Not Afraid Equivalent to Head of Small Country

Butch Jellis, left, and A.J. Not Afraid. (Courtesy photo)

The Crow Tribe is a sovereign nation, and the chairman of the tribe is basically the head of a small nation.

That's according to Butch Jellis of Sheridan, who said he's excited about the inauguration Monday of A.J. Not Afraid as the newest chairman of the tribe.

Jellis said he's impressed by Not Afraid.

Jellis said Not Afraid will be opening doors to let different economic strategies come into the Crow reservation. He said Not Afraid is very interested in coming to Sheridan, and Jellis plans to introduce him to Northern Wyoming Community College President Dr. Paul Young as well as Sheridan County School District 2 Superintendent Craig Dougherty.

He also wants to introduce Not Afraid to state senators Dave Kinskey and Bruce Burns, Sheridan's new mayor, the police chief and others here. The goal, Jellis said, is to continue to make relations better between Sheridan and the Crow Nation.

Jellis estimated 600 people packed the multi-facility at the Crow Agency, and more people gathered outside because there wasn't room for them in the building. He said speakers were set up outside. The inauguration of Not Afraid started at 11:30 a.m., and was followed by swearing-in of the vice chairman, secretary and vice chairman of the Crow Tribe.

After that, people lined up to shake hands with the new tribal officials. Jellis said a meal was also served to those who attended. Speakers and attendees included representatives from the state of Montana, Crow clans and districts and other tribes, Jellis said.

View more photos below.

A.J. Not Afraid, new chairman of the Crow Tribe. (Courtesy photo)
Some of those participating in Monday's inaurguration. (Courtesy photo)
Some of the banners hung for Monday's event. (Courtesy photo)
Two more of the banners. (Courtesy photo)