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Blackfeet Reservation Historical Timeline

The largest and oldest histories of Montana Tribes are still very much oral histories and remain in the collective memories of individuals. Some of that history has been lost, but much remains vibrant within community stories and narratives that have yet to be documented Time Immemorial Creation – “Napi,” Old Man, created the Rocky Mountain Range, the Sweetgrass Hills and other geographic features in Montana and Canada. 1700 – The Blackfeet acquired the horse and rifle. 1700s – The Blackfeet traveled south along the Rocky Mountains. 1780 – A band of Blackfeet raided a Shoshone camp not knowing the Shoshone had small pox. The raid resulted in a smallpox epidemic among the Blackfeet band. One third of the band died. 1818 – The US and Canadian border was established. The 49th parallel would figure prominently in Blackfeet geography. 1837 – A second smallpox epidemic struck the Blackfeet. 1851 – The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851. While an estimated 10,000 Indians attended this treaty negotiation, the Blackfeet did not. Though they were not present, Article 5 defined their territory, using the Musselshell, Missouri, Yellowstone Rivers and the Rocky Mountain Range as markers. 1855 – Lame Bull Treaty / Judith River Treaty.This treaty took place at the mouth of the Judith River with the Blackfeet, Nez Perce and the Salish and Pend d’Oreille (language in treaty also refers to Flathead tribe) To make way for the railroad, Isaac Stevens was charged with negotiating a peace between the Blackfeet and the allied tribes – the Nez Perce, Salish and Pend d’Oreille. A common hunting ground was recognized and designated for a period...

Blackfeet Reservation

Blackfeet Agency Report of Special Agent Horatio L. Seward on the Indians of the Blackfeet reservation, Blackfeet agency, Montana, January 1891: Names of Indian tribes or parts of tribes occupying said reservation1 Blackfoot, Blood, and Piegan. The unallotted area of this reservation is 1,760,000 acres, or 2,750 square miles, The reservation has not been surveyed or subdivided. It was established, altered, or changed by treaty of October 17, 1855 (11 U. S. Stats, p. 657); unratified treaties of July 18, 1866, and of July 13 and 15 and September 1, 1808; executive orders, July 5, 1873, and August 19, 1874; act of Congress approved April 15, 1874 (18 U. S. Stats., P. 28); executive orders, April 13, 1875, and July 13, 1880, and agreement made February 11, 1887, approved by Congress May 1, 1888 (25 U. S. Stats., p. 113). Indian population 1890: 1,8112 Blackfeet Reservation The agency, situated on Badger creek, is in a valley of the same name about 105 miles west from Great Falls on the Missouri. The reservation is about 52 miles square, with some farming lands in the western portion, but the land around the agency buildings is fit only for grazing purposes. The Piegan are very fine looking Indians, and the police and judges are very intelligent and active in their duties. The Mission schoolhouse, situated in Two Medicines creek about 5 miles from the agency, was built for the Jesuits by Miss Drexel, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a substantial frame building, capable of accommodating 100 scholars. Perhaps 5 per cent of these Indians are Roman Catholics and the others are sun...

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