The Blackfeet Reservation is in northwestern Montana along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. Its one-and-a-half million acres are bordered on the north by Canada and on the west by Glacier National Park.
The reservation is home to the Blackfeet tribe. Of the approximately 17,250 enrolled tribal members, there are about 9,000 living on or near the reservation. The present day Blackfeet are descended from tribes known as the Blackfeet (Siksika), Kainah or Bloods, and Piegans, all of Algonquin linguistic stock. These three tribes shared a common culture, spoke the same language and held a common territory. The Blackfeet Indians are commonly thought to have acquired their name because of the characteristic black color of their moccasins, painted or darkened with ashes.
In recent years all agencies on the Blackfeet Reservation have pulled together to address the unemployment issue. In 1999 the Tribe formed an economic development corporation to establish enterprises that help create jobs and boost the economy. Currently Siyeh Development Corporation has started several enterprises which employs over 200 people. The enterprises include Glacier Peaks Casino, Lil Peaks Casino, Glacier Family Foods Store, Starlink Cable, Oki Communications, Blackfeet Heritage Center and the Holiday Inn Express. Major uses of the land are ranching and farming. The principle crops are wheat, barley and hay. There are eight major lakes and 175 miles of fishing streams. Tribal permits are required and guides are available through Fish, Wildlife & Parks. The tribe operates five campgrounds.
POINTS OF INTEREST
MUSEUM OF THE PLAINS INDIAN
The museum exhibits the creative achievements of North American artists and craftspeople. A permanent exhibit displays artifacts of the Northern Plains Indians, and two special galleries feature changing presentations. The museum also houses a gift shop.
- Address: 19 Museum Loop, Browning, MT 59417
- Phone: 406.338.2230
- Website: https://www.doi.gov/iacb/museum-plains-indian
BLACKFEET COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Two-year associate's degrees are offered in the Arts and Sciences. Major expansion is underway.
- Address: 504 SE Boundary St, Browning, MT 59417
- Phone: 406.338.5441
- Website: http://bfcc.edu
Offered tours include half- and full-day excusions around Blackfeet Nation, highlighting historic and cultural points of interest.
- Address: 1720 10th Ave. S # 142, Great Falls, MT 59405
- Phone: 406.450.8420
- Website: https://blackfeettours.com/
BLACKFEET HERITAGE CENTER
The Blackfeet Heritage Center & Art Gallery offers a wide variety of arts, crafts and jewelry.
- Address: 333 W Central Ave, Browning, MT 59417
- Phone: 406.338.5661
BLACKFEET TRAIL TOUR AND BLACKFEET LANGUAGE SIGN TOUR
The original scenic "Blackfeet Trail Tour", defined by it’s historic roadside markers, was laid out as a cooperative community effort by the Museum of the Plains Indian and the Browning Lions Club. The signs have been recently updated by the Blackfeet Planning and Development Department.
- Phone: 406.338.7181
- Website: https://www.blackfeetcountry.com/
- Address: PO Box 2809, Browning, MT 59417
- Phone: 406.338.7406 / 406.338.7181
- Fax: 406.338.7206
- Website: http://www.blackfeetnation.com