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Hill 57 is a location on the outskirts of the northwest side of Great Falls, Montana. It is the home of around 8 or 9 Chippewa Indian families at the current time. However, earlier in the 20th century, Hill 57 had a Chippewa population of several hundred. That changed after Denise Hortense Tolan tried to help the Chippewa Indians living at Hill 57. After Tolan's efforts to improve the living conditions (she really wanted to relocate the Chippewa's to other locations) of the Hill 57 Chippewa's, their population was reduced from over 400 in 1950, to only around 10 to 20 now.
Chippewa Indians have lived in Montana for an extremely long time. In fact, many claim they were the first Indians of the Montana region. Their principle location was the Great Falls, Montana region where they had many villages. After the whites invaded and forced their way to the Great Lakes region, it led to Chippewa leaders leading their people on an exodus to the west, as told to do in the Seven Fires Prophecy.
These westward migrations happened in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. They merged with the Chippewa's who were native to the Montana region. Montana could support a very large Indian population as a result of the vast buffalo herds. Lewis and Clark claimed the largest buffalo herds they seen during their expedition, was in the Great Falls region.
Their villages in the Great Falls region were located near the same locations as before the white invasion. They had a village near where Wadsworth Park is located. It shows up on William Clark's 1805 map. It was located adjacent to the Medicine River or Sun River. They also had a large village at Hill 57 and on Hill 57. There is a shell shaped indent on the side of Mount Royal or Hill 57. That is probably how they got their name. Their other villages were on the north side of the Missouri River near Black Eagle Falls; and another on the peninsula almost adjacent to Rainbow Falls; at Giant Springs which was a very important location which provided safe drinking water (very much the same way Giant Springs water is distributed today); another village located at Lewis and Clark's camp near the White Bear Islands; and another village possibly located where the cdp of Gibson Flats is.
In all, the number of Chippewa villages in the Great Falls region may have numbered over 10. Many of the villages were situated to get a view of Square Butte which may be the origins of the name Flathead. It is Square shaped as the name implies and is over 400 feet in height. It was sacred to the Chippewa's of the Great Falls region.
The Mullan Road War
Commencing in 1860, the United States commenced to use the Chippewa Road, which led from northwestern North Dakota, to Great Falls, then to the Helena region, then to Missoula then to northern Idaho, then to the Pacific Ocean on the west coast of Washington State. Though a treaty had been signed years earlier which allowed the whites to use the road, the whites commenced to kill off the buffalo and other wild life. That led to Chippewa leaders sending their soldiers out to patrol the Mullan Road.
White teamsters led supply trains along the road, to southwest Montana, commencing around the 1862 time period. They usually used steamboats to sail to Fort Benton. After reaching Fort Benton, they had no choice but to use wagon trains to bring supplies to the white settlements located in southwestern Montana. Teamsters numbered anywhere from 50 to over 100, when the supply trains made their trips between Fort Benton and Helena.
It was especially dangerous, especially for the Chippewa Soldiers. Many of the Chippewa Soldiers used bows and arrows, while the white teamsters used repeating rifles and revolvers. Indian casualties were 10 to 15 times higher than that of the whites.
By the mid 1860s, the Mullan Road War was intensifying. It escalated in 1869. It was reported by certain Montana newspapers that the Indian soldiers were attacking the supply trains almost daily. In early 1870, a force of American soldiers attacked a Chippewa village north of Great Falls killing nearly 200 Chippewa's.
It did not stop the war. In fact, the war escalated during 1876. During the 1865-1866 Red Clouds War, the United States supposedly agreed to a peace treaty which ended the conflict fought in northeastern Wyoming, southeastern Montana, northwestern North Dakota, and along the Mullan Road in Montana. As part of the treaty agreements, the United States agreed to leave their forts in northeastern Wyoming and southeastern Montana.
It didn't matter because the United States accomplished their goal of establishing forts around the Great Falls region. They had actually commenced to plan to build the forts or camps, in 1865. However, they needed an excuse to commence their invasion. And the Mullan Road War was really Red Clouds War. It had nothing to do with the Bozeman Trail.
In late 1865, a white man who had supposedly been prospecting in the Sun River Valley, returned to Helena claiming nonsence. His awkward demeanor was thought to represent a wealth of an once. After a short time, up to 1500 white miners made the decision to invade the Sun River Valley adjacent to and west of Great Falls. Most were American soldiers disguised as miners. They launched their invasion to the Sun River Valley in late 1865. By early 1866, around 800 were allowed to stay at the St. Peters Mission on the peninsula adjacent to Rainbow Falls, where a small Chippewa village was located.
For another view see Then_and_Now 36 years in Montana by Robert Vaughn
When Chippewa leaders learned about it, they knew they had to react. They sent out a large force of their soldiers and instructed them to drive the white invaders out. The casualties of the Sun River Stampede are not known but were probably significant, especially on the Indian side. However, the Chippewa's did drive the whites out. However, a few white soldiers hid out near the old St. Peters Mission near what is now Fort Shaw, Montana and commenced to building Fort Shaw in 1866. It was completed by 1867.
Another American military camp was established near the mouth of the Judith River which is around 75 miles east of Great Falls. It was known as Camp Cooke. And the United States was alread using Fort Benton as a military supply station at that time. In 1869, Fort Benton became an American military fort. Probably as a result in the escalation of the Mullan Road War.
The 1876-1878 War and the Following Exodus
In 1876, the United States Sent solders into eastern and north central Montana to the Chippewa capital at Great Falls. A force of American soldiers were sent into southeastern Montana, from South Dakota and Wyoming. Their target was the southern portion of the Little Shell Chippewa's Blackfeet Reservation (aka Turtle Mountain Reservation), where the southern portion of the Musselshell River is located. A large force of Chippewa soldiers were on to their movements and met them in battle where the Crow-Northern Cheyenne Reservation is now.
During the chaos of the battles fought at and near the Crow-Northern Cheyenne Reservation, more American soldiers were invading from the east and southwest. Their goal was the Great Falls, Montana region. Many of the American soldiers marched from Fort Ellis to Fort Shaw, where they joined the American soldiers of that fort. More American soldiers marched north from Fort Logan to meet with other American soldiers who were marching in from the east. From Fort Benton and other American forts to the east.
They were led by Custer who felt confident his soldiers would be victorious. They did have the repeating rifle, revolver, and machine guns. However, they miscalculated the number of Chippewa soldiers in the Great Falls region. They may have numbered over 20,000. As a result of the Seven Fires Prophecy, up to 200,000 of more Choppewa's lived in north central Montana.
When the three American forces reached the Great Falls region, they commenced to launch their assaults but were quickly defeated. After the battles, Chippewa leaders knew they had to follow prophecy. They commenced to organize an exodus. However, during the winter of 1876-1877, the United States launched a surprise winter military campaign that caused significant Chippewa casualties. After the American winter military campaign, the westward exodus commenced.
By spring of 1877, 10,000s of terrified Chippewa's had organized for the westward exodus. They then commenced the exodus using the old Chippewa Road the whites named the Mullan Road. Within a few months, 10,000s of Chippewa's reached Oregon and Washington. Most settled in Washington. American soldiers were raised to halt the exodus and by late summer of 1877 had stopped the westward exodus.
Instead of ending the exodus, Chippewa leaders instead ordered their soldiers to commence to lead 10,000s of Chippewa's north to Alberta and Saskatchewan. They were led their by Chief Big Bear and Chief Sitting Bull.
On September 30-October 5, a long battle was fought just to the northeast of what is now Rocky Boy Reservation. The Battle of Bear Paw ended the exodus. Well over 100,000 Chippewa's had fled to Oregon and Washington, and to Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. Most of the Chippewa's remained within their Little Shell Chippewa Blackfeet Reservation (aka Turtle Mountain Reservation) and what followed killed many of them.
The whites commenced to kill off the remaining buffalo, other wild game and their wild rice lakes. It led to 10,000s of Chippewa's starving to death. However, 10,000s of Chippewa's continued to live on.
Chief Little Shell III
He was strongly against ceding the promised Little Shell Blackfeet Reservation (aka Turtle Mountain Reservation) and continued to refuse to negotiate with the United States. In 1888, the United States opened up the Little Shell Chippewa's Blackfeet Reservation (aka Turtle Mountain Reservation) and that enraged chief Little Shell III and also other Chippewa leaders including chief Red Thunder. Chief Little Shell III had no choice but to negotiate with the United States after the events of 1888.
The negotiations continued until 1895. In 1892, the United States hired 32 Chippewa's to sign the infamous ¢10 an acre Treaty (aka McCumber Agreement) and that went further to enrage chiefs Little Shell III and Red Thunder. They abruptly ended their negotiations and continued to govern their promised Reservation. However, the United States would not honor treaty.
1895: Chiefs Little Shell III & Red Thunder Are Arrested
In May of 1895, it was reported that a number of Chippewa leaders had barricaded themselves in a fort at the Turtle Mountain Reservation of North Dakota. It may have been in Montana. One of the Chippewa leaders in the barricaded fort was chief Red Thunder who was 87 at the time. Chief Little Shell III was marching to the location with around 150 and 200 Chippewa soldiers. Either they had been arrested in Montana and forced to move to North Dakota, or the events happened in Montana. After chiefs Little Shell III and Red Thunder were arrested in May of 1895, the United States commenced to plan for the Deportations of the Chippewa's of the Great Falls region and the rest of the Little Shell Chippewa's Blackfeet Reservation (aka Turtle Mountain Reservation) .
1896: The Deportations
Within a year after the arrests of chiefs Little Shell III and Red Thunder, the United States commenced to organize for the Deportations of the Chippewa's of the Little Shell Chippewa's Blackfeet Reservation (aka Turtle Mountain Reservation). In June and July of 1896, the United States commenced to deport the Chippewa's who continued to live within the Little Shell Chippewa's Blackfeet Reservation (aka Turtle Mountain Reservation) to other Reservations in Montana, Minnesota, Wyoming, Washington, California, Utah, and Arizona. They also deported many to Alberta and Saskatchewan. Montana newspapers reported that the Indians were Cree but they were Chippewa's. It was about the Little Shell Chippewa's Blackfeet Reservation (aka Turtle Mountain Reservation) and the Seven Fires Prophecy.
One of the important Chippewa leaders in the Great Falls region was chief Little Bear. He had fled up to Alberta and Saskatchewan during the 1877 exodus. During the 1885 Northwest Rebellion, he took part in the Fog Lake Massacre. He was wanted by Canada for his part in the Frog Lake Massacre and fled back to his native Montana in 1885 to avoid capture.
After returning to Montana, Chief Little Bear eventually settled at the Chippewa village near where Sun River Park (Wadsworth Park) is. He had to do what the United States wanted. He was wanted by Canada. And he always did what the United States wanted until the 1896 Deportations. It was reported that Chief Buffalo Coat told the whites that the leading adviser in the tribe was a full blood Chippewa who strongly protested the Deportations. That full blood Chippewa adviser had to be Chief Little Bear. He was deported to Canada in 1896. He was put on trial and acquitted of the charges against him. Afterwards, he returned to his native Montana. However, he was not the powerful leader he had been.
It took two months for the Deportations to ruin the inncent lives of several thousand Chippewa's. Many of the Chippewa's who learned about the Deportations, fled to the nearby mountains. The first village the United States rounded up the Chippewa's, was the village located near where Sun River Park (Wadsworth Park) is located at. A small force of Buffalo Hunters or black American soldiers, reached the village and rounded up the Chippewa's including chief Little Bear, and marched them to the train station, to be deported to Canada. Afterwards, many other Chippewa villages were visited by American soldiers who marched them to the nearest train stations to be deported. By the end of July of 1896, the Deportations had stopped.
What followed was probably expected. Those Chippewa's who fled to the nearby mountains, returned to the old villages. And many of the Chippewa's who were deported to other Montana Reservations and even to Canada, also returned to their native Montana. Not too long after the Deportations, the Chippewa population again increased. Up to 10,000 Chippewa's were continuing to live throughot the Little Shell Chippewa's Blackfeet Reservation in the very early 1900s.
Either before or after the 1896 Deportations, the United States probably created Reservations for the Chippewa's of Montana. In the late 1890s, Anaconda and Butte Newspapers reported that the Chippewa's lived at the city dump Reservation to the south. Their population in southwest Montana was at the most a couple of thousand and probably included many Chinese and Filipinos.
And in the Great Falls region, the Chippewa's continued to live at some of their old villages around Great Falls. That includes the village near Sun River Park (aka Wadsworth Park), Hill 57 or Mount Royal, where the oil refinery is now, and where Wire Mill Road is, and probably where the cdp of Gibson Flats is. They also had a village where St. Peters Missin was located at near Ulm, and also where Garrison, Montana is located which is 4 miles southwest of Ulm. The other St. Peters Mission located 10.5 miles west of Cascade, also had a Chippewa village. It had a good view of Square Butte, as did the Chippewa villages located at Ulm and Garrison.
And the Fort Shaw Indian School Reservation was located about 15 miles west of Great Falls. It has an excellent view of Square Butte. At the Chippewa village on Mount Royal, the view of Square Butte is good but not as impressive as some other locations.
If new Chippewa Reservations were created, they were small in the Great Falls region and large in the mountains. Many Chippewa's lived in the mountains north, east, and southeast of Helena, and in the mountains west of Great Falls. The Reservations in the Great Falls region were possibly created in 1894.
On April 18, 1894, the Great Falls Park Commission received $40,000 to purchase future park sites. They include Sun River Park (aka Wadsworth Park), Park Island, and Highland Park which is almost adjacent to Gibson Flats on the west.
In May of 1894, two white men approached chief Little Bear and negotiated with him about holding sun dances across Montana. He eagerly agreed. They first needed to consult with, and get the permission of the Great Falls Chamber of Commerce. The Great Falls Chamber of Commerce aproved but religious leaders of Great Falls protested. Governor Rickards issued a proclamation banning the sun dance. Though the planned sun dance at Great Falls was cancelled, they did hold the sun dance at Havre, Helena of all places, and Butte in the summer of 1894. It don't add up.
If Chippewa Reservations were set aside in the Great Falls region, they were located between Mount Royal and Vaughn, the Gibson Flats area, and southwest Great Falls to the cdp of Ulm. Though they were small, they did support a number of Chippewa villages. The Reservations in the mountains were very large. Chief Rocky Boy had to play a major role in the affairs of those Reservations including the one in southwest Montana, adjacent to the south side of Anaconda and Butte.
1909: Chief Rocky Boy and the Deportations
In the very early 1900s (between 1900 and 1910) the Chippewa's continued to live throughout the Little Shell Chippewa's Blackfeet Reservation (aka Turtle Mountain Reservation) and they probably knew the United States was not going to tolerate it. They were very aware of the yet to be ratified ¢10 an acre Treaty (aka McCumber Agreement) and probably prepared for the eventual ratification of that fraudulent treaty.
In March of 1902, chief Rocky Boy became known across Montana. He contacted an Anaconda lawyer and wrote a letter to President Roosevelt requesting for a Reservation. He knew the ¢10 an acre Treaty would be voted on within a couple of years and was preparing the Chippewa's for the eventual Deportations. The President supposedly replied back denying chief Rocky Boy's request for a Reservation. However, chief Rocky Boy requested that the Chippewa's be allowed to settle on surveyed or unsurveyed land which the President agreed to.
Flathead Reservation was selected to relocate the Chippewa's of southwest Montana to. An agreement was reached on January 8, 1904, to relocate the Chippewa's of southwest Montana, to Flathead Reservation. Chief Rocky Boy also had to negotiate on behalf of all of Montana's Chippewa's. That includes the Chippewa's of the Great Falls region who were yet very numerous during those times.
Chief Rocky Boy also had to negotiate for the Chippewa's who lived in the mountains north, east, and southeast of Helena. He often lived at Garrisn, Montana which was only a few miles from St. Peters Mission near Ulm. Chief Little Bear also negotiated on behalf of the Montana Chippewa's, especially with Canada. The Montana Reserve of Alberta and Onion Lake Reserve of Alberta and Saskatchewan.
After the infamous 10¢ an acre Treaty was ratified in 1904, both chief Rocky Boy and chief Little Bear intensified their efforts in having new Chippewa Reservations created in Montana. However, the United States did not want the Chippewa's in Montana.
They initiated Land Acts which opened up Reservations to white settlement. Chief Rocky Boy and Chief Little Bear had to act strongly to keep the terrified Chippewa's out of trouble. A minor incident happened in the Swan Valley in 1908 known as the Swan Valley Massacre. Four Chippewa's were killed. A battle may have been fought south of Fort Belknap Reservation in 1909. In response to the unrest, Indian Agent Frank Churchill was sent to Montana to find chef Rocky Boy to negotiate with him. Churchill found chief Rocky Boy at a Chippewa village near Garrison and both negotiated.
Churchill requested that all of Valley County, Montana (it was really Fort Peck Reservation) be withdrawn from white settlement and a new 2,592 sq. mi. Chippewa Reservation be created. Both requests were granted. William R. Logan, who was the superintendent of Fort Belknap Reservation, was put in charge of finding land to be the new Chippewa Reservation. He found the land south and west of Fort Belknap Reservation. Fort Belknap Reservation really covers over 3,500 sq. mi.
It was the Land Acts that caused the unrest at Fort Belknap Reservation and Fort Peck Reservation. After the 2,592 sq. mi. was added on to Fort Belknap Reservation, Fort Peck Reservation was eradicated and several hundred Fort Peck Reservation Chippewa's moved to Fort Belknap Reservation.
Chief Rocky Boy next had to deal with the Chippewa's of the Great Falls region and the Helena region. Chief Rocky Boy was fond of the Great Falls region. He knew the Chippewa's who lived between southwest Great Falls and the cdp of Ulm, were going to be deported. He also knew the Chippewa's of Fort Shaw Indian School Reservation and the region between Mount Royal and Vaughn, were going to be deported.
However, he had to gather the Chippewa's who lived in the mountains north, east and southeast of Helena, for eventual Deportations. The Chippewa's were yet very numerous in the Great Falls and Helena region. They needed another Reservation to send them to other than Blackfeet Reservation. That Reservation was the Papago Reservation of Arizona. At that time (1909) the United States needed to do something to keep the Arizona Indians out of the eventual Mexican Civil War. Thus, they created the large Papago Reservation in 1909. It was not created in 1916. It was reduced in size in 1916.
In November of 1909, the Deportations commenced. Several hundred Chippewa's were deported to the Blackfeet Reservation from Great Falls and Helena. Most were probably deported to the Papago Reservation. At that time (1909) the new Papago Reservation probably covered up to 6,000 sq. mi. With the excetion of the land loss of 1916, the United States kept their promise. The Papago Reservation covers 4,453 sq. mi.
In 1913, chief Rocky Boy left the Blackfeet Reservation and returned to the Garrison, Montana region near Great Falls. The United States became alarmed about the 30 to 40 Chippewa's who supposedly fled the Blackfeet Reservation and commenced to negotiate with chief Rocky Boy. Either that is what happened, or the United States eradicated a Chippewa Reservation between southwest Great Falls and the cdp of Ulm, where St. Peters Mission was located. They may have even eradicated the Chippewa Reservation south of Great Falls where the cdp of Gibson Flats is located. It may have been adjacent to the Chippewa Reservation between southwest Great Falls and the cdp of Ulm, on the east side of the Missouri River.
Afterwards, the Chippewa's were probably set aside land at the Navajo Reservation. The Navajo Reservation land additon of 1913. Chief Rocky Boy eventually moved to what is now Rocky Boy Reservation. Chief Rocky Boy's brothers also took charge. They include Pennato.
After the Chippewa's were forced to relocate to the Blackfeet Reservation in 1909, many became upset about the land allotted to them and under chief Penato they fled the Reservation. Many fled back to the Great Falls region where they took up residence at the Chippewa settlements in the Great Falls region. Most settled around Hill 57. Many others settled where the oil refinery in Great Falls is now and just to the north where Wire Mill Road is. They were forced to relocate years later.
After Rocky Boy Reservation was established in 1916, an inspection of the rolls to determine what Indians would settle down on the new Reservation, followed and anywhere from near 100 to around 300, were forced off of Rocky Boy Reservation rolls. About 100 of the Chippewa's fled to the Great Falls region where they settled primarily at Hill 57 and the Chippewa village near Sun River Park (aka Wadsworth Park). Many fled to other areas around Great Falls including the Lewistown region.
In the Saturday December 24, 1921 Great Falls Tribune, it was reported that chief Crazy Boy who was one of chief Rocky Boy's brothers, was in Great Falls demanding land for the Chippewa's. He claimed he had a Reservation selected if he could get the consent of the United States. He also further stated he had been promised land near Beaver Creek near Havre (probably Wadsworth Park) but the United States broke the promise. He was probably among the several hundred Chippewa's removed from Rocky Boy Reservation rolls. He probably lived at one of the Chippewa villages around Great Falls.
Land Purchases and the Gray Census
In 1934, the United States was seeking funds (they didn't need to seek for funds) to purchase a tract of land near or adjacent to Great Falls. It was a part of the Indian Reorganization Act. Their goal was to allot 5 acre lots of land to the Chippewa families who lived around Great Falls. At the time, around 70 or more Chippewa families (it was probably more than 70 families) were living near or adjacent to Great Falls, in their own villages.
Either land was added on to an existing Reservation or land was taken from them. History indicates land was allotted to them. However, we have to deal with the land addition to Navajo Reservation in 1934. Read about the August 18, 1950 land auction below. If land was allotted to them, the tract of land (Reservation) covered close to 400 to 600 acres. It is claimed the tract of land covered 42 acres. That would add up to 8 families receiving 5 acre lots of land. Since the number of Chippewa families living in Chippewa villages around Great Falls was probably close to 100 in 1934, they are excluding the truth.
In 1941, Raymond Gray conducted a census of the Chippewa Villages around Great Falls. They include the Chippewa village near Sun River Park (aka Wadsworth Park), Hill 57, Mount Royal, the Wire Mill Road village, and a possible village south of Great Falls. He counted around 68 families totaling 278 individuals. However, his census probably did not correctly count the real number of Chippewa's in the Great Falls region. He may have been short by 100 to 300. According to reports from the 1930s, the number of landless Indian families in Montana was near 600 and their total population was between 2,500 and 3,000.
Raymond Gray formed the Montana Landless Indians Organization on December 17, 1939 or about five months after the meeting was held at the Great Falls home of Joseph Paul. Gray reported that the goal of his organization was the Indian Reorganization Act, which means he was not looking out for the best interests of the Chippewa's. He departed from the organization of Dussomes which, according to the June 10, 1939 meeting at the Great Falls home of Joseph Paul, had a three person committee which led the landless Chippewa's of Montana.
They were Joseph Paul, Joseph Dussome (must be excluded because he lived at Rocky Boy Reservation), and Thomas Ouellette (must be excluded because he lived at [[Fort Peck Indian Reservation (Montana)|Fort Peck Reservation]. Gray advocated for a new Reservation, or for the landless Chippewa's to be allowed to settle on land supposedly added on to Rocky Boy Reservation. Soon after the June 10, 1939 meeting at the Great Falls home of Joseph Paul, Dussome and Ouellette went their own ways.
Dussome and Ouellette began to conspire to supposedly get new Reservation land for the landless Chippewa's, at Fort Peck Reservation and adjacent to the eastern border of Fort Belknap Reservation, in June of 1940. Though the land at Fort Peck Reservation was appealing, Dussome thought highly of land adjacent to Fort Belknap Reservation which went by the name Phillips Holdings. Either the land was land added on to Fort Belknap Reservation in 1909, or it was Chippewa land allotments the whites wanted. It covered around 65,000 acres. Dussome and Ouellette were not looking out for the best interests of the Chippewa's.
In October of 1940, a meeting was held at Chinook, Montana in which Dussome, Ouellette, and Mrs. Phillips were appointed delegates to present their hard feelings to the government of the United States. Mrs. Phillips supposedly owned the 65,000 acres. What makes this ludicrous, is Mrs. Phillips was a State senator. The lengths people will go to help themselves. In February of 1941, senator Phillips won passage of their proposed new Chippewa Reservation in the Montana State legislature. Their requests were now to go before the congress of the United States, to determine if the new Reservation would be created.
Dussome made it even more ludicrous in March of 1941, when he presented to the governor of Montana with a petition that proposed a different plan. Evidently Dussome no longer wanted a Reservation for the landless Chippewa's of Great Falls. He opted to have the land designated a Rehabilitation Program under the Farm Security Administration, or have the land (probably Chippewa land allotments) sold to whites. If any Montana and North Dakota Chippewa's want to know about their land allotments, read this carefully.
We have three different land proposals. One from Ouellette, another from Dussome, and another from Gray. Gray was the more determined to have the Chippewa's deported away from Great Falls. Each of these three proposed Reservations, are directly related to what transpired at the June 10, 1939 meeting at the Great Falls home of Joseph Paul.
On November 28, 1941, Gray's organization Representatives, unanimously agreed to move away from the Chippewa villages around Great Falls, to a proposed Reservation located in Teton County which covered 55,000 acres. It was reported the Floweree Ranch in Teton County, would be purchased and become the new Chippewa Reservation.
Gray and his organization did not act on behalf of the Chippewa's of Great Falls. If Gray's organization had been in charge of the Chippewa villages around Great Falls, they would have eagerly followed through with moving to the new Reservation. It was reported in the press that the Chippewa's of Great Falls were not impressed with receiving loans and they rather receive grants, in order to commence building on the new Reservation. In other words, they told them all to get lost. It was the commencement to deport the Chippewa's who continued to live in Chippewa villages around Great Falls.
According to Raymond Gray's 1941 census, the population of the Chippewa village near Sun River Park (aka Wadsworth Park) included 8 families or a possible population of between 30 and 40 people. That is the Chippewa village where chiefs Little Bear and Rocky Boy lived at on occasions and the same village depicted along the Sun River on William Clarks 1805 map of the Great Falls of the Missouri region. It is also the location of the Chippewa Reservation that was either reduced in size in 1934 or created in 1934.
Eradication of the Settlements
In June of 1950, wicked senator Mike Mansfield, introduced Dussomes proposed Rehabilitation Program. This is the event which led to the eradication of the Chippewa villages around Great Falls. Joseph Dussome is to blame. It didn't take long before Dussomes bill was passed by the government of the United States. It set in motion the Termination Era.
In August of 1950, the United States authorized the sale of a tract of land known as the Great Falls Subsistence Homestead acquired in 1935 (the land either added on to an already existing Chippewa Reservation near Great Falls in 1934 or land taken from that Reservation in 1934), to the highest bidder. The purpose of the land sale was to raise money in order to purchase land near Rocky Boy Reservation for the Chippewa's of the village near Sun River Park (aka Wadsworth Park). The land would then become a part of Rocky Boy Reservation. It was approved on August 18, 1950. What actually transpired in August of 1950, was the commencement of the eradication of the Chippewa villages around Great Falls which may have numbered as many as five and also the Terminations of many other Chippewa colonies, Rancheria's, and Reservations.
In 1956, the census of the Chippewa villages around Great Falls, produced a population of over 400. Though the Chippewa village located near Sun River Park (aka Wadsworth Park) was no longer around, the population of the remaining Chippewa villages were increasing. However, the daughter of the Montana senator (sister Denise) was in fact commencing the Deportations of the Chippewa's who continued to live in their own villages around Great Falls in the 1950s. By the the late 1970s, few Chippewa's continued to live in their own villages around the Great Falls region.
- Little Shell Band of Chippewa Indians, Montana
- Chippewa Indians
- Chippewa-Cree Indians
- Great Falls, Montana
- Great Falls Genealogy Society.
- Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation (North Dakota)
- Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation (Montana)
- This page was last modified on 20 February 2015, at 16:25.
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