By 1904, [Sol] Levy had become a confidant of both Chippewas and Crees in the Butte vicinity (sometimes called “Chief Solevy”), and he helped them shape a positive public image through various events. In Anaconda, Rocky Boy secured a similar friendship with a Métis man, W. A. Cameron, who would serve as
interpreter and help him gain support in the community and gain occasionally neutral, if not positive, press. (p. 172)
Chapter 8, Note 36 . . . for sources and discussion of Levy’s and Cameron’s efforts in publicly promoting the Cree and Chippewa cause. (p. 261)
He Levy’s successful lobbying had Cree men included in Butte’s Fourth of July parade and helped orchestrate their 1904 multi-tribal powwow and dances that same month. Affectionately called by the associated Indians, Levy organized a local “Wild West Show” the following summer in which Rocky Boy’s Chippewas and Crees, Flatheads, and others performed dances and other spectacles in the city baseball park. “Landless” Crees and Métis had toured with a Wild West Show previously in the 1890s. By that point, the press even termed the participants as “Sol Levy’s Indians.” Clearly, his intermediary role was indispensable in Rocky Boy’s efforts to forge ties with the general public in Butte. Later, in 1907, Sol’s familiarity with the Crees even appeared as a colloquial metaphoric idiom during the telling of an amusing story. Not only was Sol’s friendship with Crees public knowledge, but their presence near Butte had clearly entered deep into public discourse.
- “Wild West Show Today,” Anaconda Standard, September 16, 1905.
- Anaconda Standard, January 13, 1907.
- Elizabeth Sperry, “The Politics of Performance: Montana’s landless Indians and Beveridge’s Montana Wildest West Show,” Montana: The Magazine of Western History 62 (Spring 2012): 48-64.