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Cheyenne Sun Dancer, 1909.
The Cheyenne, natives of Montana

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Lincoln Created the Montana Territory
May 26, 1864

Numerous Native American tribes lived in the vast area of what we now call Montana: the Crow, Cheyenne, Blackfoot, Flathead, and more. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were the first white explorers to document their journey through the lands of the Louisiana Purchase, but more settlers followed. Combat between U.S. military and Native Americans defending their land became frequent. Perhaps the most famous of these battles occurred in Montana on June 25, 1876, when the Dakota (Sioux) and Cheyenne defeated General George Custer's regular army during the Battle of the Little Bighorn, also known as Custer's Last Stand.
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