MTPR

Blackfeet Nation

Full of wisdom, passion, and insight, The Banker and the Blackfoot compellingly portrays a time when people in that part of the Old West looked for ways of getting along and getting on with the things that mattered to them all. Their remarkable story offers hope for all of us today.

Map of Solenex Lease site in the Badger-Two Medicine near Glacier National Park
Courtesy Montana Wilderness Association

A newly appointed Bureau of Land Management official needs to recuse himself from decisions related to the Badger-Two Medicine area because he has a conflict of interest. That's according to according to the environmental group Earthjustice.

Aaron Bolton

The Blackfeet Nation is getting some help toward its goals of reforming agriculture on the reservation to make healthy, local food more accessible. Barriers include complicated land management regulations and a lack of processing facilities.

Two Medicine River, in the Badger-Two Medicine area.
Courtesy Gene Sentz

The Blackfeet Nation says it will ask a federal court on Monday to continue a fight to protect the Badger-Two Medicine area, after the US Interior Department reversed course on oil leases there.

"That was a surprise, we were totally caught off guard," says Tyson Runningwolf, a Democratic representative from Browning, and a member of the tribe.

"There’s one thing that unifies the tribe always and that’s protecting the Badger-Two Medicine at all costs, whatever it takes to be involved in protecting it from oil and gas development and protecting that sacred area," he says.

Community members carry signs and photographs of missing and murdered women and girls around UM's oval at the Native-led MMIW Vigil, Saturday, Janury 19, 2019.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

On Saturday, as Women’s Marches happened across the country, about 500 people turned out for an un-affiliated demonstration in Missoula: A vigil for missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.

This handout was given to the State-Tribal Relations Committee, March 30, 2018. Annita Lucchesi, a doctoral student at Lethbridge University, in the Canadian province of Alberta, says native women make up 30 percent of missing persons in the state.
Corin Cates-Carney / MTPR

Hundreds of Indigenous women go missing under suspicious circumstance every year in North America. A U.S. Senate Committee takes a closer look at the issue Wednesday.

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee may hear startling statistics like this one during its hearing: Native Americans make up about 7 percent of Montana’s population. But according to Montana’s Native American Domestic Violence Review Commission, Native people are involved in 16 percent of all of the state’s intimate partner homicides.

Montana Judge Rejects Challenge To Blackfeet Water Compact

Nov 19, 2018
Sign saying "Welcome to Blackfeet Indian Country."
Will Marlow (CC-BY-NC-2)

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A federal judge has rejected a legal challenge to a water-rights compact between the Blackfeet Indian Tribe, the state of Montana and the U.S. government.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris said in a ruling Friday the lawsuit challenging the Blackfeet tribe's business council's authority to negotiate and ratify the compact is a matter of tribal law that must be taken up in tribal court. 

Map of Solenex lease site in the Badger-Two Medicine near Glacier National Park
Courtesy Montana Wilderness Association

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told the Associated Press today that the federal government plans to appeal a federal court ruling allowing oil and gas drilling in the Badger-Two Medicine area outside Glacier National Park.

The Badger-Two Medicine is the site of the creation story for the Blackfoot Tribes, and is located on the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, adjacent to the Blackfeet Reservation.

Blackfeet Community College faculty, staff and nursing students stand in front of the new $7.5 million building.
Maxine Speier / MTPR

In Browning, Blackfeet Community College held a ceremony this week to name a newly-built $7.5 million Health Science and Education Building in honor of the late Blackfeet tribal elder, Elouise Cobell.

On Monday, nearly two dozen nursing students wearing brand-new navy blue scrub tops stood in front of a crowd outside the east entrance of the newest building at the college. They linked arms as one student used scissors to cut through red ribbon.

Senator Jon Tester campaigned with other Democrats for statewide office in Browning Nov 3, where he was lauded as an advocate for solving the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women.
Nicky Ouellet

As members of the Crow tribal council stood alongside Republican Senate hopeful Matt Rosendale for his pro-coal stance at the Bozeman airport Saturday, tribal leaders from the Blackfeet Nation and Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes threw their weight behind Democrats Senator Jon Tester and Congressional candidate Kathleen Williams.

They started their day in Browning with a breakfast feed. By afternoon, they were at Elks Lodge in Polson with the Blacklodge drum circle.

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