Montana Public Radio

Blackfeet Reservation

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — Two grass fires pushed by strong winds burned 39 square miles (101 square kilometers) of land on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, two unoccupied trailer homes and three telephone poles, Blackfeet Law Enforcement Services said.

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Blackfeet tribal leaders announced Wednesday that the Blackfeet Indian Reservation will move into phase three of its reopening plan — exactly one year after they declared an emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday announced that it issued compliance orders to correct violations for water systems on the Blackfeet and Fort Belknap Reservations.

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The work of a food pantry organization on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation has ballooned in recent months amid rising COVID-19 cases and the economic downturn. The group has given out more than 50,000 pounds of food in a month. 

St. Mary Canal Emergency Restoration Work Progresses

Aug 25, 2020

When a critical drop of the St. Mary Canal collapsed 14 weeks ago, downstream irrigators along Montana’s Hi Line were left high and dry. If construction continues to progress at its current clip, water could be flowing again within months.

Jennifer Patrick is optimistic about the progress Sletten Construction is making on Drop 2 and Drop 5, two concrete drop structures that move the water through the canal from the St. Mary River on the Blackfeet Reservation into the North Milk River.

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.

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.

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