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Social Science Native American Studies

Red Crow

Warrior Chief

by (author) Hugh Dempsey

Fifth House Books
Initial publish date
Apr 1995
Native American Studies, Historical
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 1995
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 14
  • Grade: 9


Red Crow: Warrior Chief is the only full-scale popular biography of the great Blood Chief, telling his story from childhood to his final years, when he fought to equip his people for life in a new and strange world.

A fearless and successful warrior as a young man, Red Crow went on to become a wise leader who guided his people through the difficult early years on the reserve, leading them toward better education and self-sufficiency.

From 1870 to 1900, Red Crow was head chief of the Blood tribe, part of the Blackfoot Nation.
As a warrior, diplomat, and statesman, he dominated the affairs of the largest reserve in Canada for more than two decades, keeping his people at peace, yet never letting them surrender their pride and dignity.

He was an important leader and a significant Canadian, yet until this book was first published in 1980, Red Crow had been virtually ignored in the pages of history. Hugh Dempsey's twenty years of research and extensive interviews with members of the Blood tribe - including Frank Red Crow, the chief's adopted son - resulted in this landmark biography of a man whose wisdom, strength, and wise counsel are still felt today on the Blood Reserve in southern Alberta.

About the author

Hugh Dempsey is an author, historian, and researcher. He is the former associate director of the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, and is currently its chief curator emeritus. He is also the editor of the quarterly Alberta History. Dempsey was made an honorary chief of the Kainai Blackfoot in 1967 and in 1975 was invested as a member of the Order of Canada. He is the author of more than twenty books, including The Great Blackfoot Treaties, Maskepetoon, Firewater, and Crowfoot.

Hugh Dempsey's profile page

Librarian Reviews

Red Crow: Warrior Chief

This 1995 reprint of the popular biography first published in 1980 helps to place Red Crow in his historical context. The leader of the Blood tribe in the difficult times before and during the negotiations of Treaty 7, and in its aftermath, is presented in a balanced, readable narrative. By recounting his early years as a determined warrior, his increasing wealth and influence, and ultimately his ascension to the role of peacetime chief of the Bloods, Dempsey presents an absorbing outline of the times in this eventful period of Canadian and Aboriginal history. Red Crow is a compelling character who skillfully guides the Bloods through a dignified adaptation to the limitations of reserve life and the inexorable encroachment of European ways. Includes extensive notes.

Dempsey is the author of Crowfoot and Big Bear.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools. 2008-2009.

Other titles by Hugh Dempsey