Tribe proclaims faith
Whether north or southbound going through Crow Agency, travelers will find this sign hard to miss. During the Dec. 23 ceremony dedicating a 33-foot tall sign along I-90 stating: “Jesus Christ Is Lord on the Crow Nation,” Crow tribal officials and religious leaders made speeches and offered prayers. The Crow Hymn Ministry Singers also sang Christmas carols in the Crow language to a crowd of about 60 people.
The sign, replacing an old wood sign put up over 20 years ago by the Crow Revival Center, received it’s backing from the tribal government in 2013.
The earlier sign was dismantled a number of years ago.
Crow Chairman Darrin Old Coyote, established the Tribal Pastoral Committee of local religious leaders who, along with other supporters, have been working on the project for the past couple of years.
According to committee member Janice Speelman, the driving force behind the sign in the Crow Legislature was Sen. Conrad J. Stewart.
A resolution titled, “The Crow Tribal Legislature to honor God for his great blessings upon the Crow Tribe and to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord of the Crow Indian Reservation,” was passed by Legislators and signed by Chairman Old Coyote, who got the ball rolling for a new sign.
Old Coyote said, “Whether I go to Washington D.C. or Helena, it’s good to know we have the spiritual backing of the Crow people.”
Speelman said, “It’s Christmas and people are lighting up trees. We are lighting up the sign.”
According to Speelman, construction of the sign began in October. Concrete footings were poured in early December and the sign was raised early last week.
Stewart told those attending that the sign is 33 feet high, representing one foot in height for every year Jesus was on this earth.
During the dedication, Stewart said, “The sign is to help break chains and prison doors, and battle against alcohol and meth.”
Sen. Duke Goes Ahead said, “God takes the valleys as well as the high places. The Spirit of the Lord is speaking to my heart. We are dedicating back to God this hallowed ground.”
While the Crow constitution protects the freedom of religion, it does not contain a clause requiring separation of church and state.
Crow Tribal Secretary A.J. Not Afraid told the audience, “Politics has its place. God overrules politics.”