Little Shell Band of Chippewa Indians, MontanaEdit This Page

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Little Shell tribe is recognized by the state of Montana


Tribal Headquarters

Little Shell Tribe

P.O. Box 543

Black Eagle, Mt 59414


Chippewas have lived in Montana for a very long time. Centuries before the whites invaded the America's. In Montana, the Algonquians are known as the Arapaho (that includes the Gros Ventre), Blackfeet, Cheyenne, Chippewa,  and Cree. The Flathead (they include the Kailspel, Pend d'Oreille, and Spokane) are a mixture of Algonquin and non Algonquin Indians. Their language is in fact a part of the Algonquian language family. Under important websites below, is a link to a pdf book about the history of the Little Shell Tribe. It's the third link. It includes geneological information.

What brought the Chippewas west into the Montana region was prophecy. They were alarmed about the Seven Fires Prophecy and reacted with intense acceptance. Survival was put first. They commenced to migrate west into the Montana region about 1,000 to 1,500 years ago. Thus, the reason for why the Flathead People including the Kalispel, Pend d'Oreille, and Spokane speak the same language. Ojibway authors from the 19th century, wrote about the Chippewas forcing their way west into Montana and fighting the Flatheads. This ancient war happened long ago.

In Montana, the Chippewas are also known as the Arapaho (that includes the Gros Ventre), Blackfeet, Cheyenne, and Cree. The Cree are the northern Chippewas. And the Blackfeet are Cree according to those who have researched their history and linguistics. They are also known as the Ma-ski-go-walk. It means Swamp or Swampy People. Cheyenne means south in Chippewa. Of course, the Chippewa word for south is Shawan. Most think it is pronounced as Sha-wan but it is really pronounced as Shaw-an. Both the Arapaho (that includes the Gros Ventre) and Cheyenne, are the same people.

The Nez Perce

They are also Chippewa. In the Lake Nipissing region of Ontario, the Amikwa Chippewas live. Actually they live between the north shores of Lake Huron and Lake Nipissing. Amikwa in Chippewa means Beavers. The Amikwa are also known as the Nez Perce. The Amikwa Chippewas were forced to retreat from the Lake Nipissing region before 1661, by the white invaders and their Indian allies. By 1661, they were living along the northern shores of Lake Superior. They continued to follow prophecy and migrated west into the Alberta and Montana region. After reaching the Montana region, they commenced to wage war against the Flatheads. They eventually migrated west into Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. They also migrated down into northern California. Other Amikwa Chippewas migrated north into northern Alberta and northern British Columbia. They are the Beaver Tribe including the Sekani, of that region. Click this link Algonquin Nations to visit The Center for Algonquin Culture . It has a list of Anishinabe speaking Chippewas or Anishinabek.

The 1876-1877 War

In 1876, the United States launched a military campaign against the Montana Chippewas. It lasted for nearly 3 years. The Nez Perce did not commence an exodus east, they commenced an exodus west, as told to do in the Seven Fires Prophecy. The so called Great Sioux War of 1876-1877, was fought primarily in Montana and Wyoming, and did not involve the Indians from South Dakota.

The Little Shell Pembina Chippewa Reservation

This is a sensitive subject yet it needs to be addressed. There is evidence that Great Falls is within a Chippewa Reservation. During early 1894, two white entreprenuers wanted to promote the sun dance across Montana. Federal regulations prohitited the sun dance on Indian Reservations. Indian Reservations are under federal jurisdiction. Joe Lessard and John P. Dyas contacted chief Little Bear about the sun dance. They wanted the sun dance to be held at the Great Falls fairgrounds on June 14th, 15th, and 16th of 1894.

They met with chief Little Bear and after a period of negotiations, they reached an agreement to promote the sun dance. Chief Little Bear was always trying to find ways to raise money up to help his people. They needed to meet with leaders from the Great Falls Chamber of Commerse to get their approval for the sun dance. After meeting with the Great Falls Chamber of Commerse leaders, the Great Falls Chamber of Commerse gave their approval for the sun dance. However, there was a major problem. Federal regulations prohibited the sun dance on Indian Reservations. Indians who lived off Reservations, were not under federal jurisdiction and could hold the sun dance in white communities.

Supposedly, religious leaders of Great Falls did not want the sun dance held at Great Falls. They protested and then met with chief Little Bear on May 27, 1894, at a Chippewa village located near Sun River Road or close to where Wadsworth Park is now. Before it was known as Wadsworth Park, it was known as Sun River Park. It did not go well. Governor Rickards issued a proclmation banning the sun dance on June 5, 1894. Remember governor Rickards proclamation banning the sun dance because it's the center of this conspiracy. It did not stop the sun dance from being held at Havre on the 15th, 16th, and 17th of June, 1894. By 1894, Fort Assiniboine Indian Reservation had been reduced in size and Havre was no longer on the Fort Assiniboine Indian Reservation. It also didn't stop the sun dance from being held at, of all places, Helena (the home of governor Rickards) on July 4, 1894. And it also didn't stop the sun dance from being held at Butte a  little later that same summer.

According to a reporter from the Havre Advertiser, he claimed the Chippewa village located near Sun River Park, had 45 lodges and a population of 150 people. Three people per lodge. His population estimate it too low. Things were different back then. Families had to support each other which means household sizes were larger then. The population of the Chippewa village had to be between 300 and 400. Six people per lodge.

And the other evidence that Great Falls, Montana is within a Chippewa Reservation, is very easy to find if you do enough research. Click this link Government Map to find where this Chippewa Reservation is located. Look for the numbers 399 and 574. The area with the number 398 is difficult to ascertain. Below is information which will help you learn more about this very sensitive subject.

Chief Little Bear's Predicament

As already written, chief Little Bear reached an agreement with two white men to hold sun dances across Montana in May of 1894. Another event in Great Falls a month earlier, may have involved chief Little Bear. It was reported that the Great Falls Park Commission voted on April 18, 1894, to authorize the issuance of a $40,000 bound for the purpose of purchasing future park sites. Three locations were selected. One was at Sun River Park or Wadsworth Park (it is no coincidence), Highland Park which is very near Gibson Flats, and Park Island. A total of 311 acres was supposedly purchased using the $40,000. Click this link Great Falls Montana History to read about the three parks.

If the United States was already planning to establish small Reservations in the Great Falls area for the Little Shell Pembina Chippewas in 1894, they had to negotiate with a Chippewa leader other than chiefs Little Shell III and Red Thunder. Chief Little Bear was that Chippewa leader. However, he was probably fooled into agreeing to accept an agreement with the United States in which he was not told the truth. After he did learn exactly what happened in 1894, in 1896, he became enraged. More about that is below, as is information about the Chippewa Reservations established in 1894 in the Great Falls region.

The 1896 Great Falls Forced Relocations

In June and July of 1896, Montana Governor Rickards, sent a telegram to the sheriff of Cascade County, sheriff Dwyer, informing him to instruct major Sanno to round up the Little Shell Chippewas in the Great Falls region (in the June 17, 1896 issue of the Anaconda Standard they claimed it was the Cree but the Cree are the northern Chippewas who are known as Mus-ke-go-walk which means Swampy People) to prepare them for forced relocations. Montana had to many Chippewas and the United States didn't like it.

On June 18, 1896, the first Little Shell Chippewas were forced to board trains in the Great Falls region. First Lieutenant John J. Pershing was looking for chief Little Bear but Little Bear was supposedly not around. Instead, Pershing met with chief Buffalo Coat. Chief Buffalo Coat told sheriff Dwyer the leading adviser in the tribe was a full blood Chippewa who strongly opposed the deportations. He was probably chief Little Bear. Up to that time chief Little Bear did what the United States wanted. He knew he could be deported to Canada if he didn't do what the United States wanted. Since chief Little Bear was deported to Canada in 1896, it indicates he was the full blood Chippewa advisor he strongly protested the deportations. Sheriff Dwyer described chief Buffalo Coat as intelligent who dealt with the predicament in a business like manner. He was bought.

Other locations in Montana, the Little Shell Chippewas were gathered to be sent to after boarding trains to be deported out of the Little Shell Chippewas Blackfeet Reservation (aka Turtle Mountain Reservation), were the 4th Blackfeet Reservation (500), Crow Reservation (200 to 300), Havre (Fort Assiniboine Indian Reservation - 100 to 200), Malta (Fort Belknap Reservation 100 to 200), Missoula (Flathead Reservation - 200 to 300), and Glasgow (Fort Peck Reservation - 100 to 200).

Most may have been relocated to the Wind River Reservation of Wyoming in 1896. Many were deported to the Red Lake Reservation, Colville-Spokane Reservation, Yakima Reservation, Fort Hall Reservation, Uintah-Ouray Reservation, Augua Caliente Reservation, Twenty-Nine Palms Reservation, and Fort Apache Reservation. In June of 1896, Fort Apache Reservation became two Reservations. They are Fort Apache Reservation and San Carlos Reservation.

Some Little Shell Chippewas were relocated to Alberta (the Montana Reserve) and Saskatchewan (Onion Lake Reserve). However, the whites were cautious about relocating the Chippewas to Canada. Exactly how many originally lived in the Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin region, is not known. Many were refugees from the 1862 Minnesota Indian War.

It was reported that the Chippewas were only to be relocated to Canada. That is a lie. During those times and even now, the whites have used the excuse that the Montana Chippewas were from Canada. That is incorrect. Only a few Chippewas fled south back to their native Montana, in 1885. The immediate families of chiefs Little Bear, Little Poplar, and Lucky Man. Probably at the most 50 people but to be realistic not more than 30 Chippewas returned to Montana, in 1885.

Chippewas followed prophecy. They knew if they fled to an area with a large white population, it meant destruction. If they fled anywhere it was north. So many Chippewas from the Great Lakes region, followed the Seven Fires Prophecy and migrated west into Montana. That is the issue the United States refused to deal with in an honorable manner. Exactly how many of the Montana Chippewas who were sent back to Minnesota and Wisconsin, is unknown. They even relocated the Chippewas who were born and raised in Montana, out of Montana.

What happened in 1896, was the deliberate forced relocation of several thousand Chippewas in the Great Falls region and north central Montana, to other Reservations in Montana and elsewhere. It was done to reduce the large Chippewa population in the Great Falls region and north central Montana. What actually caused the forced relocations was the illegal theft of the Little Shell Chippewas Reservation. It is the land chief Little Shell III refused to cede. After chief Little Shell III was arrested in May of 1895, the United States wasted little time indulging in criminal activity.

This following link Government Nagpra Documents Map has a map of the Indian Reservations in the United States. Look for the number 173. Click on "Map Index" or click this link Government Nagpra Documents Map Index to find a list of the numbers which identify each Indian Reservation. For 173, it has OUT. It probably represents the forced relocation of the Little Shell Chippewas of Montana, out of Montana.

New Chippewa Reservations

As written earlier, in April of 1894, the Great Falls Park Commission purchased land for future park sites. They were probably Reservations for the Chippewas who remained after the forced deportations. Most were Metis who were predomiantly Indian. There was already the Fort Shaw Indian School Reservation about 15 miles west of Great Falls in 1894. St. Peters Mission near Garrison and Ulm, Montana, became a Chippewa Reservation. It is connected to the Park Island Reservation. It includes Park Island, Taylor Island, and White Bear Islands. It includes land on the west side of the Missouri River, from Great Falls, to what is now the cdp of Ulm.

To the south of Great Falls, another Chippewa Reservation was set aside between Gibson Flats and the Missouri River. It is actually a part of the Park Island Reservation. However, to distinguish it from Park Island, it must be referred to as Highland Park. And the Sun River Park where the Chippewa village chief Little Bear lived in, was located, is the other. It extends from Mount Royal (aka Hill 57) to the cdp of Vaughn, Montana.

There may have been another Chippewa Reservation where the St. Peters Mission located within the mountains 10.5 miles northwest of Cascade, Montana is located. Each of these Chippewa Reservations have one thing in common. Each has an excellent view of Square Butte.

There may have also been another Chippewa Reservation where the St. Peters Mission was located on the peninsula almost adjacent to Rainbow Falls, between 1861-1866. There was a Chippewa village located where Wire Mill Road is until the 1950s. That Reservation may have extended to Rainbow Falls.

In 1908-1909, the United States broke treaty and illegally eradicated these Reservations. Chief Rocky Boy negotiated with the United States. Indian Agent Frank Churchill found chief Rocky Boy at the Chippewa village near Garrison, Montana and negotiations followed. The United States did not want the large Chippewa population living in the Great Falls region.

Even the Chippewa Reservation west of Cascade was eradicated. It was the second largest. It includes the Big Belt Mountains and Little Belt Mountains. As mentioned, it is located in the mountains with the exception of a narrow entrance to the northeast where you can see Square Butte. That Reservation extended south and east and southeast of Helena. Chief Rocky Boy commenced to gather the Chippewas from that Reservation in 1908, to gather near Helena, to be deported to the 4th Blackfeet Reservation. They were deported in November of 1909. However, not all Chippewas actually moved. Some stayed in the Helena area. They eventually made village where Kmart is now located in Helena. Even in the 1940s, around 40 to 50 Chippewas lived there. It was known as Moccasin Flats.

And another very large Chippewa Reservation was located in what is now Bob Marshall Wilderness Area and Scapegoat Wilderness Area. It may have included Swan Valley. In October of 1908, the Swan Valley Massacre happened. The Chippewa camp attacked was not the only Chippewa camp in Swan Valley at that time. The Chippewas of that location were deported to both Blackfeet Reservation and Flathead Reservation.

And the other Chippewas in the Great Falls region were deported to the 4th Blackfeet Reservation and Fort Belknap Reservation. Fort Belknap Reservation was increased in size from just under 1,000 sq. mi. to over 3,500 sq. mi. to accomodate the 100s of Chippewas who relocated. In 1910, Rainbow Falls Dam was constructed.

There is evidence the Chippewa Reservation where Sun River Park is located was not entirely eradicated. On August 18, 1950, the United States again broke treaty and auctioned off what little land remained. Click this link INDIAN AFFAIRS: LAWS AND TREATIES to read it.

Land Claim Lawsuit

In 1950, Joseph Dussome, Elizabeth Swan, leaders from Rocky Boy's Reservation, and other Chippewa leaders, hired a lawyer then filed a land claim lawsuit in 1951. Instead of including the entire land area of the original Blackfeet Reservation which was created on October 17, 1855, they confined their land claim to the land area of the original Blackfeet Reservation with the number 565 or the 3rd Blackfeet Reservation. On April 5, 1974, the United States again refused to honor treaty. They rejected the land claim lawsuit.

Those Little Shell Chippewas who continue to side with Joseph Dussome and those other Chippewa leaders who filed the land claim lawsuit, must relocate their Little Shell Tribe office to the area with the number 565. Great Falls is within the land area with the number 399. Dussome and those other Little Shell Chippewa leaders made themselves clear. They confined their land claim lawsuit to the land area with the number 565 or the 3rd Blackfeet Reservation.

They confined their land claim lawsuit to the April 15, 1874 Treaty. Click this link A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875 to read the April 15, 1874 Treaty. They included the Crow but did not include the Crow in the treaty which created the original Blackfeet Reservation on October 17, 1855.

Joseph Paul

According to the pdf book mentioned above about the history of the Little Shell Chippewa and geneological information, a meeting was held at the family ranch of Joseph Paul. The meeting happened in 1921 near Lewistown, Montana, according to Howard Paul who was Joseph Paul's son. It is on page 92. We know from that same book that the Montana Chippewas were continuing to govern the entire land area of the original Blackfeet Reservation.

On page 119, it is written that a meeting was held at Joseph Paul's home in Great Falls, Montana on June 10, 1939. Even in 1939, they were assigning representatives for districts throughout the original Blackfeet Reservation. Those districts are: Wolf Point (565); Hays (565); Harlem (565); Box Elder (565); Dupuyer (574); August (399); Great Falls (399 and 574); Lewistown (399); and Helena (398).

After the June 10, 1939 meeting, the Little Shell Tribes government experienced friction. By 1950, Joseph Dussome and the other Chippewa leaders mentioned above, gave up then hired a lawyer. The following year, they filed the land claim lawsuit for the land area with the number 565.

It is that information which proves the Chippewas did not cede their vast Reservation which is the original Blackfeet Reservation created on October 17, 1855. Since a delegation of Chippewa leaders confined their land claim lawsuit to the area with the number 565, the remaining part of the original Blackfeet Reservation must assume the new name of the Judith Basin Indian Reservation or more properly, the Judith River Indian Reservation. And they must dispute the land area with the number 565. In the land claim lawsuit, they included the new Reservation established on April 15, 1874, which is the 3rd Blackfeet Reservation.

We have to include the land area with the number 574 because a district was located within that land area in 1939. Of course, that was Dupuyer, Montana which is 6 miles south of the 4th Blackfeet Reservation. Land areas with the numbers 398 and 399, were not ceded by the September 1, 1868 Treaty. It is claimed by the United States that the September 1, 1868 Treaty was not ratified.

Chippewa leaders did not consent to cede the land areas with the numbers 398, 399, and 574, after the July 5, 1873 Treaty was signed. Supposedly, the land area with the number 399 was ceded but that is not true. And they made no mention of land area 398 which means something is off. If you read the October 17, 1855 Treaty, you'll notice it is written: with the consent of the Indians, by Executive order of July 5, 1873, a reserve was set apart for the joint occupancy of the Gros Ventres, Piegan, Bloods, Blackfeet, and River Crows.

This reserve is supposedly the second Blackfeet Reservation which covers the land areas with the numbers 565 and 574. If the reserve is actually the land area with the numbers 398, 399, and 574 it means the United States is covering up the fact. If the Blackfeet relinquished a portion of their original Reservation, it was probably the land area with the number 565. We know the land claim lawsuit was about land area 565. We also know the Chippewas were governing the land areas with the numbers 398, 399, and 574 in 1939. And we know the Chippewa Representatives from the land area with the number 565, operated their own organization.

So to continue this dispute, we have to include the 4th Blackfeet Reservation, as well as the original Rocky Boy's Reservation (aka Fort Assiniboine Indian Reservation), and also Fort Belknap Reservation and the Valley County Chippewa Reservation set aside in 1909. They are connected to the Judith River Indian Reservation.

We also have to include the Flathead Reservations which include the Columbia, Colville-Spokane, and Kalispell Reservations. We also have to include Coeur d'Alene Reservation, Kootenai Reservation, Lemhi Reservation, and many others. Why? The United States made a blunder by placing the Continental Divide in the wrong place on maps from the 19th century and even now. The Rocky Mountain Trench is the true Continental Divide.

Chiefs Little Shell III, Red Thunder, and other Chippewa leaders refused to cede the original Blackfeet Reservation in 1892. They continued to honor the treaties which created their vast Reservation. The United States hired Chippewa leaders who did not have the authority to cede the original Blackfeet Reservation, to sign the fraudulent 1892 McCumber Agreement, which was passed by the United States in 1904.

Brief Timeline

A.D. 1000

First Chippewas possibly invaded the Montana region. However, it may have happened centuries earlier.

A.D. 1492

A planned expedition to the west was led by an Italian. They sailed towards the west for several months before landing on one of the islands of what is now the Bahamas.

A.D. 1500

Chippewas from the Montana region, were sent to the east to support the Great Lakes Chippewas in wars against the invading whites and their Indian allies. According to Chippewa author George Copway, the Chippewas forced their way to the east from the west. According to the 1832 Edinburgh Encyclopedia, the Lenni Lenape or Delaware Tribe, forced their way from the Missouri River region to the east. They are the Chippewas.

A.D. 1805

Lewis and Clark reached the Great Falls, Montana region on June 13. They discovered the village situated near where the current Hill 57 Chippewa settlement is.

A.D. 1816

Chief Ignace (Aeneas) Paul arrived to the Bitterroot Valley of western Montana. He was possibly the first Paul to live in Montana. If he was, the Montana Paul clan laid down their first roots in western Montana. Antoine Plante had reached Montana a few years before.

A.D. 1850

White settlers commenced to invade the Great Plains from the West and East. Chippewa soldiers were constantly at war against the invading whites and their Indian allies.

A.D. 1877-1882

Last of the Chippewa Wars against the United States were fought in Idaho, Montana, and Oregon. Many Chippewas followed prophecy and migrated west into Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and to Canada.

A.D. 1877

An exodus to the west commenced. After a few months the United States halted the westward exodus but the Chippewas commenced an exodus to the north into Alberta and Saskatchewan. They were led there by chiefs Big Bear and Sitting Bull.

A.D. 1877

Chief Joseph and many Chippewas (Nez Perce) are arrested and relocated to Oklahoma. A few years later, chief Joseph and many Chippewas were freed but forced to relocate to the Colville Reservation in Washington.

A.D. 1879 or 1888

Joseph Paul is born near Fort McGinnis, Montana. His birth is strange because his mother may have been Elzear Paul's first wife. She was Rose LaPlante. She passed away in 1881. Click on the worldconnect.genealogy link below to learn about the mother and the mysterious birth of Joseph Paul.

A.D. 1881

Chief Sitting Bull surrendered to the United States. He was forced to relocate to the Cheyenne River-Standing Rock Reservation of North Dakota and South Dakota.

A.D. 1895

Chiefs Little Shell III, Red Thunder, and many other Chippewa leaders are arrested and forced to relocate to the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota. Many barricaded themselves in a fort but eventually surrendered. Chief Little Shell III and about 150 to 200 Chippewa soldiers, arrived to the fort after the surrender. Afterwards, chief Little Shell III was arrested. This event ended Chippewa resistance. Relocations commenced afterwards.

A.D. 1896

Chippewas in the Great Falls region, are forced to relocate to Canada, Flathead Reservation, and Reservations in the southwest (Arizona and California). Many, however, continued to refuse to relocate.

A.D. 1904

Chippewas are set aside a Reservation in the northwestern part of the Flathead Reservation.

A.D. 1906

Many Chippewas are upset about the Land Act's. On November 2, 1906 a group of Chippewas were stopped in southeastern Montana by United States soldiers. White historians claim the Indians were Utes but they were Chippewas. They were relocated to the Cheyenne River Reservation of South Dakota.

A.D. 1908

Swan Valley Massacre leads to 4 Chippewas and one white being killed. The massacre happened a few miles east of the Flathead Reservation.

A.D. 1909

Up to 200 Chippewa's are relocated to a new Chippewa Reservation within the Blackfeet Reservation. Surplus land at the Blackfeet Reservation went to the whites. The new Chippewa Reservation within the Blackfeet Reservation, is the fourth Blackfeet Reservation. On November 13, 1909, the first train loads of Chippewa settlers reached their new Chippewa Blackfeet Reservation.

A.D. 1909

A new Reservation is created for the Chippewas from Fort Peck Reservation. Indian Inspector Frank Churchill requested for and received 60 townships or 2,160 sq. mi. for the Chippewas from Fort Peck Reservation. The 2,160 sq. mi. was added on to the Fort Belknap Reservation. It is located adjacent to the western border of Fort Belknap Reservation. With the new land addition, the size of Fort Belknap Reservation increased to 3,160 sq. mi. In November of 1909, the first Chippewa settlers arrived to their new Chippewa Fort Belknap Reservation.

A.D. 1910

Chief Pennato leads 100s of Chippewa's off their new Reservation in the Blackfeet Reservation in late 1910. Many fled towards southwest Montana then into Idaho. By early 1911, they are in northern Nevada. A small group of perhaps 12, butchered four white ranchers and one Chinese man. On February 26, 1911 a white posse caught them in northwestern Nevada and killed eight of them. It is known as the Shoshone Mike Massacre. What caused the exodus was land allotments.

A.D. 1916

Chief Rocky Boy passed away. Some speculate chief Rocky Boy was assassinated. He was instrumental in having new Chippewa Reservations created in Montana, for the Chippewas of Idaho and Montana.

A.D. 1916

Rocky Boy Reservation is supposedly established. However, it is a part of the new Chippewa Reservation created in 1909 for the Chippewas from Fort Peck Reservation. Up to 500 new Chippewa settlers were relocated to Rocky Boy's Reservation, after it was officially created in 1916. Some of the Chippewas came from Idaho.

A.D. 1918

Last exodus of the Montana Chippewas leads to near 200 Chippewas being relocated to the Navajo Reservation. Many fled to Hill 57. Between 1900 and 1934, 1,000s of Montana Chippewas were relocated to the Navajo Reservation. In the 1940s, many were relocated to the Colorado River Indian Reservation of Arizona and California. These Chippewas were removed from Reservation rolls for some reason in 1916 and 1917.

A.D. 1921

Joseph Paul forms the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana. He claims the July 16, 1855 Hell Gate Treaty and October 17, 1855 Blackfeet Treaty, are not valid. Since Joseph Paul may have been in his 40s at the time, the formation of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana, may have happened years earlier.

A.D. 1934

Indian Reorganization Act is passed. Several 1,000 Chippewas are still living throughout the original Blackfeet Reservation, in their own communities. Their communities or enclaves or ghettos, were usually located adjacent to or very near white settlements. Though the number of Chippewa communities had dropped since 1900, there were still a few in the 1930s. During the 1930s, the United States possibly relocated 1,000s of Montana Chippewas to the Navajo Reservation. Land additions were added to the Navajo Reservation in 1930 and 1934, specifically for the landless Chippewas of Montana, and also California and Nevada.

A.D. 1959

Joseph Paul passed away. To this day the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana are not recognized by the United States. Joseph Paul made certain it would stay that way. To learn about the land owned by the Chippewa's at Little Shell Mountain (Hill 57) which was auctioned off in 1950, click the link below. Though the United States won't let the truth be known, the Chippewas did own considerable land around Hill 57. The current Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana were in a dispute some time ago which was recently settled. They are after federal recognition.

What you don't know about this group of Chippewas, is the land they claim. That is nearly all of Montana and parts of several other States. Joseph Paul's defiance will be kept alive!

Additional References to the History of the Tribe


Blackfeet Indian Reservation (Montana)

Flathead Indian Reservation (Montana)

Fort Belknap Indian Reservation (Montana)

Rocky Boy Indian Reservation (Montana)

Crow-Northern Cheyenne Reservation.

Fort Peck Reservation.

Wind River Reservation.

Uintah-Ouray Reservation.

Fort Hall Reservation.

Nez Perce Reservation.

Coeur d'Alene Reservation.

Colville-Spokane Reservation.

Yakima Reservation.

Warm Springs Reservation.

Klamath Reservation.

Coastal Oregon Reservation.

Hoopa-Yurok Reservation.

Round Valley Reservation.

All California Indian Rancherias.


Important Web Sites



  • Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives; Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  • Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1906 Available online.
  • Klein, Barry T., ed. Reference Encyclopedia of the American Indian. Nyack, New York: Todd Publications, 2009. 10th ed. WorldCat 317923332; FHL book 970.1 R259e.
  • Malinowski, Sharon and Sheets, Anna, eds. The Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes. Detroit: Gale Publishing, 1998. 4 volumes. Includes: Lists of Federally Recognized Tribes for U.S., Alaska, and Canada – pp. 513-529 Alphabetical Listing of Tribes, with reference to volume and page in this series Map of “Historic Locations of U.S. Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Canadian Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Mexican, Hawaiian and Caribbean Native Groups” Maps of “State and Federally Recognized U.S. Indian Reservations. WorldCat 37475188; FHL book 970.1 G131g.
Vol. 1 -- Northeast, Southeast, Caribbean
Vol. 2 -- Great Basin, Southwest, Middle America
Vol. 3 -- Arctic, Subarctic, Great Plains, Plateau
Vol. 4 -- California, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Islands
  • Sturtevant, William C. Handbook of North American Indians. 20 vols., some not yet published. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978– .
Volume 1 -- Not yet published
Volume 2 -- Indians in Contemporary Society (pub. 2008) -- WorldCat 234303751
Volume 3 -- Environment, Origins, and Population (pub. 2006) -- WorldCat 255572371
Volume 4 -- History of Indian-White Relations (pub. 1988) -- WorldCat 19331914; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.4.
Volume 5 -- Arctic (pub. 1984) -- WorldCat 299653808; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.5.
Volume 6 -- Subarctic (pub. 1981) -- WorldCat 247493742; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.6.
Volume 7 -- Northwest Coast (pub. 1990) -- WorldCat 247493311
Volume 8 -- California (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 13240086; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.8.
Volume 9 -- Southwest (pub. 1979) -- WorldCat 26140053; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.9.
Volume 10 -- Southwest (pub. 1983) -- WorldCat 301504096; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.10.
Volume 11 -- Great Basin (pub. 1986) -- WorldCat 256516416; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.11.
Volume 12 -- Plateau (pub. 1998) -- WorldCat 39401371; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.12.
Volume 13 -- Plains, 2 vols. (pub. 2001) -- WorldCat 48209643
Volume 14 -- Southeast (pub. 2004) -- WorldCat 254277176
Volume 15 -- Northwest (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 356517503; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.15.
Volume 16 -- Not yet published
Volume 17 -- Languages (pub. 1996) -- WorldCat 43957746
Volume 18 -- Not yet published
Volume 19 -- Not yet published
Volume 20 -- Not yet published


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