Eloise Whitebear Pease Collection II

Accession Number
Jon Ille
Access Restrictions on Use
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
All publication rights are held by Little Big Horn College and use for publication must be approved by archivist.
Preferred Citation Of Materials
Eloise Whitebear Pease Collection II, Little Big Horn College Archives, Crow Agency, Montana.

Physical Description

Linear Feet
Comprehensive Dates
Material Included
Tribal Council minutes and resolutions; correspondence; economic development materials; Crow and Big Horn County historical and cultural research.
Organization of Material
Organized into three series: Crow tribal governance, Crow economic development, historical and cultural research. Interviews included in the collection were conducted during the production of Contrary Warriors detailing the life of Robert Yellowtail. Box ten also includes copies of Grass, Tipis, and Black Gold, Charles Bradley’s After the Buffalo Days, and bound cultural surveys of the Crow reservation from the 1970s.

Biographical Note

Eloise Whitebear Pease was born on September 1, 1917 and was one-half Crow, one-fourth Welsh, and one-fourth Scottish-Irish. Eloise attended schools in Crow Agency and Hardin, Montana and later attended Eastern Montana College and Little Big Horn College in Crow Agency where she received her Associate of Arts degree in 1990.

Eloise first started working in 1935 holding a variety of positions including secretary, bookkeeper, historian, program developer and director, teacher, librarian, researcher, and consultant until her retirement in 1987. After her retirement, Eloise remained active in community affairs and represented the Lodge Grass District in the Crow Tribal Legislature from 2002-2006. Her professional activities along with her role within tribal government represent a great deal of the material contained within this collection.

Beyond her professional experiences, Whitebear Pease also conducted a great deal of historical research on the Crow reservation and surrounding communities. This commitment to historical research culminated in her participation in the publication Grass, Tepees, and Black Gold in conjunction with the nation’s bicentennial in 1976. Whitebear Pease also wrote a pamphlet that detailed the history of the Crows dispute with the United States over the 107th Meridian land cession.


Eloise Whitebear Pease created or collected these records over her professional career and in the course of historical research. Therefore, they reflect her professional and scholarly activities. While they share many similarities with first Eloise Whitebear Pease Collection donated to the Little Big Horn College Archives in 1987, the separate donation and continued professional and scholarly activities warrant separate arrangement and description.

Scope and Content

This collection covers the period from 1825 to 2006, with the preponderance of material from the 1950s to 2006. Material related to Whitebear Pease’s professional activities includes Crow tribal council announcements, minutes, and resolutions with the bulk from the 1960s and 1970s when she served as secretary of the Crow Tribal Council. The collection also includes resolutions and correspondence from the Crow legislature after the passage of a new Crow constitution in 2001 during her tenure as a district legislator from Lodge Grass.

Along with her role in tribal government, Whitebear Pease also participated in economic development strategies for the Crow nation. Material related to this activity includes minutes, resolutions, and documents from Crow Industrial Development Committee and the subsequent economic proposals and entities that the committee enacted or created during the 1960s and 1970s.

As a Crow historian, Whitebear Pease collected a great deal of research dealing with pre and post reservation periods. While the bulk of historical research consists of federal documents and local histories, the collection also includes secondary sources along with her research notes and correspondence. The collection also includes teaching material on Crow/ Native American history and culture.

Series One: Crow Tribal Governance

This series includes material related to Crow tribal government from the 1950s to 2006 and includes tribal council minutes and resolutions; correspondence from the Crow Tribal Council (1950s to 2000), Crow Legislative Branch (2001-2006), Crow Tribal Chairmen (1950s-2001), Crow Executive Branch (2001-2006), and various tribal departments. The contents of the series are representative of issues the Crow faced legally and politically during the period under consideration but not exhaustive or complete in terms of content.

Series Two: Economic Development

This series documents potential areas of economic development on the Crow reservation with a particular emphasis on water rights, the actions of the Crow Industrial Development Committee, Crow Tribal Recreation Committee, and mineral leases and the economic impact of mining on the reservation. The minutes of the Crow Industrial Development Committee demonstrates the varied approached to economic development that occurred on the Crow reservation during the 1960s and 1970s.

Series Three: Historical and Cultural Research

Series three documents Eloise Whitebear Pease’s activities as Crow scholar and educator. Along with incorporating historical and cultural materials related to this role, the series includes information related to both the Whitebear and Pease families. Also, the series incorporates historical documents primarily written by Agency staff related to reservation issues that do not fit within the functional contexts of series one and two.

Addendum: On April 10, 2012, the Little Big Horn College Archives received another donation of material from Eloise Whitebear Pease’s family. Due to the limited nature of the donation, a decision was made to incorporate the material into series three due to its cultural, historical, and political nature. The numbers for this addition begins at file 98 and concludes with file 126.