March 19, 2013

Blackfeet tribe 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. Here is a brief tribal timeline for the Blackfeet tribe and the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana.


Time Immemorial Creation – “Napi,” Old Man, created the Rocky Mountain Range, the Sweetgrass Hills and other geographic features in Montana and Canada.
6,500 BC – Native Americans of pre-history populate all areas of Montana.
500 BC – The “Dog Days.” The Blackfeet follow the “Old North Trail” over the “Backbone of the World,” using dogs and dog travois to carry their household goods.
1650 – Blackfeet discovered in central Canada by early European explorers.
1690 – Henry Kelsey of the Hudson’s Bay Company makes brief contact with the Blackfeet in Alberta.

1730 – Blackfeet attacked by Shoshone on horseback. First time Blackfeet have seen horses which they call “Elk Dogs.”

Buy Blackfeet Hat1730 – Fifty Blackfeet probably acquired their first horses in peaceful trade with their neighbors, the Flathead, Kootenai, and Nez Perce.
1731 – French Jesuits begin to arrive.
1748 – First French trappers arrive in Blackfeet country.
1750 – Alexander Henry of the Northwest Fur Company makes contact with the Piegans.
1754 – Anthony Hendry of the Hudson’s Bay Company becomes first white man to meet with the Blackfoot, stayed in a Blood camp of 322 lodges near present day Red Deer, Albert, Canada. Tried to convince Blackfoot to trade but the Bloods were not interested. They had horses and the buffalo were plentiful.
1772 – Matthew Cocking of the Hudson’s Bay Company spent the winter with the Blackfoot. He found them friendly and hospitable, but they still refused to trade.
1780 – Hudson Bay Company builds Buckingham House on the Saskatchewan River in Canada, reaching Blackfeet country. Blackfeet obtain guns through trade.
1780 – 1705 Blackfeet almost exterminate the Shoshone in battles over hunting territory.
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 Blackfeet band died.
1781 – Piegans attacked dying Northern Shoshone camp, contracted smallpox, 50% deaths.
1784 – Declared relentless war on Northern Shoshone, Flathead, and Kootenai.
1786 – The U.S. Department of War establishes ordinance charged with the responsibility for Indian affairs.
1787 – Blackfeet warriors journey south to Santa Fe, encounter Spanish miners and steal their horses.
1787 – Fur trader David Thompson wintered and traded with the Piegan, Northwest Fur Company began trading with the Siksika and Blood.

1802 – United State buys power from France to take Native American lands under the “Doctrine of Discovery of 1493.”
1803 – United States acquires most of Montana through the Louisiana Purchase.
1803 – Tribes of the Louisiana Purchase Territory officially came under U.S. jurisdiction.
1806 – Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis and Clark) encounters Blackfeet (Piegan) at the junction of Two Medicine River and Badger Creek. Lewis kills one Piegan who was trying to steal a gun.
1808 – Mountain men & fur traders begin to enter the Blackfeet sphere of interest.
1809 – Trader Alexander Henry compiles a census of the Blackfeet, finding a total of 5,200 people among the Piegan, Blackfeet, and Blood tribes.
1810 – Blackfoot crop the tail of the horses they purchased from the Arikara so to distinguish them from their Indian ponies.
1810 – Missouri Fur Company opens a trading post, but is driven out immediately by the Blackfeet.
1811- Crying Bear, a Blackfoot warrior, was killed by Crees in the northern part of their hunting grounds.
1812 – Traders at Edmonton House report that the Bloods and Blackfeet are determined to steal every horse belonging to white men in revenge for the death of their relations, fifty of who had been killed by the Flathead over the past year. The Blackfoot say the white men are supplying the Flathead with guns, which are the cause of their great losses.
1813 – Many Bloods form a war party to raid the Crow Indians on the Big Horn River.
1814 – Top Knot was killed by Crow Indians on the Little Big Horn River.
1815 – A war party of Crees and Assiniboine attacked a camp of twenty Blood and Sarsi lodges on the banks of the Belly River, not far from the site of the first Blood Agency, killing four men and a woman, including, Mad Child, a Blood.
1818 – Buffalo Paunch was killed by his brother.
1818 – The Sun Dance was usually held in early summer, when the Saskatoon berries were ripe. On this occasion, however, a winter camp of Bloods on Sheep River was in danger of being attacked by war parties of Crees. A Holy woman vowed that if they were spared from harm she would sponsor a Sun Dance immediately. When no attack came, the Sun Dance was held, as promised.
1819 – The US and Canadian border was established. The 49th parallel would figure prominently in Blackfeet geography, splitting the Blackfoot tribes on both sides of the border.
1819 – Measles Epidemic kills one-third of the Blackfoot and Gros Ventre Population.
1820 – Four Horns, a Northern Piegan killed by a Pend d’Oreille.
1822 – Chesterfield House established by the Hudson’s Bay Co. on the Red Deer and Belly Rivers.
1824 – The Bureau of Indian Affairs established within the United States War Department.
1824 – Blackfoot in battle with Crows, drive them off.
1824 – Beginning of mountain man fur trade era and constant state of war with trappers.
1825 – The Hudson’s Bay Co. traveling with a large party of Flatheads signs treaty with Bloods, Gros Ventre, and Piegans.
1828 – Treaty No.7 signed by Chief Red Crow establishing Blackfoot, Blood, and Northern Piegan reserves in Alberta, Canada.
1831 – James Kipp & seventy-five men establish Ft. Piegan at the confluence of the Missouri and Marias Rivers.
1831 – First peaceful trade between the Americans and Blackfeet by Kenneth McKenzie.
1831 – Blackfeet horse raiders recorded at Arkansas River in southern Colorado.
1831 – Alfred Jacob Miller attributed Blackfeet to killing 30-40 trappers annually. Smallpox epidemic spread to Sioux.
1832 – George Catlin Visits Blackfeet.
1832 – David Mitchell and sixty men establish Fort McKenzie on a narrow ridge separating the Missouri and Teton Rivers.
1832 – Missouri Fur Company opens again at Fort Piegan on the Missouri River at the mouth of the Marias River.
1833 – A meteoric shower is seen and recorded in the winter counts of the Bloods, camped on the Highwood River.
1833 – Prince Maximilian, a German scientist-explorer, and Karl Bodner, a Swiss artist, spend a month with the Blackfeet at Fort McKenzie. Maximilian becomes the first white observer to describe the Blackfeet men’s societies; Bodner paints portraits of Blackfeet leaders.
1834 – Bureau of Indian Affairs created as part of War Department.
1834 – Blood winter count records a successful horse stealing party against a Crow camp on the Yellowstone River.
1835 – Two Piegans being chased by an enemy raiding party jump into the Marias River and are killed.
1836 – Many children die of diphtheria, by “strangulation of the throat.”
1837 – Smallpox epidemic, brought to the Upper Missouri on the steamboat St.Peters, of the American Fur Company, kills nearly 6,000 Blackfeet, two thirds of the total population.
1838 – The impact of the Smallpox epidemic is so great and prolonged that it is recorded in the winter count for two years.
1840 – Wesleyan Methodist Missionaries arrive.
1840 – End of mountain man fur trade era in Blackfeet territory.
1841 – Episcopalian Missionaries arrive.
1841 – Walking Crow is killed by a Crow war party.
1841 – St. Mary’s Mission founded, then abandoned in 1850.
1841 – First Blackfeet Indian baptized on Christmas day.
1842 – A large number of Bloods gathered at Women’s Buffalo Jump near the Porcupine Hills and killed many buffalo.
1843 – Northern Blackfoot coming to trade at Fort McKenzie were fired upon with a cannon by A.N. Harvey, who was known in Blackfoot as Running Wolf, an action supposedly taken in retaliation for the theft of cattle and the killing of a Negro employee the previous year. Six Indians were killed and several wounded, as recorded in the winter counts of both the Northern Blackfoot and Southern Piegan.
1844 – Blackfeet kill a trader.Traders retaliate. Alexander Harvey killed 30 trading Piegans.
1845 – Father DeSmet meets the Blackfoot.
1845 – Alexander Culbertson negotiated peace treaties.
1846 – Small Robes Band of Piegans massacred by Crow Indians.
1846 – A war party of Crows crept into a Blood camp and took the best horses picketed in front of their owner’s lodge.
1846 – Father DeSmet conducts the first Catholic Mass among the Blackfeet, mainly children are baptized.
1847 – First Jesuit came to live with the Blackfeet.
1847 – Not A Favorite Child, A Blood, was killed by Assiniboines on the Milk River.
1848 – Bad Head leaves his winter camping grounds and takes a large band of Bloods to stay near Fort Benton.
1849 – War party of 800 Blackfoot attack Assiniboine horse raiders and kill 52, while the Blackfoot lost 25.
1849 – The BIA was transferred from the Department of War to the Department of the Interior.
1850 – Eagle Calf, also known as Boy, was killed by Crees near the Sweetgrass Hills.
1851 – The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851 (Peace of the Plains Treaty) signed. Blackfeet legal dealings with the U.S. Government begin with this treaty (in which the Blackfeet did not participate) allotting them a large swath of the northern plains.Though the Blackfeet were not present, Article 5 defined their territory, using the Musselshell, Missouri, and Yellowstone Rivers and the Rocky Mountain Range as markers.
1851 – Blackfeet Agency established.
 1852 – Father Of Many Children wintered in the northern part of the hunting grounds while the rest of the Bloods and Piegans went to Fort Benton.
1854 – The Blackfoot were not dog eaters, but when starvation reduced them to this necessity, the incident was recorded in the winter count.
1855 – 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.” Lame Bull’s Treaty is signed on the Judith River. This marked the first official treaty between the Blackfeet and the U.S. Government, and defines the boundaries of “The Blackfeet Nation.” 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 the Flathead tribe).  A common hunting ground was recognized and designated for a period of ninety-nine years. Lands reserved exclusively for the Blackfeet were identified and described.The treaty was ratified in 1856.
1856 – Much of the Blackfoot hunting grounds were covered with ice during the winter, making it difficult to hunt, trade, and care for their horses.
1857 – Prairie White Man is killed by Pend d’Oreille Indians at a point called Shade, near Shelby, Montana.
1858 – Blackfoot note in winter count that there was a big sweat lodge built.
1859 – St. Peters Mission established.
1859 – Two brothers, Hind Bull and Fish Child, chiefs of the Many Fat Horses Band, were drinking near Rocky Mountain House. Hind Bull took his daughter away from her husband and Fish Child objected.
In the argument that followed, Hind Bull shot Fish Child, but before dying, Fish Child stabbed his brother to death.
1860 – Pend d’Oreilles, under their chief, Alexander, were hunting buffalo along the Milk River when they were attacked by a large war party of Assiniboines and Crees. The Pend d’Oreilles had 20 killed, including the chief’s son, 25 wounded, and 290 horses taken. Only the timely arrival of some Piegans prevented the complete extermination of the camp.
1860 – White settlers began to enter Blackfeet country.
1860 – Jesuit Mission created in old Fort Campbell on the Marias River.
1860 – Beginning of the whiskey trade.
1860 – First steamboat arrives on the Missouri River.
1860 – White settlers begin to enter Blackfeet country.
1862 – Tartowa, Prepared Moccasins, a Piegan, went insane and rode through the camp firing his gun. He was finally killed by his two brothers.
1863 – The Gros Ventre (Atsíína) had been allies of the Blackfoot for generations, but a dispute with the Piegans over stolen horses turned them into bitter enemies. A winter count refers to four lodges of Gros Ventres, under a chief named The Stone, who were killed by Piegans on the Belly River. They had been visiting Blood chief Ermine Horse at the time of the attack.
1863 – Annuity payments from the U.S. Government to the Blackfeet do not arrive. Blackfeet send letter of protest to Washington.
1864 – An epidemic of scarlet fever decimates the Blackfoot tribes. By the spring of 1865 over 1,100 Blackfoot had died.
1865 – Fighting breaks out between the Blackfeet and white settlers. Bloods killed 10 white wood cutters.
1865 – After the scarlet fever epidemic of 1864, the Blackfoot harassed the British traders at Rocky Mountain House, blaming them for the disease.
1865–1872 – Father Albert Lacombe writes a Blackfoot Dictionary.
1865 – Unratified Treaty with Montana Governor Meagher and Blackfeet Indian Agent Gad Upson. Though this treaty that identified Blackfeet land cessions was not ratified, settlers began moving into the areas that would have been ceded had the treaty been ratified.
1866 – Father Lacombe with Chiefs Crowfoot and Three Bulls.
1866 – Piegans defeat Crow and Gros Ventres in large scale battle.
1866 – A war party of Bloods and North Blackfoot discover a small Cree camp at the edge of the Red Ocher Hills. They killed 2 women who had been cutting wood, and were following a snow-filled coulee to the top of the hill when they were discovered. The lodges they had attacked were part of a larger camp and soon the Crees surrounded the coulee and slaughtered scores of Bloods and North Blackfoot in the snow.
1867 – The Blackfoot were beginning to obtain repeating rifles from the traders, and were able to kill larger numbers of buffalo. As a result, more dried meat, robes, and leather were taken for trade.
1868 – Some members of the Bear People Band of the Piegan rushed through camp in a drunken state and killed several people.
1868 – New Agreements with the U.S. Government reduce the size of the Blackfeet land allotment.
1869 – Smallpox struck the Blackfoot, again originating with a Missouri River steamboat. By 1870, the death toll reached 1,080 Piegans, 630 Bloods, and 678 North Blackfoot.
1869 – Malcolm Clark killed by Piegan warriors in retaliation for the killing of Mountain Chief’s brother.
1870 – Between 600 and 800 Assiniboines and Crees attacked Blood camps not far from Fort Whoop-Up, at the confluences of the Oldman and St. Mary Rivers. The attackers did not know that a large number of South Piegans with repeating rifles were camped a short distance away. The combined Blood and Piegan forces succeeded in routing the Assiniboines and Crees, inflicting casualties estimated between 200 and 300 warriors.
1870 – The Blackfoot Massacre, often called the Bear River Massacre, the Baker Massacre or the Marias Massacre, occurred when U.S. Soldiers mistakenly attacked the camp of Heavy Runner, a friendly chief, during cold winter weather on January 23. A column of cavalry and infantry under the command of Major Eugene Baker attacked the sleeping camp early in the morning. The attack was purportedly to be in response to the killing of an influential rancher, Malcom Clark. Clark had been in several conflicts with Owl Child, a Piegan, who was not camped with Heavy Runner, but with Mountain Chief. At the end of the attack, 218 people were killed. The largest numbers of victims were women and children. The army gave the death count at 173. Another 140 women and children were captured. While some political leaders were outraged, no disciplinary actions were taken against any of the soldiers. The Blackfeet never faced the U.S. Army in battle again.
1871 – A trading post was built on the Highwood River.This was the era of the “free trader” who carried whiskey and repeating rifles as stock in trade. In later years these posts were dubbed, “whiskey forts.”
1872 – First school for Blackfeet children opened at Four Person Agency at Teton River Agency.
1873 – Calf Shirt was a leader of the Lone Fighters Band of Bloods. Joe Kipp, a trader, killed him in self-defense at Fort Kipp, on the Belly River. The Bloods tried to revive Calf Shirt, but stopped when they thought they were achieving success, because they were afraid that he would come back as a bear.
1873 – Cypress Hills massacre.
1873 – President Grant issued Executive Orders diminishing reservation lands. The 1873 Executive Order diminished 1851 and 1855 treaty lands and established an undivided reservation for the Blackfeet, Gros Ventre, Assiniboine, and Sioux. This territory spanned land north of the Missouri and Sun River east to the Dakota border.
1874 – By act of Congress, the Blackfeet reservation boundary moved northward from the Sun River to the Birch Creek – Marias River line. The Blackfeet are neither consulted nor remunerated.
1874 – Choteau Agency Established (Blackfeet, Southern Piegan)
1874 – The Northwest Mounted Police, organized in eastern Canada, arrived at the Oldman River and built Fort Macleod (called in Blackfoot, Akapioyis, meaning, Many Houses)
1875 – Under pressure, President Grant restored some of the lands taken by the 1873 and 1874 Executive Orders.
1875 – The Northwest Mounted Police close illicit “whiskey forts,” and within a year all liquor trading had virtually stopped.
1875 – Agent John Wood urges the Blackfeet to organize. Little Plume elected as head chief, Generous Women and White Calf as subordinate chiefs. New tribal code written.
1876 – The Northwest Mounted Police report that buffalo were plentiful in the Blackfoot hunting grounds during the winter, but that by spring the herds were confined mostly to the Cypress Hills area.
1876 – Custer and his troops annihilated at Little Big Horn. No Blackfeet were involved.
1876 – Running Crane’s Agency established on Upper Badger Creek.
1877 – Treaty No. 7 signed with Blackfoot tribes in Canada.
1877 – James Willard Schultz visits Blackfeet reservation and marries a Blackfeet woman.
1877 – Chief Joseph, Nez Perce, surrenders just east of the Blackfeet reservation near the Bear’s Paw Mountains, with proported statement “From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.”
1878 – Prairie fires destroy grasslands west of Canada’s Cypress Hills, driving the great buffalo herds south into Montana, never to return north again.
1879 – First formal education for Blackfeet at St. Peter’s Mission on the Sun River.
1879 – Old Agency established on Lower Badger Creek.
1879 – Almost all buffalo on the Blood’s hunting grounds had been killed or driven south. In desperation, the Bloods followed the herds, and during the winter they hunted in the Judith Basin region of Montana.
1880 – President Rutherford B. Hays issued an Executive Order taking back the land that President Grant had restored in 1875.
1880 – Itarkuneupatotsop refers to the movement of the Bloods back to Canada after the last buffalo herds were killed. The starving Indians drifted back at the end of winter, and by spring the entire tribe was camped along the Belly River.
1881 – The first Ration Roll created at the Blackfeet Agency on Lower Badger Creek (Old Agency).
1882 – Blood Reserve established in Canada.
1882 – Blackfeet winter buffalo hunt in Montana is successful. No hint that the buffalo would disappear.
1882 – Red Crow, head chief of the Bloods, had 80 horses stolen by a war party of Crees. Although the Bloods pursued them towards Cypress Hills, the raiders were not caught.
1883 – Extermination of large herds of buffalo is nearly complete.
1883 – The Canadian Pacific Railway line reached the eastern edge of Blackfoot territory.
1884 – Last Piegan buffalo hunt takes place near the Sweet Grass Hills.
1883-84 – Starvation Winter. Buffalo herds suddenly disappear. Over 600 Blackfeet starve during the winter and spring (more than one-fourth of the surviving members of the tribe). This is just the number with documented graves near the Indian Agency. It’s estimated the number may have been double that, counting the camps in outlying areas. The Blackfeet become sedentary people, dependent on government rations.
1885 – U.S. Government takes western portion of Blackfeet reservation for mineral exploration.
1885 – Blackfeet Agency was moved to Willow Creek.
1886 – Horse raiding ceased.
1887 –The U.S. Government takes control of Native American property rights. A Code of Laws was enforced by three tribally elected leaders, along with Indian Agent Wood.
1888 – Sweet Grass Hills Agreement
1889 – The Ghost Dance raged through Indian tribes, including the Blackfeet. Wovoka, also known as Jack Wilson, was a Piute born in what is now Esmeralda County, Nevada, in the late 1850s. In 1889, Wovoka saw visions that foretold the coming of a messiah who would help the Indians regain their lost land and bring their dead ancestors back to life. Wovoka directed his many followers to sing and dance in preparation for the event. The ritual, which included elements from the Christian religion, was called the Ghost Dance. Though Wovoka encouraged peace and cooperation, some saw the Ghost Dance movement as a call to overthrow the white man. Increasing fear and mistrust among both whites and Native Americans led to the Sioux outbreak of 1890, when large groups of Indians left the reservations and threatened to make war. Faith in Wovoka’s prediction was shattered on December 29, 1890, during the bloody massacre at Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota. Wovoka died in 1932.
1889 – Montana becomes the 41st State.
1889 – First group of Blackfeet admitted to Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania. Eventually 187 sent east.
1890 – Blackfeet used in product commercial “Montana Indian Remedies.
1890 – Blackfeet Agency moved to Browning.

1890 – Many Crow people killed by Blackfoot near Sweet Grass Hills, Canada.
1892 – First Boarding school for the Blackfeet opens at Willow Creek, west of present-day Browning.
1893 – Completion of the Great Northern Transcontinental Railroad through Blackfeet country.
1894 – Town of Browning was established on the Blackfeet Reservation.
1895 – Blackfeet Indian Agency Headquarters opens in the new town of Browning.
1896 – A twenty mile wide strip of Blackfeet Reservation is ceded. This “ceded strip” is known today as Glacier National Park. The Blackfeet claimed the land was only provided for a 99 -year lease for the sum of $1,500,000, to be paid at $150,000 per year for ten years.
1897 – Medical clinic established on The Blackfeet Reservation in Browning.
1898 – Forty percent of the Blackfeet tribal cattle herd was lost.
1899 – U.S. Post Office at Durham relocated to Browning.
1902 – Oil is discovered by a copper miner on Swift Creek (not commercial).
1903 – Fence built around entire Blackfeet reservation in Montana with only three gates.
1903 – First Blackfeet Tribal Council elected.
1903 – White Calf, last head chief of the Piegan Blackfeet, dies while on a visit to Washington D.C.
1904 – Cut Bank boarding school established.
1904 – Clark Wissler records Blackfeet songs and stories.
1905 – Cut Bank Boarding School opened. Today it is still operating as a boarding dormitory. Children that live there do not attend school at the site; they are bussed to Browning Public Schools.
1907 and 1908 – U.S. Policy to treat the Indian reservation as property of the entire tribe is reversed in favor of a policy of land allotment. The first allotments were made on the Blackfeet Reservation. The Blackfeet Reservation was surveyed and land was parceled out to individual tribal members. Approximately 2,656 individual Blackfeet tribal members received allotments of 320 acres, held in trust by the government.
1909 – Reservation fence removed.
1909 – Enlarged Homestead Act brought many people to the area.
1910 – Glacier National Park Established.
1910 – U.S. Census reports that 2,268 Indians are living on the Blackfeet reservation, about the same number that lived there in 1885.
1911 – Land Allotment process completed. Surplus lands to be opened for sale were estimated at 156,000 acres. Children born after the middle of the year were allotted 80 acres.
1912 – Reservation-wide survey of land.
1913 – Blackfeet Two Gun White Calf is the model for the Indian Head Nickel.
1914 – The law confirmed that all Blackfeet hunting was prohibited in Glacier National Park, along with all fishing except by hook and line. The National Park Services recognizes that large animals migrated between the park and the Blackfeet Reservation, and tries to pressure the Blackfeet into selling an additional six-mile wide strip east of the park. Both the BIA and the Blackfeet reject the attempt at a further land grab.
1915 – Blackfeet Began raising livestock on the reservation Blackfeet Tribal Business Council (BTBC) created.
1919 – President Wilson signs legislation repealing the 1907 Blackfeet Allotment Act.

1919 – Town of Browning is Incorporated.
1919 – Sherbourne Dam and St. Mary’s Diversion Dam completed.
1919 – Severe drought dropped cattle prices, forcing the sale of land.
1920 – Blackfeet cattle herds wiped out by a severe winter. Starvation follows.
1920 – Illegal Blackfeet hunting continues in Glacier National Park.
1921 – Five-Year Industrial Plan implemented opening large scale farming operations.
1924 – U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall made the decision that Indian tribes were “Domestic Dependent Nations: subject to the U.S. Congress, but not to State law.
1924 – A Blackfeet leader circulates a petition calling for recognition of Blackfeet rights in Glacier National Park, but no progress is made.
1924 – Snyder Act grants full U.S. Citizenship to all American Indians.
1925 – The Blackfeet file a lawsuit based on the National Park Service prohibition of subsistence activities in Glacier National Park. The NPS renews its pressure on the Blackfeet to sell the six-mile wide strip on the Park’s eastern border.
1927 – The 1927 Indian Act forbade aboriginals in Canada from forming political organizations, as well as practicing their traditional culture and language.
1930 – The depression years bring employment and resource improvement through the Indian Division of the Civilian Conservation Crops (CCC).
1931 – Oil in commercial quantities discovered in Cut Bank.
1933 – Cree and Stony Indians of Alberta formed the League of Indians of Alberta (LIA).
1934 – Blackfeet lose more land due to Congress passing the Indian Reorganization Act.
1934 – Of the 1,785 eligible voters, 994 voted in favor of tribal organization under the Wheeler-Howard Act, commonly known as the Indian Reorganization Act. Under this legislation, the Blackfeet Tribal Constitution and By-Laws were ratified in 1935, creating a representative form of government through elected tribal council representatives, called the Blackfeet Tribal Council. Originally numbering 13, tribal council representatives now number nine.
1934 – Douglas Gold, a teacher/principal in the Blackfeet schools for 20 years, stated his conclusion that Blackfeet Indians were less intelligent than Whites.
1935 – Blackfeet Indian Tribe organized as both a political and business corporation.
1939 – T. F. McIlwraith, a Toronto Anthropologist, in a scientific assessment given in a conference of Canadian and U.S. Indian Officials, declared the era of government civilization of Native Americans, by adjusting their religious habits, livelihoods, and education, was finally at an end.
1941 – Museum of the Plains Indian opens to the public in Browning.
1942 – Minnie Spotted Woman, Blackfeet, becomes first Native American Woman to join Marines in WWII.
1943 – Chris Shade and others from southwestern Alberta form the Blood Indian Local Association.
1945 – Large scale logging begins on the reservation.
1951 – The revised Indian Act in Canada continued to prohibit Indians from drinking, their lands were not subdivided, and they were not given the federal vote.
1953 – Alcohol becomes legal on the Blackfeet reservation.
1955 – First bar opened on Blackfeet reservation.
1961 – BIA Educational Program reorganized.
1962 – Article II of the Constitution and By-Laws of the Blackfeet Tribe, defining tribal membership, was amended. Blackfeet Tribe restricts future enrollment to persons of 25% or more Blackfeet blood.
1964 – Two Medicine River Dam bursts killing 30 and leaving hundreds homeless.
1964 – Great Society programs provided temporary relief in certain areas of Blackfeet tribal life as schools were built, hospital facilities improved and adequate housing was made available.
1965 – Solicitors voice their opinion on Blackfeet cattle trespassing in Yellowstone National Park.
1968 – U.S. President, Lyndon B. Johnson’s message, “The Forgotten American” advocates Indian tribal self-determination and rejection of the Federal policy of termini nation.
1969 – Occupation of Alcatraz Island by Indians of all tribes.
1972 – Pencil factory begins business on the Blackfeet reservation.
1972 – Trail of broken treaties occupation of the Washington, D.C. BIA building.
1974 – The Blackfeet Tribe chartered the Blackfeet Community College.
1976 – U.S. Congress enacts the Indian Child Welfare Act.
1977 – Forrest Gerard confirmed as the first Indian Assistant Secretary of the Interior for the BIA.
1978 – Earl Old Person made the first chief of the Blackfeet Nation since Chief White Calf.
1978 – Glacier National Park considers fencing their border with the Blackfeet reservation, but the fencing was not completed due to Blackfeet complaints and at least one Congressional intervention.
1978 – Percy DeWolfe elected to State Senate.
1978 – Indian Child Welfare Act passed by Congress, granting Tribal Governments authority in child custody cases.
1979 – All Montana public school teachers on or near Indian reservations required to have a background in Native American Studies.
1981 – Renaming of Trick Falls to Running Eagle Falls.
1982 – There are 643 oil wells (producing 50 million barrels annually) and 47 producing gas wells, 90% of Blackfeet annual Income.
1983 – Ground is broken for the new Blackfeet Medical Center.
1983 – The First National Bank of Browning closes.
1983 – Piegan Institute established.
1985 – Cattle, but not horse, trespass was considerably reduced when the Blackfeet establish a protected area from St. Mary to Swiftcurrent Creek.
1987 – Piegan Institute created as language survival school to counteract loss of Blackfeet language. Total immersion teaching implemented, one of the first of its kind in the country.
1987 – Blackfeet National Bank, the first tribally-owned, federally chartered bank on an Indian Reservation is established.
1987 – The American Museum of Natural History returned Blackfeet human remains taken from Old Agency on Badger Creek.
1990 – Oil and gas was discovered along the Two Medicine and East Glacier borders.
1991 – Sergeant Earl Heavyrunner serves in Iraq during Desert Storm.
National Congress of American Indians organized.
1994 – Tribally controlled community colleges received Land Grant Status.
Heart Butte High School completed.
1995 – A 74-million-year-old baby T. Rex fossil, the smallest ever found, was discovered on the Blackfeet reservation.
1995 –Nizipuhwahsin Center founded for the preservation of the Blackfeet language.
1998 – Swift Fox (The companion of Nap’i) is reintroduced on the Blackfeet Reservation.

2001 – 15,441 enrolled Blackfeet members.
2003 – Glacier National Park Rangers continue to find signs of Blackfeet livestock trespass: cattle trails, cow patties, horsehair, and wallows, cut wire fences, loss of foliage, loss of wildlife, and “degraded aesthetics.”
2005 – Charging Home Park opened.
2006 – Glacier Peaks Casino opened.
2009 – New Browning High School opened.

Tribal Timelines
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