New Director Takes the Helm at Big Horn County Historical Museum

New Director Takes the Helm at Big Horn County Historical Museum
Big Horn County Historical Museum Director Kyron Jeno, the museum's collection of Indigenous created dolls behind him. / Photo by Niklas Means

Kyron Jeno, a recent graduate of Carroll College with a degree in History and Political Science, returned to his hometown of Hardin, just in time to see the Big Horn County Historical Museum was searching for a new director.

Jeno has always had a connection to the museum, during summer break during his high school and college years, he could frequently be found manning the counter at the museum. Jeno even got married in the museum’s church. 

Jeno settled in East Helena for three years, but always felt the suburban life wasn’t for him. He said he wanted to return to where he grew up. Upon his return, the museum saw in him a perfect candidate to fill the vacancy left by the previous director Aleen Sellers.

The Big Horn County Historical Museum is located on the outskirts of Hardin, on the Crow Reservation. The museum holds several items on display created and donated by Indigenous artists, but the museum has not worked directly with the Crow tribe. 

“I know Crow has its own archive at the Little Bighorn College, but I am not aware of any collaborations we’ve done with the Tribe,” explained Jeno. “I am open to working with them if they’re interested.”

Aaron Brien, Director of the Crow Tribal Historic Preservation Office, met with Jeno to touch base, something he does with every new museum Director. While there, Jeno floated the idea of a collaboration. 

Of particular interest to Jeno is a small exhibit on Crow Scouts that served under the US Army during the Indian Wars. “I’d like to have more context,” he explained, as the current exhibit has little historical background. There are discharge papers for a Scout by the name of Crooked Arm. "There's also a lot of trauma attached to this history, which can be a challenge to approach. But I want to respectfully and accurately interpret the history of the objects we have in our care"

Jeno hopes that he can work with Brien to vet the exhibit, saying, “I’ll accept as much help as he wants to provide, but I understand he’s a busy man.”

Recently, the Little Bighorn Battlefield has begun extensive remodeling of their Interpretive Center, where rangers have their unscheduled talks and provide services. “They’re tearing down and rebuilding the whole building,” Jeno explained. 

Because of that, the National Park Service has partnered with the museum to host a ranger, allowing them to continue providing their services while the building continues construction. 

The museum plans to continue having community events, such as the always popular “Kid’s History Day” where schools from across the county are invited to experience the museum, with the help of historical reenactors and speakers. 

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