Blackfeet Nation

A screenshot from the controversial pep rally video
KHQ.com

After a video that some say depicts Native Americans in a reductive light was shown at a pep rally at a northern Montana high school a few weeks ago, two school districts are grappling with which matters more: intent or interpretation?

Native advocates and the Blackfeet Nation late last week held what is being called the first-ever Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Tribunal in the U.S. The testimony from the families of missing and murdered Native people will be delivered to Congressional lawmakers in a push for policy change. Most family members focused on their frustrations with law enforcement.

Wilderness advocates and a Texas oil company agreed Tuesday to end an oil and gas lease on land considered sacred to the Blackfeet Nation. The settlement permanently removes all but one of the development leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area.

The Blackfeet Tribe and Montanans east of the Rocky Mountain Front are just beginning to dig out of a record-breaking early-season snowstorm. It'll take a few days for the snow to melt and things to return to normal. By Saturday morning, 20 inches of snow had already fallen on the Blackfeet Nation.

Steve Daines talks about the issue of broadband the tribes are facing
Screengrab courtesy of Senator Steve Daines' staff

Lawmakers and tribal representatives urged the Federal Communications Commission to do more to expand broadband access in Indian Country this week. 

With the classes for language, culture and younger children facing high demand, the Blackfeet Nation is looking to grow the reservation's Head Start and Early Head Start programs.

A newly appointed Bureau of Land Management official needs to recuse himself from decisions related to the Badger-Two Medicine area because he has a conflict of interest. That's according to according to the environmental group Earthjustice.

In January, former Indian Health Service Doctor Stanley Weber was sentenced to 18 years in prison for sexually abusing boys on the Blackfeet reservation. The IHS has instituted new policies to try to prevent similar abuse in the future, but at least one expert is skeptical of the agency’s actions.

Murray Foubister / Flickr

The Trump administration has cancelled funding for the Blackfeet Nation’s range rider program. These are tribal members who inspect cattle and make sure the land isn’t overgrazed. Now they could potentially lose their jobs and the Blackfeet tribal council isn’t pleased.

When the Blackfeet Tribe learned its tribal members were about to start receiving payouts from a massive federal court settlement, the tribe wanted to get ahead of some of the problems that can arise when a lot of money floods a cash-based society.

"There was about 150 some million dollars that was injected into this economy here," says Mark Magee, the Blackfeet Tribe’s land department director.

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