President Obama’s Statement on the Passing of Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow

Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow

Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow

Plus Interior Secretary Sally Jewell’s Statement

Published April 4, 2016

WASHINGTON — In 2009, President Barack Obama presented Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor bestowed on any individual in the United States.

Yesterday, Dr. Medicine Crow walked on at the age of 102.

On Monday, the White House released President Obama’s statement on the passing of Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow. It reads:

“In Crow, you’d say Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow was abacheitche – a good man.  The first of his people to go to college and earn a Master’s, he wore war paint beneath his uniform and an eagle feather beneath his helmet during World War II.  His bravery in battle earned him the Bronze Star from America, the Legion d’honneur from France, and in 2009, I was proud to honor him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Yet I suspect his greatest honor was one he earned from his people: the title of war chief – the last Crow to hold that distinction. 

Dr. Medicine Crow dedicated much of his life to sharing the stories of his culture and his people.  And in doing so, he helped shape a fuller history of America for us all.  Michelle and I honor 102 years of a life well lived, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the entire Crow Nation.”

The U.S. Department of the Interior released Secretary Sally Jewell’s statement on the passing of Dr. Medicine Crow, which reads:

“Joe Medicine Crow was an educator, a veteran, a war chief and a living legend to so many people, including elders and young people across Indian Country.

“History flowed through Joe’s veins and he lived an extraordinary life – sharing direct oral testimony from his grandfather about the Battle of Little Big Horn to Native Americans and all who would listen. His renowned studies of First Americans and contributions to cultural and historical preservation have been critical to our understanding of America’s history.

“Joe embodies the warrior spirit of the Crow people and his life was a testament to America’s highest ideals. Our thoughts are with the Medicine Crow family and the Crow tribe during this difficult time.”

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