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“In Crow culture, the center pole gives strength, guidance and it’s where you go for help. It connects you to heaven, to a bada di a, the Creator.”                    Peggy White Wellknown Buffalo, Founder and Executive Director

About Us

The Center Pole operates on the Seven Indigenous Principles of Life:
1) Carry the welfare of the people in your heart
2) Have pity and compassion for all living things
3) Have respect and honor for everything that lives
4) Develop and nurture a great mind
5) Be humble at all times
6) Be guided by your own principles and discipline yourself
7) Live with the wisdom and understanding of these great laws

​The Center Pole is a Native non-profit organization founded in 1999. The campus is located at the foot of the Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana. Originally a youth development organization, we have expanded our work to include projects for a stronger Crow community. The expansion includes an alternative energy demonstration project, work in the area of food sovereignty, a digital archives, an indigenous media and education center and a radio station to give the Crow people a voice. 

We teach and model entrepreneurship through social enterprises on the campus: cafe, gift shop, resale shop and tipi stays.  These enterprises interact with local entrepreneurs, offer area employment and serve to create sustainability for our programs.




Great Grandmother



"Sha Eh Gush", Peggy's great grandmother for whom she is named, was a traditional Crow Indian woman, a mother to many, an herbalist and a healer. The Center Pole is on her land: Allotment 916 East Wellknown Buffalo, assigned to her by the United States Government in the 1800’s. Wellknown Buffalo built her own home board by board and lived on wild game and from her garden. Her powerful medicine was sacred and she was well respected in the community. 




The Crow Indian Reservation is 2.3 million acres in southeastern Montana and home to 13,000 Crow, or Apsaalooke, many of whom still speak their language and practice ancient traditions.

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