Contrary Warrior: A Story of the Crow Tribe

Institute History

  • 1986 Sundance Film Festival


“In times past, a man might declare himself a “Crazy Dog”, a contrary warrior, and ride backwards into battle. If he lived, this gained him great honor.” This is the extraordinary story of 97-year-old Robert Yellowtail who, in 1910, saved his tribal lands and heritage when he journeyed from Montana to Washington, D.C. to appear before the U.S. Senate. He devoted his life to saving the tribal lands of his people and fighting for human rights. Yellowtail’s story is interwoven with the lives of the Crow people today, still seeking self-determination and economic recovery.

Contrary Warriors provided us with a refreshing look at the American Indian experience. While it does not avoid the issues that confront the Crow people on all fronts, it manages to slip through a message that all is not gloom and doom. The people are not broken. Their stories are still told and their spirit remains strong.

Screening Details

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