Montana Public Radio

Blackfeet Reservation

U.S. Senate Approves Blackfeet Water Settlement

Sep 16, 2016

The U.S. Senate has approved a $420 million water rights settlement with Montana's Blackfeet American Indian tribe as part of the larger Water Resources Development Act.

The Blackfeet Nation is working to restore bison to the species’ native range, which extends beyond the boundaries of their reservation into Glacier National Park and the nearby Badger-Two Medicine area on National Forest land.
Mike Albans

Most of the 50 people visiting Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park for a workshop this week have never seen a bison. They flew in from as far away as South Africa, Russia and Iran to learn about ways countries can work together to manage wildlife, rivers, reefs and landscapes.

Every four years, Americans line up at the polls to vote in a new executive. We call it nation-building. But the nation-building that Americans will do in November pales in comparison to what members of the Blackfeet Tribe are doing right now.

Superintendent of Schools Denise Juneau campaigns at North American Indian Days in Browning.
Nicky Ouellet

North American Indian Days is the biggest summer event on the Blackfeet Reservation. There’s a rodeo, there’s a powwow, there’s hand games and a parade, and even some politicking. For one congressional candidate, campaigning at Indian Days feels a lot like coming home.

Blackfeet teacher education
Aaron Jacob/Slate / Slate

The Blackfeet Tribe is working to expand teacher education on the reservation. It will soon offer a full four-year degree program that will allow local residents to become fully qualified teachers without leaving the reservation. A goal is to increase the number of Native American teachers teaching Native students.

Polling place sign.
IIP Photo Archive

New satellite election offices near and on American Indian Reservations in Montana saw low turnout before the primary, but state and tribal officials are still calling the effort to expand voting equality a success.

Satellite Voting Office Opening In Browning

Mar 28, 2016
Polling place sign.
IIP Photo Archive

A satellite voting office is opening on the Blackfeet Reservation for the first time. The new office in Browning would help reservation residents gain equal access to same-day voter registration.

Blackfeet Water Settlement Clears U.S. Senate Committee

Feb 3, 2016
U.S. Capitol
flickr user Tim Evanson (CC-BY-SA-2)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee approved a $420 million water rights settlement with Montana's Blackfeet American Indian tribe on Wednesday, sending the measure to the full Senate with how to pay for it still unresolved.

These Browning kindergartners spend part of their day learning in English, and part of it learning in Blackfeet. The school's aim is to have a class of fluent Blackfeet speakers by the time the students graduate from high school.
Courtesy Emily Ritter Saunders

This year, the Montana state legislature passed a bill that provides funding for public schools to start immersion programs in native languages. It’s part of an effort to preserve these fragile cultures. Across the United States, about 115 languages have been lost in the last five centuries. But so far, the Browning school system, on the southern part of the Blackfeet Reservation, is the only district to take the money.

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

John Murray, the Blackfeet Tribe’s historic preservation officer says the Badger-Two Medicine is sacred land. As he walks through the tall dry grass here, he refuses to give life to the idea that this land will be disturbed in search of natural gas.

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