July 13, 2012

Fort Belknap Indian Community of the Fort Belknap Reservation of Montana


Who is the Fort Belknap Indian Community of the Fort Belknap Reservation of Montana?

This federally recognized tribe is made up of members from two tribes: the Assiniboine and the Gros Ventre.

Official Tribal Name: Fort Belknap Indian Community of the Fort Belknap Reservation of Montana

Address:  656 Agency Main St, Harlem, MT 59526
Phone:  406-353-2205
Fax:  406-353-4541
Email: Directory

Official Website: 

Recognition Status: Federally Recognized

Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning:

The Gros Ventre tribe originally split off from the Arapaho tribe. Their name for themselves is A’aninin, meaning “white clay people.” 

Common Name:  Gros Ventre and Assiniboine 

Meaning of Common Name:

Gros Ventre was the name given to this tribe by the French, and means “big belly.” See this detailed explanation of Sioux Names.

Alternate names / Alternate spellings / Mispellings:

The Gros Ventre are also known as the Atsina.

Name in other languages:

Region:  Great Plains

State(s) Today:  Montana

Traditional Territory:

Confederacy:  Sioux Nation


Reservation: Fort Belknap Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land
Land Area:  
Tribal Headquarters:  
Time Zone:  Mountain

Population at Contact:

Registered Population Today:

Tribal Enrollment Requirements:

Genealogy Resources:


Buy an Assiniboine t-shirt

Name of Governing Body:  
Number of Council members:  
Dates of Constitutional amendments: 
Number of Executive Officers:  


Language Classification:

Language Dialects:

Number of fluent Speakers:



Bands, Gens, and Clans

Related Tribes:

Traditional Allies:

Traditional Enemies:

Ceremonies / Dances:

Modern Day Events & Tourism:

Annual Indian celebrations such as the Milk River Indian Days, Hays Powwow, and Chief Joseph Memorial Days feature traditional dancing and various cultural activities. 

Legends / Oral Stories:

Create your own reality
Lakota Star Legends
Legend of the Talking Feather
The End of the World according to Lakota legend
The Legend of Devil’s Tower
The White Buffalo Woman
Tunkasila, Grandfather Rock
Unktomi and the arrowheads

Art & Crafts:





Economy Today:

Religion & Spiritual Beliefs:
The Sioux Drum

Burial Customs:

Wedding Customs

Education and Media:

Tribal College:  Aaniiih Nakoda College

Assinaboine and Gros Ventre People of Note:

James Welch (1940 – August 4, 2003) was an award-winning A’aninin (Gros Ventre) author and poet.

Bein Es Kanach (Red Whip) was a famous A’aninin  (Gros Ventre) chief.

Theresa Lamebull (1896 – August 2007) At 111 years of age, she is believed to have been be the oldest living member of the Gros Ventre Tribe of Montana and possibly the oldest Native American ever recorded.

George Horse-Capture (1937 – 2013) was a Gros Ventre anthropologist and author, who became a curator at the Plains Indian Museum and the National Museum of the American Indian.

Arthur Amiotte, (Oglala Lakota)-Painter, Sculptor, Author, Historian


Bryan Akipa, flutist (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate)

Catastrophic Events:

Tribe History:

Assiniboine and Gros Ventre Tribes and Fort Belknap Reservation Timeline
Descendants Remember Battle of Little Big Horn

In the News:

Further Reading:

US Tribes E to G
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