4th Grade Montana Indian Reservations and Tribes Native American Montana Tribes

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4th Grade Montana Indian Reservations and Tribes

Native American Montana Tribes

  • Blackfeet

  • Salish, Kootenai, Pend d’Oreille

  • Chippewa/Cree

  • Crow

  • Northern Cheyenne

  • Assiniboine

  • Sioux

  • Gros Ventre

  • Little Shell

As we view a slide show on Montana Indians and reservations, you will use your:

  • As we view a slide show on Montana Indians and reservations, you will use your:

      • Reservation maps
      • Outline shapes of reservations
      • Note taking forms
  • You will be pasting reservation shapes onto your map and taking notes on each Montana tribe.

Montana Reservations

Blackfeet Reservation

  • Located at 48N/113-114W on your map

  • Shares borders with:

    • Alberta, Canada to the north
    • Glacier National Park to the west
  • Interesting features:

    • Marias River
    • St. Mary’s Lake
    • Cities: Heart Butte, East Glacier, St. Mary, Babb, Browning


  • Located on Blackfeet Reservation in northwestern Montana (Tribal Headquarters in Browning)

  • Originally located in present day Montana, Idaho, Alberta, Canada

  • Buffalo hunting society

  • Europeans had big impact:

    • In the 1500’s
      • brought horses
      • invaluable for hunting buffalo
    • In the 1800’s
      • brought smallpox which infected tribe
  • Blackfeet language is spoken by half of the tribal members ( a difficult language to learn)

Blackfeet Tribe ( located on the Blackfeet Reservation)

  • Blackfeet women

    • owned the tipi
    • wore long deerskin dresses decorated with elk teeth and porcupine quills
  • Blackfeet men

    • were hunters and warriors
    • wore tunics and breechcloths
    • chiefs wore feather headdresses
    • some men wore 3 braids
      • in a topknot
    • painted faces for special occasions
    • used long bows, arrows, clubs, hide shields for hunting and war

Blackfeet (Located on the Blackfeet Reservation)

  • Both men and women were story tellers, artists, musicians and medicine people

  • Children hunted, fished, had special games and dolls

  • Blackfeet is the official name

    • Was given by the white man,
    • many tribal people refer to themselves as Blackfeet
  • Tipi

    • was their home
    • made out of buffalo hide
    • set up and taken down in an hour, sometimes less
    • belonged to the women and were disassembled and carried by them when relocating

Blackfeet (Located on the Blackfeet Reservation)

  • Councils

    • in the past consensus had to be reached when deciding a matter for the tribe (all chiefs had to agree)
    • at present all council members are elected by tribal members (like a mayor or governor is elected)

Blackfeet – Preserving the Past

  • Leonda Fast Buffalo Horse

    • Member of the Blackfeet Nation
    • Grew up in Seattle
    • Returned home to Browning
    • In a ceremony in 1989 her hands were blessed to give her the right to do traditional Blackfeet quillwork.
    • Also does stained glass.

Preserving the Past – Blackfeet

  • Quillwork is not a simple process:

    • Gather quills from porcupines that have died.
    • Pluck and clean quills.
    • Dye quills, using:
      • Chokecherries
      • Onion skins
      • Koolaid
      • Rit dye
    • Soften quills by placing in mouth between gum and cheek.
    • Flatten quills to be woven or wrapped into a desired shape.

Flathead Reservation Salish, Kootenai, Pend d’Oreille

  • Located at 47N/114-115W on your map

    • Cut and paste Flathead Reservation onto your map
  • Flathead Reservation:

    • In northwestern Montana
    • Tribal Headquarters in Pablo
    • Includes Flathead, Lake, Missoula, and Sanders Counties
  • Borders are formed by:

    • Mission Mountains on the east
    • Flathead Lake and Cabinet Mountains to the north
    • Salish Mountains to the west
  • Interesting features:

    • Rivers: Clark Fork, Jocko, Flathead
    • Flathead Lake (formed by building of Kerr Dam)
    • Cities: Arlee, Ravalli, Dixon, St. Ignatius, Charlo, Ronan, Pablo, Polson, Big Arm, Elmo, Rollins, Lone Pine, Hot Springs

Salish, Kootenai, Pend d’Oreille

  • Salish

    • Lived between Cascade Mountains in Washington and Rocky Mountains in Montana
    • Established headquarters near eastern slope of Rocky Mountains
    • Salish means “the people”
  • Kootenai

    • Lived further north
    • At times had friendly relations with Salish
      • Traded
      • Intermarried
  • Pend d’Oreille

    • Occupied both sides of the Rocky Mountains

Salish, Kootenai, Pend d’Oreille (Located on the Flathead Reservation)

  • 1805

    • First written record: September 5, met with Lewis and Clark
  • 1870

    • Chief Victor dies
    • Chief Charlot becomes new chief after Victor dies
  • 1871

    • President Grant declares Flathead Reservation was better suited to the needs of the tribe
    • Government forges Chief Charlot’s X (signature) onto agreement
  • 1889

  • 1891

    • Troops from Fort Missoula force tribe from Bitterroot Valley
    • Soldiers roughly marched tribe to the Flathead Reservation 60 miles away

Salish – Preserving the Past

  • Oshanee Kenmille

    • Born in 1916 in Arlee (died in February, 2009)
    • Spoke 3 languages:
      • English
      • Salish
      • Kootenai
    • Expert beadworker
    • To preserve her tribe’s past, she:
      • Taught hide tanning
      • Made traditional regalia
      • Taught Salish language
    • Received $20,000 National Heritage Fellowship in 2003

Salish – Preserving the Past

  • Allen Kenmille - (Oshanee's great-great grandson)

      • “I’m very lucky because I learn a lot from her.”

Rocky Boy’s Reservation Chippewa and Cree

  • Located at 48N/110W on your map

    • Cut and paste Rocky Boy’s Reservation onto your map
  • Includes Hill and Choteau Counties

  • Interesting features:

    • Mount Baldy
    • Mount Centennial
    • Haystack Mountain
    • East Fork Dam
    • Bonneau Dam
    • Cities: Box Elder, Rocky Boy
    • Milk River

Chippewa-Cree (Located on the Rocky’s Boy Reservation)

  • Located on the Rocky Boy’s Reservation

    • north central Montana
    • south of Havre in the Bear Paw Mountains
    • tribal Headquarters in Rocky Boy
  • Mixed group of Native Americans

    • Cree from Southern Canada
    • Chippewa from the Turtle Mountains in North Dakota
  • Resisted reservation system

    • Deported to Canada
    • Returned to hunt buffalo
    • 1916 - agreed to settle on the lands of the Rocky Boy reservation

From Past to Present

  • Plains peoples

    • Proud warrior tradition.
    • Patriotic in the past and the present

From Past to Present – Plains Warriors

  • Shadow Wolves

    • An elite unit of Native American trackers in Arizona
    • Created in 1972 by an Act of Congress
    • Currently consists of 15 members from 7 tribes, including Blackfeet.
    • In 2003 became part of The Department of Homeland Security.

Plains Warriors – Preserving the Past in Song

  • The very first time I heard the flute, I was a young boy living on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation located in Southeastern Montana. Grover Wolfvoice was the flute man playing this wonderful music.

  • -Joseph Fire Crow

Plains Warriors – Preserving the Past in Song

  • Joseph Fire Crow has written a song called My Brave Soldier Boy, which we will listen to now.

    • How is this music the same and how is it different from music you usually listen to?
    • How do the lyrics remind you of the warrior tradition?
    • Click again to see the lyrics. Listen to CD.
    • [Track #6 (American Indian Music – More than Just Flutes and Drums)]

Crow Reservation - Crow Tribe

  • Located at 45N/107-108W on your map

    • Cut and paste Crow Reservation on your map
  • Borders

    • Wyoming on the south
  • Interesting features:

    • Big Horn Mountains
    • Pryor Mountains
    • Wolf Teeth Mountains
    • Big Horn River
    • Little Bighorn River
    • Pryor Creek
    • Cities: Hardin, Dunmore, Crow Agency,
    • Lodge Grass, Wyola, Fort Smith, Pryor
    • Yellowtail Dam


  • Located on the Crow Reservation

  • Apsaalooke (native name)

    • Split from the Hidatsa group
    • 8000 people in band in the 1800’s
    • Decimated by smallpox in 1800’s
  • Located in three mountainous areas:

    • Big Horn Mountains
    • Pryor Mountains
    • Wolf Teeth Mountains
  • Points of Historic Interest

    • Little Bighorn Battlefield
    • Chief Plenty Coups State Park

Crow – Preserving the Past

  • Birdie Real Bird

    • Started to make Crow-style dolls in 1998 to honor her mother’s memory.
    • Makes Crow Women’s regalia
    • Makes dolls using traditional natural materials
      • Body made from buckskin stuffed with buffalo hair
      • Faces and attire use beads, sinew, buckskin
    • Two of her dolls were purchased by the Smithsonian Museum.

Northern Cheyenne Reservation Northern Cheyenne Tribe

  • Located at 45N/106-107W on your map

    • Cut and paste Northern Cheyenne Reservation onto map
  • Northern Cheyenne Reservation

    • In southeastern Montana
    • Tribal Headquarters in Lame Deer
    • Includes Big Horn and Rosebud Counties
  • Bordered by:

    • Crow Reservation on the west
    • Tongue River on the east
  • Cities:

    • Busby, Ashland, Birney, Muddy
  • Tongue River

Northern Cheyenne (Located on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation)

  • Originally came from northwestern Minnesota area

  • 1700’s

    • Mainly farmed corn and hunted buffalo
  • 1750’s

    • Acquired horses
    • Hunting buffalo became major lifestyle
  • 1876

    • Joined the Sioux in Battle of the Little Bighorn
    • Cheyenne call the battle “where Long Hair was wiped away forever”
  • 1884

    • Part of Crow Reservation land set aside for Northern Cheyenne

Northern Cheyenne (Located on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation)

  • Cheyenne oral history recalls:

    • Smoking peace pipe with Custer, who agreed to never fight Cheyenne again
    • Ashes were dropped on his boot and scattered on the ground then wiped away
    • Ashes were a symbol of Custer committing to never fight the Cheyenne again
  • Cheyenne call themselves “Morning Star People”

    • To honor Chief Dull Knife (Morning Star)

Northern Cheyenne – Preserving the Past

  • The War Shirt,

    • written by Bently Spang
    • illustrated by Troy Anderson
  • The setting of this story is in eastern Montana. As you look at the pictures, notice how the scenery compares to land around Butte.

  • Read the story now.

    • Break into pairs.
    • Sit shoulder to shoulder.
    • Alternate reading pages with your partner.
    • After all groups have finished reading, return to your station.
    • We will now STOP and read. When we regroup, we will click to advance so that we can visit the author’s web site.

Fort Belknap Reservation Assiniboine and Gros Ventre

  • Located at 48N/108-109W your map

    • Cut and paste Fort Belknap Reservation onto map
  • Includes Blaine and Phillips Counties

  • Bordered by:

    • Missouri River on the south
  • Interesting features:

    • Bear Paw Mountains
    • Little Rocky Mountains
    • Milk River
    • Missouri River
    • Cities: Lodge Pole, Hays, Fort Belknap

Assiniboine (Located on the Fort Belknap/Fort Peck Reservations)

  • Located on the Fort Belknap Reservation in north central Montana

  • Assiniboine (Asiniibwaan, native name)

    • Semi-nomadic, following buffalo herds
    • Formed alliances with other tribes to ward off Blackfeet
    • Known as Nakoda
  • Tobacco

    • Used by the tribe
    • Reserved for ceremonies
  • 1888

    • Fort Peck Reservation established

Gros Ventre - Ah-ah-nii-nen

  • Gros Ventre is French for Big Belly

  • Montana Gros Ventre Indians

  • Fort Belknap Reservation

    • Most Gros Ventres live on the south end of the reservation
    • near the Little Rocky Mountains
  • 1754

    • First contact with whites on Saskatchewan River
    • Small pox reduced tribal number greatly
  • 1868

    • Fort Browning built on Milk River
      • Built for the Gros Ventre, but built on Sioux hunting grounds
      • Abandoned in 1871

Gros Ventre Cultural Traditions

  • Important ceremonies include the Sun Dance.

  • Pipes important to the Gros Ventre culture.

    • Pipes are held sacred
    • Pipes form the spiritual center of the tribe
    • Tribe originally had ten sacred pipes
    • Eight of the ten were buried with their keepers
    • Only two sacred pipes remain
      • Feathered pipe
      • Flat pipe
    • These two sacred pipes are used when prayers are offered to the spirits.
          • [http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/cultural/northamerica/gros_ventre.html]

Preserving the Past - Ah-ah-nii-nen

  • Tradition of the Drum is very important today

    • Brings the people together
    • Provides beat to dancers to offer praise to the Creator and Mother Earth
    • Helps heal the sick
    • Carries songs and prayers to the Great Above All Person
  • Two main kinds of drums in the northern plains

    • Hand drum – played by one person
    • Large drum – used at powwows and played by several people

Preserving the Past – Ah-ah-nii-nen Drum Making

  • Al Chandler Goodstrike

    • Enrolled member of the White Clay People (Ah-ah-nii-nen)
    • Known for his tipi and hide painting, as well as his drums
    • Prepares elk and buffalo hides by cleaning, scraping, and tanning
    • Paints hides with natural earth paints and a bone brush.

Fort Peck Reservation Assiniboine and Sioux

  • Located at 48N/104-106W on your map

    • Cut and paste Fort Peck Reservation onto map
  • Located in northeastern Montana

  • Includes Roosevelt County

  • Borders

    • McCone County (south)
    • Medicine Lake (east)
  • Interesting features

    • Rivers:
      • Poplar River
      • Milk River
    • Cities: Poplar, Brockton

Sioux (Located on the Fort Peck Reservation)

  • Located in north central Montana

  • Dakota Sioux

    • Got horses from Spanish in 1500’s
    • Nomadic tribe, following buffalo, which they considered sacred
    • Used surround system-- killed 100 buffalo at one time
  • Ceremonies

    • Sun Dance
      • Sacred ceremony
      • Circular dance
      • Outlawed on reservation in 1882 by whites
    • Vision Quest
      • Could be done for family members
      • Included fasting (not eating) for 1-4 days
    • Sweat Lodge

From Past to Present

  • This map shows traditional ancestral lands of the Assiniboine and the Sioux.

  • Animals plentiful in this region included bison, deer, elk and porcupine

  • The people used these animals for raw materials in their homes, tools, and clothing.

Preserving the Past – Assiniboine & Sioux

  • Special occasions require special attire.

  • Traditional clothing can be worn for:

    • Weddings
    • Naming ceremonies (person gets a name in their native language)
    • Honoring “giveaways” (things of value are given away to honor someone)
    • Powwows
  • Traditional clothing is sometimes referred to as regalia.

Preserving the Past – Assiniboine & Sioux

  • Regalia dresses are full of meaning

    • Decorated with designs and symbols that tell stories in honor of family members.
    • In the past, many elk teeth on a dress meant great wealth.
    • Only the two ivory “eyeteeth” of an elk were used on a dress.
    • In the past, a boy would collect elk teeth over many years of hunting and would save them to be sewn by his mother or sisters on a dress for the woman he would marry.
    • The use of elk teeth showed the value the people of the Plains placed on the elk.
    • Today, mountain designs on dresses show how Indians value the land and their surroundings.

Preserving the Past – Assiniboine & Sioux

  • Porcupines are found along rivers and streams in great numbers in the Northern Plains.

  • Porcupine quills:

    • were among the first materials used to decorate clothing
    • were pulled from the hide, washed, dyed, dried, sorted by size, and then softened in the mouth and flattened.
    • were softened, flattened, and wrapped or woven around other material.
    • were dyed different colors and used to make detailed designs.
  • Natural materials such as plants, flowers, and berries were used to dye quills.

  • Quillwork is still done by Plains artists today.

Preserving the Past – Assiniboine & Sioux

  • With European contact, the variety of materials from which Indian women made their clothing increased, as the map below shows.

Preserving the Past – Assiniboine & Sioux

  • Before European contact, beads were made from shell, bone, or stone.

  • After beads were introduced by Europeans, two types were used

    • Pony beads
      • Early 1800’s
      • Large beads
      • White, red, blue, black
    • Seed beads
      • After 1840
      • Smaller bead
      • More color choices
  • Most early beads came from Italy

Preserving the Past – Assiniboine & Sioux

  • Joyce Growing Thunder Fogarty

    • An Assiniboine and Sioux woman from the Fort Peck Reservation
    • Comes from a long line of dressmakers and beaders
    • Spent two years making her first traditional Sioux dress
    • Received a Lifetime Achievement Award for her artistry.

Preserving the Past – Assiniboine & Sioux

  • Visit the link below to see the beaded design on one of Ms. Fogarty’s dresses.

    • You have to work to see the design, but not as hard as Ms. Fogarty had to work creating it!
      • It’s a jigsaw puzzle:
        • Solve if you have time
        • Auto-solve if you don’t.
    • Wait patiently for the site to load.
    • Click on “Forming Cultural Identity”
    • Scroll across to the right if needed.
    • Click on the white right-pointing arrow 24 times
    • Drag and drop all the pieces into place to see the design.
  • Interactive Jigsaw Puzzle

Clothing Symbols

  • Read below the meanings of the symbols in Ms. Fogarty’s Give Away Horses dress.

Clothing Symbols - Activity

  • We have seen a war shirt designed by Bently Spang, a Northern Cheyenne

  • We have seen a Give Away Horse dress designed by Joyce Growing Thunder Fogarty.

  • Tribal peoples have traditionally expressed themselves in meaningful ways through their clothing.

  • We can also express what is meaningful to us through our own clothing.

    • Use sketch paper and crayons, colored pencils, or pastels.
    • Put your name on your sketch paper before you begin (in a corner or on the back).
    • Design a shirt or dress (be creative in your choice of materials if you choose).
    • Decorate your shirt or dress with symbols that have special meaning to you.
    • You have many options for creativity. Some decorating choices you have are:
        • Symbols that have personal meaning to you
        • Symbols that have special meaning for your family
        • Symbols that have special meaning because of your heritage
        • Symbols that relate to your hobbies or friends
        • Symbols that deal with your past, present, or future

Little Shell (Have no reservation land)

  • “Landless Indians”

    • No designated reservation—headquarters in Great Falls
    • Not federally recognized, but recognized by state of Montana
  • 1892

  • 1896

    • 600 tribe members were placed in boxcars and sent to Canada
    • During winter they walked back; lived in deplorable conditions outside the Hi-Line towns

Test for Reservations and Tribes

  • Name______________________ 

  • 1. There are______ reservations in Montana

    • 10
    • 9
    • 7
  • 2. The disease _________ killed many Native People.

    • cancer
    • smallpox
    • the common cold

  • 3.    When the Indians got _______ hunting and traveling became much easier.

    • dogs
    • cows
    • Horses
  • 4.    Blackfeet ________ owned the tipi and were responsible for packing and carrying it.

    • women
    • children
    • men 
  • 5.  At councils Blackfeet chiefs all had to reach _________ (all had to agree)

    • company
    • each other
    • consensus 

6.    The Salish chief __________ had his X mark forged on a treaty.

  • 6.    The Salish chief __________ had his X mark forged on a treaty.

    • Charlot
    • Victor
    • Sitting Bull
  • 7.    The __________ tribe was deported to Canada.

    • Chippewa
    • Turtle
    • Coyote
  • 8.    The ________ tribe went from 8000 people to nearly half that number because of smallpox.

    • Aztec
    • Crow
    • Navajo 
  • 9.    The Cheyenne Tribe called the Battle of the Little Bighorn “the battle where ___________ was wiped out forever”.

    • Long Hair
    • Long Bow
    • Long Neck

10 This tribe is also known as the Nakodas__________.

  • 10 This tribe is also known as the Nakodas__________.

    • Salish
    • Assinboine
    • Crow
  • 11 ____________ was used in many ceremonies.

    • chicken
    • Tobacco plant
    • Bitterroot plant
  • 12 This ceremony uses hot rocks with water poured over them_____________________.

    • Sweat lodge
    • Sun Dance
    • Vision Quest

13. This tribe is called the “landless Indians”_____________

  • 13. This tribe is called the “landless Indians”_____________

    • Chippewa-Cree
    • Crow
    • Antelope
  • 14. This animal was an important food source for the

  • Indians ____________

    • the fox
    • the rooster
    • the buffalo
  • 15 ____________ brought both the horse and disease to the

  • Indians

    • Europeans
    • Cubans
    • South Americans

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