A Deeper Look at the Sovereign Indian Tribes of Montana
By Maddie Hall
The Blackfeet tribe has about 15,560 members where there are about 7,000 of that number that are living within the reservation that is located near Canada in Northern Montana on the western side of the state. The Blackfeet Indians are named after the bottom of the moccasins that many of the first native members would wear. Today, the reservation that many of them call home is a great resource for fishing and farming which is how many of them make their livings.
The Salish and Kootenai:
Flathead Indian Reservation
There are currently 3 tribes that call home on the Flathead Reservation. They are the Salish, Kootenai, and Pend d'Oreille. There is a combined total of around 7,760 members of the tribes and about 5,000 of them directly on the reservation. The Flathead Reservation is located near Kalispell, Montana within the mountains. The reservation has a total of 1.2 million acres for its people to call home. Many of the people who live on the reservation today are able to work for the reservation through many of the jobs it offers from farming, electronics and gaming. The reservation also has two wildlife refugees that offer a safe place for many animals to thrive in Montana.
The Crow Nation:
Located near the Montana-Wyoming border is where the Crow people call home on the Crow Reservation. Today, there are about 10,000 people who are apart of the tribe and nearly almost all of them live on the reservation. The tribe is one of the first to call Montana home and is named after the Apsaalooke which was a big big beaked bird. Many people today also speak Crow as their first language, which is quite unique. There is also a mine that the tribe oversees on the reservation that provides many jobs for people. The tribe also cares for a large herd of buffalo where there is about 300 of them.
The reservation also has it's own college that is called The Little Big Horn college which is named after the Battle of the Little Big Horn. The town of Crow Agency also puts on a rodeo and fair in the summer to celebrate their tribe.
The Assiniboine, Nakoda, and the Gros Ventre.
Fort Belknap Reservation
These tribes that were once separate are all now considered to be one, which is the A'aninin. "A'aninin" means, "the people of the white clay."
The reservation sits on an area of about 650,000 acres within the Northern more central area of Montana and is home to about 4,000 that make up these tribes. The reservation created the first government approved meat packing facility which brings in a lot of economic growth and also has many tourists within the summer months.
There is also many wildlife features such as buffalo, birds, deer, antelope and many fishing opportunities. The reservation also allows for hunting to happen on their land.
The reservation also has a junior college that is called Aaniiih Nakoda College where students can gain degrees in art and science.
Little Shell Chippewa Tribe:
Great Falls, Montana
The Little Shell Tribe has about 4,500 in it. This tribe originated from the midwestern part of the United States and is also federally recognized by the state of Montana. Many of the people within this tribe do call Great Falls home.