other events: the Ultimate Warrior Challenge

So, after the Sahnish event was over, I drove to the Little Bighorn River, where those who were going to participate in the challenge were camped.

The women took part in the challenge in three-women teams, while the men ran the contest individually.

There were three women’s teams and three individual men challengers from the Three Affiliated tribes.

The first woman from each team ran 1.6 miles to the river. Then, a second woman canoed for three miles, after which the runner took over again and ran three miles from the river to the rodeo arena. From there, the last contestant rode nine miles (changing horses every three miles.)

The contestants rode bareback, and some of the horses looked like they were fresh out of the pasture and wild.

Watching those young women — some of them high school students — jump on a horse and ride full out into the rough area of the Bighorn Mountains was awesome."

Get the Story:
COLUMNIST DORREEN YELLOW BIRD: Run, paddle and ride, young warriors (The Grand Forks Herald 7/1)
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