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United States Gotoarrow.png American Indian Research Gotoarrow.png Indians of Montana Gotoarrow.png Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation (Montana)


The Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation is a federally-recognized reservation, located in north-central Montana, just south of Havre, primarily in Hill County, with a smaller portion in Chouteau County.

Established -- 1916
Agency (BIA) -- Rocky Boy's Indian Agency located at Box Elder, Montana
Principal tribe -- Chippewa-Cree, Assiniboine, Blackfeet Indians including the Gros Ventre, Flathead IndiansKalispel IndiansNez Perce IndiansPend d'Oreille Indians, and Spokane Indians.
Population -- 2010 census is 3,221 (when including mixed bloods it's 3,260) - Does not include non Indians. In 2005, it was estimated that Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation had 5,656 citizens. Most live on Reservation.

Contents

History

On September 17, 1851 the territory of the Blackfeet Indians was defined then approved on October 17, 1855 near the mouth of the Judith River. The correct name of the original Blackfeet Reservation, is either Judith basin indian reservation or Judith River Indian Reservation.

After the 1876-1877 Black Hills War and Nez Perce War, and the exodus that followed, many Chippewa's acted on their own and signed treaty with the United States. On January 31, 1874, the United States set aside the Judith Basin Reservation. It was located about 30 miles east of Great Falls, Montana and extended east of Lewistown, Montana. This is where many Little Shell Chippewa's lived. They supposedly eradicated it a couple of years later. It bordered the Fort Assiniboine Military Reservation which shows up on 1880s maps as the Fort Assiniboine Indian Reservation.

Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation was established in 1879, when Fort Assiniboine Indian Reservation was established. The United States probably used it as a POW Camp first then made it a Reservation soon after. It originally covered over 1,000 sq. mi. On the extreme southern border was the Chippewa Judith Basin Reservation the United States claims was Crow or River Crow.

After chief Rocky Boy died in April of 1916, the United States reduced (they didn't establish the Reservation) from over 1,000 sq. mi. to under 100 sq. mi. The reduced Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation was confined to the Bear Paw Mountains, excepting the area around Box Elder. The United States changed the name from Fort Assiniboine Indian Reservation to Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation. They supposedly did so to honor chief Rocky Boy.

Soon after the Reservation was dramatically reduced in size, 100s of Chippewa's were forced off of Reservation rolls. They were relocated to the Papago Indian Reservation of Arizona and the Navajo Indian Reservation (Arizona). Many also moved to Hill 57 near Great Falls, Montana.

Rocky Boy's Reservation is within the original Blackfeet Reservation which was created on September 17, 1851 and approved on October 17, 1855. The Little Shell Blackfeet Chippewa's continued to govern the original Blackfeet Reservation which was created on September 17, 1851, well into the 20th century.

In 1921, a meeting was held on Joseph Paul's family's ranch near Lewistown, Montana. It was probably about filing a land claims lawsuit about the original Blackfeet Reservation. On June 10, 1939, another meeting was held at Joseph Paul's home in Great Falls, Montana. Even in 1939, they assigned 9 district representatives for the original Blackfeet Reservation. After World War II, many of the Little Shell Chippewa leaders gave up. Joseph Dussome hired a lawyer in 1950 and filed a land claims lawsuit in 1951. On April 5, 1974, the United States again refused to honor the treaty which created the original Blackfeet Reservation, which Rocky Boy's Reservation is within.

To learn more about the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana and how they governed their original Blackfeet Reservation, click www.indianaffairs.gov/cs/groups/xofa/documents/text/idc-001419.pdf this link. On page 119 (not on the adobe acrobat reader but on the pdf book pages) is the information about the June 10, 1939 meeting at Joseph Paul's home in Great Falls, Montana. On page 92, under "The Creation of Organizations in Montana, 1920-1936," is information about the first so called Little Shell Tribe organization in Montana. Howard Paul (Joseph Paul's son) preserved the information. The meeting was held at Joseph Paul's family's ranch near Lewistown, Montana in 1921.

They almost completely ignored Joseph Paul and focused primarily on Joseph Dussome. If you read the pdf book, you will have no choice but to agree that Joseph Paul was far more important. And they focused too much of their attention on the Metis or mixed bloods. And they did not mention anything about the original Blackfeet Reservation which the Little Shell Tribes land claim was about. Click memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/S this link, to read the September 17, 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty which created and defined the Blackfeet Territory which is the original Blackfeet Reservation.

Little Shell Chippewa leaders have every right to claim the Assiniboine Territory (it has the number 300) and the territory of the Crow (it has the number 517 and yellow color and extends to Wyoming). No Crow Reservation (the Crow Reservation is really a Cheyenne Chippewa Reservation) is found anywhere in the land area in Montana and Wyoming with the yellow color and number 517. The treaty of October 20, 1875 did not add land to the Crow Reservation. It established a Reservation for the Cheyenne Chippewa's. Click memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D this link, to read the October 20, 1875 Treaty. On the bottom of the page click the Montana 2 link. You will notice the Northern Cheyenne Reservation bordering the Crow Reservation on the east, and the Northern Cheyenne Reservation (it has the number 585) bordering the Crow Reservation on the north. However, the Arapaho (the Southern Cheyenne) Wind River Reservation and Northern Cheyenne Reservation, are within the land area in Montana and Wyoming, with the yellow color and number 517. Both the Arapaho and Cheyenne are really Chippewa. The Crow supposedly ceded their right to the land area with the number 300, on May 7, 1868.

If the Crow claimed the land area with the number 300, than the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians have every right to claim the entire land area with the yellow color and number 517. Why? An extension to the original Blackfeet Reservation which was created on September 17, 1851 and approved on October 17, 1855,  was agreed upon on April 13, 1875. It is within the land areas with the numbers 300 and 517. Click memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/S this link, to read the treaty which established the addition to the original Blackfeet Reservation which was created on September 17, 1851 and approved on October 17, 1855, within the land areas with the numbers 300 and 517. On the bottom of the page is the Montana 2 link. Click it. The addition to the original Blackfeet Reservation has the numbers 622 and 623. You will notice the southwest portion of the original Blackfeet Reservation is within the land areas with the numbers 300 and  517.

Communities

Agency: 2010 population is 355. Indians make up 94% of the population of Agency which also goes by Rocky Boy's Agency. It covers 8.59 sq. mi.

Azure: 2010 population is 286. Indians make up 97% of the population of Azure. It covers 4.50 sq. mi.

Boneau: 2010 population is 380. Indians make up 98% of the population of Boneau. It covers 2.45 sq. mi.

Box Elder: 2010 population is 87. Indians make up 57% of the population of Box Elder. It covers 0.79 sq. mi. The Little Shell Blackfeet Chippewa's had a minor district at Box Elder. In 1939, the Box Elder district representative was Joseph Dussome.

East Box Elder: 2010 population is included with that of Rocky Boy West. East Box Elder is located a quarter of a mile east of Box Elder and 1 mile north of Rocky Boy West. There may be up to 200 or more people living at East Box Elder.

Parker School: 2010 population is 340. Indians make up 99% of the population of Parker School. It covers 7.38 sq. mi.

Rocky Boy West: 2010 population is 890. Indians make up 97% of the population of Rocky Boy West. It is located a couple of miles southeast of Box Elder. It is a newer Rocky Boy's Reservation community. It was built some time after 1991. It covers 5.45 sq. mi.

Saint Pierre: 2010 population is 350. Indians make up 99% of the population of Saint Pierre. It covers 8.07 sq. mi.

Sangrey: 2010 population is 306. Indians make up 98% of the population of Sangrey. It covers 6.34 sq. mi.

West Boneau: 2010 population is included with that of Boneau. West Boneau is located about 3 miles west of Boneau. It is a new Rocky Boy's Reservation community. It was built in either 2004 or 2005.

Though Rocky Boy's Reservation was not established until 1916, it has a larger population than the nearby Fort Belknap Reservation. The larger population at Rocky Boy's Reservation can be attributed to certain events in the past and the determination of the leaders of Rocky Boy's Reservation to keep their citizens within their domain. Joseph Dussome and other Chippewa leaders, helped to get land added on to Rocky Boy's Reservation during the early and mid 20th century. They did likewise for Fort Belknap Reservation. And Fort Belknap Reservation should include Dodson, Harlem, and Zortman as their communities. There are up to 1,000 Indians who are citizens of Fort Belknap Reservation, who live a short distance from Fort Belknap Reservation. Including their populations, the Fort Belknap Reservation population is closer to 4,000.


Records

Many of the records of individual Indians living on the Rocky Boy's Reservation were kept by the Rocky Boy's Agency of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Others are kept by the Tribal Office.


References

chippewacree.org/

1880s Map of Fort Assiniboine Indian Reservation - anishinabe-history.com/fort-assiniboinetwo.jpeg

Bibliography

  • Confederation of American Indians. Indian Reservations: A State and Federal Handbook. Jefferson, North Caroline: McFarland & Co., c1986. WorldCat 14098308; FHL book 970.1 In2.
  • Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin #30, 1906. This publication lists the 22 states which had reservations in 1908. Available online.
  • Kappler, Charles J. Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1902. 7 volumes. WorldCat 74490963; FHL book 970.1 K142iAvailable 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.
  • Prucha, Francis Paul. Atlas of American Indian Affairs. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1991 WorldCat 257331735; FHL book 970.1 P95aa
  • Prucha, Francis Paul, ed. Documents of United States Indian Policy. 3rd Edition. Lincoln, Nebraska: Univeresity of Nebraska Press, 2000. WorldCat 50416280; FHL book 970.1 P95d.
  • Prucha, Francis Paul. Guide to the Military Posts of the United States, 1789-1895. Madison, Wisconsin: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, c1964. WorldCat 522839; FHL book 973 M2pf.
  • Schmeckebier, Laurance F. The Office of Indian Affairs: Its History, Activities, and Organization. Service Monographs of the United States Government; no. 48. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1927. Reprint. New York: AMS Press, 1972.  WorldCat 257893; FHL book 973 B4b v. 48.
  • 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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  • This page was last modified on 28 July 2014, at 22:34.
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