On October 23, 2010 I fought with my family to get some good pictures at Ash Creek near the site of where an almost famous battle was held. I won with bribes of root beer, Bud Light, and jelly beans (your guess as to who got what). In December of 1876 a much more important skirmish occurred between Sitting Bull and his Lakota Sioux people at this very site. No one emerged a true victor in the battle. It just escalated in to the Little Big Horn battle a few months later where Custer had his famous last stand.
The settling of the west is a romantic notion in the eyes of many, including myself on most days. For those that actually experienced it, for those that were forced on to agencies and reservations, for those that were forced to give up a nomadic and for the most part peaceful lifestyle, I doubt there is romance involved. "The Trail of Tears," they call it. You can trace it for Sitting Bull and the Sioux from the Black Hills of South Dakota north through the prairies of eastern Montana, at Ash Creek near Brockway and down the Yellowstone River Valley to the Little Bighorn. You can trace it in the western part of Montana as Chief Joseph led his Nez Perce on a valiant attempt to escape to Canada.
It saddens me to think of the atrocities that happened in this region in such a recent past. Civility usually comes with modernity; or does it?