MTPR

Blackfeet Nation

Grizzly bear.
Flickr user Nathan Rupert

Tribal leaders in Montana, the U.S. and Canada say Wyoming’s unanimous decision to hunt up to 22 grizzly bears outside Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks this year strikes a devastating blow to tribal communities.

On a press conference call Wednesday, tribal leaders said they were not adequately consulted about management of an animal they consider sacred.

The second annual Indigenous Film Festival takes place this weekend, featuring not just films but also panel discussions, art exhibits, food at music at the Missoula Community Theater.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has officially joined the search for a missing Blackfeet woman last seen in Browning last June.

A team of volunteers rallied to get thousands of pounds of potatoes and bread to Heart Butte after a severe storm stranded the community on New Year's Day.
Courtesy Kathryn Hayes

Hunger is a chronic problem for many families on the Blackfeet Reservation. Grocery stores are few and far between, and the poverty rate is around 40 percent.

Like in any rural area, fresh food especially is expensive. It takes a lot of hours in the car or on the phone to access public assistance programs. But when a severe winter storm blew in around New Year's Eve, the chronic hunger issue became an acute crisis.

Logo of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.
Josh Burnham

Tribes in northwest Montana have pledged to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement, despite President Donald Trump backing out last year. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes signed onto the We Are Still In campaign last week.

Huddled behind his white pickup truck in northwestern Montana, Roland Kennerly stuffs his hands into his coat pockets.

"Oh, this wind," he says. "It's starting to snow now."

The road had turned into a muddy slop leading towards a pocket of socked-in mountains and roadless grassland known as the Badger-Two Medicine area.

"You can only get in there by walking or by horseback, so it keeps it in its natural state," Kennerly says. "I hope it stays that way, for my kids and my kids' kids."

Blackfeet tribal council member Roland Kennerly sits at the edge of the Badger-Two Medicine area near the Blackfeet Reservation.
Nate Hegyi / YPR

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended a new national monument at Badger-Two Medicine. While the Blackfeet Nation says the proposal is a good start, they’re also hesitant to fully embrace it before having a say in how the proposed monument is managed. 

Tribes are gathering in Yellowstone National Park this weekend to demand two place names change. Leaders of the Blackfoot Confederacy and Great Sioux Nation are fed up that Hayden Valley and Mount Doan memorialize men who advocated for the genocide of Native Americans.

When the Blackfeet Tribe learned its tribal members were about to start receiving payouts from a massive federal court settlement, the tribe wanted to get ahead of some of the problems that can arise when a lot of money floods a cash-based society.

"There was about 150 some million dollars that was injected into this economy here," says Mark Magee, the Blackfeet Tribe’s land department director.

Mermaids, Wildlife Politics, Murder, And Lost Love

Aug 10, 2017
Penguin Random House

In the wake of Fourth of July fireworks in Montana’s Madison Valley, Hyalite County sheriff Martha Ettinger and Deputy Sheriff Harold Little Feather investigate a horrific scene at the Palisades cliffs, where a herd of bison have fallen to their deaths. Victims of blind panic caused by the pyrotechnics, or a ritualistic hunting practice dating back thousands of years? The person who would know is beyond asking, an Indian man found dead among the bison, his leg pierced by an arrow.
 

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