Cheyenne Exodus Historic Horseback Journey Captured in Photographs
The historic ride to commemorate the Northern Cheyenne Exodus of 1878 will end today, July 28, when the riders arrive at the 11th Gathering of the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers in Lame Deer, Montana. The riders left Fort Reno, Oklahoma on June 1 to embark on the 1,391-mile journey.
After Gen. George Armstrong Custer was defeated at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, the United States government removed the Northern Cheyenne from their traditional homelands in Montana to a reservation in Indian Territory in Oklahoma. What came to be known as their “exodus” was the “bloody but futile attempt to return to their homeland in Montana,” says the description of In Dull Knife’s Wake: The True Story of the Northern Cheyenne Exodus of 1878 by Vernon R. Maddux and Albert Glenn Maddux.
The group of riders have documented their journey on Facebook with pictures and posts. The photographs are breathtaking and the kindness they encountered across the country was documented along with them.
"We are so blessed. Everywhere we go we are greeted with overwhelming kindness. We only stay in one place for a night, but the generosity and support takes us a much longer way. There is so much love in this country.... we carry it with us as we stop at the sites of outright massacre... and pray for healing and transformation," Adrienne Youngblood, one of the riders posted on Facebook on June 4.
The 11th Gathering of the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers is being held on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation July 26 to 29. The event is hosted by Grandmother Margaret Behan "Red Spider Woman," Cheyenne and Arapaho, and the riders are scheduled to share stories of their journey at the gathering upon their return.
To see all the photos from the journey, visit the Grandmothers Horses The Ride Home Facebook page.