The Blackfeet Tribe of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana, is a federally recognized sovereign nation that exercises governmental control over its land and resources pursuant to Section 16 of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 and amendments thereof. The Blackfeet Tribe is represented by more than 17,000 enrolled members with ancestral ties reaching as far as Canada and throughout the United States and has been in existence for more than 10,000 years. Nearly half of the members still reside on the Blackfeet Reservation with a land base of 1.5 million acres, known as our homeland today.
Those who call the Blackfeet Reservation their home are here because of the family ties that link back to several generations, access to outdoor recreation, subsistence activities, and the beauty of our surroundings. The reservation is a highly rural agricultural area, spanning parts of both Glacier County and Pondera County, with a population of 10,405 residents (2010 census). There is one large community on the reservation, the past Town of Browning (population 1,016) it is no longer incorporated, which is the gateway to Glacier National Park and has served as the headquarters of the Blackfeet Indian Agency since 1894. Browning is also the principle shopping center on the reservation. There are also a number of small unincorporated communities (census designated places) on the reservation including the towns of Babb, East Glacier Park Village, North Browning, South Browning, Starr School and Heart Butte.
Today’s members of the Blackfeet Tribe are decedents of the Blackfoot Nation. The Blackfoot Nation is actually a confederation of several distinct tribes, including the South Piegan (Blackfeet or Piikani), the Blood (or Kainai), the North Piegan, and the North Blackfoot (or Siksika). They traditionally called each other Niitsitapii, or "Real People." This word was also used by fur traders in the late 1700’s thru the 1800’s as a reference to Blackfoot speaking people. The name Blackfoot reportedly derived from the black-dyed moccasins worn by some tribal members at the time of early contact with non-Indians. The Blood, Siksika, North and South Piegan freely intermarried, spoke a common language, shared the same cultural traits, and fought the same enemies. This confederation traditionally occupied the northwest portion of the Great Plains from the northern reaches of the Saskatchewan River of western Saskatchewan and southern Alberta, Canada, to the Yellowstone River in central Montana including the headwaters of the Missouri River. The Northern Blackfoot live farthest north, the Blood and North Piegan in the middle just north of the Canadian border, and the South Piegan (Blackfeet) furthest south along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains in northern Montana. The confederation had more than one tribal leader. Each tribe consisted of a number of hunting bands, which were the primary political units of the tribe. Each of these bands was headed by a war leader and a civil leader, the former chosen because of his reputation as a warrior, and the later chosen because of his eloquent oratory.
This department is here to promote, protect, and enhance the natural and cultural assets of the Blackfeet Reservation while maximizing healthy recreational activities, and sustainability to its residents and visitors by collaboratively providing high-quality parks, facilities, and programs.
My name is Stephanie, I am here to advise visitors on our reservation. If you're looking for a unique Montana experience, do not hesitate to call or email. The reservation offers an unlimited supply of scenic views, clean fresh air, clear lakes, camping, bison viewing, and our roots our deep in culture and heritage.
Interested in Native culture and would like to know when, where, and what will be going on the Blackfeet Reservation?