A new middle school named for a Native American veteran opened this year, with a celebration of a historic first day.
Medicine Crow Middle School opened in Billings, Montana, and was recognized as an acceptance of diversity in Billings and the legacy of a local Native American historian who has been nationally recognized.
Named after Joe Medicine Crow, the opening day ceremony featured Lanny Real Bird, an instructor at Little Big Horn College and a relative of the Medicine Crow family.
“It reminds me of a great legacy of education history and leadership that is represented by the name,” he said. “Joe was a contemporary of that transitional period of our heritage … he set a standard for us to adapt and flourish in higher education.”
A drum group made up of School District 2 students, Soaring Eagle, was on hand for the celebration. Joe Medicine Crow had been present for the groundbreaking for the new school in 2015. The local war hero and historian said then that the school was “a new house of learning.” He died last April at age 102.
“Medicine Crow Middle School will not only be a house of learning, as Joe Medicine Crow indicated, but it will be a community hub,” SD2 superintendent Terry Bouck said.