The ground on which we stand is sacred ground. Chief Plenty Coups, Crow
The ground on which we stand is sacred ground. It is the blood of our ancestors. – Chief Plenty Coups, Crow
He allied the Crow with the whites when the war for the West was being fought, because the Sioux and Cheyenne (who opposed white settlement of the area) were the traditional enemies of the Crow. Plenty Coups had also experienced a vision when he was very young that non-Native American people would ultimately take control of his homeland (Montana), so he always felt that cooperation would benefit his people much more than opposition. He very much wanted the Crow to survive as a people and their customs and spiritual beliefs to carry on. His efforts on their behalf ensured that this happened, and he led his people peacefully into the 20th century.
One of his famous quotes is: “Education is your greatest weapon. With education you are the white man’s equal, without education you are his victim and so shall remain all of your lives. Study, learn, help one another always. Remember there is only poverty and misery in idleness and dreams – but in work there is self respect and independence.” Chief Plenty Coups became a chief at the age of twenty-nine; he is the last chief who was elected a chief by other chiefs.