Barney Old Coyote Collection

Accession Number
Phenocia Bauerle
Jon Ille
Access Restrictions on Use
The tapes cannot be reproduced. Also, no copies of the transcripts can be made.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Not Applicable
Preferred Citation of Materials
Not Applicable

Physical Description

½ linear foot text, 1 linear for audiotapes
circa 1950s-1960s; stories pertain to the pre-reservation period
Oral histories: audiotapes and paper interview transcripts


The oral history and Crow cultural interviews conducted for the Barney Old Coyote Collection took place during the 1950s-1960s. The interviewees were tribal elders, many of whom were born prior to the establishment of the Crow Reservation including Plainfeather, Joe Rock Above, and Carl Crooked Arm. Barney Old Coyote and his brother Henry Old Coyote conducted the interviews. The interviews resided with Barney Old Coyote prior to their donation to the Little Big Horn College Archives.

Biographical Information

Barney Old Coyote was born in 1923 in the Big Horn district near St. Xavier to Barney Coyote Sr. and May Takes the Gun. As a child, he attended Hardin High School and Haskell Vocational School before enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1941.

After his military service ended in 1945, he continued his education and embarked on a multifaceted career. In 1964, President Johnson appointed him as a special assistant to the Secretary of the Interior, where he focused on conservation programs and Job Corps training. After his time at the Department of the Interior, Old Coyote began his long affiliation with Montana State University, Bozeman teaching in the Native American Studies program. Old Coyote continued his affiliation with MSU for many years, while also working closely in creating and implementing the Crow Studies program at Little Big Horn College.

Beyond his professional and academic endeavors, Old Coyote also participated in many Crow/Native cultural activities including membership in the Tobacco Society and the Native American church. These activities led to his efforts in helping pass the Native American Indian Religious Freedom Act in 1978. Old Coyote passed away in 2012.

Administrative Note

The transcripts for series one and two of the Barney Old Coyote Collection are largely missing at this time. If they are found, they will be incorporated into an updated version of the finding aid. The transcripts are listed to the corresponding series, tape, interviewee, and subject, rather than a series and file number.

Series One

Tape 2- On Top of the Mountain, “The Destroying of Seventeen Lodges of the Shoshoni” (Rest of Series Transcripts Missing) One Tape Without Transcript

Series Two (Transcripts Missing)

Eight Tapes Without Transcripts

Series Three: Tapes

  1. Carl Crooked Arm, “On the Caravan Days”
  2. Red Bear Makes Medicine, “Going on a War Party to Secure Seven Guns from the Shoshoni”
  3. No Name of Interviewee Given, “Story of Stand Up”
  4. No Name of Interviewee Given, “Romancing of Women by Men”
  5. Plainfeather, “Plenty Coups in Dakota Warfare”
  6. Plainfeather, “Story about Plenty Coups”
  7. No Name of Interviewee Given, “Crow Hump Back Taken Prisoner by Dakota”
  8. Plainfeather, “Story of Spotted Sitter”
  9. No Name of Interviewee Given, “Thirty Young Men on a War Party”
  10. No Name of Interviewee Given, “Shoshoni War Party”