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Blackfeet Indian Reservation

Browning Montana

Listing Type: Indian Nation
City: Browning Montana
Region: Glacier Country

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Historically the largest and most dominant Indian tribe in Montana was the Blackfeet. The origin of their name was probably derived from the blackened moccasins tribe traditionally wore. The dark hue may have been painted purposely or may have been darkened by prairie fires.

The Blackfeet originally lived far to the east, north of the Great Lakes. After the arrival of the Europeans, the Blackfeet were one of the first tribes to begin moving west. Soon they were roaming huge portions of the northern plains. When they arrived they shed their life of woodland hunters and gatherers and adopted the nomadic lifestyle of the Plains Indians.

Before they had the horse, Blackfeet drove buffalo over the pishkin for harvesting. Blackfeet typically traveled in bands of 20 to 30 people, which seemed to be the most effective number for buffalo hunting. However, the tribes would come together for various ceremonies and rituals, like the Sun Dance, and for trade. The Blackfeet became excellent horsemen and hunters. They expanded their territory, and resisted intrusion by the white man until the late Nineteenth Century. By the winter of 1882 the buffalo had almost disappeared and the tribe was driven on to an ever shrinking reservation. With no meat the Blackfeet were on the brink of starvation. The Government tried to change the nomadic hunters into farmers but were largely unsuccessful. In 1895, the tribe sold what is now Glacier National Park to the government for mineral exploration. The tribe currently lives on the Blackfeet Reservation bordering Glacier National Park.

Blackfeet Indian Reservation
, Browning, MT 59417

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