Little Shell Band of Chippewa Indians, MontanaEdit This Page

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Little Shell tribe is a recognized by the state of Montana

Contents

Tribal Headquarters

Little Shell Tribe

P.O. Box 543

Black Eagle, Mt 59414

History

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.

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. A few years earlier, the United States created a large Reservation for the Montana Chippewas.

Judith Basin Indian Reservation

It is the Judith Basin Indian Reservation which has caused the government of the United States to not recognize the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana. The Chippewas of Montana can trace their origins to the Judith Basin Indian Reservation. Though the August 1873 Treaty claims the Judith Basin Indian Reservation is located 25 miles east of Great Falls, it's really much larger.

When the Little Shell Chippewa land claim lawsuit was filed in 1951, it listed the October 17, 1855 Blackfeet Treaty (aka Lame Bull Treaty) and the July 5, 1873 Treaty, for the reasons for the land claim lawsuit. They did not mention the April 15, 1874 Treaty that i know of. It is the April 15, 1874 Treaty's land area that the Little Shell Chippewa land claim lawsuit was about. That means we have to include the entire land area of the October 17, 1855 Treaty. The July 5, 1873 Treaty created a new Reservation which extended the Blackfeet Reservation from the mouth of the Milk River straight north to the Canada border and followed the Missouri River east to the North Dakota border.

It is written in the October 17, 1855 Treaty, that a treaty was concluded on September 1, 1868 in which the Blackfeet relinquished  a portion of their Reservation. That is the land area with the number 399. That treaty was never ratified. It is also written in the October 17, 1855 Treaty, that with the consent of the Indians, by Executive order of July 5, 1873, a new reserve was set aside for them. That new Reservation supposedly covers the land area with the numbers 565 and 574. As mentioned, the April 15, 1874 Treaty set aside a new Blackfeet Reservation which covers the land area with the number 565. The land area with the number 565, is the land area of the Little Shell Chippewa land claim lawsuit.

It is confusing to understand but we have to exclude the April 15, 1874 Treaty and focus on the July 5, 1873 Treaty, which means we have to include the land area with the number 574. The real Judith Basin Indian Reservation covers the land area of the original Blackfeet Reservation with the numbers 398, 399, and 574. It was negotiated for on July 5, 1873 and ratified on August 16, 1873. The land area with the number 565, is now disputed land as a result of the Little Shell Chippewa land claim lawsuit which confined their land claim to the land area with the number 565. Yet they did not mention the April 15, 1874 Treaty in their lawsuit. And the land area with the numbers 398 and 399, were not legally ceded. So the real Judith Basin Indian Reservation covers the land area with the numbers 398, 399, and 574.

On August 16, 1873, the United States created the Judith Basin Indian Reservation for the Montana Chippewas. The causes of the 1876-1877 War, was the United States not honoring the treaty which created the vast Judith Basin Indian Reservation. Click this link memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/S to read the August 16, 1873 Treaty. Negotiations were conducted on July 5, 1873.

The real Judith Basin Indian Reservation is a Chippewa Reservation. The Crow are also known as the Hidatsa. The Hidatsa are also known as the Gros Ventre. The Gros Ventre are really Algonquin Chippewa. They are also known as the White Earth People or White Clay People and People of the Falls or People of the Waterfalls. It was the French who named them the People of the Falls in the early 17th century. Even then (early 17th century) the French were aware of the Great Falls of the Missouri River and that the Chippewas were forcing their way to the east, from the Montana region, to fight the white invaders.

In French, the People of the Falls is Saulteaux Indians. They originally lived where the Great Falls of the Missouri River are located.  They are also known as the Arapaho. We only need to read Lewis and Clarks journals to learn that the Arapaho including the Gros Ventre, and the Cheyenne, are really Chippewa. Clark wrote his Estimate of the Eastern Indians while wintering at Fort Mandan during 1804-1805. He listed the Chippaway (that is another name for the Chippewas) at number 53.

Clark claimed the Chippaway territory's main location was at the headwaters of the Red River of the Mississippi River which is located in the Texas Panhandle. The only Algonquian Tribes who lived in the Texas Panhandle are the Arapaho and Cheyenne which means both are Chippewa. Click this link lewisandclarkjournals.unl.edu/read/ to read Clarks Estimate of the Eastern Indians. Scroll down to number 53.

The Reservation covers the land area in Montana with the numbers 398, 399, and 574. The land area with the number 565, is now disputed land as a result of the actions of Joseph Dussome, Elizabeth Swan, and leaders from Rocky Boy's Reservation.

About a month earlier, the United States had also created another Chippewa Reservation. That happened on July 5, 1873. Click this link memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/S to read the July 5, 1873 Treaty. On the bottom of the page is a link. Click the Montana 1 link. The page has a map of the Chippewa Reservation. It has the numbers 565 and 574. However, the July 5, 1873 Treaty were really negotiations.

Click this link memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/S to read the October 17, 1855 Treaty which created the original Blackfeet Reservation. You'll notice that the United States claims the Blackfeet ceded a part of the original Blackfeet Reservation on September 1, 1868. The September 1, 1868 Treaty was not ratified. That's because the Chippewas refused to cede any of their vast Reservation.

On the bottom of the page are the Montana 1 link and Wyoming 1 link. Click the Montana 1 link. The original Blackfeet Reservation has the numbers 398, 399, 574, and 565. Part of the 398 land area is located in northwestern Wyoming. You will also notice that the treaty was signed by the Blackfoot, Flathead, and Nez Perce. That means the Nez Perce live in Montana.

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. 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, or the Judith Basin Indian Reservation or the original Blackfeet Reservation. 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.

They confined their land claim lawsuit to the April 15, 1874 Treaty. Click this link memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D 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.

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 assent 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 assent 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. And if you know a bit about what Assiniboine really means, how about this! As-sin-i means Rocky and Boine sounds almost identical to boy. Rocky Boy. Fort Assiniboine Indian Reservation was set aside in 1887.

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 digital.library.okstate.edu 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

Reservations

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.

Records

Important Web Sites

References


Bibliography

  • 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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