Asinikosisan, Stonechild, Rocky Boy.

There are various versions of Rocky Boy’s ancestry; the current versions are recorded
The ost kno!"ed#ea$"e source is %r. &icho"as 'rooan of (e"ena) *ontana. (e has
co""ected nuerous ora" histories fro the Turt"e *ountain and +itt"e ,he"" -eo-"e. The
interested reader shou"d see. The Whole Country was …’One Robe’: The Little Shell
Tribe's America (/01/). (e records.
Rocky Boy’s other &ahka!e!in (1hi--e!a ,-eaker) !as 2ssini$oine) she !as
arried to +itt"e ,he"" Band e$er &a!as!atu (The 1haser). Their son (,tone chi"d)
Rocky Boy) !as naed 2sinikosisan !hich eans ,toney’s ,on) i.e. son of the
2ssini$oine (,toney). Their fai"y 3oined Bi# Bear’s Band in ear"y 1840. Rocky Boy
$ecae a successor to Red Bear a su$-chief of the +itt"e ,he"" 5e$ina and Turt"e
*ountain -eo-"e. 2t the tie of the 1866 Treaty !ith the 1hi--e!a) +itt"e ,he"" and
others fro the #rou- !ere dissatisfied and oved further !est. 7Rocky Boy) a successor
to Red Bear) a"so fo""o!ed this -attern. That #rou- 3oined soe 1rees in *ontana under
1hief +itt"e Bear) !ho !ere refu#ees fro the Rie" Re$e""ion 8sic9 and resu"ted in the
1hi--e!a-1ree tri$e of Rocky Boy’s Reservation at Bo: ;"der) *ontana. 2$out 45
-ercent of that #rou- have 5e$ina 1hi--e!a ancestry.<

Bi# Bear’s father !as B"ack 5o!der. (is other =ce-ihk (Root) !as a"so Rocky Boy’s
other-in-"a! as he !as arried to their dau#hter *ayihk!en (Bad >ace). ,he !as his
second !ife. ?n "ater years =ce-ihk "ived in *ontana !ith Rocky Boy’s fai"y. Thus Bi#
Bear and Rocky Boy !ere $rothers-in-"a!.
Rocky Boy’s son !as 2-itchitche!) ca""ed ,a"" Boy in 1anada and ca""ed ,horty
@oun# Boy in *ontana. 2-itchitche! !as arried to ?sa$e""e 1oyote) the #rand-
dau#hter of 1hief Bo$tai".
Ae kno! of three $rothers in *ontana) 5enneto 7The >etcher)< 2kosi-eya 7>u"" of %e!<
and 1har"ie 1hi--e!a.
The record a"so indicates that Ae-a-i-oo (Ba-tiste ,aat) !as a
(eadan of the Band and a son-in-"a! of Rocky Boy 8;ditor9.

2ccordin# to Bary Bottin# in his $ook Chief Smallboy (/005).
1hief 2sinikosisan (Rocky Boy) !as the son of &a!as!aata) 7The 1haser< and
&ahka!e!in (1hi--e!a ,-eaker). (is other !as the dau#hter of 1hief *ukatai)
7B"ack 5o!der.< (e !as arried to *iy!eyihtak!an) 75"easant =ne< (1855-1886) the
youn#er sister of Bi# Bear and to 5eecheetoo. 2-itchitchi!) ,horty @oun# Boy (1841-
1965) and Tat-ack-a-i-e-tak (1har"es Rocky Boy) $. 1844) !ere the sons of Rocky Boy.
Turt"e *ountain ?ndian (istorica" ,ociety St. Ann's Centennial istory !oo") Be"court &orth %akota.
Turt"e *ountain ?ndian (istorica" ,ociety) 1entennia" Book 1oittee) ,te""a %avis - 1oordinator) 1985.
Tentative identification of 1har"ie is fro a -hoto#ra-h ca-tion.
,ource. Brenden Rensink 7&ative But >orei#n< (/010). 9/.
2ccordin# to Brenden Rensink in his 5h.%. dissertation 7&ative But >orei#n< (/010).
The 1hi--e!a "eader !ho !ou"d "ead the eventua""y co$ined 1hi--e!a-1ree efforts
for "e#a" sett"eent in *ontana !as 1hief Rocky Boy. Aa--ah-noo or Aa$uno
(trans"ated as 1oin# *ornin#)) a 1hi--e!a !ho !as "ike"y Rocky BoyCs father) had
$een a visionary an and "eader !hen his 1hi-e!yan -eo-"es !ere sti"" "ivin# in the
eastern !ood"ands south and !est of (udson Bay.
Ae""-"iked aon#st his -eo-"e)
1oin# *ornin# #athered a #rou- of 100 1hi--e!as and to"d the of a vision. to the
Aest) he e:-"ained) there D!as a -roised hoe for his -eo-"eE in the ountains. (e
?n an undated anuscri-t draft entit"ed DThe 1hi--e!a)E the id-1940s 1hi--e!a-1ree Research
Tea on the Rocky Reservation identified the 1hi--e!a "eader Aa$uno) or trans"ated) 1oin# *ornin#.
This Aa$uno !as succeeded $y Rocky Boy) $ut does not s-ecify he !as Rocky BoyCs father. Tri$a"
;"der Faes %enny referred to the "eader $efore Rocky Boy as Aa--ah-noo and identified hi as Rocky
BoyCs father. ,ee Faes %enny) D2$out the Be#innin# of Rocky Boy Reserve)E undated anuscri-t) 1)
RB,2. The sii"arity $et!een the t!o s-e""in#s and re#u"arity of -atri"inea" "eadershi- succession in
1hi--e!a and 1ree $ands stron#"y su--orts direct corre"ation $et!een the t!o accounts. 1oin#
*ornin#) Aa$uno or Aa--ah-noo) !as Rocky BoyCs father and "eader of his #rou- of 1hi--e!as on their
3ourney to *ontana $efore Rocky Boy assued contro". =f DAa-ano)E ;"der >red (. (unt"ey) !ho
served as an inter-reter re#u"ar"y for 5ennato) Rocky BoyCs $rother) stated DheCs an o"d 1hi--e!a
re"ated to Rocky Boy in soe !ayE and confired that he had coe to *ontana fro Aisconsin) via
%evi"Cs +ake) &orth %akota. ,ee intervie! !ith >red (unt"ey) *ay 8) 1945) RB,2.
had $een visited in a vision $y a youn# an that sho!ed hi the Bear 5a! *ountains of
*ontana) and desi#nated the as a D#ood -"ace to raise his #randchi"dren and their
chi"dren . . . a rich -"ace.E (-a#e 55)
Their 3ourney to *ontana took the -ast Red +ake (=ntario)) the Red River 'a""ey and
eventua""y !est!ard to B"as#o! (*ontana). %urin# the 3ourney) they ade sto-s at the
*andan tri$es in &orth %akota and so3ourned north of the $order in 1anada for a tie.G/
Their -arty nu$ered around 100 en) !oen and chi"dren. The e:act year of their
arriva" in *ontana is uncertain) $ut it ay have $een as ear"y as 1889.
=ne -roinent
1hi--e!a e"der) *a"co" *itche"") or @e""o! Bird) !as $orn in 1889 at Birch 1reek)
near Bro!nin#) *ontana. (e echoed stories to"d $y his Brandfather %ay 1hi"d (and
Brandother @e""o! ,ky) of 16 1hi--e!a fai"ies "eavin# the ;ast) trave""in# throu#h
the Turt"e *ountain area (!here t!o fai"ies reained)) $efore akin# their !ay into
northern *ontana.
?t is unc"ear !hether this #rou- !as the sae as Rocky BoyCs
fatherCs enca-ent of 100 individua"s) $ut it fo""o!s a sii"ar tra3ectory. Ahether the
sae) or t!o different #rou-s of 1hi--e!as) these stories $oth -"ace 1hi--e!a
ii#rants in *ontana $y the 1890s. ;:-"ainin# his history to H.,. officia"s soe years
"ater) Rocky Boy hise"f -"aced his -eo-"eCs arriva" in *ontana around 1890.
By 1896)
!hen 1rees !ere $ein# de-orted) Rocky Boy and his father !ere enca-ed !ith other
1hi--e!as 3ust !est of Butte) *ontana) at ,i"ver Bo!. Ahen soe 1hi--e!as oved to
1anada a"on# !ith 1rees) Rocky Boy reained) soon assuin# "eadershi- of the
1hi--e!a $and. (-a#e 54)
%enny) D,tory of the Bear 5a!s)E RB,2. %uncan ,tandin# Rock) Rocky BoyCs #randne-he!) offers a
sii"ar #eo#ra-hy and chrono"o#y. 1hi--e!as "eft the Breat +akes re#ion in the 1860s) !ith soe stayin#
in *ichi#an and others stayin# in Aisconsin. 2nother #rou- continued !est!ard and "ived !ith the
*andans. 2 #rou- of /5 fai"ies so"diered further) trave"in# near *inot) &orth %akota. 2t that -oint)
soe "eft for 1anada to "ive at the Rocky *ountain (ouse) !hi"e others continued to *ontana) sett"in# in
the Barrison) %i""on) *issou"a) and +inco"n areas. ,ee %uncan ,tandin# Rock intervie!) *ay /00G)
un-u$"ished transcri-t he"d $y ;d!ard ,ta-er) ,tone 1hi"d 1o""e#e >oundations and Research %irector)
,tone 1hi"d 1o""e#e) Bo: ;"der) *T. Ahen intervie!ed in 1904) 1hi--e!a 1hief Rocky Boy stated that
the D$uria" #rounds of his forefathers for years and years had $een at the -resent site of the city of %eer
+od#e.E This contradicts soe!hat !ith the other doinant narratives a$out 1hi--e!a i#ration to
*ontana. Thou#h i-ossi$"e to verify) it ay $e read as a astute -o"itica" ove $y Rocky Boy) assertin#
his (and his -eo-"eCs) ri#ht to sett"e -eranent"y in the state $y c"aiin# a traditiona" ancestra" -resence.
There is soe truth to his stateent) ho!ever) as it a--ears that his father !as $uried in ,i"ver Bo!
1ounty. ,ee D%ancin# ?ndian in Bad ,cra-e)E Anacon#a Stan#ar#$ ,e-te$er 1) 1904; and Rocky Boy
to >rank 1hurchi"") =cto$er /G) 1908) RB 45) Records of the Bureau of ?ndian 2ffairs) ?ndian =ffice >i"es
Re"ative to "ands for Rocky BoyCs Band of 1hi--e!a ?ndians) ;ntry 1/1 1entra" 1"assified >i"es) 1904-
1969) B"ackfeet-I900-1908- 604.G (RB 45) RB >i"es)) 5art 1) &ationa" 2rchives and Records
2dinistration) Aashin#ton) %.1. (&2R2-%1).
?n a 1908 stateent #iven to ,aue" Be""o!) ?ndian 2#ent at the >"athead Reservation) Rocky Boy
stated that his -eo-"e cae to *ontana around 18 years -revious. (e cou"d not recount the detai"s of their
3ourney to *ontana) $ut he asserted they had ori#inated fro the 2erican side of the H.,.-1anada
$order. ,ee ,aue" Be""o! to Faes R. Barfie"d) >e$ruary /9) 1908) RB 45) RB >i"es) 5art 1. Rocky Boy
to"d Butte 5o"ice 1hief Tay"or that his -eo-"e had $een in *ontana for 1/ years. This corro$orates the
1890 arriva" date. ,ee EAant to ,ett"e %o!n)E Anacon#a Stan#ar#$ >e$ruary 11) 190/.
1hief Rocky BoyCs -ersona" history is as e"usive as it is controversia". =n one hand) the
aforeentioned narratives of 1hi--e!a !est!ard i#ration su##est that Rocky Boy and
his fai"y arrived in *ontana in the "ate nineteenth century. 1ontradictin# this) Rocky
Boy to"d officia"s in 1908 that he !as $orn in ,i"ver Bo! 1ounty) *ontana. 2s he
re-orted to $e 56 years o"d durin# a 1909 enueration) this !ou"d -"ace his $irth in 1856)
and no other sources -"ace his $and of 1hi--e!as in *ontana that ear"y.
To others)
Rocky Boy stated that he cou"d not say e:act"y !here he cae fro) $ut assured Eit !as
fro the 2erican side of the 1anadian "ine.E
Fohn 1. ;!ersC readin# of sources "ed
hi to conc"ude that Aisconsin !as the ost "ike"y "oca"e for Rocky BoyCs $irth.
"ater years) !hen the Juestion of 1anadian or 2erican $irth-"aces $ecae an i-ortant
ta"kin# -oint) assertin# 2erican $irth "ocations $ecae a re#u"ar action $y any !ho
!ere !e""-kno!n to have $een $orn in 1anada. ;s-ecia""y in "i#ht of the 1896 1ree
de-ortation) and the e:tree -re3udice they faced in $ein# fro 1anada) Rocky Boy and
his -eo-"e had a-"e incentive to assert their 2erican roots. This adds soe co-"e:
Jua"ifyin# to sources re#ardin# Rocky BoyCs $irth-"ace) $ut it is reasona$"e to assue it
!as indeed 2erican-$orn K !hether in *ontana) Aisconsin) or e"se!here.
'arious sources su##est that Rocky Boy in fact cae to *ontana in 1885 after
-artici-atin# in the &orth!est Re$e""ion. +inkin# hi direct"y !ith +itt"e BearCs $and on
their f"i#ht to *ontana is a si#nificant -ro-osition. >rank B. +inderan) c"ose friend and
a""y of Rocky Boy and +itt"e Bear stated that Rocky Boy le# defeated 1hi--e!as to
*ontana) $rin#in# !ith the +itt"e BearCs 1rees.
?n his history of 1hief ,a""$oy) Bary Bottin# asserted that Rocky Boy !as aon# those
!ho crossed into *ontana !ith +itt"e Bear. (is evidence) ho!ever) the 1914 *c+au#h"in
1ensus of Rocky BoyCs $and) stated on"y that Rocky BoyCs future !ife (!ho he did not
arry unti" 1916) and 1hi--e!a ,-eaker) a !oan Bottin# identified as Rocky BoyCs
other) crossed !ith +itt"e Bear. >ro the census) Bottin# infers DRocky Boy and
1oyote !ere "ike"y aon# the si:ty-t!o L$ucksL under -utative chieftainshi- of +itt"e
5o-"ar . . .E
Ahi"e not an i-ossi$i"ity) the actua" 1914 docuent does not su--ort
Bottin#Cs definitive inference that Rocky Boy !as indeed there. =fferin# a different
an#"e on the 1885 Rocky Boy K +itt"e Bear re"ationshi-) ,enator Ai""ia T. 1o!an
e:-"ained that Rocky Boy did not acco-any +itt"e BearCs refu#ee #rou- fro 1anada.
To the contrary) he stated that Rocky Boy !as a"ready esta$"ished in *ontana) and that
+itt"e Bear direct"y sou#ht hi out u-on crossin# the $order.
(--. 54-59)
>urtherore) Bottin# offers a fai"y tree for his -riary su$3ect) 1hief ,a""$oy) !hich -"aces his
father as ,horty ,a""$oy) Rocky Boy as his -aterna" #randfather and 1hi--e!a ,-eaker as Rocky BoyCs
other. 2ccordin# to the 1914 1ensus) ho!ever) Rocky Boy -"ays no -art in that #enea"o#y) and
1hi--e!a ,-eaker is "isted as ,hort ,a""$oyCs mother$ not his #randother !ith Rocky Boy as the
interediary #eneration. ,ee Bary Bottin#) Chief Smallboy: %n &ursuit of 'ree#om (1a"#ary. >ifth (ouse
+td.) /005)) /6-/G) /16; DTentative Ro"" of Rocky Boy ?ndians) *ay 60) 1914)E RB Records) *,(,;
and Faes *c+au#h"in) D>ai"y (istory of so-ca""ed Rocky Boy ?ndians)E *ay 4-60) 1914) Beneva
,tu-Cs Rocky Boy 1o""ection) * 4964) B"en$o! 2rchives (B2)) 1a"#ary) 2"$erta.
?sa$e""e 1oyote ,a""$oy (G0) and fai"y in 1906 near Butte) -hoto $y >red 5eeso.
+eft to ri#ht) *ar#aret (10)) +itt"e Bir" (18)) Fenny (G)) Fohnny (6)) Bo$tai" (Ro$ert) 6).
,-ecifica""y) 1o!an states that Rocky BoyCs first !ife !as a sister to +itt"e BearCs father)
Bi# Bear. This !ou"d ake Rocky Boy +itt"e BearCs unc"e $y arria#e. >our ,ou"s) son
of +itt"e Bear) stated that +itt"e Bear often referred to Rocky Boy as his Do"der $rother.E
>our ,ou"s e:-"ained further that Rocky BoyCs !ife and Bi# BearCs !ife !ere distant
cousins.5G 2s +itt"e Bear re#u"ar"y c"aied that his other !as a 1hi--e!a $orn in
Aisconsin) this is a definite -ossi$i"ity. ?t a--ears) thou#h sources are nuanced on e:act"y
ho!) that Rocky Boy and +itt"e Bear !ere indeed re"ated. ?t thus akes sense that the
refu#ee +itt"e Bear !ou"d seek out his o"der re"ation) Rocky Boy) u-on arrivin# in
*ontana. The Juestion of !hen or ho! Rocky Boy arrived in *ontana is difficu"t to
ans!er !ith certainty. ?ndeed) his ori#ins reain a ystery and controversia" su$3ect to
decedents and associated tri$a" e$ers to the -resent. (--. 59-60)
*(, I955-699.
Rocky Boy circa 1841
1hief Rocky Boy and fai"y.
Rocky Boy
1har"ie 1hi--e!a) or Tetacka-ietak) $rother of 1hief Rocky Boy.
Bottin#) Bary. Chief Smallboy: %n &ursuit of 'ree#om. 1a"#ary. >ifth (ouse) /005.
Ae""-=ff-*an) Fohn 5hi""i-. 7The (istory of 1hief Rocky Boy and (is Band and the
>oundin# of Rocky Boy Reservation. *issou"a) *T. Hniversity of *ontana)
*.2. thesis) /004.
Rensink) Brenden. 7&ative But >orei#n. ?ndi#enous Transnationa" Refu#ees and
?i#rants in the H.,.-1anadian and H.,.-*e:ican Border"ands) 1880-5resent.<
+inco"n) &e$raska) Hniversity of &e$raska 5h.%. dissertation) /010.
,ta-er) ;d (e"en Aindy Boy) Men *orsette) Fr. (;ds.). The (istory of the 1hi--e!a
1ree of Rocky BoyLs Reservation. Bo: ;"der) *ontana. ,tone 1hi"d 1o""e#e)
'rooan) &icho"as. The Whole Country was …’One Robe’: The Little Shell Tribe's
America. (e"ena) *T.. %ru"uon ?nstitute and the +itt"e ,he"" Tri$e of
1hi--e!a ?ndians of *ontana. /01/.
Ai""ias) ,teven +yn. 7,ud#in# the Book. The Ro"e of cu"tura" 2uthority in Tri$a"
(istorica" &arratives and Revita"iNation at Rocky Boy.< Hniversity of ?o!a) 5h.
%. dissertation) /01/.

1o-i"ed $y +a!rence Bark!e""
1oordinator of *etis (erita#e and (istory Research
+ouis Rie" ?nstitute

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