Montana Public Radio

Blackfeet Nation

After the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians gained federal recognition six months ago, students from the University of Montana School of Journalism talked at length with tribal members about what that means to them.

Last weekend, Montana saw its biggest spike yet in COVID-19 cases. YPR reports how the disease is impacting Native Americans across the state.

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

The Blackfeet Indian Reservation is now under a mandatory 14-day stay-at-home order after health officials reported the reservation’s first COVID-19 cases. Blackfeet and Glacier County officials identified nine confirmed cases of COVID-19 among residents over the weekend.

Glacier National Park sign at the park's St. Mary entrance.
Glacier National Park (PD)

The Blackfeet Nation will close off road access to Glacier National Park’s east entrances for the remainder of the tourism season, according to a resolution written Thursday. The tribal leaders’ decision was based on the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the state.

Solenex well site is the last remaining oil lease in Badger-Two-Medicine.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The Blackfeet Nation released draft legislation Thursday that would permanently protect the Badger-Two Medicine region bordering Glacier National Park from industrial resource development. Montana’s congressional delegation says they are reviewing the draft language of the proposed bill.

A photo from June 06, 2020 shows the closed St. Mary entrance into Glacier National Park, which borders the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. The Blackfeet Nation has maintained travel closures longer than Glacier Park or the state of Montana.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

As the busy summer season gets underway in various tourism hotspots across the state, Glacier National Park’s eastern neighbor is taking a more cautious approach. Concerns about COVID-19 have left the Blackfeet Nation slow to reopen its reservation to tourists.

A film made on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and starring Miss Blackfeet has won a major award.

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

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. ruled Tuesday that a lower court was wrong to reinstate a contentious oil and gas lease in the Badger-Two Medicine area near the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and Glacier National Park. 

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

The Blackfeet Tribe last week took a step toward lifting restrictions put in place amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. The tribal business council canceled the Blackfeet Reservation’s stay-at-home order and non-essential travel restrictions.

Native American tribes in Montana are beginning to use federal funds to bolster their response to the novel coronavirus.

The Crow Tribe announced they received $25 million from the U.S. Treasury. The Little Shell Chippewa Tribe received $25 million, per Chairman Gerald Gray. According to the office of Sen. Steve Daines, the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux tribes received over $24 million.

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