September 20, 2007

Crows build skate park

A skate-park dream became realityIt seemed a little out of place: a group of hip skaters performing tricks in a small skate park 50 feet behind hundreds of traditional Crows preparing for the start of the 89th annual Crow Fair Parade. These young Crow boys didn't seem interested in the gathering of horses and floats; after all, it's only been a month since Josh Laforge and the other skate kids who live on Crow Agency have been able to enjoy their new skate park.

Before its construction, the only places to skate on Crow were parking lots and steps of area businesses. As a result, much of their days were spent being chased from one place to another by tribal police. "Our favorite spot was the staircase of the BIA office," Laforge said. "They had some good rails, but man, the cops would always come by and make us move."

Two years ago, these teenagers had had enough. They circulated a petition signed by Crow residents asking the tribe to build a skate park on the reservation. Laforge and 20 of his friends went to the office of tribal Chairman Carl Vanne and waited four hours to hand-deliver their petition and to ask for help.

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