Red Granite Headstone, NPS photoIndian Memorial Dedication Ceremony, National Archives photoIndian Memorial, National Archives photo

The Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument attracts roughly 300,000 visitors annually. Located in Big Horn County in southeast Montana, the monument sits on the east side of the Little Bighorn River. The acreage is divided in two parcels separated by private land: the Custer Battlefield Historic District and, five miles to the south, the Reno-Benteen Battlefield.

Many of the Native tribes affiliated with the battle still reside in the area. The entire monument lies within the 2.3 million acre Crow Indian Reservation. The Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation lies about 40 miles east of the site of the Battle of Little Bighorn.

In the 1970s and 80s, the American Indian Movement, along with other activist organizations, sought to include the Indian viewpoint in the monument’s interpretive programs. Beginning with the change of the park’s name in 1991 from Custer Battlefield National Monument to the present-day title of Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, the first steps were taken to include the Native American viewpoint. Additional changes, including the installation of red granite markers in 1999 to indicate where Indian warriors died in the battle, and the dedication of the Indian Memorial in 2003, embody changes that have taken place at a site which has had significant meaning to numerous cultures.