Howard Boggess Reflects on the Valley of the Chiefs and his Experience with Mary Wiper When I was told the stories about the Valley, I was about 12 years old (about 1951). That is how I got involved. Mary Wiper from the Sierra Club and a number of groups came to me to find out what I knew about the valley. An older man…a Crow Elder…quite elderly…told me this story. The valley was a place where you could go and sit with your enemy and pray and neither one of you would have any fear of the other. It was a valley of peace. This is the story that sustained us. Mary and I used this story as we worked with other individuals and groups all the way through our fight for the Valley of the Chiefs (aka, Weatherman Draw). There are over 260 paintings (petroglyphs, rock paintings) that have been found in this valley. Some carbon date back to 950-1000 years old. To this day, no weaponry has been found in the valley. You find it all around the valley. The People dropped it when they entered the valley. Traditionally if the Indian people dropped it, they would not go back and pick it up. It then became a gift to the Mother Earth. The threat to the valley was that an oil well was planned. With drilling comes roads, dust. It would make the valley very accessible to everybody. The valley being inaccessible is the thing that has protected it for so many years. Now you have to walk into the valley. To go back to the traditional story, you need to walk into the valley. You need to get the feel of the valley. When Mary and I would take groups in, we would let them lead. We would almost always get to the same place in the valley and they would stop and say, "We want to pray here." Taking Indian people in, they would immediately go into prayer songs. The valley has been compared to the Sistine Chapel. Would you set up a drilling rig in the Sistine Chapel, drill an oil well in the middle of the chapel