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Montana State Ubrai 

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©2008 Stone Child College 

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Stone Child College 

R.R. 1 Bo.x 1082 

Box Elder, MT. 59521 



Ed Stamper, Rocky Boy. MT 
Helen Windy Boy. Rocky Boy MT 
Ken Morsette Jr.. Rocky Boy MT 

Graphic design and layout 

Stone Child College Print Shop, 
Rocky Boy. MT (406)395-4787 

Thumbnail Illustrations for each 
Chapter and contents page 

Stone Child College Print Shop, 
Rocky Boy, MT (406)395-4787 

Front/Back/Sleevc Design 

Stone Child College Print Shop. 
Rocky Boy. MT (406)395-4787 

Initial Printing 

Stone Child College Print Shop, 
Roch- Boy. MT (406)395-4787 

Photo Credits 

Daiyl Wright I Rocky Boy MT 

Ted Wlntford Rocky Boy MT 
Montana State University Northern 

Indian People of the Norlliern Great Piains- 
liltp./Avww. lib. nionlaiia edu digital' nadh/index. html 

Dianne Bynum 

Photo Archives- l\ ashingloii. DC 
Rocky Boy Records 1907 - 1939 

Ken Morsette Jr. . Rocky, Boy. MT 

Dr. Nate St. Pierre. Rocky Boy. MT 

Roger St. Pierre Sr.. Rocky Boy. MT 

Montana Historical Society 

Paul Eagleman Family. Rocky Boy, MT 

IVilmii Windy Boy. Ethel Porker. Helen Parker, 

Florence Sim Child, Rocky Boy. MT 

Chippewa Cree Curriciihnn 

Nadine Morsette. Rocky Boy. MT 


"^c -/OmA to One ^notkcr 

Chief Rocky Boy 


This h()i)k is i/ci/ic(i!cil lo nu'Duirv of oiii- Iciiihliii-^ /oriiallici's. Chicl Rocky Bov of ific 
Ctiipjic^wi ciihl C'liicf l.iaic BcLir of ttic C'rcc. ufio luul llic vision of csinfifistiiii^^ a 
liomclciih/ for ificir fottowcrs^ ll is afso cfci/uciU'i/ lo llic nwinorv of ifiosc ^\^lo invc' nios! 
inslniiuciUal Ar iissistin;^ in nuikin;^ llicir \ision </ rciilitw Inink H. lAiulcnihin ami 
Willuini Boles. 

Source cf Infonnation contnhttcd by 1 Wilier Denny, Arl Rainmg Bird and joe Small 

We beliex'C the Maker of All Tilings 
put us Oil our Motlier Enrth to 
respect one another in our 
relationships to all things and to all 
people. The Great Holy Being told 
the old people long ago that all people 
and all things are but different 
branches on the same tree. We are 
told ill our daily lives we must do 
tliese things. 

Respect Mother Eartli mid all ?/h»^s flint live here. 

Respect tlie elders, our mothers, and our sisters. Love one another and help one another. 

Pray in a good way that loe might get the power to lielp one another and to respect one anotlier for our 

Be truthful and respectfid in our speech, whicli in itself is a miracle and a gift from our Creator tliat we 
niiglit use it only to speak good of each other and to pass on the good things in life. 

Remember that e-oen/thing that is created on Mother Earth is useful, has a purpose, and loas put Jiere for a 
reason. Nothing is to be abused that has been created. 

Remember that all tilings are related and that all things are perfect as they have been created: wind, fire, 
water, rocks, animals, crawlers, birds, plants, the moon, the sun, and humans. 

Remember that the earth was created for everyone and everything and tliat loe are not to selfishly claim it. 
1 Vt' are all to share the good things in life so that we may all live in harmony. 

Realize that we as human beings have been put on this earth for only a short time and that we must use 
tins time to use our minds to gam wisdom, knowledge, respect and understanding of all human beings 
since we are all brotliers. 

Be Iiumble and respectful before the Creator everyday and give thanks for putting us here on earth. 

Ahoays be respectfid of life. We are not to kill our fellow man. 

The elders also said, "We believe in the iniiqueiiess of the indiindiial and want our children to liave a deep 
respect for others and for those things and people who may be different fivm them. We believe that racism 
and prejudice in any form is a useless exercise for the human mind because it only breeds hatred, 
misunderstanding, and uuhappiness; it ignores the realities of the world because there are different people 
and beliefs which have the right to exist as long as theirs does not attempt to do away xoith our loay of life." 


Acknowledgem ents : 
Chapter 1: 10-32 

Chapter 2: 34 - 57 
Chapter 3: 59-98 

Chapter 4: 99-122 

Chapters: 123-153 

Pictures 154-175 

Chapter 6: 177-220 

Addendum: 221-239 

Melody Henry. President. Stone Child College 

Edward Stamper 

Rocky Boy Reservation History to 1979 

Produced by Rocky Boy School Research Program in the 


Contemporary History of Rocky Boy"s Reservation 
Written by Dr. Nate St. Pierre 

The Travels of the Chippewa Cree. Early Years 
Compiled by Gerard Vandeberg, edited by various 

Chippewa Cree Tribal Government 
Written by Roger St. Pierre Sr. 

(Added to this document is the Chippewa Cree Tribal 
Constitution, pictures of Tribal Chairman, and lists of 
Tribal Councils) 

The History of Rocky Boy Education 
Written by Daryl Wright I 

Pictures of Rocky Boy's community and surrounding area 
from the past to present day 

Kinship Charts, pre-tests answer keys, post tests, and 
animal identification 

Developed by Ethel Parker. Helen Parker. Florence 
Sun Child, and Wilma Windy Boy 

Lists of Rocky Boy supplementary materials available and 

their Location 

Compiled by various researchers 

As it is with any historical document this is still a work in progress. There are 
many stories untold and many yet to come. We began the project by gathering as many 
historical documents as we could find fi-om several years ago. 

Many thanks go out to the people who were instrumental in the creation of this 
book. First and foremost, we owe a debt of gratitude to our forefathers for their legacy as 
part of this rich history to the people of Rocky Boy. Secondly, we greatly appreciate 
Go\emor Schweitzer and the State of Montana for providing the financial resources 
necessary to complete this project. We are gratefiil for the Tribal Historic Preservation 
Office Cultural Advisory Committee that consisted of Videl Stump, Sr., Charles Gopher, 
and Duncan Standing Rock. Their commitments to this project included attending 
meetings. re\ iew ing the numerous drafts, and approving the final product. 

I also want to thank the individuals that researched, wrote, edited, and assisted in 
the process. This list includes: Gerard Vandeberg for his endless hours of research and 
transcription; Edward Stamper for writing, researching, proofi'eading, and seeing that the 
project was completed; Rocky Boy Schools Research Program for contributing the 
Reservation History to 1979; Dr. Nate St. Pierre for contributing a chapter on the 
Contemporary History of the Reservation ft-om 1979 to present; Roger St. Pierre, Sr., for 
writing a chapter on Chippewa Cree Tribal Government; and Daryl Wright I for his 
chapter on the History of Rocky Boy Education. Many thanks also go out to Athena 
Galbavy, who assisted with the research and word processing; Ken Morsette. Jr. for 
formatting, editing, printing, and doing it repeatedly— we appreciate the many sleepless 
nights you devoted to this project; Belden Billy for assisting and being a big help with 
printing/layout; Dr. Matt Hennan for research and gathering materials of public record; 
Chelsey St. Pierre for transcribing Tribal Council lists; and Helen Parker, Ethel Parker, 
Florence Sun Child, and Wilma Windy Boy for writing the Cree curriculum. We also 
want to acknowledge Helen Windy Boy. Sam Vernon Windy Boy, Judy Wood and Kim 
Bigknife for assisting with proofreading and edits. A special thank you goes to the 
people of Rocky Boy for contributing to the history of our Tribe by allowing us to 
interview them and include their stories. 

Last, but not least, we would like to recognize the Chippewa-Cree Tribal Council 
and the Stone Child College Board of Directors for their support of this project. 



Melody Henry. President 


The Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation is a very wealthy 
Tribe. In this case, wealth is in terms of language, culture, traditions, and in history. In 
order to access some of these aspects, one must follow certain protocols. One of the 
reasons for safe-guarding the language, culture, traditions, and history is to avoid 
common mistakes that have been made in the past. In particular, there have been authors 
that had previously written manuscripts about our Tribe and, in many cases, their writings 
were not totally accurate. 

This has caused concerns among tribal members: so much that new protocols and 
procedures have been adopted before any of our collective history can be shared with the 
outside world. In order for Stone Child College to deliver history to the people of the 
State of Montana, we must obtain approval from our recognized Cultural Advisory 
Committee and then our Tribal Institutional Review Board. 

Prior to May of 2008. we were not aware of the approval process, but we have 
been following it ever since. Needless to say, there has been more written history 
submitted to these committees than what has been approved. There have been recent 
discoveries of several documents pertaining to our history that have not been studied in 
depth, and due to our timeline for deli\ ery of this history, these documents will not be 
included at this time. Given two more years and flmding for research and writing, we 
feel our shared history could be much more comprehensive. 

When reading the History of Rocky Boy, one must realize the historical era that 
our Chiefs lived. Both Chief Rocky Boy and Chief Little Bear were Plains Indians, a 
primarily hunting and gathering culture. The hunting of buffalo was central to the 
lifestyle of Cree people for thousands of years and to western Chippewa since the early 
1800's. At one time buffalo were the most numerous single species of large wild 
mammal on the Earth, so numerous that Indians could use the surplus meat for trade 
items among other tribes and non-Indians. 

These buffalo, which numbered 60 to 100 million in the mid- 1800s, were 
exterminated to a few hundred by 1889. Many professional hunters such as Buffalo Bill 
Cody killed over a hundred animals at a single hunt and many thousands in their career. 
One professional hunter killed over 20,000 by his own count. 

One can only imagine the shock this brought to tribes that relied 100% on the 
buffalo for their existence. It wasn't much longer when the state governments stopped 
hunting of other animals such as deer and elk by American Indians. This forced many to 
return to reservations to live off of government rations and family gardens. 

This was not the case for the Chippew a and Cree, for they had no reservation to 
return to. They wandered the State of Montana for some 30 years before they were 
finally given a home to plant gardens and practice their ceremonial ways. This 30-year 
period was a sad time; full of sickness, starvation, despair, rejection, and sometimes 
humiliation. However, portions of the newspaper stories found in this segment of history 
have been omitted because, although it is part of actual history, there are some elements 
that could be regarded as appalling among both races and the project review committees 
advised us not to include those accounts in this book. 

If it were not for people like Frank B. Lindennan, William Bole, Theo Gibson, 
and Charles M. Russell, the Chippewa and Cree people of Montana may have also 
become extinct like the buffalo. When Mr. Lindennan contacted officials in Washington 
D.C.. threatening to write to the Eastern Press and infonn them of the conditions the 
Chippew a Cree faced. Congress took action to approve a home for the Chippewa Cree on 
September 7. 1916. 

One can find much history about the Chippewa Cree people through the Internet, 
library searches, and newspaper archives. Several books have also been written about the 
Chippewa Cree, but very little has been written about the histoiy by a Chippewa Cree 
tribal member. With the exception of a small section in the Addendum of this document, 
everything was produced, written, and printed by members of the Chippewa Cree Tribe. 

The purpose of the history within this book is to share with the State of Montana 
so that it can be used within the State schools as part of their curriculum pertaining to 
history of Montana Indians. In the Summer of 2008, Stone Child College in conjunction 
with the Office of Public Instruction, conducted a workshop for certified teachers on the 
History of Rocky Boy"s Resenation. It was highly successful according to the teacher 
evaluations, so we are planning on making this an annual summer event. 

Stone Child College is also seeking funding to add chapters to this book and to 
create a Virtual Tour of our reservation. If this becomes a reality, we will post this 
information on our website at: There is also a lot of infonnation 
about our Tribe that can be found on the tribal website at: 



Ml ^C '^'■B 

m 1 


2007 Slone Child College Graduates 

Chapter 1 

^Rpclyj "Boij ^servafion T-dstorij to <gj^ 

Produced by Rocky Boy School Research Program in the 1970's 


SESSION, 1916. 

Chapter 452 

September 7, 1916. | |S.3646.| 39 Stat., 739. 

An Act to amend the Act of February eleventh, nineteen hundred and fifteen (Thirty- 
eighth Statutes at Large, page eight hundred and seven), providing for the opening of the 
Fort Assinniboine MiHtary Reservation. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America 
in Congress assembled. That the Act approved February eleventh, nineteen hundred and 
fifteen (Thirty-eighth Statutes at Large, page eight hundred and seven), entitled "An Act 
authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to survey the lands of the abandoned Fort 
Assinniboine Military Reservation and open the same to settlement," be, and the same is 
hereby, amended by the addition thereto of the following sections: 
"SEC. 10. 

That fi-actional townships twenty-eight north, ranges fifteen and sixteen east, and 
fi-actional townships twenty-nine north, ranges fourteen and fifteen east, Montana 
principal meridian, within the boundaries of said reservation, embracing a total area of 
approximately fifty-six thousand and thirty-five acres, are hereby set apart as a 
reservation for Rocky Boy"s Band of Chippewas and such other homeless Indians in the 
State of Montana as the Secretary of the Interior may see fit to locate thereon, and the 
said Secretary is authorized, in his discretion, to allot the lands within the reservation 
hereby created under the provisions of the general allotment Act of February eighth, 
eighteen hundred and eighty-seven (Twenty-fourth Statutes at Large, page three hundred 
and eighty-eight), as amended. 
"SEC. 11. 

That the Secretary of the Interior be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to 
patent to the city of Havre, Montana, for reservoir purposes, the following-described 
lands lying within said reservation: The west half southeast quarter, west half section 
twenty-five, and the southeast quarter northeast quarter, northeast quarter southeast 
quarter, section twenty-six, township thirty-one north, range fifteen east, Montana 
principal meridian, comprising reservoir site numbered one and embracing an area of 
approximately four hundred and eighty acres; and the northwest quarter, west half 
northeast quarter, north half southwest quarter, northwest quarter southeast quarter, 
section thirty-three; and the southwest quarter southeast quarter, southeast quarter 
southwest quarter, section twenty-eight, township thirty north, range sixteen east, 
Montana principal meridian, comprising reservoir site numbered two, and embracing an 
area of approximately four hundred and forty acres: Provided, That the city of Havre 
shall pay for said land the sum of $1.25 per acre: Provided further. That if the said city of 
Havre shall at any time hereafter abandon the lands above described and cease to use the 
same for said puiposes, said above-described lands shall revert to the Government of the 
United States. 
"SEC. 12. 

That the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized and directed to withdraw 
and set aside as a camping ground, the same to be kept and maintained without cost to the 
Government of the United States, the following-described land in said reservation lying 


on both sides of Beaver Creek within townships twenty-nine, thirty, and thirty-one north, 
fifteen and sixteen east, to wit: The west half section thirty-four; all of sections thirty- 
three, twenty-eight, and twenty-one; the west half southwest quarter, northwest quarter 
section twenty-two; all of section sixteen; the south half northwest quarter, west half 
northeast quarter, section nine; the east half northeast quarter section eight; the east half 
southeast quarter section five; the west half, northeast quarter, west half southeast quarter 
section four, township twenty-nine north, range sixteen east; and the south half southwest 
quarter, south half southeast quarter, northeast quarter southeast quarter, east half 
northeast quarter, section thirty-three; the southeast quarter southeast quarter, north half 
southeast quarter, southwest quarter southwest quarter, north half southwest quarter, 
north half, section twenty-eight; the west half southeast quarter, west half northeast 
quarter, west half, section twenty-one; the east half southeast quarter, cast half northeast 
quarter, section twenty; the west half section sixteen; east half, east half northwest 
quarter, section seventeen; the east half southwest quarter, east half northwest quarter, 
east half, section eight; the west half southwest quarter, west half northwest quarter, 
section nine; all of section five; the northeast quarter section six, township thirty north, 
range sixteen east; and the southwest quarter section thirty-two; the south half northwest 
quarter, southwest quarter northeast quarter section thirty-one, township thirty-one worth, 
range sixteen east; and the east half southeast quarter section twenty-five; southeast 
quarter southeast quarter, northwest quarter southeast quarter, northeast quarter northeast 
quarter, west half northeast quarter, east half northwest quarter, northwest quarter 
northwest quarter, section twenty-six; south half southwest quarter, south half, southeast 
quarter, section twenty-three, township thirty-one north, range fifteen east, Montana 
principal meridian, embracing an area of approximately eight thousand eight hundred and 
eighty acres." 
Approved. September 7. 1916. 






Histon' of Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation 

The Rocky Boy"s Indian Reservation is different from other reservations in 
Montana in several ways. It was the last reservation to be established in the state. It was 
established not by treaty, but by 
congressional act; and it is the smallest 
reservation in the state, home to the 
smallest tribe, the Chippewa Cree. 

The Chippewa and Cree tribes 
had long been associated with each 
other as they traveled between 
Montana and Canada hunting the 
buffalo. Neither the Chippewa Chief 
Rocky Boy nor the Cree Chief Little 
Bear had signed treaties for land 
during the treaty period; therefore, early in the twentieth century they found themselves 
unwelcome in a land where most Indians were on reservations. They were without a 
home, without a place to call their own: a place where they could make a li\ ing, raise 
their children, and practice their religion according to their beliefs. 

m. , 






Chippewa Chief Rock}- 

Cree Chief Little Bear 

Both Rocky Boy and Little Bear began petitioning the government for a home for 
their people and soliciting support from prominent white citizens who were sympathetic 
to their cause. Since they spent much time in and around the cities of Montana, they 
found supporters in Great Falls" William Bole, editor of the Tribune, artist Charles M. 
Russell, and Helena's Frank B. Lindennan. 

Rocky Boy"s petitions for a home met the greater success than Little Bear"s 
because he was considered an American Indian while Little Bear was often considered a 
Canadian Indian. Rocky Boy"s request was first answered with a proposal that his band 
settle on the Flathead Reservation. The bill died in Congress. Next, Congress set aside 
$30,000 and 60 townships in Valley County for the support of Rocky Boy"s band. But 
the government was unable to gather the band together to send them to Valley County. 
Besides that, the railroad proposed to charge an exorbitant rate to transport Indians. 
Added to those hindrances was the fact that white settlers had declared "declarations of 
occupancy" on the land during the winter months. So much for the Valley County idea! 

Then in 1909, Rocky Boy"s band was ordered to the Blackfeet Reservation. 
Eleven thousand acres, eighty acres per member was set aside in the far northwest near 
Babb, Montana. By June, 1910 only fifty Chippewa had agreed to make selections on the 
Blackfeet Reservation. Many said eighty acres was not enough: the land was too high, 
the winters too severe. There was not enough acreage to support cattle and the land was 
not suitable for fanning. Many band members deserted Rocky Boy. 


In the meantime, others besides Rocky Boy and Little Bear were looking for a 
home for the Chippewa and Cree People. Pah-nah-to, a Chippewa Chief married to 
Prairie Dog, was also seeking land. He had his eye on the abandoned Fort Assiniboine in 
the Bear Paw Mountains, south of Havre. When Pah-nah-to became sick and knew he 
was going to die, he sent for Little Bear. According to oral history, his words to Little 
Bear were something like these: 

"My cousin. I won I sec the day when we get our laticl. I aw dying. I have ab-cady 
started the phms to get this land in the Bear Paws. Rock}' Boy will not he able to stinive 


//; Browniiiii. There is no farm hind and winters are severe. Tlierefore, coneeutrate on 
the Bear Paws. Do your best to gel this hind for our people. " 

These mountains that Pah-nah-to was referring to were sacred to the Cree. They 
reminded them of a bear crouching on the ground, so they called them the Bear Paw 
Mountains. Ah-si-ni-wah-chi-sik. Centennial Mountain is the bear's head. K.ah-kis-kah- 
to-we-ah-mah-nah-ti-nahk. or Fore Top Butte. Square Butte is called Mahs-ko-chi-chi, 
the Bear's Paw. Baldy Butte is the Bears Heart. It is called 0-che-ah-chi-nahs-ik, or 

Heart Butte. 

Little Bear planted 
this idea concerning the 
Bear Paws in the mind of 
Fred Baker who in 1912 
was sent by the Indian 
Office to investigate 
Montana with a view to a 
pennanent settlement for 
Rocky Boy's band and 
other landless Indians. It 
was the first time the 
federal government had 
taken responsibility for 
all non-reservation 

Indians in the state. The 
Bear Paws idea was not 
an idle one. In 1911 Fort 

Buldv Butte 

Cenlcnnial Mountain 

closed as 

had been 

a military 

It contained 

acres of 

grassland, mountains, and 
streams; much of it is the 
Bear Paws south of 
Havre. Baker 

recommended the 

abandoned military 

reservation be set aside 
for the Chippewa and 
Cree. Since it was away 
from major population 
centers, he reasoned, it 
would have the support of 
the citizens of Helena and 
Great Falls. 

A lame duck 

Congress and president 

failed to act on the 

proposal in December of 

1912. Ha\re citizens journeyed to Washington D.C., to protest the settlement of the 

Chippewa Cree near their city. William Bole and Frank Linderman followed the Havre 

.Si/iiiiiv Butic near Box Elder. 


citizens to the nation's capitol to urge Secretary ot^ Interior Franklin Lane to settle the 
Chippewa Cree on the southern mountainous portion of the military reser\e to quiet 
Havre's objection to ha\ing them close b\. Lane must ha\e been intluenced b\ their 
presentation because in December 1913, Little Bear and Rocky Boy were given 
pennission to winter camp at Fort Assiniboine in anticipation of making a pemianent 
home there. 

Still Congress moved very slowly on the question of a home for the Chippewa 
Cree. During the spring of 1914 Lindemian wrote letters threatening to take the story of 
Rocky Boy and Little Bear to easterners if the issue were not addressed. 



Finally, on February 11. 1915. Secretary Lane ordered a suney of old Ft. 
Assiniboine and its opening for settlement. The total acreage of the fort was 72.000 acres 
or 14 '4 square miles. On September 7. 1916 an Act of the 64"' Congress of the United 
States designated a tract of land, once part of the abandoned Ft. Assiniboine Military 
Resene. as a refuge for ihc "homeless and wandering Indians." President Woodrow 
Wilson signed the bill into law and created a tract of land that would sot>n be known as 
Rock\ Boy's Indian Rescr\ation. 

Located south of 
jif „^ Havre, the refuge consisted 

of 56.035 acres. It was gi\en 
-, _ -- as a "permanent home of the 

Chippewa Cree band." The 
same act of Ct>ngress set 
aside 2.000 acres of the old 
military reserve to the state of 
Montana for public use and 
8,880 acres to the city of 
Havre for use as a no-fee 
recreational area for the 

residents oi Chouteau. Hill. 

■^^7s:z^-^^m£f-- ^^^^^^^mimubbSi^ir^-- ■'^^k Liberty, and Blaine Counties. 

R,Kky B,n a;^cmr area m carlv clavs j^^ Superintendent at 

Ft. Belknap in 1916. a man by the name of Martin, is credited with writing the bill 
requesting part of Ft. Assiniboine as a home for the Chippewa Cree. According to the 
records, he requested four southern townships which totaled 1 14 sections. The requested 
sections were divided as follows: 21 tillable. 80 grazing, 12 timber. 

Martin's request was sent to Congress in August of 1916. The Senate passed the 
bill with one drastic amendment, the removal of one tt>\\ nship containing the lower \ alley 
of Beaver Creek. This was done to placate Ha\rc officials. Just as Little Bear had 
feared, his people received only land suitable for grazing and practically no tillable land. 
They were given three townships instead of the four that were requested, two tow nships 
of mountainous low-grade timber, and one township of some grassland and broken bench 
lands. In later years, more land was added to the reservation so that its present size is 
107.613 acres (as of 1979). 

For the Chippewa Cree in 1916 it was land they could call their own. No longer 
did they ha\e to go begging from town to town. In fact as soon as they mo\ ed onto the 
land, even before they knew it was theirs, they planted potatoes. They filled two root 


cellars with their harvest and sent some produce to the State Fair in Helena where it won 

When Congress established the reservation, an enrollment list of over 600 people 
was created. The Indian Office allowed 400 to settle on Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation 
how many additional landless Indians resided in the state no one knew. In June 1917 
James McLaughlin was sent to Rocky Boy"s Indian Reservation to complete an official 
enrollment list. He produced a role of 425 people, including all Chippewa Cree living at 
Ft. Assiniboine in the last three years, those who came from Browning with Rocky Boy 
and those who could demonstrate their association with Little Bear. 


The first years on the 
reservation were difficult ones. 
There were few jobs and many 
people had to go off the 
reservation to find work. Those 
who stayed tried to garden, hunt, 
pick rock, and collect bones, wool, 
tin, and other metals. Rations 
were provided which included 
rice, beans, salt pork, flour, sugar, 
and coffee. It was difficult to 

Ha>-\'estingpolaluci in Ihc airly ycuis tit Kucky Hoy .s liidiau Rcsen'alion 


transport the rations to Rocky 

Boy"s because there were no roads 

from the Box Elder train depot. Someone would have to ride out with horse and wagon, 

and as often as not. the train would arrive without rations. Officials tried sending large 

quantities at a time, but problems arose with storing and issuing the rations. Hard 

feelings often resulted if people used up their rations and the official could not issue 

additional rations from those stored on the 


Along with food rations, the 
government also issued amiy surplus clothes, 
shoes, socks, overcoats. Many women 
would rip up the clothes and make quilts. 

Reimbursable grain wagons, horses, 
and other fann implements were loaned to 
people and they were encouraged to work 
their land. But it was difficult to work a fann 
when one had to go off the reservation in the 
summer to work. 

Even though times were hard, there 
was a spirit of cooperation during the early days. The government furnished seeds to the 
people: oats, wheat, and barley. When the harvest came, everyone got together and went 
from one field to the next until all the crops were harvested. Everyone helped put up hay 
too. And when someone needed a house, people went out together to cut and haul logs. 
They worked until the house was finished. Women helped by chinking the logs and 
preparing food. The people were all finends. They helped and loved one another as the 




ihiDcMiii'' hill 


Elders taught them. Between September 1915 and November 
were completed and ten more were almost finished. 

1916. thirty-five cabins 


Rocky Boy and Little Bear were the accepted leaders of the Chippewa Cree. 
though Little Bear had deferred to the leadership of Rocky Boy after 1904 because of the 
stigma of Canadian birth. The two men were related through their wives. Several of the 
elders of the community acted as advisors which included Ke-nah-wash. a spiritual leader 
who spoke to the people every morning from the hill behind the flour mill. It was said 
his voice could be heard all the way to Parker Canyon! 

Other councilors were Bucket, Spread Wing, Alexander, and Chief Goes Out. 
When it came time to name the reservation, these men and others decided to name it after 
Chief Rocky Boy whose Chippewa name was similar to the Cree Ah-si-niw-i-yi-niw, 
which means Stone Indian. White men translated it as "Rocky Boy." Rock) Boy had not 
lived to see the reservation officially given to his people, for he had died on April 18^\ 
1916. In naming the reservation after Chief Rocky Boy, the people wanted to honor their 
departed chief. 


Pete Kenncwash 

At their first meeting after 
the reservation was fomied. Little 
Bear and his councilors decided that 
a schoolhouse should be built so 
that the young children could go to 
school right on the reservation. 
This was as important to them as 
having a place to practice their 
religion. The first school was a 
one-room log house built by Jim 
Denny, Roasting Stick, Pete 

Jim Dcnnv 

Kennewash. John Courchane. John 

Stump, and Jim Smith. The school 

was located where the Detox Center is now (as of 1979). Grades one through three went 

to school there. Older students were sent to the boarding schools at Ft. Belknap, 

Chemawa, and Flandreau. 

People's memories of their early school days are not very happy ones. They 
remember being punished for speaking their own language, even at recess time. Add to 
that the difficulties of learning in a language they did not understand. It was also hard to 
keep teachers on the reservation. There was no place for them to stay and conditions were 
severe. Often the little schoolhouse at the agency stood empty. 

A Mr. Bushman is remembered as being a pretty good teacher who treated the 
students well. But even he would not allow the children to speak their language. Paul 
Mitchell remembers Edna Colter, his teacher at the agency school. Other teachers who 
are remembered are Mrs. Bain during C.C. days, Mrs. Grouse, Mrs. Bate, and Mrs. 
Portman who taught at Parker School when Mary Lodgepole was a cook there. Mrs. Half 
Coat also taught at Parker School. 


The First Agency School Built in 1916. 

As people moved 
away from the agency and 
out onto the land, different 
communities or "districts" 
were formed. Eventually, 
each district had a school. 
First built was Sangrey 
School in the Sangrey 
district. Then Haystack 
School was built and finally 
Parker Day School. 

Eventually a second school 
was built at the agency for 
the Duck Creek students. 

By the time Parker School 
was built around 1930, 
buses were running. These 
day schools included 
kitchens in which to 
prepare the students" meals 
and living quarters for 
teachers. Temporary 

schools were also built at 
the sawmill and at the site 
of Bonneau Dam when 
workers were living at 
these locations. 

The Sawmill 

School building was used 
until the 1940"s when it 
was sold to a resident of 
Big Sandy. The other 
schools on the reservation 
were operated by the 
Indian service until June, 
1960. At that time 

responsibility for educating 
Rocky Boy's students was 
transfen'ed to the Havre 
School District. All day 
schools were consolidated 
Haystack School 193a into one new elementary 

school building at the agency. In 1970 the Rocky Boy community assumed 
control of educating its youngsters, electing an all-Indian school board and 
initiating a bilingual program at Rocky Boy School. At that time Superintendent 
Bert Corcoran invited Joe Small, Walter Denny, and Art Raining Bird to teach 
Cree reading, writing, history, and Indian ways, to the teachers, teacher aids, bus 
dri\ers, and cooks. They taught the Cree teachers to read and write the Cree 
language so that the children would not forget their way of writings, and these 
were the ones that actually taught the students. 


raikci L)a\ School 1^31. 


The bilingual program is 
still in effect today and extends 
into the tribal High School which 
has been in operation since 1979. 


Another of the very first 
buildings the people built in the 
winter of 1 9 1 4- 1 5 was the Round 
Dance Hall. It was constructed of 

The Round dcmce hall uasconstmcled by local people in I9I4-I9I5 Sod and logS and StOOd SOUthwCSt 

of the present Senior Citizens 
Center. Round dances and other community gatherings were the major form of 
entertainment for the people in the early days. 


Ever since the Rocky Boy Reservation was established a government 
representative has lived at the agency. Until 1919 Rocky Boy's was under the 
jurisdiction of the Fort Belknap Superintendent. That meant that the government rancher 
at Rocky Boy made all of his requests to Ft. Belknap. The first government fanner was 
Roger St. Pierre (1915-1917). He was a mixed blood Chippewa fi-om the Pembina band 
in North Dakota. Following St. Pierre was John Parker (1917-1925). He had been a 
government farmer at the Flathead Agency. In October of 1917. the Indian Office 
separated the administration of Rocky Boy trom that of Ft. Belknap and promoted Parker 
to "Fanner in Charge" and "Special Disbursing Agent." After 1917 Parker requested 
fiinds and aid directly fi-om Washington. D.C. In 1919. the Indian Office elevated the 
Rocky Boy Agency to equal status with Ft. Belknap and named John Parker 
superintendent of Rocky Boy's Agency. 

JOHN PARKER, 1917-1925 

(Not to be confused mth the John Parker that was a Chippewa Cree triballr enrolled member) 

John Parker tried to help the Rocky Boy people by promoting cultural values and 
improving conditions on the reservation. He encouraged close-knit families; he removed 
the rules against the Sun Dance; he created a Business Committee composed of elder 
band members so that they could ha\e a voice in reservation affairs; he improved living 
conditions on the reser\ ation so that a mechanic, a blacksmith and a school teacher could 
be attracted to the area. He suggested road construction to the Box Elder railroad stafion 
and larger storage facilities at the agency to eliminate delays in issuing rations. He 
advocated a cattle-raising industry as a source of income from the reservation. 

The cattle industr) was a part of Parker's five-year agricultural plan for the 
reservation. Each head of household was to be placed on a 160 acre assignment to 
produce small grains for — flour and cattle feed — and to raise vegetables, hogs and 
chickens for their famih 's needs. Each family was expected to make improvements on 
the property, including building a house, bam. root cellar and chicken house. Thus a 
"two-tier" farm econom> would be created the small fanns would produce food for 
themselves and for cattle. The cattle industry would produce a cash income for the tribe. 


The 1 60 acre 
assignment per head of 
household would 

involve only 1 5.000 
acres of reservation 
land. There was plenty 
of land left over for the 
tribal cattle industry if 
land were not leased to 
outsiders as it had been 
in the past. Only by 
ending the lease 
arrangement would the 
cattle industry be a 
possibility on the Rocky 
Boy Reservation. But 
the Indian Office undercut Parker's plan and renewed the lease with white ranchers. As a 
result, his plan could not work. Parker had to resign himself to being the care taker of the 
reserxation. issuing rations and making life as tolerable as possible for the Rocky Boy 
people. His generous issue of rations got him into trouble with the Indian Office. When 
they decreased his funds for rations. Parker went to Montana Senator Walsh to protest. 
No such insubordination was tolerated by the Indian Commissioner. Parker was forced 
out of office and replaced by John Keeley who promised strict obedience to hidian Office 

Gathering, calllc In ibe early years of Rocky Boy's Indian Reseryalion. 

JOHN KEELEY, 1925-1926 

.lohn Keeley came to his job with a "prison warden's mentality." He did so many 
things that irritated the Chippewa Cree that they were in open revolt against him within 
six months. Following is a partial list of their grievances: 

• He took keys to the warehouse away from five band members who had 
been trusted with them. 

• He dismissed Dan Belcourt as reservation thrasher and separator because 
of disrespect to the superintendent and replaced him with a white rancher. 

• Instead of working on health conditions on the reser\'ation. he dug a well 
for water for the superintendent and clerk's office. The tribe's members 
had to haul water from a spring 300 yards from the agency camp. 

• He ended the tribe's relationship with the only medical doctor who came 
out to the reservation, a Dr. McKenzie from Big Sandy. 

• He refused to deal with the Business Committee Parker had created. 

• He tried to prohibit the Sun Dance. As a result, the people danced the 
entire summer. 

• He tried to force all the people off the agency and onto their assignments. 

• He issued an order to cut the children's long hair. 

• In an effort to get milk into the school children's diet, he bought milk 
cows too old to produce milk. 

• He ordered people into fann organizations, refusing rations to those who 
did not ioin. 


• He threatened to remove from the reservation rolls those who did not go 
along with him. 
Keeley was relieved of his duties in February, 1926. 

LUMAN SHOTWELL, 1926-1929 

The next government agent at Rocky Boy was Superintendent Luman W. 
Shotwell. He showed more concern for the people and more tact in dealing with them 
than did Keeley. His goals were to improve the agency office and increase its staff; to 
provide better services such as health and agricultural training to people; and to set an 
example of energetic labor. 

More people were persuaded to fami in 1926 but hot, dry winds shriveled the 
grains. Shotwell induced people to farm again in 1927 by having them sign an agreement 
that if they received rations they would farm the next summer. He confiscated people's 
land if they did not fami and sold the grain they produced to cover reservation debts. 

In 1927 Shotwell introduced an agency school garden that was supposed to 
provide food for the children's noon meals and demonstrate proper methods of raising a 
garden in the Bear Paws. At the end of the season, the garden produced an income of 
fifty-five cents above the cost of maintaining it. The garden was abandoned. 



::M.^j'M { 

Road CiDisinnhon III Ri'vkr Bii\ in /vjy. 

E^^^■n ilic women helped wiili consiiiiciion of the roads. 

As for improving health services, Shotwell requested a hospital for the reservation 
but was reftised. The Indian Office did approve a field nurse and the continued use of a 
contract doctor from Big Sandy. A 1925 survey of health needs on the reservation 
revealed the following: 

• Of sixty five children attending day school: 

o 23 had advanced trachoma 

o 40 had defective teeth 

o 9 showed evidence of TB 

o 1 1 had acute goiter 

o All showed signs of malnutrition 

• Of adults 

o 20% had TB 

o There was a high incidence of venereal disease 
o The death rate was 3-4% of the population, two-thirds of the death 
being of children under five years of age 


Shotwell requested aid for road improvements and netted the reservation $8,000 
in 1928. The government stipulated that the people had to work on the roads themselves 
and Shotwell was strict on this. He even cut off the rations of an eighty year old man 
who refused to work on the roads! The Indian Office also agreed to help fund the 
installation of telephone line from Rock) Boy"s Agenc\ to Box Elder. (As far as we 
know, no one lost their food rations on account of the telephone line) In spite of the fact 
that the depression was on the way and drought had returned to north central Montana, 
Shotwell was able to expand the agency and improve conditions on the reservation. He 
had agreed to a new Indian council so that the Chippewa Cree would have a sounding 
board for their complaints. By 1929, he employed ten personnel at the agency including 
schoolteachers, a general mechanic, blacksmith, and a forest ranger. A sawmill and 
impro\ed access to timber through road constmction added jobs and cash flow to the 
reser\ation. By 1932, S40.000 had been spent on building all weather roads to Box Elder 
and Havre. This period of growth continued for Rocky Boy through 1936. 


Saw Mill 


Wlien Shotwell was 
promoted to superintendent at Ft. 
Belknap, Earl Wooldridge came to 
Rocky Boy. A native of Chinook, 
he had been in the Indian Service 
since 1924 working as a farmer, 
teacher, and principal on 

■ reser\ations at Ft. Hall. Idaho, and 

_ - Ft. Totten. North Dakota. Some 

people called him "mean", but 

many felt that he was trying to 

help the Indians, to teach them how to make a 

living by working. 

Wooldridge made people work for any 
money or provisions they received. He even 
had them exchange their labor for emergency 
rations. People could work at such jobs as 
putting up hay, building fence or houses, or 
hauling wood. For such jobs. Four Souls 
received 36 cents a week. Once some carcasses 
arrived on the reservation (though they didn't 
know what they were) people paid 90 cents a 
piece for them. Old people did receive rations 
v\'ithout being required to work. 

To further encourage people to become 

self-sufficient, Wooldridge tried to break up 

the agency camp and move people to their assignments. In May 1930, he delivered an 

ultimatum to the people: no aid or employment would be gi\en to those who refiised to 

move to their assignments. Incentives were offered to those who did move: 

McNicklc. Duscnhcrn. and tour Souls. 


1 . a family garden would be created on each assignment 

2. a cattle herd would be developed as a cooperative tribal venture 

3. a supply of chickens and hogs would be given to each household 

Wooldridge insisted each family raise wheat and oats for winter feed for cattle, as 
well as for their own use. By 1930 Wooldridge reported fiflty-five families had entered 
into the plan and were doing well. By 193 1, the cattle herd had increased to 350 head, in 
addition to selling 1 50 head. 

Wooldridge also had a grandiose plan for increasing Rocky Boy"s land base. He 
requested one million dollars from the Indian Office to add 80,000 acres to the 
reservation to be used to settle landless Indians, to construct 300 homes and 400 bams 
and chicken houses, and to purchase stock and equipment. He also wanted to add 
100,000 acres of land for use by those already enrolled. Linking the plight of the landless 
Indians to his requests for improvements at Rocky Boy was a good move politically. 
Montana citizens wanted the homeless Indians removed from their cities. But a cutback 
in funding allowed only S200,000 for Rocky Boy. Wooldridge re-submitted a more 
modest plan for 42,000 acres to settle the landless Indians already on the reservation. 
Because he had promised more than he could deliver, he earned the wrath of the Rocky 
Boy community. Joseph Dussone and Charles Mosney led the attempt to remove him. 
The Business Committee tried to claim the authority to hire their own superintendent but 
the Indian Office refused the right. 


In 1934, while Wooldridge was still superintendent at Rocky Boy, President 
Roosevelt appointed John Collier Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Collier was an Indian 
rights advocate who wanted Indians to have more control over their own affairs. He 
wrote a document called the Indian Reorganization Act which set forth the principles of 
self-government and self-determination for Indian people all over the United States. 
Wooldridge was put in charge of selling the idea to the Indians in Montana. Darcy 
McNickle and Henry Roe Cloud traveled in Montana paving the way for the elections. A 
meeting was called in Rapid City, South Dakota, which Collier himself attended to 
present his proposal to the Indians in the Northwest. 

Under the IRA, Indians were to write their own constitutions and formulate their 
own governing bodies. These tribal governments would then work directly with the 
Indian Office. This appealed to the Chippewa Cree because it meant official recognition 
of the tribe and the beginning of a trust relationship with the federal government. 
Perhaps this would at long last end the stigma of foreign birth. Collier also promised that 
public domain lands would be added to the reservations of those tribes who accepted the 
IRA. On the strength of the promise. The Chippewa Cree were one of the first tribes to 
adopt Collier's plan. The vote was 172 FOR and 7 AGAINST. 

In the years after 1934 the reservation nearly doubled in size, to include over 
104.000 acres in 1946. As a direct result of the Indian Reorganization Act, one-eighth of 
a mile (557 acres) was added to the reservation. The government also bought out Gravel 
Coulee and Williamson Range, 35,000 acres at $280,000. In order to receive this land. 
Rocky Boy's Business Committee agreed to adopt into the tribe thirty families of landless 
Indians. The natural increase in the population and the addition of landless Indians more 
than doubled the population of the resenation. In 1943 it was noted that the reservation's 
resources were not enough to support the population. Full utilization of the reservation 
could provide an adequate living for only 40 families. Less than two hundred fifty 


families resided on the reservation. Therefore, the land could support only 20% of the 
population. Agency employment, marketing handicrafts and social security provided an 
income for an additional 60 families, leaving over 140 families with no means of support. 

Within a year of accepting the IRA, the Chippewa Cree tribe had written and 
received approval of a constitution. It was amended on April 22. 1972. The charter was 
ratified in 1936. The governing body was to be called the Chippewa Cree Business 
Committee and consisted of nine members eight representatives and one chaimian, all 
elected by popular vote. The chainnan and four members were to serve four-year terms 
and four others two-year terms to provide continuity in committee membership. 

In 1947 Rocky Boy's Reservation was again put under the jurisdiction of the 
agency staff at Fort Belknap. It was proposed by Shotwell in 1932 after his transfer to Ft 
Belknap, but the idea was shelved until John Collier came into office and Shotwell 
offered the plan again. Wooldridge spoke against it because he feared abandonment of 
Rocky Boy just when they were starting to get on their feet. Collier let the issue drop. 

When Collier resigned because Congress did not support his programs, 
congressional budget cutters forced the Indian Office to reconsider consolidation of Ft. 
Belknap and Rocky Boy. The Chippewa Cree protested to Senator Mike Mansfield and 
he agreed with them. The Bureau of Indian Affairs saw no other alternative to the budget 
crunch than the elimination or consolidation of its agencies, so in 1947 the administration 
of Rocky Boy was put under Ft. Belknap. This arrangement lasted until 1965 when 
Rocky Boy again received its own superintendent. Rocky Boy retained its own 
administration to the present. 


Depending on the source of infomiation, the total land base of the reservation is 
presently somewhere between 107,000 and 108,000 acres as of 1979. The land is 
roughly divided into the following categories: 

Dryfami 5,937 acres 
Irrigated 993 acres 
Irrigable 1.507 acres 
TOTAL 8.437 acres 


70.409 acres 
27.000 acres 
1 87 acres 
97,596 acres 

Administrative Site 
School Sites 
School Pastures 

800 acres 

60 acres 

1 60 acres 

L020 acres 

GRAND TOTAL - 107,053 acres 

Rocky Boy"s land was never allotted. Enrolled individuals are entitled to fi-ee-use 
assignments of up to 160 acres. Approximately 20% of the reservation is in 160 acre 
assignments. In the early years there was concern among the people about the 
pennanence of their assignments. They feared they might be taken away at the whim of a 
superintendent. Any buildings they constructed could be willed to family members: thus 
they gained some sense of ownership although the land remained in the hands of the 

* Tlwre was some studies done on the coal several years ago. and we know that there was mining done with 
the coal (quality coal). The drilling and coring was done in the known areas where coal was developed or 
an area that had outcrops of coal. An area that has quality coal is near Centennial mountain hut getting it 
and using it is another problem, as the coal veins are at such a steep angle it would he difficult to get the 
coal out. There is also the issue of underground water: the coal beds .teem to .wrx'e as aquifers or 
contribute to holding of water. Other areas drilled were in the old Sangrey School (Bonneau dump site) 
areas: this coal has a high ash content, which lowers the quality for local use and has an overburden of 
around 50 feet. 


Gladys Stanley and 
Nancy Raining Bird Oats Anderson 


The land base and natural resources on 
Rocky Boy"s are scant. The land can support no 
more than forty families in a farm and ranch 
subsistence. Therefore many enrollees live and/or 
work off the reservation. According to records there 
are approximately 3,000 enrolled members, two 
thousand of whom live on the reservation. The rest 
reside off the reservation. The potential labor force 
is 913, including 441 men and 472 women. The 
unemployment rate is between 70% and 80% (this 
was as of 1979). 

People on Rocky Boy are used to having to 

struggle to make a living. When they first moved to 

the reservation back in 1915 there was no work at 

all. To feed themselves, people raised gardens. 

There were hardly any deer or elk when they 

arrived, so they hunted smaller animals pigeons, 

gophers, groundhogs, muskrats, prairie chickens, 

grouse, and rabbits. Paul Mitchell tells of climbing 

the cottonwoods for magpie eggs. 

His mother would fry them up with 

the salt pork they received with their 

rations and that would be their 

bacon and eggs. 

People could earn a little 
cash by "goin" junkin"." They would 
go from one town to the next 
picking up pieces of tin, copper, or 
5»^ '•iMjiT-'f -'■•'■'- '""- aluminum, rags, old batteries, and 

afe-if s . old tires. All of this could be sold to 

^^^ . ^' «-■ a junk dealer. They also picked 

^gt^'.i: _ ^^ bones and sold them to "Bone 

■cr- '"•^■■■P - ^ -451 Chief Cowan who ran a store in 

Fort Assinihoinc near Havre, Montana. Box Elder. They were paid about 

ten dollars a wagon load. The bones 
were shipped back East there they were crushed and mixed with feed for animals. 

Once in a while work was found picking rock or potatoes. A person could earn 
five dollars for cleaning 1000 bricks at old Ft. Assiniboine. Frank Caplette said he was 
able to clean 1000 bricks per day. Coyote pelts could also be sold, as could wool that 
was gathered from fences. Fence posts could be cut and sold. 

The men went wherever they could to find work. Ditch camps offered 
employment digging ditches and the railroad offered jobs building and repairing track. 



The Indian Office pressured people to settle into fanning communities from the 
earliest days. As early as 1915 they gave pemiission to use some of Ft. Assiniboine for 
gardening. The government supplied some seed and two sod breaking plows and a disk 
harrow. Only later did the Chippewa Cree learn they had to reimburse the government 
for these. This caused some of the first tension between the Indian Office and the people 
of Rocky Boy. 

The Chippewa Cree saw farming as a mean to increase their food supply, but if 
they farmed successfiilly their rations were reduced. They argued that if they could count 
on a confinuous supply of radons, they could build up their farms. But this was not to be. 

Commissioner of Indian 

Local Janiicrs working the fields. 

Affairs Cato Sells 
announced in 1917 an 
end to the 

■guardianship of all 
competent Indians." 
And the drought of 
1917-20 meant an end 
to productive gardening 
and eliminated most of 
the employment 

opportunities on the 
reservation. Because of 
these fiustrating 

conditions Rocky Boy 
for the first time had a 
problem with alcohol 

The end of the 
drought in the 1920's 
brought a drop in 
agricultural prices. 

Wheat was ninety cents 
a bushel and hay was 
six dollars a ton. It had 
been eighteen dollars a 
ton during the drought. 
The Chippewa Cree 
increased the tilled land to over 1200 acres, yet each of seventy-six fanners worked less 
than 18 acres per person. In 1922 Rocky Boy"s average income was $17.00 per capita 
from labor of all kinds. The Protestant Mission, which in June 1920. had been granted 
eighty acres to build a mission on Rocky Boy, ran a handicrafts industi-y which yielded 
nearly $200 per month. Still the total earnings on the reservafion equaled only $ 1 8, 1 35. 

Ladies with quills nuule a! the Mission. 



At one point in Rocky Boy's Reservation history, mining offered a potential 
source of income for the people. In 1919 Congress passed legislation authorizing mineral 
claims on un-allotted Indian lands. For many reservations this meant a loss of land to the 
whites, but at Rocky Boy it meant hope for a pennanent income. In 1927, the Secretary 
of the Interior ordered Superintendent Shotwell to survey that part of the reservation 
containing potentially recoverable minerals. In 1931 a twenty year lease was granted to 
the Bear Paw Mining and Milling Company of Havre to mine gold, lead, silver, copper 
and vermiculite. The Bureau of Indian Affairs fixed the royalty at 7.5% of the net value 
of minerals taken. The arrangement failed to produce any income for the tribe. The mine 
never lived up to its promise. It failed to pay rentals when due, to carry on operating and 
developing work obligated under the lease, and it refused to take necessary steps to 
prevent caving of the mine and thus created a hazard on the reservation. 

The development of natural gas and oil resources on the reservation proved to be 
a more lucrative venture for the Chippewa Cree, increasing tribal income to about 
$90,000 annually as of 1975, with the potential for added income in the future. 


Though the reservation's grazing lands cannot support enough cattle to provide a 
living for all of its people, (some experts say the reservation could only support 1600- 
1800 head), from time to time certain individuals have been able to make a decent living 
raising cattle. For instance, in 1928 three individuals owned a total of 250 cattle. Those 
three families were fairly prosperous for the 1920's. In those years much grazing land 
was still leased to MacNamara and Marlow Company Limited, which prevented the 
expansion of cattle raising on the reservation. But in 1933 the lease was tenninated and 

an attempt was made to 


establish a viable cattle 
industry on Rocky Boy. 
Between 1931 and 1935. 
Rocky Boy increased its 
cattle herd from under 
400 to over 1500 head. 
But the drought reduced 
the herd once again. 
People became 

discouraged trying to 
keep a few abandoned 
cattle alive. 

In 1936 the worst 

Local ranchers branding cattle drought in the history of 

Montana hit the reservation. It wiped out all progress in one year. All the range grass 
died, there was no hay for winter feed. Insects finished off what the drought failed to kill. 
They were able to save 350 head of cattle by shipping them off to Dixon. 

In 1937 a loan from the Emergency Relief Administration helped the Chippewa 
Cree establish a hay enterprise. It was operated on lands acquired under the purchase 
program. The first crop was in 1938. They raised some cattle and hoped to provide a 
basis for establishment of cattle industry at Rocky Boy. By 1940 the reservation herd 


was back to 1000 head. The hay enterprise provided year round work for six men and in 
1939 and 1940 showed a modest profit. 


Civilian Conscnrilion Corps (CCCj Ccntenniiil Camp 
located at Sa)uh Creek. 

In 1972 Dry Fork Farms was created as a state chartered tribal enteiprise. using 
once leased lands. It cultivated a total of 4600 acres of which 2300 were planted in 

wheat. Dry Fork is a cooperative 
^^- venture. Individual tribal 

members can participate by 
adding their farm units to the 
project. Dry Forks takes over a 
person's assignment on a five 
year lease and the member gets 
24% of all profits from the land. 
Thirty people are employed in 
the summer months, ten in the 
winter (1972). 


In past years there have 
been other money making 
enterprises on the reservation; a 
sawmill, a flour mill, and an 
organized handicrafts industry. 
In 1928. Superintendent Shotwell 
purchased a portable sawmill. It 
was located at the fork of Muddy 
Creek. The mill meant the 
people could plane their own 
lumber, make and treat fence 
posts, and make door frames. 
- Fire destroyed the sawmill in 
1938. In 1940 it was rebuilt. 
Though the sawmill is gone 
today, a post and pole plant 
survives, which employs ten to fifteen 
people year round (now closed). 

The flour mill was purchased 
under Wooldridge"s authority in 1930. 
In 1932. 1500 acres were planted in 
wheat, oats, and rye. In 1934 the Hour 
mill processed 400.000 pounds of 
tlour. That used to be the best flour, 
the older people say! The reser\'ation 
kept 253.527 pounds for their own use 
and sold the surplus. In good years the 

A ^ 

Rock} Boy Flour Mill was located where Senior Citizen 
Center now stands. 

Flour produced at Rocky Boy Flour Mill. 


flour mill supplied some of the needs of Ft. Belknap and Ft. Peck Indian Reservation. 
The flour mill building still stands, though it was not used after 1938 (no longer exists). 

The Lutheran Mission supported the handicrafts efforts. When the Gables were at 
the Mission they would cut out moccasins, put out needles, thread and beads, and help 
people that way. Little girls would help their mothers with the easy part of beading and 
pretty soon they would know how to do it. The finished beadwork was taken to 
Browning where all of it could be sold. Also the Arts and Crafts Association trom 
Billings came to the reservation twice a month and paid a good price for beadwork and 
other crafts. 


Franklin D. Roosevelt became President of the United States in 1933 during the 
depression. He wanted to help people through these hard times. His "New Deal"" created 

jobs for people. Under the 
New Deal, the Rocky Boy 
Agency had a legal and moral 
obligation to provide 
maximum work under the 
W.P.A (Works Progress 
Administration), LE.C.W. 
( Indian Emergency 

Conservation Work), and 
C.C.C. (Civilian 

Conservation Corps). The 
availability of employment 
for cash combined with the 
drought of 1936 meant that 
the Chippewa Cree 

abandoned their assignments, 
sold their cattle and sought 
employment in the public 
works programs. The 

government had been ready 
to expand the reservation and 
finance the establishment of a 
viable economy based on 
cattle, but the W.P.A was the 
down fall of the cattle 
industry on Rocky Boy. 
Construction of Boiwcau Dam 1937-40. Starting in 1933 the 

government work projects did accomplish some good things at Rocky Boy. Brush was 
cleared and roads were built into the forests. Switchbacks were built to the top of 
Centennial Mountain and a lookout placed there. Firebreaks were completed where 
needed. An inigation ditch was built near Box Elder Creek. Between 1933 and 1934 
houses were built on assignments. At that time a house could be built for five hundred 
dollars. Bonneau Dam, named for a family who lived there, was also a product of the 

Clearing brush to build roads. 


New Deal. It was built in the years 1937-40. A camp was set up at the sawmill to plane 
lumber and make fence posts. Enough families lived at the mill for a time to warrant a 
school being built there. There was a school at Bonneau Dam, too, while it was being 


Responding to a new government program in 1942, many people at Rocky Boy 
were shipped off the resei"vation to such places as Chicago and Los Angeles. Relocation 
was what the government called it. People were supposed to learn how to make a living 
in the "outside world." Often they were sent to schools to learn certain job skills. Then 
World War II broke out. The war nearly ended all development programs on Indian 
reservations. The young men were lost to the military. Other able-bodied sought 
employment off the resei-vation. For Rocky Boy people, migratory labor in Idaho and 
Montana was attractive. 


In the winter of 1 948-49 temperatures in the northern plains states fell to record 
lows. Emergency airlifts of hay, food, and clothing kept people and cattle alive. There 
was hardly any money for Rocky Boy's relief because most was going to the reservations 
in North and South Dakota. Malnutrition stalked Rocky Boy. Concerned citizens spoke 
out in their behalf Senator Mike Mansfield finally sent the Red Cross to help. They 
found the people sick and malnourished. 

Early in 1 949 the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Business Committee made a 
last effort to gain realistic congressional support for Rocky Boy. Senator James E. 
Mun-ay and Congressman Wesley D'Ewart jointly introduced a bill in the House and 
Senate to rehabilitate the reservation, "to lay a stable foundation on which Indians can 
engage in diversified economic activities and reach a standard of living equal to others, 
looking forward to withdrawal of federal services and supervision." 

The bill asked for government financing of off-reservation employment because 
the land could never offer a livelihood for the entire population. It also proposed an on- 
going program of land purchase because raising cattle might be the only hope for 
economic development on Rocky Boy. 

The bill requested a $600,000 fund for livestock purchases repayable at a low 
interest rate over a twenty-five year period, loans of up to $1,404,000 for physical 
improvements and education, and a gift of $915,000 to the Business Committee to be 
used as they saw fit. The bill was meant to get the Chippewa Cree on their feet and allow 
them to create their own economic base so they would not have to continue to be 
dependent on the federal government. Like so many other rehabilitation bills, it died 
without congressional action. 


In the 1960's the Bureau of Indian Affair offered a modest program to stimulate 
tourism, sports, and hunting, and fishing, but no fundamental improvements were 
forthcoming. Most petipic working on the reservation were W(Mking for the government. 
Fewer than one adult in fi\ c had a nongovernmental source of income. Some found 
seasonal employment, but at least half were chronically unemployed. 


In the 1970"s The Chippewa Cree Crafts Cooperative was in operation, producing 
traditional patchwork qui Us and beadwork. A general store and gas station were 
operating. Coal was being mined. Baldy Butte Inn and Ski Bowl were tribally owned 
and operated. Leasing land to non-members was bringing some dollars to the tribe. And 
the development of natural gas, vermiculite, and columbium was being proposed. 

But to the present day the reservation carries the same problem it had when it was 
first established: too many people, too little land. Many people can fmd no employment 
on the reservation and are forced to go away to work. The challenge facing today's 
Rocky Boy is to create employment for its many members who prefer to live and work on 
the reservation. 

Square Butte with Sweet Grass Hills in the far back ground 

Youth Camp with Baldy Butte in background 

Horses next to Housing Projix i m Bn.x i.Ulcr 



The following photo are the staff that put this "Histor>' of Rocky Boy's Indian 
Reservation" together in the 1970's, when they were working for a Research 
Program at Rocky Boy School. Along with the Cultural Informants, special thanks 
go to people that were interviewed such as. Four Souls, Mary Lodge Pole, Elizabeth 
Belgarde, Paul and Leona Mitchell, Tom Saddler, Fanny Sun Child, and Paul Little 
Sun. A big thanks to Rocky Boy School for allowing Stone Child College to share 
this history and these photos with the State of Montana. 

The original photos that were in the history paper were not used in this document because 
of damages to copies and we did not have access to the original photos. Therefore we 
replaced them with relevant pictures of the time period. 


Back Row Left to Right; Lain "'Spud"" Denin' (Printer). Robert .Munc (Bilingual Uiieeioi). \ emon The 
Boy (Director of Production Center). Alfred Young Man (Assistant Director). Sam Windy Boy Sr. 
(Cultural Informant). Phyllis Parker (Secretary). Joe Small (Cultural Infonnant). Walter Denny (Cultural 
Inl'orniant). Art Raining Bird (Cultural Informant). 

Front Row Left to Right: Lynn Baker (Linguist). Louis Raining Bird (Cultural Informant). Mario Patacsil 
Sr. (Photographer) 

Stone Child College would like to thank the 200H Elder Commission for their approval on July 18, 2008 
and the Rocky Boy Institutional Reyie\\' Board for their approval on July 22, 2008, allowing the College to 
use this document, in sharing Rocky Boy histoiy with the State of Montana. 





Chapter 2 

A Contemhomnj T-(htor\j ofl^ochj "Roij 's 


Written b> Dr. Nate St. Pierre 


A Contemporary History of Rocky Boy's Reservation 

By Nate St. Pierre, Ed. D. 

This chapter of the Rocky Boy History Project (RBHP) covers the years from 
1979 to 2008. There are obviously antecedents to many of the historic events that took 
place during this period. It is the hope of the author that some of the items mentioned 
herein might stimulate memories and evoke further thoughts of the readers so that, later, 
other noteworthy pieces of history might be woven into this era of Rocky Boy"s past. 
This chapter is not intended to be an exhaustive chronology, but it is meant to provide an 
overview and perspective of history as it pertains to the RBHP. Included in this 30-year 
timeframe is a collection of citations from primary source documents, personal anecdotes 
and reflections from the historical record. Every attempt was made to be accurate as to 
names, dates, and events; however there may be some discrepancies in numerical data 
that was derived from varying sources. 

Population Demographics 

The data for population statistics for the Rocky Boy"s Reservation (also known as 
Rocky Boy) varies according to the source. At first glance, it appears to be inconsistent, 
but it is clear that there is a general population growth trend over the last 30 years. The 
Tribal Enrollment Office houses current infomiation on the number of enrolled tribal 
members and their residence (both on and off the reservation). There are also census- 
types of information that have attempted to assess the number of residents, household, 
and employment information. Because of the data collection methodology and purpose of 
data usage, the two infonnation sources may not corroborate for a particular point in 
time. Nonetheless, it is clear that the population continues to increase both in total 
enrollment and in residents at Rocky Boy. 

The total resident Indian population of Rocky Boy was 1.749 in April of 1978. 
Nearly 2/3 (64%) of the on-reservation residents were under the age of 24. 

The total number of enrolled tribal members was 3,870 in 1988 with 2,484 living 
on or near the reservation. Approximately 64% of the reservation population [was] under 
the age of 24. There were 1,386 living off the reser\'ation (Bureau of Indian Affairs, 

The total tribal enrollment [was] 4,152. with 2,765 members as residents 
(Chippewa Cree Tribe, Summary, 1993). 

By 1997. "The total enrollment of the Chippewa Cree Tribe [was] 4.931 with an 
on-reservation population of 3.292" (Chippewa Cree Tribe. 1996-97. p. 1) 

In 1998 the population was about 3.500 (according to water rights testimony). At 
that time, the population was expected in increase at an average annual growth rate of at 
least 3%. This means that the population would be about 8.500 by the year 2025 and 
expected population of about 16,000 in the year 2045. 

The Rocky Boy"s Indian Reservation has the youngest median age of Montana's 
seven reservations at 20.5 and the largest average family size at 4.40. This compares to an 
average family size of 2.99 for Montana. In 2000 the population [was] 2.676 at Rocky 
Boy (Ivanova. 2000). Though it's Montana's least populated reservation. Rocky Boy's 
has seen the biggest jump in its population — 37% since 1990 (Ivanova, 2000). 

In 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau listed the population of the Rocky Boy's Indian 
Reservafion at 2,676. Similar data [indicated] that there [was] a total of 4,441 individuals 


living on the Rocky Boy"s Indian Resenation (Bureau of Indian Affairs. 2003). Roughly, 
65% of the population was between 25-44 years of age. 

According to the 2000 U.S. Census Bureau, some demographic features of Rocky Boy 

• A young (49% from ages to 19) and rapidly growing (nearly 5% annually) 

• Only 12'^o of the tribal members were home-owners, whereas the other 88% were 
in mutual help homes or low-income rental units 

• An unemployment rate that fluctuated between 35% (summer) and 70% (winter) 

• 63% of those who are employed were in management, professional, and related 
service occupations 

• The largest sectors of the service industry (40%) were in education, health, and 
social services 

• Only 4% of those employed were in retail/wholesale trade 

• The median family income was $22,429 

• 38% of the families were living below the poverty level 
[St. Pierre, N. (a), 2007]. 

In 2004 the tribal enrollment office reported that the tribal enrolled membership 
was 5,470 and 1 ,923 were under 2 1 years old. 

In a study conducted by RJS & Associates, Inc. in the spring of 2005, the 
population was recorded as 3,198. The total number of enrolled tribal members was more 
than 6.000. The population of Rocky Boy's Reservation was. at that time, made up of 
74.9% between the ages of 18-64 with only 5.5% under age 5 and 19% were over 65. It 
was estimated that the current annual population growth rate was at 7.41%. 

By August 2006, the number of enrolled adult members of the Chippewa Cree Tribe 
residing on the reservation was 1.591 and the number of enrolled children (younger than 
18 years old) living on the reservation was 1.208 for a total of 2,799. The reservation 
population, at that time, was estimated to be growing at a rate of 1 0% annually according 
to the Indian Health Service: the population was expected to double by the year 2025. 

The total number of enrolled Chippewa Cree is 5,656 as of March 2008 (State of 
Montana, 2008). Among the residents of Rocky Boy, almost half (46%) are under the age 
of 18. 

Land and Agriculture 


Located in north central Montana, Rocky Boy is isolated by geography, weather, 
and economics. Rocky Boy is considered "frontier" b> most national standards. 
"Frontier" means extremely rural and isolated. Rocky Boy is the smallest of all seven 
Montana Indian reservations. It is located in Hill County (the sixth largest in Montana) 
with a landmass of 4,921 square miles. The population density is only 1.56 people per 
square mile. The Reserv ation is approximately 30 miles south of Havre (a population of 
approximately 10,000 residents) and 100 miles north of Great Falls (a population of 
approximately 80,000 residents). 


The original reservation consisted of 56,035 acres and in later years more land 
was added until the reservation reached its present size of more than 122,000 acres 
through purchases from non-Indians and the State of Montana. The reservation is mostly 
100% trust land, meaning that individual tribal members do not own the land, but that the 
land is held in trust by the federal government. Such land cannot be used as collateral to 
access bank loans or other capital. 

The reservation contains numerous residential land "assignments" where 
individual homes are built. Only 12% of the tribal members are home-owners. Today, the 
reservation also contains several "housing clusters," which constitute 88% of the housing 
units. These clusters include: Agency, Azure Site. Blue Tower, Bonneauville. Box Elder, 
Butter Cup, Country View, Duck Creek, Haystack, Laredo, Lower Road, Parker Canyon, 
Parker School, Prairie View, St. Pierre Road, Sunny View, Upper Butter Cup, and Wild 

The reservation land base in 1979 totaled 107,613 acres. The land base was 
1 15,000 acres in 1993. (Chippewa Cree Tribe, Summary, 1993). The land base increased 
to 122,259 acres by 1997. This included a mixture of farmland, prairie, rolling hills, and 
mountains (Chippewa Cree Tribe, 1996-97). 

By 1997, there were approximately 11,000 acres of commercial timberland, 
which had the potential to yield five million board feet of lumber annually (Chippewa 
Cree Tribe, 1996-97. p. 9). "Tribal land resources management falls under the 
administration of the Tribal Natural Resources Department, which coordinates efforts 
between industry, the Tribe, the tribal members, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, other 
technical assistance sources, and relevant stakeholders" (Chippewa Cree Tribe. 
Summary, 1993, p. 2). 

Reservation Land Use in Acres (1997) 

Livestock Grazing 


Dryland Farming 


Irrigated Farming 




Wildlands (wildlife refuges, etc.) 


Other non-agricultural lands 




(Chippewa Cree Tribe. 1996-97. p. 10) 

The 1984 Mount Centennial Fire burned 10% of the Rock) Bo>"s Reservation. 
The Lost Canyon Fire of 1988 impacted areas in the Sandy Creek and Muddy Creek area 
before it was suppressed. The summer of 1988 was also the time that nearly 1/3 of 
Yellowstone National Park had burned. 

The worst tornado to ever hit Rocky Boy happened in 1988. The tornado came 
from the south devastating a lot of timber on Baldy Butte (Bear Paw Mountains), then 
came down Eagle Creek and seemed to bounce here and there until it stopped at the 
corrals near East Fork Dam (R. St. Pierre, personal communication, August 2008). 

In the late 1970s there was a program that helped indixiduals get started in the 
cattle business. This program was called the Heifer Project International Program. The 
program donated 200 head of cattle to Rocky Boy/Dry Fork Fanns. These 200 cattle were 
then given to 19 individuals under a cattle repayment-type arrangement. The individuals 
would reimburse one heifer for each cow they initially received. 

In the early 1980"s. the Chippewa Cree Tribal Business Committee stopped 
leasing tribal grazing lands to non-Indians. Instead these grazing lands were only to be 
used b} Indian cattle operators. "In 1989. the Chippewa Cree Tribe purchased a farm of 


approximately 3.300 acres from Mr. Raymond Tovve. of Laredo. Montana" (Chippewa 
Cree Tribe, 1993. Summary, p. 3). This fann became Stone Man Farm and Ranch. The 
land purchased by the tribe included an irrigation system and 2,000 acres was used for 
dryland fanning that would support crops such as spring wheat, winter wheat, barley, and 
a small amount of hay. Stone Man Fann and Ranch also supported 120 head of Angus 

Chippewa Cree Meats 

An Economic Development Grant was obtained to build a Meat Market in the late 1980s. That market 
was called Chippewa Cree Meats. 

The original idea of the meat market was to butcher our own beef that we were raising at our Dry Fork 
Famis. This way we thought we could sell the meat at a cheaper price than other local merchants. In 
particular this would be a way for our elderly people to afford to purchase meat at a lower price. We 
would also pro\ide more of the types of meats that our tribal members enjoy like boiling meat, 
hamburger, etc. 

Many small meat markets in Montana were closing at that time so we were able to buy the equipment 
that was needed for fairly cheap. Students from Stone Child College built the building. A tribal 
member, Victor Patacsil. who was a USDA meat inspector in the Northwest, returned to Rocky Boy to 
operate the meat market. 

Chippewa Cree Meats eventually closed. The building was later converted to a grocery store. That 
grocePi store is now called Gramma's Market. (Stor\ by Roger St. Pierre, Sr.. August 2008) 

(ii(inii)iii 's Miirkcl and Bear Paw Casino 

There was a short period of time in the 1990"s where the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 
through the Stone Child College Tribal Business Infonnation Center, offered some loans 
to Chippewa Cree tribal members. Approximately $200,000 was available for small 
business development. Several individuals received loans to enter the cattle business. 


Dry Fork Farms and Stone Man Farms are modem tribally owned and operated 
enterprises that produce small grains on the 9,000 acres of cropland and the tribal cattle 
here grazes the 9,000 acres of rangeland. The tribal herd consists of 280 cows and 24 
bulls, mostly of an Aberdeen-Angus-Hereford mix. The tribe has developed a 100-head 
feedlot operation on the Dry Fork Farm to provide meat for the Chippewa Cree Meats. 
3,000 head of individually owned cattle and 43 horses graze on the reservation grazing 
lands. Winter feed for this livestock is grown on the 963 acres in alfalfa and there are 500 
acres of developed pastures (Chippewa Cree Tribe, 1996-97, p. 10). Today, there are 
about 38 enrolled cattle operators on the Rocky Boy's Reservation who pay grazing fees 
for about 3,000 head of cows. 

National Indian Beef Products 

The Chippewa Cree Tribe had an organization called the National Indian Beef Products. The idea 
of this organization was to use the 300 or 400 black hided cattle owned by Dry Fork Farms and 
cross those cows with a particular type of bull called Saler. It was claimed that this particular 
cattle cross would produce a carcass that is about 90% cattle grade Choice. 

The 500-pound calf would be sent to a feed lot where it would increase in weight to about 1000 
pounds. That animal would then be slaughtered. The meat would then be sold to Indian casinos 
around the United States. (Story by Roger St. Pierre. Sr.. August 2008) 

The total amount of revenue to the Chippewa Cree Tribe from oil and gas for the years 
1989 to 1995 was $1,127,105, which is broken down as follows: 

Oil and Gas Revenues 



















One MCF is a 
thousand cubic feet 
of gas. 

One MCF is actually 
a small amount of 
gas. A good gas well 
might be able to 
produce 500 MCF 
per day. 

In 1995 the gas price per MCF averaged $1.23. There were 20 producing gas 
wells and three commutati\e agreements on the Rocky Boy's Reserxation as of June 1. 
1997. It is woi1h noting that this report only goes up to 1995 (R. St. Pierre, personal 
communication, August 2008). Ostensibly, there has since been a renewed interest in oil 
and gas drilling on the Rocky Boy's Reservation, but the financial data is limited. By the 
end of 1997, there were 27 active wells. Royalty payments from the sale of natural gas 
were the largest income source to the Tribe (Chippewa Cree Tribe. 1996-97). Between 
1977 and 1997, approximately 9 million cubic feet (MCF) was produced from wells at 
Rocky Boy (Chippewa Cree Tribe, 1996-97, p. 2). 


Wind Energy 

Standard wind power and wind speed classifications range from Class 1 (the lowest wind power 
density) to Class 7 (the highest wind power density). 

Typical economically developable wind power classifications are Class 3 and higher. 

In June 2004, the Chippewa Cree Tribe entered into an agreement with 
Distributed Generation Systems. Inc. (Disgen) to determine the renewable energy 
resources at Rocky Boy. The tribe was especially interested in the development of a wind 
project. A comprehensive feasibility study could not have been conducted at that time 
since there was insufficient wind data and market indicators available. However, Disgen 
did conclude in their assessment that (a) interconnection of a small wind project to the 
existing transinission system is fially feasible; (b) the tribe should limit the size of the 
project according to the current grid facilities; (c) a wind project between 5 inegawatts 
(MW) and 37MW could be built and should be based on economic conditions (Gordon, 
2005). By July 2006. Disgen did obtain wind resource assessment data for Wild Horse 
Ridge and this data revealed that there was a Class 3 Wind Resource in that area. 


Rocky Boy Manufacturing Company was established in the late 1980s as a light-to-heavy metal fabrication 
business. The company manufactured products such as structural steel for buildings and bridges. At one 
time, the United States Anny offered the company a $500,000 contract to manufacture trailer beds. 

It's goals were to a) achieve profitability; b) to utilize their position as a minority-owned business to 
establish themseh es in the Department of Defense and other government agencies markets as a prime 
and/or subcontractor; c) to provide window security grills for private businesses and public institutions; and 
d) to become certified as a participant in the Small Business Administration 8(a) Program and become 
eligible for federal set-aside contracts for minority-owned firms (Chippewa Cree Tribe, summary page 6. 
1993). The Rocky Boy Manufacturing Company later transformed itself and became Rocky Boy Industries. 
(Story by Roger St. Pierre. Sr.. August 23, 2008) 


There were at least three small "gatnbling halls" operating at one time or another 
up through the late 1970"s at or near the Rocky Boy Agency. The first actual casino, a 
tribal enterprise, opened in the mid-1980"s and continues to operate today. It was part of 
the 4-Cs complex (Chippewa Cree Casino & Cafe). The casino is located in one building 
near the Agency and is currently known as Bear Paw Casino [St. Pierre, N. (b), 2007]. 

The Chippewa Cree Gaming Commission was fomied in the early 1990"s. It 
consists of five people who are appointed by the Chippewa Cree Business Committee. 
The Commission is responsible for ensuring that casino operations and any other gaming 
activity on the Rocky Boy's Reservation meet all federal, state, and tribal laws and 
regulations. The Commission adopted a Gaming Ordinance on June 14. 1993 to guide its 

In May of 2005, Dr. Robert Swan, CCCDC business manager, and Ken Writing 
Bird, Chippewa Cree Gaming Commission Chainnan and tribal councilman, met with a 
group of financiers (a company refen-ed to as NORAM) in Missoula, Montana to discuss 


possible opportunities to build a sizeable casino at Rocky Boy. After all the necessary 
financing, architecture, and related business arrangements were made at a later date, the 
Northern Winz Casino opened at the end of February 2007. It was approximately 20,000 
square feet and housed 350 gaming machines and Poker card games. 

Northern Winz Casino 

The State and the Chippewa Cree Tribe signed an Amendment to the Interim 
Compact between the Chippewa Cree Tribe and State of Montana regarding Class III 
gaming on the Rocky Boy"s Reservation in March 2008. The amended compact updates 
the amended 1993 compact. The 2005 and 2008 amendments allows 400 Class III 
machines with payouts of $2000 in addition to other fonns of gambling that are legal in 

Federal law completely preempts State law regarding gaming on Indian Reser\ations 

It requires States to negotiate in good faith to reach gaming compacts to provide for 
gaming on Indian lands. In compliance with federal law. Montana has a Class III 
Compact with the Chippewa Cree Tribe. 

Pembina Settlement 

In 1955 the Chippewa Cree Tribe and four other Chippewa Tribal groups filed a 
lawsuit against the U.S. Government wherein they wanted to be paid or reimbursed for 
lands that were taken or purchased by the Government for only 10 cents per acre in 1905. 
This land claim, or lawsuit, became known at the 10 Cent Treaty or the Pembina Land 

The Chippewa Cree Tribal Council voted and decided that they no longer wanted 
to be a part of this lawsuit. As a result, in 1970, the Tribal Council's request was 
presented the U.S. Court of Claims. Through this Court, the fi\ e Judges issued a court 
order that said "the Chippewa Cree Tribe and Joe Corcoran should be and hereb\ are 
dismissed as Plainfiffs in Docket 221 dated at Washington D. C. this 30"^ day of June, 


When I was elected to the Tribal Council ni 1980 I found out about the Court of Claims decision made in 1970. 
I made a trip to Washington D.C. to meet with Congressional leaders to discuss reinstatement of the Chippewa 
Cree Tribe back into the Pembina Land Claim. I also went to Chicago. Illinois to meet with Mr. Mills, the 
attorney who represented the other four Chippewa Tribal groups who were part of the Pembina Land Claim. 1 
was successful in getting the Chippewa Cree Tribe reinstated back into the Pembina Land Claim. 

Between 1987 and 1989, almost every person who was enrolled with the Chippewa Cree Tribe received this 
Chippewa money. It did not make any difference whether you were a Chippewa with only Chippewa blood, 
or a Cree with only Cree blood. All you had to be was enrolled with the Chippewa Cree Tribe in order for you 
to recei\e this money. (For the young people who reached their 18"' birthday after December 31". 1982 they 
received this Pembina mone\ but they often called it their "18 money"). 

The amount of money that was received by the Chippewa Cree Tribe as their share of the total Pembina monies 
was $13,150,213. Of that money, the Tribe distributed SIO.197.076 to indixiduals. The remaining $2,953,137. 
or 22% of the total amount issued to the Chippewa Cree. plus interest earned on that principle money, was put 
into a U.S. Government account for the Chippewa Cree Tribe to be used in any of four areas: Economic 
De\ elopment; Land Purchase: Recreation: and Tribal Administration. The tribe can only use (spend) the interest 
earned on the principle and the principle must be kept in the account in perpetuity. 
(Story by Roger St. Pierre. Sr. August 2008) 

There were basically i'lw qualifications that must ha\e been met by indi\'iduals 
in order for them be eligible to receive monies or "per capita" pa\nients from the 
Pembina funds that were paid by the U.S. Government. 

The qualifications were: 

1. They must ha\ e been at least W Pembina blood. 

2. They must ha\e been a Citizen of the United States. 

3. They must have been living as of December 31. 1982. 

4. They must be enrolled or were lineal descendants 
of enrolled members of the people who were on 
the tentative roll of May 31. 1917. 

Tobacco Asreenient 


On August 24. 1992. there was a Tobacco Tax Cooperative Agreement between 
the Chippewa Cree Tribe and the State of Montana. The basic premise was that the 
amount of tobacco tax that the Tribe receives shall be determined by multiplying 150% of 
the Montana per capita tobacco tax collected for the calendar quailer times the total 
number of enrolled members li\ing on the Reservation. The agreement was renewed on 
January 1, 2006 for a 10-year period. 

Water Rights and Issues 

Responsible management oi' resources must be principally guided in a manner 
tiiat allows future generations to inherit a healthy environment that balances traditional 


lifestyles and a modem economy. This should embody a prosperous and diverse economy 
that models the strengths of the Chippewa Cree people and their conscientious protection 
of natural resources. 

"The Safety of Dams Project was contracted by the Chippewa Cree Tribe in May 
1992. The Bonneau Dam Reservoir was deemed one of the [least safe] dams in the 
nation" (Chippewa Cree Tribe. 1996-97. p. 22). 

In the early 1990s, a community development effort put forth a comprehensive 
20- year Economic and Community Development Plan. This plan identified community 
supported strategies that could be achieved through the ftmds authorized for the 
Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy 's Reservation Indian Reserved Water Rights 
Settlement and Water Supply Enhancement Act of 1999. This $54 million settlement 
created economic opportunities and the need for technical professionals. The project also 
met one of the objectives of the North Central Montana Regional Water Coordinating 
Committee. The 20-year plan produced a list of priorities for several major projects that 
were to be executed as a part of the Water Rights Compact. For example, projects were 
designed to provide for the expansion of water reservoirs, streambed improvements, 
irrigation systems, and roadway improvements. 

Montana Law established or claimed that the state's water resources were the propert>' of the State of Montana and that the 
water rights in Montana are guided by the appropriation doctrine which simply means T' in time T' in right. In addition, the 
Montana Supreme Court issued an order requiring every person claiming ownership of an e.xisting water right to file a 
statement of claims for that right to that water with the Montana DNRC by .lanuary 1. 1982. 

As a result, the State of Montana was going to take the Tribe to court o\'er that water so we had to either go to court to fight 
for our water or we could negotiate to try to get as much water as we could. We soon found out by our research that we had 
only two basic ways to prove how much water we could claim as a water right. One way was to use the appropriation 
doctrine but that method did not do us much good because many non-Indians had filed water right claims way before us 
even as far back as the 1880"s and our water rights claim could not become effective until 1916 (that simpl\ meant that 
those non-Indians could use the water first before we could use it). The other way was to use what is called PIR acres. This 
didn't help us either because even though the reservation is over 120.000 acres we could onK use about 500 PIR acres. In 
addition to these there were other Indian tribes who went to court over their water rights and those non-Indian courts did not 
treat the Indians very good as far as water rights are concerned. Knowing all of these things we choose to negotiate for our 
water rights to try and get as much as we could get. 

Since the Federal Government was also in\ olved. we had to negotiate with the Federal Government and the State of 
Montana at the same time. This started our negotiations that lasted about 15 years before our water rights were finally 

The Montana-Chippewa Cree Compact, or negotiated document that quantified the Tribe's water rights and established 
administration system, was agreed upon and ratified or approxed by the Chippewa Cree Tribe on February 2 1 . 1997. This 
Compact was approved by the Montana Legislature on April 10. 1997. and signed by Montana Go\emor Marc Racicot on 
April 1 1. 1997. "May 21. 1997 was a historic day for the Chippewa Cree Tribe and the State of Montana. It was on this day 
the Tribe and State signed the Water Rights Agreement" (Chippewa Cree Tribe, 1996-97, p. 16). 

The Compact established the Tribe's water rights to the Big Sandy. Bo.x Elder, and Beaver Creeks on the Reser\ation and 
contemplates tribal rights to supplemental water for drinking. The Compact pro\ides for 9260 acre-feet of water per year 
from the Big Sandy Creek and its tributaries, and 740 acre feet per year from Beaver Creek. The Tribe reserves the right to 
divert from surface water fiows for irrigation and other uses from the Lower Big Sandy Creek. Gravel Coulee, and from Bo.x 
Elder Creek. On Beaver Creek, the Tribe reser\es the right to divert from surface water flows for recreational uses, subject 
to a requirement that 280 acre feet be returned to the stream. 

The intricate details of the Water Settlement between the Federal Go\emment and the Chippewa Cree Tribe were finally 
worked out and agreed upon. This settlement was presented to the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs and Energy and Natural 
resources Committees by testimony of Roger St. Pierre on June 24. 1998 urgently requesting the U.S. Congress to act 
expeditiously and to enact this Bill (Bill S. 1899) into law during that session of Congress. 


This Bill was signed into law on December 9. 1999 by U.S. President William Jefferson Clinton. This Law was 
called the Chippewa Cree Indian Reser\ed Water Rights Settlement and Water Supply Eiiliancement Act of 1999. 
This was the only Indian Water Rights Settlement approved by President Clinton during his entire temi in office. 
In addition to recei\ing water rights to 10.000 acre feet of reservation water we also received 10.000 acre feet of 
water from Tiber Dam. plus funds for projects that included $ 25 Million dollars for on reservation water sources for 
Bonneau Dam. East Fork Dam, Brownis Dam. and Towe Dam. $3 Million dollars for water Compact Administration, 
$ 3 Million Dollars for Economic De\'elopment and $ 15 Million dollars for future water supply bringing water from 
Tiber Dam. (Story by Roger St. Pierre. Sr., August 2008) 

The construction for Bonneau Dam stalled in 2003. It was increased in size from 
500 acre feet to 5,000 acre feet. East Fork Dam was increased in size fi^om 50 acre feet to 
500 acre feet. The enlargements of Bonneau Dam. East Fork Dam. and Brown's Dam 
were completed in 2007 by the tribal Safety of Dams Program. The funding for these 
project completions was made possible by the Water Settlement. 

On May 25. 2007 degreaser solvent for sewage systems was accidentally put into 
the water system that served pai1 of Rocky Boy. The tribal Water Resources Departinent 
said degreaser used in sewer pipes was taken from a container similar to that holding 
chlorine, and put in the water (News from Indian Country. 2007). About 300 households 
were affected by the contaminated water supply. 

Notable Achievements of Tribal Members 

Criteria: This section is intentionally brief. Notable achievements are considered to be 
something beyond the "ordinary" in terms of an historic event, establishing a record, 
being the first or original of the tribe, or even something unusual or remarkable. The 
achievement should be verifiable and based on fact, not speculation or estimation. 
Although non-tribal/non-lndian indixiduals may be mentioned (such as being a part of a 
team or event), the focus on each notable achievement should be on an enrolled member 
of the Chippewa Cree Tribe. In temis of higher education, the note below (adapted from 
Wikpedia) helps establish some notable achievements for Chippewa Cree tribal members 
and their graduate degrees. In some cases, additional anecdotal infonnation about a 
person's career may follow, hut this section should not include a comprehensive list of 
accomplishments for each individual (such as a resume or vita). The following format 
should be followed: 1 ) year of accomplishment; 2) name of individual; 3) a short 
description of accomplishment; 4) any other pertinent infomiation about the individual or 
accomplishment; and 5) the source of infomiation. if any. 


A doctorate is an academic degree that indicates the highest le\el of academic achiexenient. 

In some fields, especially those linked to a profession, a distinction is to be drawn between a 

first professional degree, an advanced professional degree, and a terminal degree: 

A first professional degree is generally required by law or custom to practice the profession without 
limitation. It is an academic degree designed to prepare the holder for a particular career or profession in 
a field where scholarly research and academic activity are not the work, but rather the practice of a 
profession. The training typically emphasizes practical skills over theory and analysis. In many cases, the 
first professional degree is also the terminal degree because no further advanced degree is required for 
practice in that field even though more advanced academic research degrees may exist. Examples of first 
professional degrees include the Doctor of Medicine (MD), the Juris Doctor (JD). and the BSN or RN in 
Nursing. These professions are typically licensed or otherwise regulated by a governmental or 
government-approved body. 

An advanced professional degree provides further training in a specialized area of a particular 
profession. Doctoral degrees may be "research doctorates" (awarded on the basis of competency in 
research) or "taught doctorates" (sometimes called "professional doctorates" because they are awarded in 
professional subjects and awarded on the basis of coursework and specific program requirements). 
Examples of research doctorates include the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD DPhil) and Doctor of Education 
(Ed.D.). The requirements for obtaining a PhD and other research doctorates typically entails successful 
completion of pertinent classes, passing of a comprehensive examination, and defense of a dissertation. 

A terminal degree is generally accepted as the highest degree in a field of study. An earned academic (or 
research) doctorate is considered the terminal degree in most academic fields. Many professional degrees 
are also considered terminal degrees because they are the highest professional degree in the field, even 
though "higher" research degrees exist. Some tenninal degrees are not even doctorates. 

Wikpedia, 2008. 

The achievements of individuals and/or groups are also part of Chippewa Cree tribal 
history. The following list is organized in chronological order beginning in 1972, rather 
than 1979. This section of the chapter is included to recognize tribal members and their 
respective accomplishments. 

1972~Allen Parker was the first tribal meinber to become a Lawyer. He graduated from 
the UCLA School of Law in 1972 with a Juris Doctor (JD) degree and practiced law in 
Washington. DC for more than 20 years. While in Washington, DC. he led research 
projects on tribal governments for the American Indian Policy Review Commission. He 
was the first American Indian to serve as Chief Counsel to the US Senate Committee on 
Indian Affairs from 1977-81 and 1987-91. Mr. Parker joined the faculty at The Evergreen 
College (Olympia, Washington) in 1997 and served as the Director of the Northwest 
Indian Applied Research Institute at The Evergreen College. Mr. Parker currently teaches 
in the nation's first graduate school program in tribal management, the Master in Public 
Administration: Tribal Government at Evergreen State University. 

1977-Robert J. Swan was the first tribal member to earn a doctoral (Ed. D.) degree in 
Adult & Higher Education Administration from the University of South Dakota in 
Vermillion, South Dakota. 

1979~Ervin Watson was the first tribal member to win the Indian National Finals Rodeo 
World Championship fitle in Calf Roping. The event was held Salt Lake City, Utah. 

1979~Nate St. Pierre (a sophomore at Box Elder High School) and Voyd St. Pierre (a 
freshman at Box Elder High School) placed in the Class B & C Northern Divisional 
wrestling tournament and both went on to the Montana State tournament held in 


Hamilton. Montana that year. This was the last year that Box Elder School had a varsity 
wrestling team. 

1985— Gerry Raining Bird was the first tribal member 
to run in the New York marathon. 

1985— Eric Watson was the first tribal member to win the 
Indian National Finals Rodeo World Championship title in 
Team Roping. The event was held in Albuquerque. New 
Mexico. Mr. Watson's roping partner was Ken Whyte 
(Navajo) from Crownpoint, New Mexico. 

Gerry Raining Bird 
1986— Irvin "Bobby" Wright was the first tribal member to 

earn a doctoral (Ed. D.) degree in the field of Higher Education from Montana State 
University in Bozeman, Montana. 

1987— Alberta St. Pierre received top honors in the entire nation by being awarded the 
Licensed Practical Nurse of the Year from the National Indian Health Ser\ ice. In that 
same year, she received the LPN of the Year Award from the Billings Area Indian Health 

1987-The taking of the last buffalo at Rocky Boy. The Chippewa Cree Tribe donated the 
buffalo (from the tribal herd) to the Rocky Boy Education Conference Planning group to 
be taken, processed, and prepared for the Conference banquet. Members who took part in 
the hunt for the buffalo included: Voyd St. Pierre, Nate St. Pierre, and Tim Rosette. 
Father Pete Guthneck was given the honor of shoofing the buffalo. 

1990-The Box Elder Boys Basketball team (the Bears) won the Montana State Class C 
basketball championship. The team members included Virgil Chiefstick, Scott Henderson 
(selected as the tournament's Most Valuable Player). Steve Gutierrez, .lerry Henry. Loren 
Henderson. Claude LaMere. Pete Azure. Tony Belcourt, Randy Belcourt. Curtis 
Monteau, Doug Winchell, Russell Weaving, and Joe-Joe Henry. 

1990-LaCrissa St. Pierre was the first tribal member to attend college on a Track 
Scholarship at Jamestown College in North Dakota. Prior to enrolling in college, she 
attended CM. Russell High School in Great Falls, Montana. As a student athlete on the 
CMR varsity team in 1989, she established a school shot put record of 40 feet, three 
inches. A year later (1990), she broke the school record for throwing the discus 131 feet. 
Both records still stand at CMR High School. 

1990— Edward F. Parisian was appointed as the Director as the Office of Indian Education 
Programs under the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). In 2007. he was named director (a 
senior executive) of the BIA Rocky Mountain Regional Office in Billings. Montana 
(Bureau of Indian Affairs, 2007). 

1991-Marilyn Collifiower was the first tribal member to win the Indian National Finals 
Rodeo World Championship title in BaiTcl Racing. 

1992— Elizabeth Olney (Topsky-Monteau) was the first tribal member to be crowned 
Miss Indian Nations for 1992-1993. 


1992— Donny Belcourt was the first tribal member to compete at the U.S. Olympic Track 
and Field Trials at 1,500 and 5,000 meters. In 1991, Belcourt made his personal best 
times of 3 minutes 41 seconds at 1,500 meters and 13:46.2 at 5,000 meters while training 
in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The posted time in the 5,000-meter run earned him 15'*^ in 
the national ranking. In the mid 1980s, he was a junior college All-American while 
attending the Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kansas. In 1985, he received a scholarship at 
Oklahoma State University, a Division I university located in Stillwater, Oklahoma. 

1996— Nate St. Pierre was the first tribal member to earn a doctoral (Ed. D.) degree in the 
field of Adult & Higher Education at Montana State University-Bozeman in Bozeman, 

1997— Alired Youngman was the first tribal member to earn a doctoral (PhD) degree in 
Anthropology from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Since January 
2007, he has served as the Department Head of the Indian Fine Arts Department at First 
Nations University of Canada and also Professor Emeritus in Native American Studies of 
the University of Lethbridge. 

1997— John "Chance" Houle was the first tribal member to complete a four-year college 
degree after being one of the first high school graduates fi-om the Rocky Boy Tribal High 
School in 1982. Mr. Houle graduated from the University of Great Falls and later became 
a tribal councilman and tribal chairman of the Chippewa Cree Tribe. 

1998— The Box Elder Girls Basketball team (the Lady Bears) won the Montana State 
Class C basketball championship. They defeated Richey by the score of 38 to 36. Team 
members included: LeAnn Montes, Aimee Montes, Pricilla Friede, Dorrina Ojeda, 
RaMona Gardipee, Sommer Rosette. Josie Rosette, Kristie Pullin. Tessie LaMere, 
Garilee Henderson, Sarah Parisian, Rosemary Bums. Mellody Descharm, and Pricilla 

1998— The Red Earth Ensemble, an American Indian Drum & Dance Troupe, toured and 
performed in nine cities of eastern Germany. The Red Earth Ensemble included tribal 
members Nate St. Pierre (manager). Merle Tendoy. Marcel "Whitney" Topsky. Wilford 
"Huck" Sunchild. Natasha St. Pien-e. and Franci Taylor (Choctaw/Cheyenne). 

2002— Jonathan Windy Boy was the first tribal member to be elected to the Montana State 
Legislature. He served in the House of Representatives for House District 32 fi-om 2002 
to 2008. 

2003— Elizabeth Olney (Topsky-Monteau) was the first tribal member to become a 
Medical Doctor. She earned the Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree in Family Medicine 
from the University of Washington in Seattle. Washington. 

2003— Lyman Colliflower was the first tribal member to win the Indian National Finals 
Rodeo World Championship title in Steer Wrestling. 

2004— Stefanie (Fisher) Kujacynski was the first tribal member to earn a doctoral (Ed. D.) 
degree in the field of Education from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas in Las 
Vegas. Nevada. 


2004~The first issue of the Rocky Boy Tribal Newsletter was published by the National 
Tribal Development Association. 

2006--LeAnn Montes earned a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from the University of New 
Mexico in Albuquerque. New Mexico. Prior to that she was the first tribal member to 
play basketball for a Division I collegiate team (1999-2003). She played four years for 
the University of Montana Lady Grizzlies in the Big Sky Region. She graduated with a 
degree in Business in 2003. 

2008--The Chippewa Cree Tribe adopted the Ojibwa Neiyahw Initiative, a culture-based 
approach to community healing, as the new Cultural Resources Department for the tribe. 

2008- Aaron Morsette was the first tribal member to earn a doctoral (PhD) degree in 
Clinical Psychology ft-om the University of Montana in Missoula. Montana. 

2008-Lauren Corcoran was the first tribal member to earn a doctoral (PhanriD) degree in 
Pharmacy fi-om the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana. Ms. Corcoran 
graduated fi-om Rocky Boy High School in 2002. 


In 1994, the Chippewa Cree Tribe, through the Rocky Boy Health Board 
(RBHB), entered into a Self-Governance Compact Agreement with the U.S. Department 
of Health and Human Services and Indian Health Service to assume all fijnctions, 
services, and activities that were previously a governmental function of the local health 
service unit located at Rocky Boy. The RBHB consists of five of the nine elected 
councilman of the Chippewa Cree Tribal Business Committee. The RBHB has the 
complete authority to serve in an advisory capacity for matters concerning health care for 
the Chippewa Cree Tribe. 

Under P.L. 93-638. the Indian Self-Detemiination Act, Title III, Tribal Self- 
Governance Demonstration Projects, the compact authorizes the federal agency to 
distribute fiands directly to the Chippewa Cree Tribe for the provision of all clinical, 
preventive, and contract health services. 

Ambulatoiy and 

preventive health services are 
provided through the direct tribal 
program. The RBHB provides 
emergency medical services, 
community health nursing, 
health education, community 
health representative services 
and transportation. 

There are some specialty 
clinics that are held routinely at 
the clinic. Diabetic and well- 
child clinics are scheduled 
weekly. A psychiatrist and podiatrist hold clinics each month and other clinics arc held 
on an intermittent basis including surgery, orthopedics, development assessment, and 
mammography. Audiology is provided once per month by a certified audiologist on site. 




A diabetes program wellness center, as part of the diabetes initiative, officially opened in 
May 1999. In March 2006 a much larger community wellness center was completed. 

The Rocky Boy Health Board provides aftercare chemical dependency services at 
the White Sky Hope Center along with a full range of outpatient services at its facility. 
The RBHB offers some additional services such as transportation, pre-orthodontics, 
orthodontics, dentures, contact lenses, emergency eye-glasses, medical assistance 
programs to fiand patients and a family member to appointments, and hospitalizations. 

In 2007, construction of a new Health Clinic was completed. The Chippewa Cree 
Tribe opened the Na-toose health clinic on March 27, 2007. The Na-toose Center is 
named after the late Poor Coyote, a Cree spiritual leader and healer. The 56,000 square- 
foot facility is twice the 
size of the old tribal 
clinic and houses more 
exam rooms, optometry 
and dental services, and 
state-of-the art 

equipment. "The tribe 
started the facility with 
S2 million of its own 
money. The tribe 
obtained other grants and 
a Department of 
Agriculture loan. The 
Indian Health Service 
[provided] some funds" 
( The S13 
million facility is a 
complete outpatient and 
emergency care clinic. 
Along with this new 
Health Clinic the Tribe 
constructed a new Exercise Facility that includes a swimming pool, basketball court, 
exercise equipment, and a walking track. 

Chippewa Cree Wellness Center 


From 1963 to 1996, the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Program 
provided funds to the Tribe to build about 700 homes. Of these 700 homes, there were 
about 350 Mutual Help or Home Ownership homes. The other 350 homes were called 
Low Rent Homes. 

Simply speaking, the Mutual Help or Home Ownership home is one that is being 
purchased by an individual by making monthly payments for 25 years. Low Rent homes 
are homes that a person rents on a monthly basis and the home cannot be owned by that 
person who rents the home. 


There is an organization located in Cahfomia known as Walking Shield American Indian Society. One of 
the functions or purposes of this organization is to ha\e a working agreement with the U.S. Military 
Departments w hereby any excess property that the Military Departments has or might obtain would and 
could be gi\ en to Indian Tribes. 

After attending a meeting with Walking Shield it was determined that the U. S. Air Force was going to build 
brand new houses for Malmstrom Air Force Base at Great Falls. Montana. This meant that the "old'" houses 
at Malmstrom would ha\ e to be demolished before new houses could be built where the ""old" houses 
pre\iously sat. 

A request was made on behalf of the Chippewa Cree Tribe for Walking Shield to obtain and then give these 
"old" Malmstrom houses to people on the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation. This request was carried out. 

So beginning in 1996 up until March 2005 there were 185 three-bedroom Malmstrom houses brought to 
Rocky Boy. Foundations, and in some cases basements, were constructed by the Chippewa Cree Housing 
Authority (CCHA) for these houses. The CCHA almost totally renovated these houses before individuals 
could mo\e into the house. This renovation included new roof, new siding, new furnace, new paint, roads to 
the house, and electricity to the house. 

The cost of reconditioning the first group of Malmstrom houses, including moving the house from Great 
Falls to Rocky Boy. foundations, and renovation work, amounted to about $30,000 per house. 

At least we pro\ided 1 85 houses where people could live. (Story by Roger St. Pierre. Sr., August 2008) 

By August 2006. there were 830 homes on the Rocky Boy"s hidian Reservation, 
which included 800 occupied homes, 1 1 unoccupied homes, and 19 homes not ready for 
occupancy. The average nuinber of occupants per household was 4.5. 


Unemployment was 85% during the winter and 72% in the summer (Chippewa 
Cree Tribe. 1996-97, Summary, 1993). 

There are three major employers on the Rocky Boy"s Reser\ation: The Chippewa 
Cree Tribe (which includes Self Governance Compacts with the Bureau of Indian Affairs 
and the Indian Health Service); Rocky Boy Schools; Box Elder Schools. In addition, the 
Chippewa Cree Community Development Corporation employs roughly 25 people in 

The Community Directory of 2008 gives the following breakdown of employees: 

Name of Organization 

Number of 

Name of Organization 

Number of 

Chippewa Cree Tribe 

Chippewa Cree Health Center 

Chippewa Cree Business 


Office of Health Director 


Central Ser\ices Finance 


Alternate Resources 


Tribal Programs 


Behavioral Health Program 


Chippewa Cree Housing 


Boys & Girls Club 


HIP Department 


Child & Youth lncenti\e 


Maintenance Department 


Clinical Nursing 


Natural Resources Department 


Contract Health Services 


Fish & Game 




Senior Citizens Program 


Diabetes/Physical Therapy 



Social Services Department 


Disease Prevention 


Commodity Program 


Emergency Medical Services 


Police Department 


Health Board Planning 


Public Works Department 






Lab X-ray 


TANF Department 




Tribal Courts/Judicial 


Medical Records 


Water Resources 


Office of ADP 


Safety of Dams 


Office of Clinical Services Med. 


Office of Environmental Health 


Box Elder Schools 


Office of Finance 




Rockv Boy Schools 

Personnel Management 






Program Coordinators/Directors 


Property Management/Supply 


Clerks/Clerical/Data Entry 


Public Health Nursing 


Print Shop Production 


Tobacco Prevention 


K-6 Certified Teachers 




7-12 Certified Teachers 




K-12 Classified Staff 


Wellness Center 


Food Sen/ice Staff 


White Sky Hope Center 




Women's Health Program 


Custodial Maintenance Staff 




Head Start Administration 


3^" Party Billing 


Head Start Teachers 


Head Start Teachers Assistants 


Bear Paw Pastime 


Early Head Start Educators 


Head Start Food Service 


Gramma's Market 


Head Start 


Head Start Bus Monitors 


Northern Winz Casino 


Stone Child College 


Chippewa Cree Construction 


Bear Paw Casino 


National Tribal Development 


Bear Paw Energy 


(Chippewa Cree Tribe Commitnin Director}; 2008 and the State of Montana, March 2008) 

The total number of jobs for all of the above organizations is 734. Of that. 140 
positions are held by non-Indians or American Indians irom other tribal affiliations. 

Senior Center 

In the summer of 2006. a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new The 
Rocky Boy Senior Center Building at its new site near the Chippewa Cree Tribal Office 
complex. Construction began soon after and was completed approximately one year later. 
The primary source of funds was through a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing 
and Urban Development through its Indian Community Development Block Grant 

The grant was written by RJS & Associates, Inc.. of Rocky Boy. Other sources of 
funding came from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Housing & 


Community Facilities Program and the Chippewa Cree Tribe. The old senior center, 
located at the Rocky Boy"s Agency, was built in the mid-1970s. The community had 
"outgrown" the old facility where there was limited office, seating, meeting and parking 
space to conduct regular business. 

Tribal Infrastructure 

Even through 2008, the reservation lacks a comprehensive infrastructure such as 
water, sewer, technology, and roads to support large businesses. The reservation does not 
have it's own cellular telephone provider, nor a cell phone tower. Cell phone reception 
(i.e., signal strength and service) is limited throughout the reservation. Private companies 
such as Verizon and Alltel have begun to offer their products and sei"vices to some 
patrons at Rocky Boy. Trac ® phones have extreme limitations for usage on the 
Reservation. There are few public (pay) telephones at Rocky Boy. 

The tribe does not have its own utility company or telephone company. The tribe 
owns a propane delivery business (Bear Paw Energy) and it does have a public works 
department (including transportation, garbage disposal, engineering, roads construction & 
maintenance, and public safety). Most homes and businesses on the resei-vation use 
propane gas, wood or pellet stoves, and/or electricity for heating. Most of the reservation 
utilizes Hill County Electric and Triangle Telephone Cooperative, Inc. (two sister 
companies based in Havre, Montana) for electric and telephone services. 



Clii/yycwii Cixc Tnhal Otlkc 

In 1993. tlie Chippewa Cree Tribe entered into a federal goxemment appro\ed 
program ealled self-governance. This term simply means that the tribal goxeming body 
can take o\ er the monies and the programs tliat were prc\ ioush run and operated by the 
federal goxemment and the tribal business committee can administer those programs for 
themselves. Since the Tribal Business committee began this program in 1993. the tribe 
operated all the BIA program for themseh es. This includes programs like roads, forestry, 
natural resources, education, law & order, judicial, health, etc. The tribe is also a self- 
goxernance tribe under a 1994 compacting agreement with the BIA. "Decentralization 
continued through the 198()"s with the addition of self-go\emance legislation that 
facilitates federal funding to tribes and allows them great administrati\e authority" 
(Kilpatrick. Reed. & Steiner. 1999. p. 2). 

Economic Development 

The- Indian Self-Detemimation .AlI Amendments of I'^SS (Pub. L. 100-472). authorized the Tribal Self- 
Go\emance Demonstration Project tor a 5-year period and directed tlie Secretarx to select up to 20 Tribes to 
participate. The purjiose of the demonstration project was to transfer to participating Tribes the control of 
funding for. and decision making concerning certain Federal programs, services, functions and acti\ ities or 
poiiions thereof. ..After finding that the Demonstration Project had successfulh furthered Tribal self- 
detennination and self-go\emance. Congress enacted the "Tribal Self-Go\eniance .Act of 1994". Public Law 
103-413 that was signed by the President on October 25. 1994. The Tribal Self-Go\emance Act of 1994 
made the Demonstration Project a pemianent program and authorized the continuing participation of those 
Tribes already in the program. 

What IS Economic De\elopnienf.' hnohes the promotion of the phssical. commercial, technological, 
industrial, and or agricultural capacities necessary for a sustainable local communit\ . Economic 
de\ elopnient includes acti\ ities and actions that develop sustainable, stable, and dixersitled pri\ ate 
sector local economies. 

The Chippewa Cree Business Committee, through Ordinance Number 1-91, 
adopted the Enterprise Zone Act of 1991. The purpose of the Act was to create 
employment and business growth and to stimulate new economic activity on the Rocky 
Boy's Reservation. (Chippewa Cree Tribe. Summary. 1993. p. 4). 

As a method to provide continual updates periodic evaluations and updates to 
long-range plans, the Chippewa Cree Tribe adopted and began utilizing the Strategic 
Management/Planning in 1993. This process is utilized to assist the Tribal Government in 
establishing goals and objectives through participation and input from community 

"Starting in 1995. under self-governance. Rocky Boy's has taken on responsibility 
and accountability for its communit) and economic development" (Kilpatrick, Reed, & 
Steiner, 1999, p. 2). 

In 1995. the late John (Roddy) "Eagle" Sunchild. Sr.. established the National Tribal Development Association 
(NTDA) at Rocky Boy. As a non-profit organization. NTDA provides various services for economic 
de\ elopment and go\ emance to .American Indian Alaska Natives across the nation. NTDA employs 25 staff 
and ser\ es nearly 40 member Tribes. In its ser\ ice to Indian Country. NTDA strn es to "to promote the 
economic viability of American Indian and Alaskan Natives by developing cooperative relationships with 
pri\ ate sector, public sector and Nati\ e organizations in establishing a foundation for self-sustaining socio- 
economic dexelopment initiatnes" (NTD.A. 2008). 

In 1998. there were 31 small businesses on file at the Tribal Employment Rights 
Office. By 1999. tribal members voiced their opinions about the future of the Reservation 
community. They wanted "a higher standard of li\ing. lower unemployment, and a 
strong, well-preserved culture. They also [sought] access to more goods and services, 
retail stores, entertainment, and recreational acti\ities" (Kilpatrick. Reed. & Steiner. 
1999, p. i). Tribal members also called for effective tribal leadership and an accountable 
court system. They indicated that "a tribal government and judicial system that is 
impartial, transparent, and reputable" is necessary for the future (p. i). 

The ultimate goal of the Chippewa Cree Tribe is the achievement of self- 
detennination and the elimination of its reliance upon the Federal government. To 
accomplish this end. the Chippewa Cree Tribe throughout the years have assessed and re- 
assessed their long-range goals. 

In years past the Chippewa Cree Tribal Planning staff has operated an economic 
development planning program designed to respond to the changing needs of the Rocky 
Boy coinmunity. In October 1999, the CCT conducted a major planning retreat which 
resulted in the following economic development goal, objectives and activities: 

• Goal: "to promote and implement a strong economic de\elopment system that 
brings economic self-sufficiency to the tribe." 

• Objectives: "to reduce unemployment, meet tribal needs, integrate our culture, 
including infrastructure, implement EDA plans and projects, codes, and fund 

• Activities: "to write a major economic development plan: implement small 
businesses; build a tourism package; implement business codes; develop 


infrastructure, identify and build on tribal strengths and resources; pass a land use 
code, build a golf course, casino, and gift shop and seek capital." 

In November 1 999, the Tribal Business Council passed a resolution in support of 
an Economic Development Task Force, comprised of over 20 appointed tribal leaders, 
administrators, and community members. In March 2001, the Economic Development 
Task Force became the Chippewa Cree Community De\elopment Corporation (CCCDC) 
charged with the mission of implementing economic development activities at Rocky 
Boy. Most importantly, it began to administer a program for improving tribal economic 
conditions by orchestrating economic planning and development among member entities, 
helping the tribal government in planning public works, organizing public and private 
investments, and by engaging in research and advisory functions appropriate to the 
attainment of the corporation's objectives. 

By the spring of 2005, the number of tribal 
economic development ventures at Rocky Boy 
included: Bear Paw Cafe; Bear Paw Casino; Bear 
Paw Energy; Bear Paw Past Time Gas 
Station/Convenience Store; Chippewa Cree 
Construction Company; Fish & Game Programs; 
Gramma's Market; and Native American Bank. 
These businesses currently employ some 80 fiill- 
and part-time tribal employees and have an annual 
payroll of about $1 Million. 

.\aavcAn,cncan Bwik I" its effort to pursue an aggressive 

economic development strategy, tribal leaders 
sponsored an Economic Development Summit in the spring of 2005 to determine specific 
aspects of economic development and to set economic development priorities for the next 
20 years. This summit yielded major economic development ventures currently in 
existence or those that were planned for future development. Future projects include a 50- 
Million gallon ethanol production facility, a large-scale plant (which will provide 
approximately 42 full-time jobs, 2,000 peripheral jobs, and employment for up to 400 
during construction). Other future projects may include: Mini-Mart convenience store; 
Truck stop on Highway 87; Forestry Department opportunities; Risk Management; and 
Unemployment insurance. 

The community was extensively involved in the planning of this project. Tribal 
elders, traditional leaders, tribal program staff. Business Committee members, and 
community residents all have a keen interest in the development, preservation, and 
maintenance of our environmental regulation and protection. All of the foregoing (and 
others) were involved in the development of the project's philosophy, goals, objectives, 
and activities. 

The Northern Winz Casino became a reality in February 2007. This $20 Million 
venture employed roughly 140 full-time employees (87% tribal members) in the 
beginning. Future plans include an 80-IOO-room hotel, a Convenience Store, and a RV 
Park that will all be constructed adjacent to the Casino. The rough estimate for the hotel 
is about S 10 to $12 Million and the con\enience store will cost about $1.5 to $2 Million. 
The hotel will employ anywhere from 20 to 25 individuals and the C-Store could employ 
seven to nine people. 

Currently, the Rocky Boy"s Indian Reservation has an annual revenue base of 
approximately $52.5 Million. This revenue is generated from the tribal and Health Board 


self-governance compacts, grants & contracts. Stone Child College, Rocky Boy Schools, 
Box Elder Schools, tribal businesses, the National Tribal Development Association, and 
other small businesses (including famis & ranches). 

The CCCDC"s primar> focus will remain on assisting with the development, 
expansion and growth of local businesses. At meetings throughout the reservation, many 
of our residents have stated a belief that the solution for our economic problems lies first 
at home and second by attracting new businesses to locate here. 

Since it was established in 1916. the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation has endured 
alanning economic and social conditions. Staggering unemployment, substandard 
housing, housing shortages, inadequate health care, grinding poverty, erosion of tribal 
languages and culture, limited training and education opportunities, and rural isolation 
have been everyday realities. Combined with shrinking federal progi-am monies, under- 
funded assistance from the State, practically non-existent public support from local 
municipalities, and continuously over-burdened tribal resources, the resounding message 
appears to encompass hopelessness and despair. Yet behind this seemingly bleak picture, 
a new tapestry of hope and optimism is beginning to appear. No longer willing to accept 
Third-World economic under-development on the Reservation, the Chippewa Cree Tribe 
is strategically shaping its own destiny and becoming economically self-sufficient. 

While the socio-economic hardships and their manifestations at Rocky Boy are 
noteworthy, there have been several catalytic events that have begun and will continue to 
significantly impact the economic landscape for the CCT and north central Montana. 
Indeed, the changing demography, progressive leadership, attractive investment potential, 
and the market/labor trends within certain industries have literally primed the pump for 
economic and community development at Rocky Boy. But there are still challenges 
ahead[St. PieiTc. N. (a). 2007]. 

Insult' Slunc Child College, llic Jruni entrance 



Bureau of Indian Affairs (1988). Billings Area Office, Data Processing Center. 

Bureau of Indian Affairs (April 2003). Indian Ser\ice Population and Labor Force Estimates. 

Bureau of Indian Affairs News Release (2007). 

Chippewa Cree Tribe. Rocky Boy"s Reservation. 1996-1997. Unpublished manuscript. Rocky 
Boy, MT. 

Chippewa Cree Tribe (2008). Community Directory for the Rocky Boy's Reservation. Rock) 
Boy, MT: The Chippewa Cree Tribe. 

The Chippewa Cree Tribe of Rock> Boy"s Reservation Economic Development Summary 
(January 4, 1993). Position Paper, Rocky Boy, MT. 

Gordon, K.J. (September 2005). Transmission assessment for the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the 
Rocky Boy"s Indian Reservation. Lakewood, CO: Distributed Generation Systems, Inc. (March 27, 2007). Chippewa Cree Tribe to open a new healtli clinic. 

Ivanova, K. (2000). Indian town youngest in nation. Great Falls Tribune. 
Iittp://www.greatfallstribune.coni/comniunities/census2000/200 10528/6 18007. html. 

Kilpatrick, J., Reed, T., & Steiner, E. (May 1999). Economic Development Analysis for Rocky 
Boy's Reservation. University of Michigan Business School. Ann Arbor, Ml. 

National Tribal Development Association (2008). 

News from Indian Country (2007). 

State of Montana (March 2008). Demographic and Community Profile of tiie Rock> Boy's 
Reservation. Helena, MT. 

St. Piene. N. (a) (Februaiy 2007). White Paper on Economic Development for the Rocky Boy's 
Indian Reser\'ation. Rocky Boy. MT. 

St. Pierre, N. (b) (December 2007). History of Gaming at Rocky Boy. Rocky Boy, MT: 
Chippewa Cree Gaming Summit presentation. 

United States Bureau of the Census (2000). 

Wikpedia (2008). 


I I* 


Chapter 3 

Tf^e Travels oftfie Cfiihhewa Cree, "Earfij mars 

According to Newspaper articles 
Compiled by Gerard Vandeberg 
and edited by various researchers 


Introduction to the Newspaper Articles 

Hy GcranI \ 'aiiilcherg 

The newspaper article excerpts that follow are part of a much larger effort to 
compile all newspaper articles from both local and distant newspapers that have included 
content about Big Bear, Rocky Boy, Little Bear, and other members of the Chippewa 
Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation. Many of the early articles expressed negative 
views of the Chippewa, the Cree, and other Native American peoples of north central 
Montana and the southern portions of the Saskatchewan and Alberta provinces of 
Canada. Our Elders have taught us "to respect one another and to be kind to one another 
in our relationships to all things and to all people." The Elders have also said, "We 
believe in the uniqueness of the individual and want our children to have a deep respect 
for each other and for those things and people who may be different from them.""' Thus, 
we have extracted from the ftill articles those portions of the articles which give us some 
sense of the places that the Chippewa and Cree traveled in their journey to Rocky Boy 
and how the reservation was established, yet leaving out the negative-ness, racism, and 

Some articles currently in our possession for this early period have not yet been 
processed into this compilation. There are without doubt other articles out there in 
newspapers that have not yet been located that should at some point be included in the 
compilation. In the process of viewing the microfilms 1 was quite surprised at the number 
of different local papers available. These included papers from Laredo and Box Elder. 
But I was also quite surprised to find articles in newspapers as far distant as the 
Washington Post, and a few other distant papers. 

The following article extractions or condensations were completed by several 
Stone Child College staff members fi-om the full articles as originally compiled by 
myself My earlier effort in this compiling was far from a simple, far from an easy task. I 
would like to share this process with you. 

Actual newspapers that are well over one hundred years old are very delicate to say 
the least, thus none of these articles were taken from the actual, physical newspapers, but 
rather from microfilms of the actual newspapers. These early newspapers were already in 
a deteriorated condition when originally microfilmed some years ago. Further it is clear 
that o\er the years many of the microfilms have been used a great deal resulting in 
scratched and deteriorated microfilms. Thus many of the images of articles printed from 
the microfilms were rather difficult to read. 

These articles were converted to word processing documents by doing OCR scans 
of the articles as printed from the microfilm. The success with an OCR scan depends on 
the quality of the text in the original papers when first microfilmed, the quality of the 
microfilm itself after some years of use, and the varying quality of the printer within the 
microfilm reader itself In some cases very little editing was needed. In other cases much 
editing was needed. Indeed in some cases, I had to retype the entire article. In all of this 
conversion from images on microfilm to word processing documents, 1 may have induced 
some errors in spelling and grammar of my own. 

Despite the problems mentioned above, the reader should find even with these 
extractions or condensations, that the content of each article below remains "true"" to the 
contents of the original articles, in the original newspapers. But most importantly the 
reader should gain an appreciation for the tra\els of the Chippewa and Cree as they 
journeyed to the present Rocky Boy's Reservation, and the early years after the Rock\ 

' See the Elder's statement of "The Philosophs" placed at the beginning of this document. 


Boy's Reservation was established. An un-edited version of these newspaper articles is 
currently available on reserve at the Stone Child College Library. 

A Little Indian News 

{Benton Weekly Record. October 13, 1881) 

Little Pine and Little Bear. Crees, are this side of the line. About one hundred lodges 
are camped in the big bend of Milk River. 

The reports of buffalo having gone north continue to reach us. There are large herds 
on the Saskatchewan and the Indians are moving that way. ... 

The Assinniboine Expedition 

{Benton Weekly Record, March 30, 1882) 

Coal Banks Landing. March 23, 1882 

... It is believed by the wise ones that Big Bear and Lucky Man escaped with their 
camp to the south side of the Missouri. If so Fort Maginnis will have a chance at them. 
Additional orders have been sent Major Klein in reference to Big Bear"s band... 

... Buffalo are still south of the Milk River and the northern people will have to 
procure their supply of dried meat and pemmican from the posts along the Missouri 

Big Bear's Surrender 

(Benton Weekly Record. December 28, 1882) 

The people of Montana and especially the stock 
breeders will find many crumb of comfort in the news 
of the virtual surrender of the formidable Indian 
warrior Big Bear. Chief of the Crees. He came to terms 
with the Dominion Government and passed under the 
yoke about two weeks ago. amidst not a little 
demonstration by the people about Fort Walsh. 

There is much importance attached to Big Bear's 
accepting the treaty.... Under the direction the 
Honorable Edgar Dewdney, Commissioner of Indian 
Affairs and Lieutenant Go\emor of the Northwest 

Territory, Col. Irvine made the treaty.... 

The Cree tribe is divided into three bands, named 
respectively the Plain. Swampy, and Thickwood Crees. Big Bear and Little Pine are the 
chief men of the Plain band, and they and their band were the only members of the tribe 
that refused to treat with the Dominion Government. They are not; however, what may 
properly be called hostile Indians.... 

Indian News 

{Benton Weekly Record. May 12,1883) 

Major Lincoln, of the Fort Belknap Agency, arrived in Benton today by private 
conveyance, en route to C. L. Fish's ranch on Highwood, where Mr. Lincoln's wife is 
visiting. The Major brings some Indian news. 

Big Bear in shackles 


He states that intbniiation was received by Col. Ilges. commanding at Fort 
Assinniboine, that the Crees were gathering.... Three hundred lodges under the Chiefs 
Big Bear, Lucky Man. and Little Pine, are camped within 25 miles of Fort Walsh, 
preparatory to crossing the line into Montana to avenge the loss of the Crees.... This 
information was brought to Col. ilges by trustworthy scouts who had been at the Cree 
camp, and rode directly to Assinniboine to report. Col. Ilges at once dispatched couriers 
to Fort Walsh to British authorities, demanding that they take immediate action in the 
matter.... Couriers were also sent by Major Lincoln to the Belknap Agency to recall his 
Indians, a greater portion of them being out at the foot of the Little Rockies after 

The Indians at Belknap are content and peaceable, and up to the present had heard no 
Indian news to excite them. The Major thinks this news will scare them somewhat and 
that they will all be at the agency in a short time. They have quite a crop in and will raise 
about 200 acres in all of grain and potatoes. 

Important News from the North 

(Benton Weekly Record . May 19, 1883) 

...There are 1,200 warriors in Big Bear's camp.... 

Bom Child, a chief who belongs to Piepot's camp, has crossed the line to the 
American side and says he will stay.... 

The Canadian Government is trying to get the Indians to move to Battle River and 
Prince Albert. Piepot has refused to move, and Big Bear is as yet undecided as to what he 
will do. Little Mountain, the well-known Assinniboine Chief ...was shipped with his 
whole camp by rail to Qu"Apelle. The train ran off the track.... Little Mountain refiased 
to go any further as he was afi-aid of the iron horse (the train), and the government was 
obliged to send carts to finish their journey.... 

Captured Reds 

(Benton Weekly Record, May 26, 1883) 

Tom Tuber, a well known Cree Chief, and one of Big Bear's sons, in company with 
52 Cree Indians, in charge of a detachment of troops from Fort Maginnis, will camp on 
the Shonkin to-night, en route to Fort Assinniboine. These Indians were captured on the 
other side of the Missouri River, in the vicinity of the Musselshell, and will be sent back 
across the line. Their amis and ammunition have been taken irom them and whatever 
camp property they have will be burned. They all seem satisfied to go back with the 
exception of Big Bear's son, who is restless and discontented and would escape if an 
opportunity offered. He was captured with twelve others, on the Missouri, at the Mouth 
of the Musselshell. Lieut. Steele, O" Maginnis, while out scouting in company with 
corporal, ran on to them in the thick brush, but finding themselves covered by the Indians' 
guns had to retreat. After getting reinforcements, however, they returned and captured the 
whole outfit.... 


In the Cree's Big Camp 

(Havre Advertiser. June 7, 1894) 

\ ■ 

Little Bear encampment 

...The Cree Indian camp is located about three miles west of Great Falls and adjacent 
to the fair grounds. There are at present about 43 lodges in the camp and the population 
of the village is in the neighborhood of 150.... The tents or teepees are scattered over 
territory perhaps-half a mile square, and situated in a commanding position at the west 
end, is the royal teepee of Little Bear, the recognized Chief of the tribe. His quarters are 
larger and more luxuriant than the others, and high above the tent poles of the Chief's 
home swings a large stuffed eagle, almost life like in appearance. On either side of the 
entrance to this tent are crudely drawn pictures of eagles perched on mountain tops and 
unlike other tepees, this one is closed from inspection and guarded from intrusion. 

The men are a representative body of Indians... Their faces are daubed with all 
imaginable colors of paint and fancy beadwork is displayed wherever possible. 

Promptly at 1:30 a dignified representative of the Chief strolled to the center of the 
camp and turned his voice loose. It echoed and re-echoed around the hills, for half an 
hour, and the magic word that brought forth the de\'otees, "Pa-pe-twak." Cowboy Artist 
Russell was present, and when questioned by a Standard reporter as to the meaning of the 
word, he said: "it means, get a move on yourself, and climb out to the synagogue." 

At 2 o'clock the tent was filled to completion with men sitting in a circle together as 
closely as possible. Not a word was spoken, and although the day was uncomfortably 
warm, the Indians were wrapped in heavy blankets and seemed to enjoy the heat. A few 
minutes later a stately procession composed of W. T. Houston, Rev. Ramsey, John P. 
Dyas and a Standard reporter crawled under the tent in a dignified way and took seats on 
the ground. As a special mark of favor Mr. Ramsey was ftimished with a brilliant to 
recline on and... he seemed to enjoy the occasion and viewed the surroundings with 
evident earnestness. 

Chief Little Bear held down a blanket directly opposite Mr. Ramsey. He is a bright, 
clever looking Indian of perhaps 35 years of age.... Little Bear opened the services and 
through an interpreter, spoke as follows: 

"We are here today to worship the Great Spirit; he hroiii^ht us into the world and has 
taken care of us. My people take this method of expressing our gratitude. God put us here 


to love each other. Every day J aud my people ask mercy of God. and thank him for 
feeding u.s; and keeping us strong and healthy. For t^vo days and two nights I do not eat. 
Every year since I was honi I have worshiped my God at this season of the year. I do no! 
think it is right for the white people to stop me from holding my sun dance, it is mv 
method or devotion and my people want it. IVe mean no harm to anyone but want to save 
our souls. My people cut their skin in the .shoulders. Christ was put on the cross and had 
nails driven through his feet and his hands the same as my people do. But if the white 
men object we will not do this. We do not want trouble with the white race. Thev are good 
to us and when we get through with our devotion those Indians who came here to dance 
will scatter as the birds to pick up a crumb here and a crumb there on which to live. My 
people are good people and we will do no wrong. The light, the air. the water and the 
birds are free and we also want to be free and be good so that the Great Spirit Mill smile 
Mith gladness and call us his children. I have done. " 

Throughout his address the Chief was earnest and dramatic. His gestures were 
graceful and language rolled from his lips with the ease and fluency of a natural orator. 
His eyes sparkled with excitement and his voice displayed emotion that evidenced 
earnestness and apparent sincerity. Through an interpreter the Chief invited Mr. Ramsey 
to talk to his people, and the latter did so, earnestly, forcibly and in a manner that 
impressed his audience favorably. He said we were all followers of Jesus and did not 
approve of the treatment of the Savior while on earth. He traced the life of Jesus from the 
manger to the cross assured the men present that God would watch over and protect them 
if they were good and true and right, and led a pure and good life. When the benediction 
was pronounced the Indians bowed their heads and, although they could not understand a 
word spoken, they appeared to realize the solemnity of the occasion and to appreciate the 
words spoken in their behalf by the young clergyinan who had lent his presence to the 
occasion in the belief that he was doing good. After the white people withdrew, the 
Indians continued their services for several hours, first one and then another speaking but 
all paying marked attention and respect to the utterances of Little Bear... 

That Sun Dance 

(Havre Advertiser, iune 14. 1894) 

The official proclamation issued by Governor Richards prohibiting the sun dance 
reached Great Falls on the 6th instant. 

The document excited general comment among members of the legal profession, 
many of whom differ in opinion from Attorney General Haskell. The managers of the 
proposed [event] have applied to Judge Benton for an injunction restraining certain 
parties from interfering or preventing said [event]. The following is a copy of the official 
document as filed and served on Sheriff Hamilton and County Attorney Freeman in the 
District Court of Cascade County: 

"L. Enright, Joseph Lessard. Jno P. Dyas and Little Bear. Chief plainliffs. vs. 
Josephus Hamilton as Sheriff, James W. Freeman as County Attorney, John E..Rickards 
as Governor of the State of Montana and H. J. Haskell as Attorney General. On the 
complaint of the plaintiffs duly, verified and upon the affidavits of Joseph Lessard. Little 
Bear. Young Boy and John P. Dyas, it is ordered that said defendants and each of them 
and their agents, attorneys, counselors, deputies, under sheriffs, associates, aides and 
abettors to show cause before me, the undersigned Judge of the above entitled court, at 
the court room in the city of Great Fulls. June 8. 1894. at 4 o'clock, p. m.. why an 


injunction should not he issued restraining them and their agents from stopping, 
preventing from taking place or in any way interfering with the running program and 
Indian performance and ceremony known as the sun dance, now taking place and to take 
place and to he performed hy the Cree Indians at Great Falls, Cascade County, 
Montana, on, the 1 5th, 1 6th and 17th days of June, 1894, as contained in the complaint, 
attached and made a part hereof and for such other relief as may he just and equahle in 
the premises, and it is further ordered that said defendants Josephus Hamilton and 
Josephus Hamilton as sheriff, James W. Freeman and James W. Freeman as county 
attorney and each of them and their agents he, in the meantime, restrained, and they, the 
said defendants and each of them and their agents, are herehy forhidden to suffer, do. 
perform or commit any oj said acts until the further order the court. Signed, C. H. 
Benton, judge of the district court. Eighth Judicial District, within and for the County of 
Cascade and State of Montana. Dated this 6" day of June. 1894. " 

To a Standard reporter Manager Lessard said the Standard can say the Indian 
exercises advertised to occur on June 15, 16 and 17 will positively take place, regardless 
of any proclamation to the contrary: 

"My attorneys assure me that no man can interfere in the performance of an act 
wherein, no law is violated. These Indians are not within the jurisdiction of the executive 
of this state as long as no law is violated. The whole thing has heen misrepresented in the 
grossest manner hy certain parties who are actuated hy personal motives and malice. 
How can the police or the governor or the attorney general interfere in the doing of a 
lawful act? And as long as there is nothing uidawjul it cannot he othenrise than lawful. 
We have intended all along to eliminate any and all features of cruelty, indecency and 
inhumanity and to make the exercise only weird, unusual and interesting as showing the 
custom and religious heliefofthe North American Indian. " 

Many Braves Will Dance 

{Havre Plaindealer. June 21. 1902) 

... Monday afternoon the people of Havre were treated to a grand [sight]. The 
Indians who had been camped west of the city for several days moved their [gathering] 
place to their old time camping ground northeast of Havre. Little Bear leads the 
procession followed by other men and women.... 

Crees Move Along 

{Havre Plaindealer. January 3, 1903) 

... Havre will probably see but little of the Cree Indians during the winter; since their 
release, a number have left for other places and more will leave within the next few days 
While it is not probable that the Indians will return to Canada, still they will not likely 
remain in this neighborhood... They claim every horse in their band is a Montana horse 
and they will refiase to pay any duty whatsoever upon the equines. Little Bear told one of 
the local officers through the aid of an interpreter that the go\ emment had no more right 
to collect duty on the horses than it had on the Montana wagons purchased by the Indians 
in this state... 


Crees Will Dance 

(Havre Press, June 10, 1903) 

. . . Little Bear. Chief of the Crees, will again pose before the public as dancing master 
and high master of ceremonies at the "grass dance" of the Cree Tribe. The annual dance 
of the tribe has been announced to occur about June 25, in the pavilion on the hills near 
town. No formal invitations have yet been issued... 

Crees Are With Us 

(Havre Plaimiealer. June 13, 1903) 

Little Bear informed the Plaindealer ... that within about a week or ten days the Sun 
Dance will be held with all the eclat of the early days when the [Indians] only 
companions on the plains were the buffalo and the larger herds of wild horses that 
roamed west of the Missouri river... 

Big Dance Tomorrow 

(Havre Plaindealer, June 20, 1903) 

... Tomorrow a tribe ... of people will start their grass dance. This dance is 
commemorati\e of the buffalo today and once was a religions feast to propitiate the gods 
and have them give a good buffalo season and luck... Little Bear, the last of a noble line 
of ancestors will address them in a high nasal voice, and the speech will be faithfiilly 
reported in the next issue of the Plaindealer... 

Grass Dance is Celebrated 

(Havre Plaindealer. June 27. 1903) 

... Little Bear, the Chief of the Cree Tribe, made the welcoming address He said in 
part: "My heart is sad. I see my people that were once as numerous as the mosquito and 
whose sting was as sharp as the buffalo gnat have fallen like the leaves shaken from the 
dry branch of the cottonwood tree.... This speech in its entirety that has been faithftilly 
translated fi-om the Cree by the Plaindealer Indian correspondent visibly affected the 
Indian portion of the audience.... 

Crees Will Hit the Trail 

(Havre Plaindealer, September 30, 1905) 

... Little Bear has just returned from a trip extending over a period of many [nights] 
from the Crow Indian Reservation where he went to smoke the amiable pipe with the 
Chiefs of the Crow Tribe in southern Montana. 

While there he carried on negotiations with Canadian authorities... 

Judge Pyper. who has acted as a peace plenipotentiary In the negotiations between 
Little Bear and the Dominion government, stated that the Canadian Indian commissioner 
at Winnipeg, in the province of Ottawa, had consented to admit Little Bear and his tribe 
back into Canada and to pemiit them to bring their ponies, wagons, dogs and other effects 
into the Dominion free of all duty, and that they will be provided with an allotment of 
land upon the Onion Lake Resei-vation. They will be met at the boundary line by special 
officers of the government who will conduct them to the reservation... 

Little Bear anticipates that the exodus will take place the latter part of October.... 


The Chief stated to a representative of the Plaindealer that he thought about 300 of 
this tribe would assemble here within a short time. They will then give a farewell dance 
for the dual purpose of celebrating the return to their native land and the raising of funds 
with which to buy provisions for the trip across the country that will consume several 
days time.... 

Little Bear, the Chief is a sensible Indian and a wise as well as a rigorous ruler 
among the Crees. He has a distinguished war record and is the son of Big Bear, who was 
an idolized Chief of the Crees before his death. His son is succeeding to much of his 
father's wisdom and popularity. 

This is the first time that he has ever wished to go back to Canada. His hatred of the 
country where he met his defeat and from which country has tribe was long exited was 
intense until recent years, and his change of heart has been occasioned because of the 
lack of a home and the hardships and persecutions put upon his people as a result. 

Flocking into Northern Montana 

(Hcnre Plainclcalci\ March 24, 1906) 

Turtle Mountain Indians and breeds are beginning to swoop down upon the rich 

Big Muddy bottoms north of Culbertson and are taking up land ... About 50 filings on 
homesteads have been received at the Great Falls office, and they are coming in rapidly. 
It is reported that about 500 heads of families among the Indians, with their families, are 
to locate in that section within 30 days. Each head of a family is entitled to file on 160 
acres for himself and 80 acres for each member of his family... 

G. Dupont Ally of Little Bear Dead 

(Havre Plaindealer, June 23, 1906) 

. . . Report has been received by Little Bear, Chief of the Crees that Gabriel Dumont, 
his old friend and leader in the rebellion in Canada, which resulted in the Indians being 
driven into the United States, died this week in Winnipeg, Manitoba, at the age of 75.... 

He always urged Little Bear and the tribe to return from the United States, but Little 
Bear remains finn in his detemiination to not take up the offer last year extended by the 
dominion government until it shall have given assurance of similar aid toward farming 
that is extended the American tribes. 

Chief Little Bear is in Helena Trying to Promote a Sun Dance 

{Havre Plaindealer, March 21,1 908) 

...Chief Little Bear, of the Cree Indians, is in Helena negotiating arrangements to 
hold a Sun Dance in this city during the Fourth of July celebration. It is the purpose of the 
Chief to bring between 200 and 300 Indians from Minnesota, Canada, the Dakotas, 
Wyoming, and eastern Montana to Helena, and if the necessary airangements can be 
made to convert the old Haymarket Square, the Central Park or Broadwater into one of 
the old Indian camps. The participants will come with their families, wagons, horses, and 
tepees. They will be garbed in their regalia, wear the war paint of frontier days, and dance 
as they were to do when Montana was unknown to the white man 


Rocky Boy's Withdrawal 

{Heme Promoter, November 5, 1909) 

... President Louis W. Hill of the Great Northern, Senator Clapp of Minnesota and 
many others attending the dry farming congress ... Have just wired Messrs. Bruegger, 
Reed, and Coulter, at Culbertson. as follows: "Our petition has been answered." Rocky 
Boy withdrawal and allotment around Culbertson and eastern Montana is a thing of the 
past. Secretary Ballinger has come to the front in the interest of Montana, and saved the 
day for prospecti\e settlers... 

Blackfeet Made the "Goat" 

(Cut Batik Pioneer Press, November 19, 1909) 

... Rocky Boy and his tribe have had a questionable status, a few Indianologists 
contending that they belonged rightfully in Canada. Recently it was proved that they were 
properly under the dominion of the United States. So while government experts and 
selfish interests unraveled red tape the tribe froze and starved on the outskirts of Helena. 
Then Secretary Ballinger decided to withdraw from settlement a tract of land near 
Culbertson, and have the Indians placed upon it. This met with such a vigorous protest 
from interests desiring that the land be kept open for settlement and cultivation that the 
Secretary rescinded his decision, and it was decided to place them on the Blackfeet, 20 
miles from Browning, near the base of the Rockies. 

Each member of the tribe is to be given 80 acres of land, which means that about 
10,000 acres of Blackfeet land will pass into their [hands]. [Before] Spring they are to be 
given employment in the reclamation service and will have to earn their own living like 
other reservation Indians... 

Fate's Queer Irony 

(Cut Battk Pioneer Press, November 19, 1909) 

Rocky Boy and his band of Indians have at last been given a pennanent home in 

the Blackfeet Reservation near Browning. They were loaded on 1 1 cars at Helena and at 
Browning they will be furnished with rations during the winter by the Indian Department 
and next spring steps will be taken to locate them on permanent homes on the land. 

Rocky Boy and His Band of Chippewas 

( Cut Bank Pioneer Press, November 1 9, 1 909) 

...Considerable indignation has been expressed at the underhanded manner in which 
the Govemment has handled this matter, and considerable doubt has been expressed as to 
whether the Reservation lands can lawfully be taken for this purpose without the consent 
of the Indian owners. It has very properly been remarked that as the Great Falls Tribune 
has been greath worked up about them 

Browning Resents It 

{Cut Batik Pioneer Press, November 19, 1909) 

...The Pioneer Press understands that the placing of the Rocky Boy Band of Indians 
on the Reservation near Browning is indignantly resented by most of the citizens of that 


place. A Browning resident has written the Pioneer Press a very heated letter, containing 
much sarcasm, which will be published in our next issue.... 

Cree Indians Made Happy by Benevolent Spirits 

{Havre Plaindealer, December 31, 1910) 

Daye Goss, the old time Indian trader and one who has always provided something 
for Christmas in the way of provisions for the Indians, had his usual celebration this year. 
With the help of Havre's merchants the Crees were given a goodly amount of things to 
eat and wear. Those contributing were David Goss, Pete De Nires, Havre Commercial, 
Joe Marra, W. E. Wiltrier, Chas Kaisis, W. S. Hedge, E. C. Carruth, Jas. Holland, J. S. 
Carnal, Pioneer Meat Company, Central Drug Store, A. M. Grimmer, Daniel Boone, 
Harry Downs, E. T. Broadwater, N. E. Gourley, Anderson Drug Company Dr. Jos; 
Murphy, A. E. Wilkie, Fred Scott. 

Fertile Lands have been Selected by Maj. Armstrong for Red Brother 

(Havre Plaindealer, June 10, 1911) 

... Mr. John P. Amistrong, Special Allotting Agent of the government spent several 
days in the city this week at the local land office looking up land upon which to locate the 
remnant of the band of Turtle Mountain Indians. There are some 1 ,700 of these settlers 
who were located in Valley County. 250 went into Miles City land district and something 
like 100 went into the district north of Harlem near the Canadian line and lands have been 
selected for the balance of them, perhaps 150, some 12 miles south of Hingham. In 
speaking of them Mr. Armstrong said: 

"Most of these people are children and they are as good a class of Indians as are to be 
found in the country. They are thrifty, clean, sober, industrious and intelligent. They have 
been generally educated at the Ft. Totten, N. D. Indian Industrial School and their work 
will compare very favorably with the work in similar schools for the whites 

Reservation Again 

{Anaconda Standard, December 13, 1911) 

... Helena. Dec. 13. Claiming that the people of Helena are more generous to them 
than is the government, about 150 members of Rocky Boy's band of Chippewa Indians 
left the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in northwestern Montana and are now encamped 
near Helena. Rocky Boy and about 50 of his most devoted followers remained on the 
reservation, preferring to take their chances of starvation rather than to depend on the 
charity of outsiders. The band is under the leadership of Ponneto, who claims to be a 
brother of Rocky Boy 

Rocky Boy to Receive Lane 

(Anaconda Standard, date not given) 

....Rocky Boy. Chief of the band of Chippewa and Cree Indians who have been living 
near Anaconda for some years, was made glad yesterday by a call from Frank C. 
Churchill, a special agent from Washington. Mr. Churchill has come to Montana to 
interview the Indians and to take some action looking to their bettennent. He has had 
much experience in this line of work for the department at Washington, and, will, without 


doubt, reach the facts about these Indians, and finally plant them where they can be of 
some service to themselves. 

Speaking of the Rocky Boy Tribe at the Montana hotel yesterday, Mr. Churchill said 
that he was here to find out something about the Indians. The department desired to know 
their number, and this was usually a difficult matter to detennine. He said that Congress 
had appropriated S3().000 for their relief and an effort would be made to put them on 
some government lands and furnish each with necessary farm implements and such other 
things as they may need. . . 

While here Mr. Churchill had an interview with Rocky Boy and explained to him the 
difficulties of the [case?] and at the same time informed him of what the government 
proposed to do. Other members of the tribe were present and all expressed their thanks 
for the interest of the government in their behalf 

Plan Giving Assinniboine to Rocky Boy and Braves 

{Havre Plaindealer, January 11, 1913) 

... Washington. Jan. 5. — A bill was introduced in the Senate today at the request of 
the Interior Department, setting aside townships 31 and 32 in Fort Assinniboine 
reservation, with the buildings thereon, for the use of Rocky Boy and his band of 
Chippewa Indians. 

Rocky Boy and His People 

{Great Falls Tribune, }anuary 19, 1913) 

Following are excerpts from an article in response to Senator D. S. MacKenzie's 
memorial to Congress opposing the establishment of a reservation at Fort Assinniboine 
for Rocky Boy and his followers ".... We do not know of a single instance where they 
were ever convicted of stealing anything. There is in fact no company of white men in 
Havre or Great Falls or any other city, who would if reduced to the state of hunger these 
Indians were in, have shown the same respect for private property these poor Indians 
did.... They are entitled to the protection and care of the United States. There is no kind 
of doubt on this point. The Indian Department at Washington has admitted it. ...The 
government owes them a debt. It is a debt of honor.... Rocky Boy and his band have the 
prior claim on the government at Washington. 

...We hope they will get a reserve of land assigned to them. We hope it will be good 
land, the best the government has to give, and with this land we hope they will get 
livestock and tools and food to give them independence and self support. And when they 
do get this they will get nothing more than long delayed justice. 

A dozen times it has been announced that the government at Washington had finally 
determined to do justice to this band of Indians. Then people forget about them and the 
next we hear they are starving to death somewhere. It is a shame and disgrace to the 
people of the United States, not excepting the people of Montana. The white people 
seized the land that once supported these Indians, and converted it to their own use and 
benefit. The least we can do now is to honorably pay the small price we promised the 
Chippewa Tribe as compensation for the act.... And the Chippewa Tribe were always 
friendly to the whites too. They helped to protect the cabin of the white man in early days 
against the Sioux. The condition of Rocky Boy and his band is dark with dishonor to 
every member of the white race. That memorial to Congress needs radical amendment in 
order to express the truth." 


Cruel Treatment of Indians 

(Great Falls Tribune, Febmary 3, 1913) 

The Associated Press this morning brings us the information that President Taft has 
sent to Congress the blood curdling details of the cruel treatment of Indians in a remote 
portion of Peru, as related in the report of a United States Consul in that country, and his 
rather dubious view of the probability of their getting just treatment at the hands of the 
white men in the ftiture. We fear the pessimism of the consul is well founded, as he says, 
while men in those parts are inclined to regard Indians as an inferior race who have no 
rights at all which white men are bound to respect, when such rights interfere in any way 
with the white man"s economic prosperity. 

And turning our attention for a moment from the distant tropical jungles of Peru to 
the below zero, wind-swept plains of Montana these cold days, do you know President 
Taft that a band of Indians of the Chippewa tribe are starving to death and freezing to 
death because they have nothing to eat except paper promises of the Indian Affairs 
Department, nothing to wrap about their cold bodies but telegrams from Washington 
weeks old saying that the department will INVESTIGATE, nothing to hope for except 
that treaty promises and national honor dragging in the dirt year after year, may finally be 
washed clean as may be under such circumstance, and broken faith and promises of the 
white man mended. 

For the love of humanity and honor of the republic, Mr. President, get after your 
Indian Affairs Commissioner and jab a pin into his anatomy somewhere that will make 
him jump quick and look after this poor half-frozen band. The Tribune is infonned 
through a newspaper man of reliable character that Chief Rocky Boy has recently sold the 
last two horses his band possesses to get means to go to Helena and solicit aid for his 
starving tribe who have been living on the dead carrion they find on the Plains 
occasionally where a cow or steer has died from disease or cold, and that some of his 
tribe have already died from starvation, hardship and exposure, while the Indian 
Commissioner's office is conducting its forty-ninth annual investigation into the facts 
relating to this wondering band of Chippewa Indians. They have investigated and located 
and relocated a dozen times if we have been correctly infonned. In the present instance 
they need some food in their bellies and some clothes and blankets on their back and they 
need these P. D. Q. So hurry up the grub and do what new investigating is wanted later, 
Mr. President. We have pity for the poor Indians of Peru tortured and ill treated to get 
rubber for the white man's automobile tires, but we are more interested in the poor Indian 
of Montana who follows Rocky Boy and who is fed on paper promises during the 
February cold of the Montana plains. 

Indian Social 

(Hill Coimty Democrat, February 8, 1913) 

A large crowd of Cree Indians gave a social in the Officer's Hall at Fort Assinniboine, 
Mont., on Thursday night. January 30, 1913. Games and dancing were indulged in after 
which lunch was served and many presents were made the commander of the post. . . . 
They had a very enjoyable time and passed resolutions thanking Hill County for the big 
feed. Young Buffalo made a speech stating that Rocky Boy would arrive about April 1st 
and would occupy the house that Gen. Otis occupied when he was in command of Fort 
Assinniboine some years ago. 


L K Devlin on Cree Indians 

{The Hill Coimly Dcmocral, February 15, 1913) 

...Mr. Devlin is very much desirous of seeing some movement put on foot for taking 
care of the Cree Indians which are now at Assinniboine. He has been caring for 110 of 
the Indians the past few ... neither Mr. Devlin nor the Board of County Commissioners 
are going to let them starve. 

...General L. S. Oltis. who was in command at Fort Assinniboine in 1885 ... issued 
them the same rations he had been giving the soldiers.... In the spring Mr. Devlin 
suggested to the General that they be turned over to Broadwater & McCuUough, who 
could give them employment which was done. They were put to chopping wood, and as 
there were 5,000 cords of wood a year being used at the Fort and the Indians were paid 
$2.00 a cord for cutting it. they made $10,000.00 a year for seven years. They were clean, 
industrious and had every thing they needed. E. T. Broadwater and Simon Pepin, no 
doubt, remember these facts well. 

With the advent of the railway and the use of coal at the Post their occupation was 

A Correction 

(Hill County Democrat, February 17. 1913) 

Fort Assinniboine. Feb. 17, 1913 

Mr. Editor: 

We have noticed that The Democrat has been dealing fairly with the people of Havre 
and vicinity; we therefore believe we should correct a mistake which was made and give 
to the public nothing but facts. To begin with the Indians did not give a social on 
Thursday, January 30th. but did give a Pow-wow on Wednesday, January 29th. There 
were absolutely no games played. The bucks passed no resolutions thanking Hill County 
as the refreshments which were served were a private donation, no critics were invited; 
and the "Commander of the Post" did not receive presents. Young. Buffalo made no 
speech whatever Rocky Boy was not mentioned, and the Indians had too much respect 
for Gen. Otis and for themselves to mention the Dead General in a fabrication. 



RESERVtD LAND lor hii Indian friends was a prir'Tr r«flcl c* T'onk LHnWrnan Irem 1905 to 1917 when he Uvod I'. 
Helena ana wcrkftd hard (or the esiahluhment o( :he ?locky Boy Kwservollon. He it shown (lar righO u; j conlt. i ^ .i-.-b 
Ji Helena aimed ^i esiotUshing o homo lor iho Cr»*» and Chlppowan. Others in the picture, loll In right: Creo Chlei 
Uttlc Bear. Kinrpwujh Wiliiam Bcles. Secretary ct the Inleritr Franit i;. '.one Jim Denny. Oiher Persor and Pa* 
?'a«f.b«rry. the iniorpreter. 

Lindernian Exercised Over Rocky Boy Indians 

{Havre Plaimlealer, March 15, 1913) 

.... In an interview Mr. Lindernian declared that Rocky Boy and his band, now 
stationed near Fort Harrison, where the camp was pitched early in the winter, were in dire 
circumstances and greatly in need of assistance. Mr. Lindernian said in part: 

"The Chief and his people are living in small tents, the comfortable lodge of other 
days being beyond their reach because there are no longer skins with which to make 
them.... these people wait for help that doesn't come. They have no land, no home, no 
vocation, and I doubt if a rifle could be found within the camp. Even if he had a gun, he 
dare not hunt for it is the closed season for all game and if he killed deer and elk he 
would be jailed, while the starvation of his wife and children would be hastened thru his 
absence. In the open season he would have no right to hunt because he would have to 
show a permit to be off the reservation and he has no resei-vation — no one in authority 
who could give him a pennit. There are more than 500 of these homeless people, and 
every fall small bands of from 50 to 75 wander to the outskirts of the different towns in 
the state, where they are pestered by the small boys and thoughtless men. Even the graves 
of their dead are desecrated and their sick unattended.... They are willing to work and are 
good workers, but can secure nothing to do because the employers of labor will tell you 
that if put to work with white men the latter will reftise to work, 

"Jealous boomers, who look forward to the complete settling of the west, stand in the 
way of giving land to these Indians and allowing them to become self supporting. There 
are bills now before the House and Senate which, if passed, would provide horses and 
equipment for them .... 

"Fred J. Baker, a special agent representing the Indian Department, visited the camps 
of these people and made a report as to the conditions he found them in last October. In 
his report he recommended that the Indians be given them at Fort Assinniboine. 
Assinniboine is an abandoned military reservation and belongs to the national 


government. Its allotment could not interfere with settlers, for there are none within its 
boundaries.... Land boomers have their eye upon it, and their politicians will listen to 
them .... 

Chief Little Bear Visits in Butte 

[Harrc Pluimlcaler, March 29, 1913) 

Chief Little Bear who called Havre home for a goodly number of years and who with 
the remnant of his band has been making his headquarters at Helena for the last few years 
recently visited Butte.... 

Chief Little Bear of the Crees, who today honors Butte by his dignified presence is a 
typical Indian of the Northwest. He is the ideal from which the poet draws inspiration... 
the genuine noble red man of the plains, of the sage brush and prickly pear. He wears the 
coat and pants of his white brother and as a decoration a handkerchief is tied around his 
head. His hat was white. His hair is braided in two heavy strands and he smokes a cob 
pipe.... and he wears moccasins. 

Little Bear is about 69 years old. bom, he knows not where, but. he has lived on every 
acre from the plains of Alberta to the Beaverhead River and return. His domicile at 
present is at Helena.... 

Through his interpreter Little Bear said. "I was here eight years ago and walked in 
march with my Indians; we get one dollar for the walk, one dollar for one man all round. 

"The old Indians they are going far away somewhere, to new hunting grounds, we all 
go there some day. Not much here for Indians now, white men they take everything, 
leave Indian not much. Hard in winter time when we have no place to make big fire and 
catch big game; big game costs money to shoot now. One time all shooting Indians want; 
now all gone. Shoot old cow. police, he get you. Keep you in iron house.... 

Ask Uncle Sam to Take Indians 

{Helena Independent Record, May, 1913) 

It is possible that the government will soon take steps toward rounding up the Rocky 
Boy Band of Cree Indians ... and establish them on some reserve where they can 
become self sustaining. Aldennan Briggs of the city council has been conferring in regard 
to this matter with government officials, and it was announced in the city council last 
evening that negotiations had been opened which will undoubtedly prove successful. 
Toward that end a memorial was introduced and adopted .... 

"Whereas, this band of Indians appears to have no permanent place of abode or 
source of revenue for the purpose of making a livelihood: and.... 

"Whereas, the city council of the city of Helena believes that the general federal 
government owes some sort of duty in looking after these Indians; now 

"Therefore, be it resolved that the city of Helena ask the federal government to take 
some proper steps to ... provide for them suitable shelter, food and occupation so as to 
e\entually establish this band on some footing of existence .... 

Assinniboine Again More Grief in Sight 

(Havre Promoter, May 30. 1913) 

....In 1910 an act was passed providing for their settlement on the Blackfeet Indian 
Reservation, but the land was found unfit for fanning and the project was abandoned. The 
Commissioner states that after a thorough investigation was made o't all the lands 


available within the state by a field officer of the Bureau for the purpose of finding a 
suitable location for Rocky Boy's band and other homeless Indians within the State, he 
reported the only available suitable location to be within the abandoned Fort 
Assinniboine Military Reservafion and by departmental letters of December 19, 1912 the 
matter was placed before the House and Senate Committees on Indian Affairs, together 
with drafts of a bill setting aside certain townships within the abandoned Military 
Reservation for Indians. 

...Senate Bill 7883 introduced January 2, 1913. with the usual preamble reads: 

A Bill to establish a Reservation for the Rocky Boy's Band of Chippewa Indians, and 
certain other Indians in the State of Montana. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of 
America in Congress assembled. That all lands in the abandoned Fort Assinniboine 
Military Reservation in the State of Montana, falling within townships thirty-one and 
thirty-two north of ranges fourteen, fifteen and sixteen east of the Montana principle 
meridian including the Government buildings thereon, are hereby set apart and declared 
to be a reservation for the Rocky Boy's Band of Chippewa Indians, and such other 
homeless Indians in the State of Montana as the Secretary of the Interior may see fit to 
locate thereon, and for such other purposes in connection with the support, education and 
civilization of Indians as the Secretary of the Interior may deem advisable and under such 
rules and regulations he may prescribe. 

Sec. 2. That the said Secretary of the Interior hereby authorized to allot the lands 
within the area described in accordance with the provisions of the general Allotment Act 
of February eighth, eighteen hundred and eighty-seven (Twenty-fourth Statutes at Large, 
page three hundred and eighty-eight), as amended, except within the area one mile square 
embracing the Government buildings at the abandoned post. 

Little Bear Tells of Indian Troubles 

(Havre Plaindealer July 19, 1913) 

...With all the majesty and decorum becoming a Chieftain of one of the greatest 
tribes in existence before the advent of the "pale face". Chief Little Bear, ruler of the few 
remaining members of the Chippewa tribe which have been encamped near Helena for 
the past few months, yesterday appeared before the board of Lewis and Clark County 
Commissioners, and through an interpreter made an appeal for assistance. 

"My children are not lazy, they are eager and ready to go to work, but this we cannot 
secure," said the aged Chief There are but a few classes of work we can do, but at that 
we cannot secure employment because of the antipathy of the white man for us. Once we 
could hunt and, thus, secure food for our women and children, but the white man will no 
longer let us do that and puts us in jail if we do. We can not keep livestock because the 
lands have been fenced up, and we cannot earn money by making furniture, because we 
do not know how. We can fami and work on railroad grades, but the white man will not 
give us jobs.... 

Some Diplomat - Chief Little Bear 

(Havre Promoter, August 8, 1913) 

"God was taking care of us all right until the white man came and took the 
responsibility off his hands.... 

So Chief Little Bear dramatically exclaimed to Secretary of the Interior Frederick K. 
Lane in support of his plea that the government furnishes him and his tribe with land 


sufficient to care for 500 Indians and to assist them until they became self supporting, 
says the Helena Record. 

Attended by four tribesmen Little Bear stalked into the lobby of the Placer Hotel and 
there the conference with the representative of the White Father took place. 

... When the Chippewas first became wanderers forty years ago white men were 
aliens where today the Indian stood and asked for assistance. 

Mr. Lane said. "Little Bear, you have a good friend here in Mr. Linderman and you 
have another good friend in Mr. Bole (W. M. of Great Falls). I want to make a third 
friend. 1 want to help you and to give you chance, but you also must help yourself when 
the chance comes." 

... Little Bear not only wanted the land, but he wanted to be assured there would be no 
taxes on it. He explained white men had become rich from lands the Indians owned, and 
the government was rich enough anyway to throw off the taxes in this particular case. 

... When the tribe first came to Montana there was food for it as far as the horizon in 
all directions. Little Bear explained. 

Now." he said: "the government sends in foreigners and it pushes us to one side. We 
have no camp, no pasture for our horses, no way to get something to eat. and our: 
children are crying with hunger." 

... Secretary Lane inquired why the other Indians were cared for and the Chippewas 
were not. Little Bear said rich people had prevented that; they wanted the land. He said 
God did not create the world all for the rich, but for the rich and poor alike. 

... Little Bear asked that a portion of the Fort Assinniboine Reservation be set aside 
for his band, and the Secretary explained that would have to be obtained from Congress. 

Two Townships for Rocky Boy 

(Havre Plaimlcci/ci\ December 20, 1*913) 

... Two townships in the Blackfeet Indian reservation are to be set aside as the future 
home of Rocky Boy and his wandering tribe of Chippewas, according to information 
received here. 

... The government will set aside $10,000 for the first year at least in order to tide 
Rocky Boy and his braves over until the first crop time. This will be used to buy their 
food, clothing and other necessaries until they have been able to tickle from the soil such 
sustenance as the two townships in the aforementioned reservation are capable of 

In addition to this donation, the Indians will be fiimished with cattle, horses and other 
stock, and an outfit, including fann implements, and will be placed in a position to earn a 
livelihood in keeping with the ideas expressed by Secretary Lane to the chief on a recent 
western trip. 

Rocky Boy"s followers have never entered into a treaty with the LInited States and 
while they were given land some time ago, the soil was of such poor quality that they 
were unable to coax a livelihood there from.... 

The Wanderers 

{Havre Plaindealer, July 11.1914) 

... The Editors of the Ha\re papers are holding up their lily-white hands in holy 
horror at the prospect of having these nomads at their fi\)nt doors, occupying the choicest 
tract of land in the Bear Paw settlement, and are scolding everybody concerned because 


they were not permanently placed on the Blackfeet Reservation, which, according to their 
myopic view seems fit only for the homeless and unfortunate band.... 

Ask Allotment of Land to Red Men 

{Havre Plaindealer, February 13, 1915) 

In response to a telegram from United States Senator Myers on Thursday announcing 
that the bill opening the lands of the fonner Assinniboine Reserxation to settlement, was 
in danger of the presidential veto unless some portion of the land were set aside for the 
use of Rocky Boy and his band of roving Indians, a mass meeting was held at the city 
hall, Thursday afternoon, bringing out a large attendance of the business men of this 

It was unanimously decided that rather than endanger the enactment of the measure 
that required so much time passing Congress, representations be made to the Secretary of 
the Interior to reserve sufficient land in the reservation for the Indians.... 

Will Find Fatted Calf on Return to Reserve 

(The Box Elder Valley Press, February 11,1916) 

According to this article the Rocky Boy band are encamped in the Bear Paws 
Mountains near Box Elder. ... They have built more than forty fairly comfortable cabins 
and a small warehouse for their supplies. As of yet they have no reservation and there is 
no legal authority to restrict their roaming. . . 

Officers Quarters 

Fort Assinnihoinc 

Affects the Fort Assinniboine Reserve 

(The Box Elder Valley Press, March 31,1916) 

According to this article the Secretary of Interior made a report to the Senate Public 
Lands Committee upon Senator Myers' Bill proposing to amend the law opening the Fort 
Assinniboine military reservation for Rocky Boys' band of Chippewa and other homeless 
Montana Indians: 80 acres for a reservoir site for the town of Havre and 10.240 acres for 
a pemianent park or camping ground on Beaver Creek near the town of Havre. Senator 
Meyers' Bill proposed to set aside 30,900 acres for the Rocky Boy band. 


Would Give More Land to Indians 

(Havre PlaincJealer, April 1. 1916) 

According to this article the Secretary of hiterior suggests that the proposed 30,900 
acres for the Rocky Boy band is not large enough to properly support the Indians and he 
recommends that all of the land in the reservation be set aside for these Indians, which is 
approximately four townships in all. 

... He reports that the Indians worked faithfully on their gardens and little farms and 
sent specimens of the vegetables and grains raised by them to the state fair at Helena. It 
further states that if the land set aside for them are limited, they will either have to be 
given ftill rations or return to their nomadic habits as wanderers... 

Indian Dept. Would Have Taken Tract 

(Havre Plaindealer. April 19, 1916) 



Veteran Head of Wanderinjj Band of Indians, 

Known TlirouKhout Montana, Passes Away , 

on the Reservation Near Box Elder. 

ltiMl;> Ko> 1- il<.i<l. TU iliirl ■>! lih- 

.>f i III 


w« liiilim 

. IMI 

^Vtuil Hiit'lr liiiii Ibinli t>l >'"li |'4Hi}>lr ii 

llial Up i> U'lUn fiuiti Itl.ti 

< iiiiniiKMoii'-'-', \Vti<hiii^'1»ii, II. I. t>']i 

Itn; Iii ..i'l">' •tr.ntK tu Mt. I'.iri 

■ .it-,..,' .i|>.,ii bi^ •it'jRiKii Miul (bal 

According to this article the fractional township lying west of Beaver Creek in the 
southern end of the reservation, is to be given to the Rocky Boy Indians in addition to the 
two fractional townships reserved two years ago. 

A letter wrote by the sponsor of the Bill. Senator H.L. Myers explains; "I was 

compelled to give the Rocky Boy Indians 
three fractional townships in order to stand 
any show to get the bill through. Unless I had 
done so, the bill would have stood no show. 
The Interior Department insisted on it. Cato 
Sells. Indian Commissioner, wanted the 
Indians to have nearly all the reservation... I 
had to compromise on three to stand any 

He further stated, "As it is the Indians get 
three fractional townships; the people get the 
camping grounds free; and the city may have 
its reservoir sites at SI .25 per acre any time it 
may choose and pay in five years. . . I hope the 
bill may go through in this shape." 

Rocky Boy Has Passed Away 

(Havre Daily Promoter. April 24. 1916) 

This articles states; Rocky Boy, Chief of 
the Chippewas, has passed to the happy 
hunting grounds and has died upon the 
recently acquired Assinniboine reservation, 
last Tuesday, after some eighty turbulent 
years... (EDITORS NOTES: Other doeiiments 
put Roeky Boy as passiiii^-on in his late 
sixties) The news of Rocky Boy's death was 
brought to Great Falls in a letter to Theodore 
Gibson, having been written for Baptiste J. 


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;:irtj» l<i ^ou imil aUu lo ibt old tuuu. 
t!i<% .«lii.ijl<lv lib— n-i all until ii- 
iHii'l aBuii " 

Til. If^T ,1* |.TM.Iii| I" lii>l »-< ntl' 

|p«. H. lir >« .(iiwiiiiHiiiii > iviiivliH- i 
liy <M-I.t •Imjum' imuU' !%■ r>uii|p«r«ih' 
Il irw i)ii*i>|>linl ounl- thxl Ixtr i<*«ii 
wHltvi lu/.r-*!'^. 

Thr up ».i I biH i:.-*;r IWij' i> Uul 
LMimi I" '•Nj t""*"'"* !>■ Ill'' nl* tut 
tlwi* ubu UunI ft !»>«< -A it )>at In n 
!• ,«•( (■• \.«it> fihl. 

Samatt, son-in-law of Rocky Boy, by his son I.C. Reid. (EDITORS NOTES: Isaac- 
Charles Reiil AKA Reed Mas an adopted son of Rock}' Boy). 

The letter stated; "... But these are his last words on last breath; Never forget what I 
have tried to do for the homeless people in Montana, toward the government and also he 
said never forget Mr. William Bole and Theodore Gibson and his father, and Frank B. 
Linderman, who done and taken pains to get us a home from the government. And he 
told all his people to strive and labor hard so the government may see that we are 
ambitious to get a home and land and also told his people to be kind to one another and 
help one another." 

"He died so peacefrilly, just like as if he was going to some place for a time. I wish 
you would tell Mr. Bole and Frank Linderman about the death of our chief Rocky Boy. 
We have lost a valuable man. We are sorrowing and mourning for him. I am sending my 
best regards to you and also the old man. May Almighty bless us all until we meet 

Assinniboine Lands for the Indians 

(The Box Elder Valley Press. April 28. 1916) 

According to this article; the bill for the Fort Assinniboine reservation, contains some 
important amendments. Instead of two townships originally planned, three townships are 
reserved for Rocky Boy's band of Indians, embracing a total of 56,035 acres. 

... The Interior Department has approved the legislation and Secretary Lane has 
urged prompt action so that time may be had for the Indians to take advantage of the law 
for the present crop season. Reports of the agents of the Interior Department show that 
500 Indians should be provided for in this reservation. . . . 

Park on Beaver Creek Assured 

(Havre Promoter, April 29, 1916) 

... The bill of Senator H.L. Myers passed the United States Senate last Monday. It is 
believed that it will receive favorable consideration in the House and will soon become a 

Call for Land is Quickly Heard 

(Havre Daily Promoter, September 9. 1916) 

... Announcement of the passage of the of the bill that provides for the opening of the 
Fort Assinniboine Reservation adjoining Havre to the westward, resulted in a flood of 
inquiries at the local land office yesterday. There were 67 inquiries in one day. 

... While the law has been passed which gives the public valuable camping grounds, 
the Rocky Boy Indians two or three townships all their own, and the city of Havre 
reservoir sites, the law has to be made effective by presidential proclamation. 

... Probably not before late next spring will the executive order be issued and until 
that time even the method of procedure will not be known. If is probable the lands will 
be subject to entry by allotments to be made following registrations and public drawings 
as was done with the lands of the Fort Peck reservation to the eastward. . .. 

EDITORS NOTES: There has ahwns been iiilsinlerprelalion as lo the Rocky Boy's Indian Resen-allon 
being established by Executive Order or by an Act of Congress. The above article slates by presidential 
proclamation and to open other lands that were part of Fort Assinniboine there would be an Executive 
Order. Once a bill is passed by congress it is normal procedure for the President to sign the Bill or veto it. 
In this case the President signed it. Perhaps it is this article that has caused the confusion from the past. 


Indians Suffer From the Cold 

(The Box Elder Valley Press, March 30, 1917) 

Hard w inter weather has meant suffering for the Indians of the Cree and Chippewa 
camp at Box Elder as much as it has for cattle and game, according to the word brought 
to Frank Lindemian from the Indian camp at Box Elder by Chief Little Bear of the Crees. 

Only the old and decrepit Indians have been receiving rations from the government 
and the younger members of these tribes must hustle for themselves. They are not 
supposed to leave their camp, but in order to gain a livelihood have scattered over the 
state to try to earn a living. 

... There has been much suffering with the Indians at Box Elder this winter due to the 
heavy, winter, with much snow and lack of food. There is considerable consumption 
among the Indians, a disease which is playing havoc with the now diminishing numbers 
of the red men.... 

Little Bear, the Cree Chief who is a familiar figure in Helena, is in the city to visit Mr. 
Lindemian, who is a Chippewa by adoption and who is looked up to with almost 
reverence by the Crees and Chippewas. 

Although over 70 years old, the Indian bears up well, and despite the hardships of the 
winter, smiles when asked about the hard winter. His smile bears pathos when he 
measures with his hands the height of the snow and tries to explain how his fellow tribe 
members have suffered. 

... Mr. Lindemian is of the belief that these Indians, if given the proper chance, will 
become self-supporting before very many years. 

They have proven to Commissioner Cato Sells of the Department of the Interior that 
thev are izood workers.... 

W heal liclJs on Rocky Boy rcsen-ution 

Indians Are Farming on Extensive Scale 

(Havre Plaindealer, April 20. 1918) 

.1. Brown Parker. Indian Agent for the Rocky Boy Band, spent Wednesday in Havre. 
Mr. Parker was looking after, sexeral teams of horses that are intended for use at the 
agency. In conversation Mr. Parker stated that the Indians are responding nobly to the 
appeal for intensified farming and said that they would seed to wheat and other grains 


this year a little more than one thousand acres, with every prospect of a good harvest. The 
reservation is located on the three south townships of the former Assinniboine military 

Pershing Gained Friendship of Miles Which Helped Him Advance, In Montana 

(Box Elder I 'alley Press, March 21,1919) 

...General Pershing ... served at Fort Assinniboine ... where he spent a year as a 
lieutenant in the Tenth cavalr>' . . . 

... October 1895, when Pershing reported there to join his regiment, a western fort 
whose importance as a military outpost in the Indian country was fast waning.... 

... Briefly told, the opportunity for association with General Miles came one day when 
the old Indian fighter visited the post on a tour of inspection, bringing his hunting dogs 
with him, and Pershing and another officer took the general for a hunt for prairie 

... A half dozen other reservations, including the Crow, the Blackfeet and the 
Flathead, were within a few days cavalry ride, but only once during his year at the post 
did Pershing see service in the field. He commanded one of the detachments that rounded 
up and deported the reftigee Canadian Cree Indians. 

... They were led by Little Bear, son of the famous Cree Chief Big Bear. ... Canadian 
authorities [made] an agreement ... by which the dominion government stated that it 
would take them back if the Americans would deliver them at the border line. Coutts 
station, north of Shelby Junction, was the appointed place and the summer of 1 896 the 
designated time. 

The Crees were then encamped near Great Falls. When news reached them that their 
deportation had been authorized many decamped.... The Indians that remained in camp 
were placed on trains and taken to the border. 

... The work of rounding up the Indians who had escaped fell on Troop D, Tenth 
cavalry, under the command of Lieutenant Pershing. ...When the Indians heard that, the 
soldiers were coming; they would break up into small bands and make for the coulees.... 
As each band was overtaken, it was sent under escort to Great Falls, and the troop went 
after the next band. The job was completed without any fighting, and the troops returned 
to Fort Assinniboine after 62 days in the field. 

It is something of a coincidence that these same Indians, who returned very, promptly 
Irom Canada and ever since have remained in Montana, are today occupying a 
reser\'ation given to them by the United States government that is taken fi-om a portion of 
the old Fort Assinniboine military reserve. Little Bear is still their Chief and is entitled to 
some credit for his persistence in refusing to live in Canada and his final success in 
getting an allotment of land for his people. General Pershing, with bigger things to 
occupy his mind, had probably never learned of the final disposition of these Cree 

Crees and Cheyennes |Chippewas| Dance 

(Havre Plaimlealer. My 19. 1919) 

Little Bear's band of Crees... gave a Sun Dance on their new reservation near, old 
Fort Assinniboine. in Hill County, on the Fourth of July, the affair being something in the 
nature of a celebration of the fact that they now have a place to call their home. 



...The Sun Dance of the Crees and Cheyennes [Chippewas] on their little reservation 
was one of the best given in the state, the Indians having tine costumes of the kind worn 
when they were in their natural state. 

[Editors note: This was obviously supposed to read Chippewa ami not Cheyenne.] 

Rocky Boys Raise Fine Wheat 

{Bo.\ Eider Valley Press, March 1 7. 

....That the Rocky Boy Indians 
are making exceptional progress on 
their reservation in the Bear Paw 
mountains since their location there 
five years ago is the assertion of 
Superintendent Parker. The Indians 
raised 20,000 bushels of wheat in 
1921. 4,500 bushels in 1920 and 400 bushels, in 1919. More than 500 tons of wild hay is 
harvested annually and livestock on the agency is being slowly increased. Two hundred 
and fifty acres of winter wheat was sown last fall, 200 acres in addition were plowed for 
spring crops and probably 600 acres will be prepared as soon as the ground is in 

"The Rocky Boy Indians have raised some of the highest grade wheat in the state since 
they were placed on the reservation," said Superintendent Parker. "Two cars of their 
Marquis wheat was shipped out last fall for seed because of its grade. 

"Their yields are running as high as the white man's in many cases, despite the fact 
that they are somewhat handicapped for tools. Crooked Nose, one of the Indians on the 
agency, last fall cut two and one-half acres of wheat with a butcher knife, and his wife 
bound it by hand and shocked it. From this little patch he threshed 134 bushels of wheat, 
and undoubtedly he earned it.".... 

il IlLill lni(i\ lild INil luir\ 

Rocky Boy Indians ... Now Successful Farmers 

'(Box Elder falley Press, May 9, 1924) 

The narrative is by W. T. Cowan, senator from Hill County, and was written for the 
Great Falls Tribune. 

The story of the appearance of the Rocky Boy Tribe in Montana and their many years 
of wandering until fmally rescued and placed upon the Rocky Boy Reservation is one of 
the little mentioned phrases of Montana history. 

Rocky Boy. the late Chieftain of this band of Canadian Cree Indians ... was. 
according to his story and local tradition, a Chippewa Indian from one of the Northern 
Minnesota tribes. Many years ago, while he was a young man. he left his native village, 
accompanied by his sister and a few of his fellow braves and followers. They immigrated 
to Canada, residing in that country for a period of years, his sister married an Indian chief 
of one of the Cree tribes named Big Bear. Tiring of life in Canada he later moved back, 
into Montana and selected, for his camping and hunting grounds, the vicinity of Fort 

... In 1886 the Canadian half-breeds, under the leadership of Louis Riel. undertook to 
redress what the many breeds in the Canadian northwest considered their wrongs and 
staged an amied rcbellit)n against the Canadian go\crnnicnt. the a\owed purpose of 
which was to drive the white men out of that country and establish a government and 


independent country for the half breed or Metis nation as they styled themselves. This 
was one of the early efforts at what is now called self-determination of peoples. 

In a frenzied effort to defeat the Canadian forces the breeds enlisted the support of 
certain of the Indian tribes. Among them being a band of young braves led by a Chieftain 
called Little Bear, a son of Big Bear who had married the sister of Rocky Boy.... 

... The rebellion was put down by the Canadian troops. The final victory was at the 
battle of Batoche, where the half breeds and their Indian allies were thoroughly defeated 
and routed by the Canadian militia, but with out severe loss of life among the Canadian 

Following the defeat of the rebels and the suppression of the revolt. Louis Riel, the 
leader, was tried and condemned. He was later hanged at Regina. the seat of government 
of the then Northwest Territories. 

Little Bear and his followers... came across the line into Montana.... I am told that 
they did not come in a body, but by twos and threes. What was more natural then than 
that Little Bear would seek out his Uncle Rocky Boy and join his camp? 

Later, as opportunity presented, the wives and families of these refugees came across 
to join their husbands. By the year 1888 there was a camp of nearly 100 lodges of these 
Indians in the vicinity of Fort Assinniboine and these people managed to make a living 
by hunting, fishing and trapping. They also cut cord wood for the contractors who had the 
contracts to ftimish the fort. 

In June, 1888, the country east of the Marias and north of the Missouri Rivers, which 
was a part of the Blackfeet and Gros Ventres Indian Reservations, was thrown open to 
settlement. The stockmen soon brought in herds of cattle and flocks of sheep: the game 
was rapidly destroyed and exterminated by both the Indians and whites and it was not 
long until the Indians were in a precarious condition. Different winters the authorities at 
Fort Assinniboine issued rations to them. 

The Indians turned to many expedients to live and many of us can remember the 
numbers who met all trains, selling polished buffalo horns and bead work to the travelers. 
Gradually the tribe split up and gathered in small camps in the vicinity of the larger 

... The story is familiar to the Montana reading public of how the gathering up of 
these scattered Indian families was detailed to Lieut. John J. Pershing, then an officer of 
the 10th cavalry stationed at Fort Assinniboine.... 

However, it is not so well known how the deportation finally came out. 

My infonnation is not official, but Indian and soldier talk, and it is not my intention to 
vouch for all of it. but I give the story as I have gleaned it from different sources the last 
20 years.... 

... Arriving at the designated time and place of meeting, the commander of the 
American forces with his staff rode forth to meet the commander of the British. What was 
the surprise and chagrin of our warriors when, up to the agreed locality rode a solitary 
mounted police sergeant. Asked if he was the detachment oi' British troops he replied. 
"No. indeed. I have with me one policeman. I left him in camp washing the breakfast 

... The Canadians evidently did not use much effort to retain their new settlers for the 
Indians came back and many families with their tents, horses and equipment went 
through my home town of Box Elder before the soldiers returned to Fort Assinniboine... 

. . . Two of the principal advocates of the Indians were W. M. Bole of The Great Falls 
Tribune, and Theodore Gibson, also of Great Falls. They consistently espoused the cause 
of these people, but without much success until the opening of the Assinniboine military 
reservation in Hill County to settlement, when they succeeded in getting set aside some 


two and a half townships of this reservation for the establishment of an agency and home 
for them. The Indian reser\e was named Rocky Boy after the aged Chieftain. Poor Rocky 
Boy had a little better luck than Moses, for he lived to enter the Promised Land and lived 
for a year or two after the reservation was set aside for his people. 

The family history of the members of the tribe was taken in May, 1917. The roll was 
approved by Secretary Franklin K. Lane July 16, 1917. The reserve was set aside in 1916, 
and the inten ening time being utilized to enable the scattered families to gather from all 
portions of Montana. When fmally completed the total number of members was about 
450. The population at this time is about 490. 

... John B. Parker of the Indian service took charge of the reservation in May, 1917, 
for the Indian Department. At that time the only buildings were a few log huts that the 
Indians had built to winter in, the previous winter while they were gathering. Mr. Parker 
was compelled to reside in one of these cabins till such time as he could build quarters. 
The contrast between this first effort of the Indians without direction, and the present 
splendid though modest agency is rather surprising to anyone who had not visited the 
agency since that time. 

... Much has been published recently in the Montana papers about the progress of the 
other northern Indians in the business of agriculture, but it is my finn belief that no 

people in modem times have made more progress Irom a 
wandering. star\'ed and degraded tribe to an almost self- 
supporting position in the brief period of seven years, that 
period, as well, being one of adverse climatic and 
LA-T marketing conditions for all who have been engaged in 

farming pursuits. 

... Briefly, 1 will sketch what has been accomplished 
with and for these people. 

In 1917, the reservation was fenced, the money coming 
from the reimbursable fund of the Indian Department. The 
fence is 66 miles in length and consists of four strands of 
wire. The posts are a rod apart and all labor of cutting the 
posts, digging the holes and putting up the fence was done 
with Indian labor under the direction and supervision of 
Superintendent Parker. 

That same year the Indians raised some 400 bushels of 
grain and cut and stacked about 450 tons of wild hay. 

Fencing on Rocky Boy Rcscnation 

This hay was sold to the late L. L. Sprinkle who has rented the unoccupied portion of the 
reserve for grazing purposes. 

1 remember distinctly the first load of wheat brought to Box Elder. The grower was an 
Indian named Well-Off-Man, and his crop amounted to the sum of $28.... 

... In 1918, the reservation produced about 1,200 bushels of grain and 500 tons of wild 

In 1919. 2.000 bushels of grain and 600 tons of hay were raised. This being a dry year, 
it is but truthful to state that much of the hay was brushy and of poor quality. 

In 1920, 4,000 bushels of grain and 550 tons of hay were raised. 

In 1921. 8,000 bushels of grain and 500 tons of hay were raised. 

In 192[3]. 14.000 bushels of grain and 600 tons of hay were harxested. 

In 1923, 16.000 bushels of grain and 500 tons of hay were raised. It is only fair to 
these farmers to state that nearly one-fourth of the crop was destroyed by hail and 


grasshoppers. The land is also becoming somewhat infested with wild oats and other 
weeds. The Indians are beginning to learn that something more is necessary to produce a 
crop than plowing and seeding. 

... The building[s] now erected at the agency are four employees quarters; one police 
quarter; one administration building; one concrete jail, but empty most of the time, I am 
glad to state; one bam; one machine shed; one blacksmith shop; one warehouse; two root 
cellars, and a school house, 24 x 60 feet. 

... The school building contains a 
recitation room 24 x 24 feet, dining 
room 20 x 24 feet, pupils" kitchen. 12 
X 8 feet. The children are given a - 

wann meal at noon. the 
Superintendent raising the vegetables 
on the agency gardens and the \ 

department furnishing the rations. ^' 
There are 40 pupils attending. The ^^^^i^i^h^ 

school is presided over by Miss Root cellar on Rocky Boy yesenation 


All the buildings are constructed of log with shingle roof All the building operations, 
from getting out and hewing the logs, to finishing the interiors, has been done via Indian 
labor under the direction and supervision of the Superintendent. The buildings are sightly 
and the work is well and skillfially done. Mr. Parker tells me that they contemplate 
installing a water system next year. 

... The post office is located in the Mission building. The women of the reservation 
are taught to sew among other social activities, and Mr. BuiToughs has secured a market 
for bead work so the workers derive considerable revenue in the course of a year through 
the instruction and help of the association. 

... The Catholics have had allotted to them four acres of ground on which to build. 
They have no structure as yet, but the Rev. Father Corbett of Havre holds services about 
once a month for the adherents of that faith. 

The reservation is situated in [the] Bear Paw Mountains, about 16 miles from Box 
Elder and 25 or 30 from Havre. It contains much beautiful and picturesque scenery and is 
in a fertile section. The rainfall in these mountains is greater than on the plains and this 
no doubt accounts for the success of these people in raising crops.... 

With the camping and play ground set aside by Congress on Beaver Creek for the use 
of tourists east of the Indian reservation, we believe the quaint ways of these people and 
the beauty of the scenery in the Bear Paw Mountains will bring many visitors.... The 
roads from either Box Elder or Havre are excellent in the summer season. 

300 Indians Due Here for Big Pow Wow 

(Havre Daily Promoter, July 2, 1924) 

Three hundred Indians from the Rocky Boy Reservation will attend the celebration the 
Fourth of July. 

They will have their camping grounds south of the Sacred Heart Hospital. In 
connection with the Elks celebration they will have a barbeque, Indian dances, horse 
races, and will all be dressed in their native costumes. 

Mr. Finebow and Wm. Buffalo, two officers were sent to Havre yesterday to make 
arrangements for fmal grounds. 


Indians Dance for Travelers on No. 1 

(Havre Daily Promoter, July 4. 1924) 

One hundred of the finest and most graceful dancers of the Rocky Boy Indians held a 
Pow-wow for the tra\ elers and visiting Elks who arrived on train number one yesterday 

Dressed in full regalia, beads, war paint, furs, blankets, and feathers, the "Noble 
Redmen" was in all his glory and danced and sang to the delight of the hundreds who 
gathered at the station. 

The Rocky Boy Indians were most obliging and danced encore after encore to please 
those from the east and the local people who never before had witnessed such a spectacle. 

Leaving the depot the Indians were marched up to the dance pavilion by Chief of 
Police James Moran and held another long Pow-wow on the dance floor. Speed Currin of 
Milwaukee, who will box Johnny Schauers this afternoon was working out at the time 
and from all appearances was not used to the "west as it really is" for he soon stopped. 

9000 Indians in State Can Vote 

(Box Elder Valley Press, July 18. 1924) 

[The] only provision is that they be native bom. This fall will be the first time the 
Indians have enjoyed the rights of suffrage. 

Approximately 9,000 Indians in the Treasure State may vote according to a 
communication received by Robert Yellowtail of Wyola, from Washington D. C. The 
text of the letter follows: 

"As a result of the signing of the Indian Citizenship Act by President Coolidge, every 
native bom Indian in this country is made a citizen of the United States," said Charles H. 
Burke. Commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. "The number of Indians given 
citizenship b\ the new legislation," he continued, "is approximately 126,000. There are 
200,000 Indians who have already been made citizens by various Acts passed by 
Congress in the past. . .'" 

Commissioner Burke further stated that the granting of citizenship does not remove 
the restrictions on the lands of the Indians now under government guardianship, the 
Supreme Court of the United States having held that ward ship is not inconsistent with 

The Bill providing citizenship for Indians, as originally introduced in the House of 
Representatives, authorized the Secretary of the Interior in his discretion, to issue 
certificates of citizenship to Indians who made application for them. It was amended in 
the Senate to grant citizenship outright to all non-citizen Indians; and this amendment 
was finally adopted by the house. President Coolidge signed the legislation as amended. 

A provision in the act granting citizenship to all the Indians of the United States 
stipulates that the Indians" rights to tribal and other property shall not be impaired or 
otherwise affected. 

According to the census reports, there are 12,800 Indians in Montana, and as 
practically all of them were born within the United States, the \oting population will be 
greatly increased at the next general election. Just what proportion of this number are 
over the age of 21 years, has not yet been determined, but it is probable that around 9,000 
in the state, and between 1. 000 and 1,100 in Big Horn County. If they all register, they 
will cut a considerable figure in the result this fall. 


Indians Moved to Reservation 

(Bo.\ Elder Valley Press, June 26, 1925) 

... Rocky Boy's tribesmen .... Convinced that they can no longer live like they did 
before the white man came. ... 

All but four families have left Great Falls. These families are employed, however, and 
are willing to work. All children of school age have been sent north where they may get 
schooling. Some of the Indians went to Chinook to work in the sugar beet fields, but it is 
not believed they will return to Great Falls. 

According to John D. Keeley. superintendent of the Rocky Boy Agency, who has 
returned to his post after a short conference with Mrs. Harriet Carrier, Executive 
Secretary of the Red Cross in Great Falls, and active in persuading the Indians to move to 
the reservation, the acreage under cultivation in the reservation has increased 25 per cent 
with the arrival of more Indians. 

Rocky Boy"s tribe had left Great Falls before temporarily, and returned. ... There were 
53 adult Indians in the Electric City when they were persuaded to leave. 

Rocky Boy Indians Stage First 
of Garden Shows 

(Havre Daily Promoter, 
September 4. 1925) 

... With hundreds of entries, 
including many different varieties 
of vegetables, the first garden 
truck exhibit was held yesterday at 
the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation 
under the supervision of County 
Agent E. B. Duncan, who judged 
the exhibits. 
One of the fine guldens on the Rocky Boy Resenation Each contestant had 1 5 

different kinds of garden produce entered which was raised on an eighth of an acre 
garden plot on the reservation. First prize, a heifer, was won by Martin Mitchell, second 
prize, a pig, was won by Mrs. Boneau and B. Samatt and W. Marsett tied for third honors 
and split the prize, six hens, between them. 

The exhibits were of a very high grade and would win honors at the state fair County 
Agent Duncan said. The wheat crop on the reservation is also declared to be excellent, 
and will average many bushels to the acre. The agent last year purchased 600 bushels of 
Marquis Wheat which was used by the Indians in sowing their crops. 

The first summer fallow to be done on the reservation will be finished within a few 
weeks. This work was started under the direction of County Agent Duncan who has taken 
an active interest in the farm work on the reservation. 

Montana Indian Congress at Helena 

[Hill Count}- Demoerat, November 3, 1925) 

A congress of representatives of all the Indian tribes of Montana was held in Helena 
yesterday to consider matters of importance to the several tribes, under the direct of A. A. 


The Rocky Boy Indians had three representatives at the conference. Those attending 
being Chief Day Child. Chief Kennewash and Jim Denny 

The delegates meeting in Helena v\'ill represent some 9000 Indians and it is reported 
that matters pertaining to their treatment during the past several years by the department 
will be discussed and considered. 

13 Charges Filed Against Burke by Indians 

(Havre Daily Promoter, November 7, 1925) 

(Helena. No\ 3) Charges preferred by the Indians of Montana against Hon. Charles H. 
Burke, Commissioner, of Indian Affairs contain many grave clauses. Representatives of 
the seven tribes, meeting here recently with their counsel. Attorney A. A. Grorud of 
Helena, to form a state association to secure redress for grievances, went deeply into the 
alleged misconduct of their affairs by Commissioner Burke and on conclusion of their 
conference. for\\ arded the following protest to Washington: 

Helena, Mont. Nov. 3. 1925 

To President Coolidge. Executive Mansion, Washington. D. C: 

Your Excellency. 

We the undersigned, duly appoint and authorize delegates in Montana, to wit: Flathead 
Confederated Tribes. Blackfeet, Rocky Boy. Fort Belknap. Cheyenne, Crow. Sioux, 
Assinniboine. and other tribes residing on the Fort Peck Reservation, duly assembled in 
convention on the third day of November. 1925. respectfully request the removal of Mr. 
Charles H. Burke as Commissioner of Indian Affairs, on the following grounds: 

1 . That said Burke has knowingly, intentionally and oppressively permitted the 
property of the Indian to be misappropriated, wasted and squandered. 

2. That said Burke has deliberately, arbitrarily and wantonly failed to safeguard the 
property and other rights of the Indians. 

3. That said Burke has violated his duty as Commissioner of Indian Affairs in 
administering his guardianship over the Indians, in that whenever the occasion arose, his 
attitude and prejudice is always against the welfare and benefit of his wards, the Indians. 

4. That said Burke has failed, neglected and refused to honestly and properly consider 
matters of great importance complained of 

5. That said Burke is biased and prejudiced against those who dare to expose his 
arbitrary acts and metes out unjust and unreasonable punishment to them. 

6. That said Burke has. is. and deliberately and maliciously by way of punishment to 
Indians, withheld tribal payments. 

7. That said Burke is depriving the Indian children of their right to attend public 

8. That said Burke has with his consent and knowledge permitted orphan children to 
be adopted and their property wasted and squandered 

9. That said Burke has allowed clerks and employees to remain in the service of the 
Blackfeet reservation after charges of immoral conduct have been preferred and due 
proof thereof submitted to him. 

10. That said Burke has wantonly, oppressively and arbitrarily ignored the mandate 
and wishes of the Assinniboine Tribe in the selection of its attorneys and has without 
authority forced an attorney's contract upon said tribe. 

1 1 . That said Burke has and is endeavoring to destroy, the natural resources belonging 
to the various tribes. 


12. That said Burke has knowingly, willfully and intentionally misrepresented and 
deceived committees and members of congress as to the true condition of the Indians. 

13. That said Burke has permitted and encouraged superintendents of Indian agencies 
to spend large sums of money in taking Indians about the country and taking Indians 
away from their work and exhibiting them to the public for their selfish purposes and 
other and political purposes. 

We respectfully request that an impartial investigation be made of the above charges 
and that we be given an opportunity to prove said charges and that the Indian Bureau be 
not allowed to investigate itself. 

Indians Will Meet After |Conimissioner Burke) Answers Their Cliarges 

{Havre Daily Promoter, November 1 1, 1925) 

Helena. Nov. 9. Another meeting of representatives of the Indian tribes in Montana is 
to be held here after Commissioner C.H. Burke, of the Indian bureau has formally 
answered charges preferred at a recent gathering of the tribes. Their newly formed state 
organization, it is learned, merely took, recess, pending action by Burke, or by President 
Coolidge to whom a fonnal communication, asking the Commissioner's removal, has 
been forwarded. 

A. A. Grorud of Helena is acting as representative of the Indians who claim to have 
their tribes solidly behind them in the battle. It is said that if the president ignores the 
communication, Montana's delegation in Congress will be asked to take action. 

Charles H. Burke Answers Charge of Indians 

(Havre Daily Promoter, 'Noyemher, 18, 1925) 

Washington, Nov. 17. (AP) Charles H. Burke, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, today 
declared an inquiry was conducted by his office into charges against it contained in a 
recent petition signed by several Montana Indians and sent to President Coolidge. 

They had shown that they were initiated at a meeting of 14 Montana tribes... 

Shotweli is New Rocky Boy Reservation Agent 

{Hill County Demoerat, March 2, 1926) 

L. W. Shotweli arrived a short time ago to take charge of the Rocky Boy Agency to 
replace J. D. Kelley who had been agent for the past three years. 

Mr. Shotweli came to Montana from the Walker River Agency on the Paiute Indian 
Reservation in Arizona. 

[Editor 's note: Walker River Paiute Resen'otion is located in Nevada.] 

Seven Indian Tribes to Meet 

{Havre Daily Promoter. April 22, 1926) 

Helena. April 22. (AP) — Several hundred Indians representing seven tribes included in 
the Indian Protective Association of Montana will meet in Helena in July, A. A. Grorud, 
counsel for the various tribes said today. In addition to members of the Flathead. 
Blackfeet, Rocky Boy, Fort Belknap. Fort Peck. Crow and Northern Cheyenne tribes, it is 
possible that a delegation of Indians from South Dakota will he present as they are said to 
be keenly interested in the Montana movement. 


Reports will be received from delegates now attending conferences at Washington. D. 
C, and other matters of \ital importance will he threshed out and appropriate action 
taken, Mr. Grorud said. 

Rocky Boy Indians Will Hold Annual Sun Dance June 21 

{Havre Daily Promoter. May 5, 1926) 

The annual Sun Dance of the Rocky Boy Indians will be held on the reservation 
beginning June 21 and lasting until June 27 

The Sun Dance is the most picturesque dance of the Indians. They call it the "Thirsty 
Dance" and worship the Thunder Bird, which personifies for them the Great Spirit. The 
dance will be given with all the ceremony of the old tribal traditions. 

This year's Sun Dance may be the last that will ever be held as the Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs is endeavoring to put a stop to it. 

Indian Artist Exhibiting Work 

{Havre Daily Promoter. May 27. 1926) 

Charles Topsky. a 20 year old Indian from the Rocky Boy Reservation, has a number 
of his drawings on display at the Evan Jones shoe shop on Fourth Avenue. 

Topsky shows a great deal of promise. He has never had a lesson in drawing in his life 
and his education has been limited to a year and a half 

His drawings are of Indian life and he is particularly good in action pictures of horses. 
While he works rapidly he is painstaking in his faithfulness to detail. Such talent 
developed might give Havre an artist who could conserve the romance and traditions of 
the plains Indians. 

Indians to Meet at Helena Soon 

{Laredo Tribune, June 5, 1 926) 

... The second annual meeting of the Indian Protective Association of Montana will be 
held in Helena. July 15. President Caville Dupuis has announced. Delegates from five 
great Montana tribes, representing the Flathead, Blackfeet. Rocky Boy, Fort Belknap, 
Fort Peck and Northern Cheyenne Indians will attend.... 

Formal and confidential reports covering Indian affairs will be presented at this 
meeting. The association also, at that time, will take up the endorsement of political 
candidates and perfect an organization, as it is possible the tribes may place several 
candidates of their own in the field. A. A. Grorud, counsel for various tribes said recently. 

Thomas Burland. secretary of the association, who recently returned from 
Washington, D. C, attended the conference at Helena of various members of the Flathead 
Tribe, headed by Frank Kirkpatrick. 

Tribes are awaiting the return from Washington, D. C, of Meade Steele, one of the 
outstanding leaders of the association. His report is awaited with particular interest 
leaders say. All reports are now being compiled and threshed out in the \arious tribal 
councils for presentation, discussion and action at the Helena meeting. 

"The July meeting will be an outstanding one in the history of Indian affairs in 
Montana," said President Dupuis. "We are now organized and functioning as never 


The Rocky Boys 

(Hill Count}' Democrat, May 3, 1927) By Mrs. M. E. Plassmann 

A couple of years ago, I, with a party of picnickers, rode over the wind-swept plain 
south of Havre, and then towards that singular mountain chain, first known as the Bear's 
Paw. ... 

... Wishing to learn present conditions there, and pass the infonnation gained on to the 
Montana public, 1 wrote to the missionary, Mr. Elmer Burroughs, who kindly supplied 
me with the subjoined facts. 

"For over 45 years, the National Indian Association has been seeking out tribes or 
bands of United States Indians among whom no missionary had labored; ... This pioneer 
work in general has consisted in visiting the sick, giving simple remedies, providing food 
suitable for the suffering ones, helping the poor, holding English classes where advisable, 
and encouraging and helping with the native arts, as well as the usual church and Sabbath 
school services. These endeavors all require buildings, cows, gardens, missionaries, and 
money. The National Indian Association is an organization recognized by the Indian 
Department as one very beneficial and uplifting to the Indians...."' 

"'Mrs. Bun-oughs and I were in Home Missionary work under the Presbyterian board 
in Saskatchewan, Canada had been there for three years, when word reached us through 
the Student Volunteer Movement Board of an open door to work among the ... Indians in 
Montana. Having had a desire for some time to work among Indians, this was welcome 
news to us." 

Mr. Burroughs made the trip fi^om Saskatchewan to the agency on horseback, a 
distance of over three hundred miles. His wife and little girl made the journey by train. 
He has been at the Rocky Boy Agency for seven years, and is well qualified in every way 
for the position he occupies. . . . 

"... By Christmas the first year we had three good, substantial buildings nearly 
completed, a bam, house and chapel. 

. . . The chapel was opened in February, 1 92 1 , and there was the good attendance at the 
first meeting which might have been expected. Indians, like white people, are delighted 
with anything novel, and every Sunday since then services have been held. After a few 
years, a Sunday school was organized, with a fair attendance, except in the summer time, 
when the call of the outdoors is too strong to be resisted by these children of Nature; but 
they always look forward with pleasure to the annual Sunday school picnic. 

"Besides the religious services," Mr. Burroughs states, "we have a boys' club, girls' 
club, women's meetings weekly, and night school for the young men three nights a week. 
Rocky Boy post office is at the mission. ... The past year this beadwork money 
[S2.000.00] was especially welcome because of the drought and poor crops." 

"The winter just closing has perhaps been the hardest these Indians have experienced 
these six or seven years." Some aid was received from the National Indian Association 
which sent money that was expended for provisions Mr. Burroughs gave to the Indians... 
The superintendent also provided the able bodied men with work, when possible. But this 
was not sufficient to meet the need of all . . . ." 

Appropriations are being cut down by the Indian Department, with the laudable 
purpose of making the Indians self-supporting, but the amount is not adequate for those 
unable from any cause to work. 


"More acres farmed each year, better yields than the past season, mixed fanning and 
the raising of chickens, sheep and cattle will mean better times for our people. The 
Superintendent and farmer are interesting the Indians in this division. But again, I must 
say this has been a very, very hard winter for these poor folks, and 1 am glad the mission 
has had a little part in relieving the want and suffering." 

Mr. Burroughs speaks in the highest terms of the work of fomier superintendents, and 
says that L. W. Shotwell, the present Superintendent, "with his good staff of assistants in 
office, school, and about the agency, is seeing some satisfactory responses on the part of 
the school children, fanners and stock raisers. A good two-room schoolhouse with two 
teachers, good warehouse and reservation granary, office building clerk and teachers' 
home grace the agency grounds. We have a splendid contract physician. Dr. Mackenzie, 
of Big Sandy, and rumor has it that before another winter we may have a field nurse, and 
small hospital quarters for cases of severe sickness. With better fanning seasons, 
diligence and continued force of good government workers, the Rocky Boy Band of 
Crees and Chippewas should come to better things. 

... If the state cannot extend aid to these needy ones, individuals can do so in different 
ways. They can patronize the industries, as for instance, purchase the beautiful beadwork 
made by the women, or they can contribute money directly to Rev. Elmer Burroughs at 
Rocky ... Would it not be more consonant with Scriptural teachings if we first relieve the 
needs of our own, before aiding foreign missions? ... 

Rocky Boy Reservation Opened to Lease 

(Havre Daily News Promoter. February 6, 1928) 

The Havre Daily News Promoter has received from L. W. Shotwell, Superintendent of 
the Rocky Boy Reservation .... a copy of the order opening for prospecting and mining 
unallotted land on the reservation. The order shows: 

"United States Department of the Interior. Office of Indian Affairs. Washington. 
December 23, 1[9]27. 

Section 26 of the Act of June 30. 1 19 (41 Stat. L., 31), amended December 16. 1926. 
authorizes location of mining claims by citizens of the United States on unallotted lands 
of Indian Reser\'ations. after such lands shall have been declared by the Secretary of the 
Interior to be subject to exploration for the discovery of gold, silver, copper, and other 
valuable, metalliferous minerals and non-metalliferous minerals, not including oil and 
gas. Should minerals be found locators have the privilege, within one year, of entering 
into a lease covering the land located. 

"In accordance therewith I hereby declare all unallotted lands not heretofore opened to 
prospecting and lease, on the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation, Montana, subject to 
exploration on and after 12 o'clock noon, December 10, 1927, and with the exception of 
such land therein as may. contain springs, water holes, or other bodies of water, subject to 
location and lease. 

JOHN H. EDWARDS. Assistant Secretary 

Indian Garden Club Starts Expansion in Club Work for Year 

[Hill CoiiiUy Democrat. March 30, 1928) 

Fifteen boys between 10 and [?] years of age have been organized into a garden club 
at Rocky Boy... The club organized under Frank Reid as local leader, will be known as 
the Centennial Boys' Garden Club. Other clubs planned under the program outlined will 
work in the fields of swine, sheep, wheat, com, potato, turkey, capon and clothing clubs. 


Most of these have been active before but present plans call for a wider range of work, 
including a larger membership than before. . . . 

I* I 



A ganlcu being workcil i>ii the Rocky Boy Resenaiion 

Construction of Road Across Reservation Assured by Congress 

{Hill County Democrat, June 15, 

Construction of the proposed 
highway across the Rocky Boy 
Reservation and connection with 
Hill County roads on one side and 
Blaine County roads on the east is 
assured with the passage of the last 
appropriation bill by the Senate just 
before adjournment. The bill as 

Road development on the Rocky Boy Resenation 

passed was approved by the 
Department of the Interior before it 
went before either house of Congress. 

No provision is made for individual projects [?] which are lumped into one gross 
appropriation for such work. The road is assured however by the department, which has 
designated S8500 for the work. 

L. W. Shotwell, Superintendent of the reservation, states that work on the road will 
begin at once with all Indian labor being used. The Indians are free at this time of the 
year to do work of this sort. Approximately seven miles of construction will be necessary 
while Hill County will build in from the Beaver Creek road, and Blaine County will 
connect the eastern road with county highways on that side, making a through highway 
from east to west. 


School System at Rocky Boy Enlarged 

(Havre News Promalcr. June 17, 1928) 

The Rocky Boy Indian school system will be extended this summer. Work on the 
construction of a new two story brick building north of the post will start immediately. 
The classrooms will be on the first floor and the domiitory room on the second floor; 
work will be finished by the beginning of the next school term. 

Bus lines have been planned for the schools which will make it possible for more of 
the children to attend school while staying at home. This will do away with the large 
encampment of Indians around the post, which seemed necessary with only one school. 

Fishing Permits Required on Rocky Boy Reservation 

(Havre News Promoter, iune 17, 1928) 

Special pennits are required for persons wishing to fish on the Rocky Boy Indian 
Resei-vation. These may be received fi-om L. W. Shotwell, Superintendent at the Agency. 
The pennit will cost 50 cents and must be secured before any fishing is done. 

Rocky Boys Hold Sun Dance Starting Tomorrow 

'{Hiil County Democrat, June 26, 1928) 

The ancient Sun Dance, ceremonial of pracfically all the plains Indians, and a special 
favorite with the Sioux tribes, will be given on the Rocky Boy Reservation Wednesday 
and Thursday, according to L. W. Shotwell, Superintendent of the reservation. ... 

Indian School Compared With Small City's 

(Havre News Promoter. October, 2, 1928) 

Completion of the new school at the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation puts that territory 
in comparison with the schools of a moderate sized city educationally, according to J. C. 
Davenport of Washington who visited the reservation this week. 

Mr. Davenport was accompanied by C. V. Peel and Col. Folsom and they were doing 
auditing work at the reservation. 

Johnson Plans Indian Agricultural Program 

[Hill County Democrat, April 9, 1929) 

State Agricultural Director Johnson, who has charge of all agricultural work of 
Indians, arrived at Havre Saturday to outline a program for the Rocky Boy Reser\'ation. 
Paul Stafford, agent at the Fort Belknap Reservation assisted in outlining the program. 

Ben Daggett, county agent of Hill County, is interested in starting a 4-H club program 
at the reservation. 

4-H Club Started At Indian Reservation 

[Hill County Democrat, April 19, 1929) 

Miss Ruth Russ, nurse at the Rock Boy Indian Reservafion, is starting a 4-H clothing 
club at the reservation among the Indian women. She has sixteen members as a nucleus 
of the club. 


Miss Russ received 4-H club 
information and literature at the 
county agent's office Thursday 
and plans to start the club right 

A poultry club has been 
started among the Indian boys 
of the reservation with 35 boys 
as members. Frank Reid is their 
local leader. 

4-H on Rock}' Boy Resen-ation 

Sun Dance Given Last Week at the Rocky Boy Reservation Lasted Full Week at 

Special Camp on Reserve 

{Havre Daily News, July 7. 1 929) 

To the tune of the [drums] ... about thirty-five Indians on the Rocky Boy Reservation 
danced the Sun Dance this last week in a camp of over 150 tents and tepees set up in a 
large circle around the main lodge. 

The annual religious ceremony began Monday with the moving in of people from all 
over the reservation and from many points outside, especially from Canada. The opening 
ceremony began with the coyote hunt in which the old men of the tribe came down from 
the hills.... 

The dance ended Thursday at 4 o'clock. The purpose of the dance is either for 
repentance or for the fulfillment of a vow made probably at the bedside of a sick 

During Thursday afternoon the young boys entertained with riding bucking horses, 
lassoing, and bareback riding. In the evening the "breed" dance is held in a circle formed 
by wagons placed end to end. The grass dance on Friday was entered by all the Indians in 
their most gala attire and the festivities closed Saturday with races both on foot and on 
horseback. Everything was over then but moving back to their homes and resuming the 
work of summer. 

Major Inspects Indian Agency 

{Havre Daily News, iaimary 19, 1930) 

Major F. C. Campbell, a District Superintendent specializing in industries, for the 
Bureau of Indian Affairs, for the Department of Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming and 
New Mexico, spent the past two days at the Rocky Boy Agency in the southern part of 
Hill County, with Sup. Earl Wooldridge, on an inspecting trip.... Major Campbell's work 
at this time is in connection with the placing of Indians in vocational work both on and 
off the reservations. . . 

Major Campbell states that at the present time there are about 500 Rocky Boy Indians 
on the agency, these Indians being Chippewa Cree combination, who never before had a 
reservation until assigned the territory now occupied by the Rocky Boy Agency south of 
Box Elder.... 

A portable saw mill has been installed on the agency, and the Indians are getting out 
the logs for houses, which are being erected under the supervision of the Superintendent. 


The Indians are being introduced to the stock business, most of them being interested in 
cattle. Six of the hidians have started the sheep business on a small scale, while eight 
more have their applications in. The Indians pay for the sheep (they are started with 30 
head) out of their profits over a five year period. One dollar is held out of the proceeds of 
the wool of each sheep, and S 1 held fi-om the sale, of each lamb, the balance going to the 
owner. Cattle are sold them on the same temis. 

A campaign is now under way to get some poultry established on the reservation. An 
incubator will be installed, a chicken house built, and it is expected that this summer will 
see a large increase in the number of Indian families in the poultry business. An effort is 
also being made to insist that each family have its own garden, producing their own food 
as far as possible. The children now have school advantages. Health conditions are 
improving. The resident nurse has just been transferred to Pueblo, but a new nurse will be 
assigned shortly, the matron now substituting in that work until the new nurse arrives... 

Rocky Boy Clothing Club Starts 

{Havre Daily News, May 17, 1930) 

The Bear Paw Clothing Club at the Rocky Boy Agency has organized for its second 
year's work, and already held two meetings. This club has a membership of ten. The 
officers for this year are Stella Otino, president. Ruby Chief Goes Out, vice president; 
Agnes Gopher, secretary. Mrs. C. Tracy is the local leader, assisted by Miss Alice 

Special Prizes will be Given at Fair for Best Indian Bead Work 

(Hav}-e Daily News, August 20, 1930) 

For the first time in the history of the Hill County Fair prizes will be given for the best 
Indian beadwork. tanned skins and other native hand work, the premiums amounting in 
all to over $71. 

The Rocky Boy Indians will be the only tribe to exhibit. Their designs are what is 
known as the geometric type as contrasted with the floral designs used by many Plains 
Indians. One of the most interesting and complete collections of local Indian bead work 
in Havre is owned, by L. K. Devlin of this city. 

Six entries have been registered in the Indian teepee race for which prizes of $ 1 0, $5 
and $2.50 are offered. The Rocky Boy Indians are also bringing to the fair a miniature 
Indian village which is perfect in every detail and will add greatly to their display of 
Native handwork. 

Final Plans for Rocky Boy Fair Being Completed 

(Havre Daily News, February 20, 1 93 1 ) 

...Arrangements are being made for a mid-winter fair to be held at the Rocky Boy 
Indian Agency south of Havre on March 3 and 4. This will be one of a series of fairs at 
the Indian agencies in Northern Montana, others being held at Browning. Fort Belknap, 
and Fort Peck. 

The fair will offer a wide variety of exhibits including school displays, showing of 
agricultural and stock raising work, poultry and tame rabbit displays.... 


Isaacs to Talk at Indian Fair 

(Hcm-e Daily Neus, February 27. 1931 ) 

Plans for the mid-winter fair, to be held at the Rocky Boy Indian agency, March 3 and 
4, include on the program addresses by E. E. Isaacs, horticulturalist. on "the raising of 
potatoes and gardens"; a talk by M. A. Bell, of the North Montana branch experiment 
station on feeds and forage crops; and a discussion of swine raising by E. Sandberg, 
county agent.... 

Special Indian Races at Fair August 18 To 22 

(Hcnre Daily Ne^vs, August 11, 193?) 

"Let mother do it." was the old time motto of the Indian, and just how mother did it 
will be shown at the Hill County Fair, when the Indian women will do a daily wagon race 
which will include the setting up of a tepee and starting the camp life after a day on the 
road. Horses participating in this race will be changed each day. 

Arrangements for the participation of the Rocky Boy Indians in the racing program of 
the Hill County Fair were about completed on Monday morning, when Chief Samatt and 
others conferred with Earl Bronson, Secretary for the Hill County Fair. 

Another unique Indian race will be that of old men, over 60 years of age, in war paint 
and war regalia, who will race daily, horses being changed each day. . . . 

Rocky Boy Indian Has All of the Answers in Helena 

(Havre Daily News, September 24, 1953) 

HELENA (AP) — City-county sanitarian Richard D. Flemming humorously admitted 
Thursday he has made a strategic withdrawal in efforts to remove a three tepee Indian 
village fi"om the city limits. 

"I am going to have to study the white man's books some more before 1 tangle again 
with the sachems of that layout." Fleming said. 

Flemming and Jack Lange, assistant city engineer, made a call on the soft but firm- 
spoken village spokesman. Jack Denny, Tuesday. They met on Denny's grounds in the 
area of Cole and Cherry Streets north of the railway right-of-way. 

"We were met at the head tepee door by Denny. Who seemed to know the purpose of 
our visit." Flemming explained. The police had been to see him before us. Denny told us 
in a firm voice that his people owned the land all ten lots of it. Not only that, but under 
the terms of an old treaty Chippewa Indian firefighters had a right to set up camp where 
they pleased. "They were fighting the White man's fire northwest of Helena and this was 
their family camp. They're taking care of their garbage just as well as many others in the 
area and their sanitation facilities were as adequate as others. 

Denny told us. "I suppose you came here to kick us off" and that was our general 
idea. He told us if we wanted the land we would pay for it. 

He wanted to know why he couldn't come to town to live on his own property. He also 
gave us a discourse on how God took care of their rights even if we didn't. 

He mentioned the Oklahoma oil wells found on Indian land the White man didn't want 
and now the fmding of uranium mines on other lands to which the Indian had been 

"When we asked Denny if he had a building pennit. he told us that he hadn't erected a 
building and furthermore he didn't intend to stay. When the work on the fire was done, 
Denny said his people were going to pick potatoes in Helena Valley. 


'"We will not be welfare charges," Denny said. "When our work is done we plan to 
return to the Rock\ Boy Reservation.*" 

"We left." Flemming. concluded, "as gracefully as possible." 

Reservation Creates Disease Control Area 

{Havre Independent, April 15, 1954) 

Petitions for the creation of a Disease Control Area have been signed by 100 per cent 
of the stockowners on the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation according to R. F. Rasmusson, 
Hill County extension agent. These signatures have been obtained in connection with the 
program being carried out to include all of Hill County in a Brucellosis control program. 
The sign-up on the reservation was in charge of Joe Demontiney, Chaimian of the Tribal 
Council, and Archie Perry, Farm Management Supervisor. 

. . . When 75 per cent of the stock-growers owning 50 per cent of the stock in each of 
75 per cent of the townships in the county have signed the petitions, the county is 
declared a Disease Control Area by the Livestock Sanitary Board and testing for 
Brucellosis can start. It is not expected that much testing for Brucellosis will be carried 
out until the fall of 1 954. . . 


Chapter 4 

Cfiihhewa Cne Trimf government 

Written By Roger St. Pierre 


Tribal Government 

Link Bear 

It seems the Tribal leadership among our Chippewa people has always consisted 
of one leader, main person, or under one Chief. This was the case of Rocky Boy because 
in 1906 he was asked to provide a list of all of his followers, or members of his tribe. He 
listed 109 names as members of his tribe, of which he was the Chief On the other hand, 
the Cree people were under another type of leadership. There was one leader, or main 
Chief, but leading different smaller groups there were sub-chiefs. 

At one time it was believed the Chief of all the Montana Cree was at Basin, 
Montana. His name was Little Bear. In 1 896 Buffalo Coat was the 
sub-chief in charge of a group of about fifty Indians around the 
Great Falls. Ka-Nah-Bay-Zhic-Um (Long Hair) was the sub-chief 
around the Marias River area. K.ah-Keesh-kah-Wash Chah-Bay- 
Wo was another sub-chief near Billings. Raining Bow or Rain of 
the Bow. Lucky Man, Mah-Chop, Pay-Pah-Mish-0-Wait, and 
Nan-Ome-Sha were other sub-chiefs of the Cree people in 

Later, the Chippewas and the Crees came together to live 
at their first encampment along the creek bottom where the houses 

of Avis Morsette and the late Rose Bernard are now located. Early 

in the spring of 1916, all the people of the camp were called to a 

meeting at Rocky Boy"s tent. There they discussed lands that could eventually become 

the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation. We might call this meeting the beginning of a form of 

government called the General Council. 

After the reservation was established, it is not known how, when, or what type of 
government structure was created. However, we do know that a group of men (referred to 
as headmen) approved the May 30, 1917 Tentative Roll of Rocky Boy Indians. The 
Tentative Roll contained 658 names and was sent to Washington. D.C. for approval. 
From that roll, 206 names were eliminated as being ineligible; as a result the final roll 
included only 452 names. 

On October 15, 1917 a letter was sent to the Indian 
Commissioner in Washington, D.C. that stated "we the 
undersigned headmen of the Rocky 
Boy Band of Indians in Montana have 
held a council and carefully considered 
the names on the final roll of the 
Rocky Boy Indians approved by the 
Secretary of the Interior on July 16, 
1917 and we respectfully ask that the 
following names of Indians be added to 
the roll as they are recognized by us as 

1. ,./#|iJflf),\ _^^^M being members of the Rocky Boy Band 

3^ , '^f^i) JB^K^m- of Chippewa Indians." These headmen 

Au . I i/^-^H^I who held the council and signed the letter were: Ed 

Medicine, Big Wind, Joe Big Sky, Baptiste Samatt, Well 
Off Man, Walking Eagle, Peter Kennewash, Bow, Shorty 
Young Boy, John Gopher, Chief Goes Out. Fine Bow, and 
Leon Gardipee. The headmen requested that forty-six names be added to the roll. It is 
interesting to note that the forty-six names included several of the indi\iduals who were 


Pcler Kennewash 

Joe Big Sk\ 

Siikill Face 

Baplisic SdiiHill and tantily 

Fine Bow 

declared ineligible three months earlier, as 
well as new names. It is clear that the 
headmen were either elected, appointed, or 
\olunteers and the> had a "council" meeting. 

Around the beginning of 1934, 
officials within the BIA. from Washington. 

D.C.. wanted Indians 
to have more control 
over their affairs. 
With that in mind, 
John Collier, who 
was Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs wrote 
a document entitled 

The Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) which set forth the 
principles of self-government and self-detemiination for all 
Indian people in the United States. Under the IRA. Indians 
would write their own constitutions, forming their governing bodies. 

In order to get tribes to approve the documents under the IRA (like the 

constitution). Collier promised that public lands would be added to the reservations of 

tribes who accepted the IRA. On the strength of that, the Chippewa Cree 

Tribe was one of the first tribes to adopt the IRA. The tribe voted 172 for 

and 7 against adopting the IRA. As a result of adopting the IRA, Collier 

held true, at least to part of that promise. That's when Gravel Coulee and 

Williamson Range were purchased. But before this 

land would be added to the existing reservation, the 

government added another requirement. That was the 

^m^^^^ tribe must adopt twenty-five additional families into 

^Hw the Chippewa Cree Tribe. 

)Hh Within a year of adopting the IRA. the 

Chippewa Cree Tribe wrote and received approval of ;r,.^,,y xauii 

Dan Bflcotiri the Constitution. This newly written constitution 

was submitted to a vote of the people who voted on November 2, 1935 to 
approve the constitution by a vote of 128 for and 23 against. This became 
the governing document that dictates how the Chippewa 
Cree Tribe is structured and administered. This 
constitution was authored by thirteen individuals. These 
individuals were: Jim Denny. Joe Corcoran. Fred Nault. 
Frank Billy. Sam Denny. Jim Courchane. Four Souls. 
Dan Belcourt. Joe Big Sky. Dan Sangrey, John Parker, 

Malcolm Mitchell, and Baptiste Samatt. 

The 1934 constitution has always been referred to as The Buck 
Skin Book. Fred Nault said in a book he wrote that the only reason the 
constitution w as refened to as The Buck Skin Book was because it was 
tan in color and looked like buckskin. The Buck Skin Book, among other tilings, sets the 
parameters within which the government can operate. The Constitution, or Buck Skin 
Book, has sections dealing with how individuals become members of the tribe, how lands 
will be handled, elections and nominations, business Committee \acancics. removal or 
recall of Business Committee members, powers of the Business Committee, refercndums, 


Frank Billv 

Joe Corcoran 

amendments, rights of members, and the judicial branch of government. It also outlines 
the organization of the governing body. Because the governing body is the wheel that 
makes the government operate, here is an overview of how the governing body was 
composed in the 1934 Constitution. 

1 . The governing body was called the Business Committee. 

2. The governing body was a group of individuals who were elected from six 

3. The districts were: Sangrey, Haystack, Parker School, Agency, Duck Creek, 
and Sandy Creek. 

4. Business Committee members were elected every year. 

5. The Chairman was elected from within the Business Committee. 

The Corporate Charter of the Chippewa Cree Tribe was adopted in 1936. The 
people voted on July 25, 1936 to approve the charter by a vote of 161 to 5. Based on this 
newly approved Tribal Constitution, Malcolm Mitchell was elected as the first Tribal 
Chairman of the Chippewa Cree Tribe. The elected official(s) would conduct meetings 
with the people who would gather at different houses within their district. The elected 
official would conduct his business at these house meetings and bring his district's 
feelings to a meeting where all the elected officials would gather. The elected officials 
would get paid ten dollars for each meeting they attended. 

It goes without saying that times have changed since 1934. Although the 1934 
Constitution was created to give the Tribe more sovereignty, the early elected officials 
were more of a fonnality than a governing body, because the BIA administered the 
programs and made the decisions. Today it is different. In 1993, the Chippewa Cree Tribe 
entered into a federally approved program known as Self Governance. Essentially, Self 
Governance means the Tribal Governing Body (Tribal Business Committee) takes control 
of the monies and programs that were previously managed by the Federal Government. 
Since the Business Committee began this Self Governance program, the Tribe now 
operates all of the BIA programs. These programs include: roads, forestry, natural 
resources, education, law and order, judicial, etc. In addition the Tribe now administers 
numerous state programs as well. 

As mentioned above. The Buck Skin Book (1934 Constitution) was modified by 
the vote of the people on April 22, 1972. The major change was in the organization of the 
Governing Body. This included the Chairman running specifically for the Chairman 
position (no longer elected within the Committee), Business Committee members being 
elected at large (no more districts), temis of office extended to four years on staggered 
terms (no longer one year), and elections being held every two years. On January 6, 2004 
another election was held to amend the Constitution. These new changes were approved 
by a vote of the people and unlike the previous amendment, did not concern the structure 
of the Governing Body. Rather these changes affected other aspects of the Constitution. 
These included the Tribal Council hiring the Tribal Judges, rather than being elected by 
the people, increasing fines and jail terms for Law and Order violations, not allowing 
convicted felons to be a candidate for elected positions, etc. 

(Written by Roger St. Pierre and edited by Josh Golden) 


These men wrote the Constitution and By-Laws of the Chippewa Cree Tribe. Standing far 
left: Frank Billy and Sam Denny. Front Left To Right: Reinhalt Brust. Chief Clerk for 
BT.A, Jim Courchane. Four Souls, Dan Sangrey, and Fred Nault. Top Step Left To Right: 
John Parker. Mim Denny. Dan Belcourt, Joe Big Sky. Malcolm Mitchell. Baptiste Sammatt. 
Earl Wooldridge. Superintendent, and Joe Corcoran 









We. the original and adopted members of the Rocky Boy's Band of Chippewas enrolled upon the 
Rocky Boy"s Reservation in the State of Montana, in order to exercise our rights to self- 
government, to administer all tribal affairs to the best advantage of the individual members, and to 
preserve and increase our tribal resources, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the 
Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation. Montana. 


The jurisdiction of the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation. Montana, shall 
extend to the territory within the Rocky Boy's Reservation as established by Act of September 7. 
1916 (39 Stat. 739), amending the Act of February 11, 1915 (38 State. 807), in the State of 
Montana, and to such lands as have been or may hereafter be acquired and added to the 
Reservation by law. 


SECTION 1. The membership of the Chippewa Cree Tribe shall consist as follows: 

(a) All members of the Rocky Boy's Band of Chippewas enrolled as of .June 1. 1934. 

(b) All children bom to any member of the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's 
Reservation who is a resident of the reservation at the time of the birth of said children. 

(c) All children of one-half or more Indian blood bom to a non-resident member of the Tribe. 

SECTION 2. Any Indian, one-half blood or more and a resident of Montana, not a member of 
any other reservation, may become a member of this organization provided that two-thirds or more 
of the eligible voters cast their ballots at such election, and provided fijrther that two-thirds of 
those voting at such election vote in favor of such adoption. All elections to membership shall be 
confinned by the Secretary of the Interior. 


SECTION 1. The governing body of the Chippewa Cree Tribe shall be known as the "Business 

SECTION 2, The Business Committee shall consist of eight (8) members and a Chairman all of 
whom shall be elected on an at-large basis. The Chaimian shall file for that particular office. 

SECTION 3. During the first regular meeting following certification of those committee 


members elected at the biennial election, the Business Committee shall elect from within its own 
membership a Vice-Chainnan and such officers and committees as it may deem necessary. The 
services of a Tribal Secretary-Treasurer shall be available to the committee. Such tribal 
employees shall be hired on the basis of an employment contract. 

SECTION 4. The term of office of the Chairman and all other committee members shall be 
four (4) years, or until their successors are duly elected and installed. 

Those members of the Business Committee who are in office on the effective date of this 
amendment shall continue to ser\'e until their successors are duly elected at the November 1972 
general election and installed in office. At that election a Chainnan and eight (8) committee 
members shall be elected. The Chaimian and four (4) committee members shall be elected for 
terms of four (4) years (November 1972 through November 1976 unless earlier removed from 
office). The remaining four (4) committee members shall be elected to serve for two (2) year 
terms. (November 1972 through November 1974 unless earlier removed from office). The 
differing lengths of temis shall apply only to the 1972 election for the purpose of establishing a 
system of staggered tenns of office. Thereafter, all temis shall be for four (4) years. Primary 
elections shall be in October on even numbered years and general elections shall be in November 
of even numbered years. Those eight (8) candidates receiving the higher number of votes in the 
primary election will compete in the general election for the temis of office. 

Candidates who wish to compete for the office of Chainnan shall specifically file for that 
position for a four (4) year term. Those two (2) candidates receiving the higher number of votes in 
the primary election for Chairman will compete for Chainnan in the general election for the temi 
of office. 

SECTION 5. The Business Committee shall be empowered to establish by resolution the rates 
of payment to cover necessary expenses of tribal officials and/or tribal employees in connection 
with their attending either local or distant meetings considered to be official tribal business. The 
Business Committee may change the rates of payment for such expenses. However, any increase 
or decrease in such rates shall not apply until one (1) year from the date the increase was 


SECTION 1. Tribal members who are at least eighteen (18) years of age on elecfion day shall 
be eligible to vote in tribal elections. 

SECTION 2. To be eligible for membership on the Business Committee, candidates must have 
the following qualifications: 

(a) Be a member of the Tribe. 

(b) Must ha\ e physically resided within the general area which encompasses the main body of 
the reservation or on any land under the jurisdiction of the tribe for two (2) years 
immediately prior to the date of the general election. 

(c) Must be at least twenty-five (25) years of age on the date of the election. 

(d) Should a potential candidate have been convicted of a felony in any State or Federal court 
or convicted by tribal court of a misdemeanor involving dishonesty or bribery in handling 
tribal affairs, such persons shall not be entitled to be a candidate until five (5) years after 


completion of his penalty, 
(e) If a candidate was ever convicted of use, possession or sale of illegal drugs in any State, 
Federal or tribal court, such persons shall not be entitled to be a candidate until five (5) 
years after completion of the penalty. 

SECTION 3. Any member who wishes to file as a candidate for membership on the Business 
Committee, shall deposit with the Election Board a filing fee of $15.00 ($25.00 for the office of 
Chairman), to help defray election expenses. Such fee shall not be refianded unless the potential 
candidate fails to meet the qualifications. Procedures shall be set forth in the election ordinance 
regarding the Election Board's handling of funds received from filing fees. The filing fee may be 
adjusted by appropriate amendment to the election ordinance. 

The Election Board shall be responsible for insuring that only persons who meet the 
qualifications are accepted as candidates for elective office. 

SECTION 4. In filling the four (4) vacancies which will occur each two (2) years, not more 
than eight (8) candidates receiving the highest number of votes in the October primary election 
shall compete for those four (4) positions in the November general election. The four (4) 
candidates receiving the highest number of votes in the general election shall be elected. In filling 
the one ( 1 ) vacancy for Chairman which will be every four (4) years, not more than two (2) 
candidates receiving the highest number of votes in the October primary election shall compete for 
that one ( I ) Chainnan position in the November general election. 

The candidate receiving the highest number of votes in the general election shall be elected 

SECTION 5. Successful candidates shall be installed in office by the Chairman of the Election 
Board within fourteen (14) days following certification of results of the general election. 

SECTION 6. There shall be an impartial Election Board consisting of five (5) members 
responsible for calling and conducting all tribal elections. Three (3) of the five (5) board members 
shall be those tribal members who are serving as the Election Board for the County election 
precinct No. 28 which includes the reservation. 

The tribal members who constitute the precinct Election Board shall appoint two (2) other adult 
tribal members to serve with them for tribal election purposes. Those two (2) Board members 
shall meet the qualifications set forth in Article IV, Secfion 2 of this constitution and shall be 
subject to the provisions of Article V, Section 3. 

In addition, the Tribal Secretary-Treasurer shall serve as clerk of the Election Board in a 
nonvoting capacity. 

A board member shall not serve on the Business Committee and the Election Board at the same 
dme. Should either of the two (2) non-precinct board members file as a candidate for any tribal 
elective office, they shall automatically lose their position on the Election Board. Should any of 
the other three (3) voting members of the Board file for tribal office, they shall request the County 
election officials to replace them with other tribal members. 

The tribal Election Board shall be created within ten (10) days after the effective date of this 


amendment. Initial appointments of the two (2) non-precinct members shall be: one (1) member 
for a two (2) year tenn and the other for a three (3) year term. Thereafter, as the terms expire, 
both appointments shall be for terms of three (3) years. Members may be appointed to successive 
terms. Appointments shall be made as provided in paragi-aph two of this Section. 

SECTION 7. The specific dates of elections and the procedures for their conduct shall be set 
forth in an election ordinance which shall be drafted by the Election Board and approved by a 
majority vote of those participating in a tribal referendum called for that purpose by the Election 
Board pursuant to Article VIII, 

Section 2. 

Such ordinance shall include provisions for secret balloting, absentee voting, registration of 
voters, a procedure for resolving election disputes and compensation for election officials. 
Provisions shall also be included for an impartial interpreter at the polling place during voting 
hours to assist those voters requesting help in casting their ballots. 

Wherever possible, the Election Board shall coordinate tribal elections with State and County 


SECTION 1. If any elective official shall die, resign, pennanently leave the reservation, or 
shall be found guilty while in office of a felony or misdemeanor involving dishonesty in any 
Indian. State or Federal court, the Business Committee shall declare the position vacant and direct 
the Election Board to call a special election to fill such vacancy. The candidate receiving the 
highest number of votes shall be elected. 

If six (6) months or less remain before the next primary election the vacated position shall 
remain vacant until it is filled at the general election following that primary, except as provided in 
Section 1 (f) of the bylaws. 

SECTION 2. The Business Committee may by an affimiative vote of at least five (5) members 
expel any member for neglect of duty or gross misconduct provided that the accused member shall 
be gi\en full and fair opportunity to reply to any and all charges at a designated committee 
meeting. It is ftirther stipulated that any such member shall be gi\ en a written statement of the 
charges against him at least five (5) days before the meeting at which he is to appear. 

SECTION 3. Upon receipt of a valid petition signed by registered voters equal in number to 
forty (40) percent of those who voted at the last election, it shall be the duty of the Election Board 
to call and conduct, within sixty (60) days, a recall election on any individual who fills an elective 
position. The provisions of this section shall also apply to those election board members indicated 
in Article IV. Section 6. A majority of those who participate in such election must favor recall in 
order for it to become effective provided those who vote constitute at least fifty (50) percent of the 
registered voters. Only one (1) recall attempt may be made for any tribal official during a given 
tenn of office. No recall petition shall be acted upon until at least six (6) months of the tenn has 
expired. No more than one ( 1 ) official at a time may be considered for recall. A recall election 
shall not be held if an election for that office is scheduled within ninety (90) days after filing the 
recall petition. 


Should the recall be successful, the vacancy shall be filled as pro\ ided in Section 1 of this 
Article. Further details needed to cairy out the intent of this Article shall be set forth in the tribal 
election ordinance. 


SECTION 1. The Business Committee shall exercise the following powers subject to any 
limitations imposed by the Statutes or the Constitution of the United States and subject further to 
all express restrictions upon such powers contained in this constitution and bylaws. 

(a) To negotiate with the Federal. Stale and local governments on behalf of the tribe and to 
ad\ise and consult with representatix es of the Interior Department on all acti\ities of the 
Department that may affect the Rock\ Bo) "s Reservation. 

(b) To employ legal counsel for the protection and advancement of the tribe and its members, 
the choice of counsel and the fixing of fees to be subject to the approval of the Secretary of 
the Interior. 

(c) To approve or veto any sale, disposition, lease or encumbrance of tribal lands, interests in 
lands or other tribal assets, including oil. gas. and minerals which may be authorized or 
executed by the Secretary of the Interior, or the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, or any 
other official or Agency of Go\ eminent pro\ ided that no tribal lands shall ever be sold, 
encumbered, or leased for a period exceeding that pennitted by existing law. except to the 
extent required to implement the proxisions of the loan program designed to help purchase 
land in trust as set forth in the Act of April II. 1970 (84 Stat. 120) prox ided such 
participation is permitted by the tribe's charter of incorporation. 

(d) To ad\ ise the heads of the \ arious Federal departments and other go\ emmental agencies 
with regard to all appropriation estimates prior to the submission of such estimates to the 
office of Management and Budget and to Congress. 

(e) To approve applications for selections of land in confonnity with Article IX of this 

(t) To manage all economic affairs and enteiprises of the tribe in accordance with the terms of 

the tribe's Federal Charter of incoiporation. 
(g) To charter subordinate organizations for economic purposes and regulate the actixities of 

all cooperatixe associations of members of the tribe, 
(h) To appropriate axailable tribal funds for tribal goxemmental operations except that any 

proposed expenditure exceeding the tribe's anticipated annual income shall be subject to 

approval by a referendum vote. 
(i) Future tribal income may be pledged by the Business Committee only in the manner 

authorized by Section 5(e) and 5(f) of the tribe's coiporate charter, 
(j) To levy taxes upon members of the tribe and to lexy taxes or license fees, subject to rex iexv 

by the Secretary of the Interior, upon nonmembers doing business xvithin the resen ation. 
(k) To enact resolutions or ordinances not inconsistent xxith Article II of this constitution 

governing tribal enrollment and abandonment of membership. 
(1) To encourage and foster the arts, crafts, culture, and traditions of the tribe, 
(m) To acquire and use for public purposes any part of a selection or land assignment proxided 

that adequate compensation is paid by the Business Committee to the holder of such 

(n) To enact ordinances goxeming hunting and fishing w ithin the confines of the reserxation. 
(o) To delegate to subordinate boards or to cooperative associations which are open to all 

members of the tribe any of the foregoing poxxers. reserxing the right to rexiexx any action 


taken by virtue of such delegated power, 
(p) To enact ordinances including a comprehensive law and order code subject to approval by 
the Secretary of the Interior governing the conduct of tribal members and providing for 
maintenance of law and order. The code shall include such items listed here but not 
limited to: jurisdiction, court procedures, civil actions, domestic relations, sentences, 
criminal offenses, and organization and procedures of tribal police. 


SECTION 1. All regular meetings of the Business Committee shall be open to the public, but 
visitors may not interfere with proceedings, and may only speak with the consent of the Chainnan. 

SECTION 2. All resolutions and ordinances of the Business Committee shall be placed in 
writing and posted in public places, and copies shall also be placed with each committee member. 


SECTION 1. Upon receipt of a valid petition signed by at least one-half (1/2) of the number 
who voted at the last election or upon the request of a majority of the members of the Business 
Committee as set forth in a resolution, it shall be the duty of the Election Board within sixty (60) 
days to submit to popular referendum any enacted or proposed ordinance or resolution of the 
Business Committee. The vote of a majority of those who cast ballots in such referendum shall be 
conclusive and binding on the committee provided at least three-fourths (3/4) of the registered 
voters participate in that referendum. 

Any enactment which has been effective for at least six (6) months shall no longer be subject to 

SECTION 2. For puqiose of adopting or amending an election ordinance, the Election Board is 
empowered to call and conduct a referendum election. In such election, a majority of those who 
vote shall determine whether the proposal is adopted or rejected provided at least thirty (30) 
percent of the registered voters participate in the balloting. 


SECTION 1. No lands now within the reservation boundary, held in trust for the tribe, may be 
alienated nor may title pass to any individual. 

SECTION 2. Any head of a family who is a member shall be entitled to the use of not more 
than 160 acres of land, such land to be known as "a selection". 

SECTION 3. Applications for selections shall be presented in writing to the Business 

SECTION 4. The applicant shall be investigated by the Business Committee before action may 
be taken on his application. 

SECTION 5. The applicant upon approval of application shall reside upon selection and do a 
reasonable amount of improvement for two years before selection is finally approved. 


SECTION 6. All selections approved by the Superintendent of the reservation at the time of the 
approval of this Constitution shall remain in effect. 

SECTION 7. If any man has allowed his selection to run down, and has made no effort to keep 
up improvements and make a reasonable use of his land, the Business Committee shall have the 
right to cancel his selection after due hearing, and to reassign his land to an eligible member of the 
tribe provided that such member shall pay to the former occupant of the land the value of all his 
improvements as determined by an appraisal board appointed by the Business Committee. This 
valuation of the board shall be subject to review and modification by the Business Committee 
upon appeal by the man who loses his selection. The Business Committee may allow the man to 
remain in his house without the use of the land and reassign the land to any other eligible member. 

SECTION 8. Tribal lands not assigned as selections may be used in common for grazing 
purposes by all members in accordance with ordinances or resolutions enacted by the Business 
Committee, or may be leased by the Business Committee with the approval of the Secretary of the 
Interior in accordance with law. Preference shall be given, first, to Indian cooperative 
associations, and, secondly, to individual Indians who are members of the Chippewa Cree Tribe. 
No lease of tribal lands to a non-member shall be made by the Business Committee unless it shall 
appear that no Indian cooperative association or individual member of the tribe is able and willing 
to use the land and to pay a reasonable fee for such use, provided no individual member of the 
tribe or cooperative association shall be given any preference as to the use of tribal land unless the 
stock of such individual member of association is restricted stock and bears the ID brand. 

SECTION 9. Improvements of any character made upon selections may be willed to and 
inherited by members of the Chippewa Cree Tribe. When improvements are not possible of fair 
division, the Business Committee shall dispose of them under such regulations as it may provide. 
No pennanent improvements may be removed fi-om any land without the consent of the Business 


SECTION 1. This constitution and Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of the 
qualified voters of the tribe \ oting at an election called for that purpose by the Secretary of the 
Interior, provided that at least thirty (30) percent of those entitled to vote shall vote in such 
election, but no amendment shall become effective until it shall have been approved by the 
Secretary of the Interior. It shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Interior to call an election on 
any proposed amendment upon presentation of a petition signed by two-thirds of the eligible 
voters of the tribe. 


In compliance with the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (82 Stat. 77). the Chippewa Cree Tribe in 
exercising its powers of self-government shall not; 

(a) Make or enforce any law prohibiting the free exercise of religion, or abridging the freedom 
of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition 
for a redress of grievances: 

(b) Violate the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects 
against unreasonable search and seizures, nor issue warrants, but upon probable cause, 


supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and 
the person or thing to be seized; 

(c) Subject any person for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy; 

(d) Compel any person in any criminal case to be a witness against himself; 

(e) Take any pri\ ate property for a public use without just compensation; 

(t) Deny to any person in criminal proceeding the right to a speedy and public trial, to be 
informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses 
against him. to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and at his 
own expense to have the assistance of counsel for his defense; 

(g) Require excessive bail, impose excessive fines, inflict cruel and unusual punishments, and 
in no event impose for conviction of any one offense any penalty or punishment greater 
than imprisonment for a tenn of up to one ( 1 ) year and/or a fine of five thousand dollars 
($5000) or both; 

(h) Deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of its laws or deprive any 
person of liberty or property without due process of law; 

(i) Pass any bill of attainder or ex post facto law; or 

(j) Deny to any person accused of an offense punishable by imprisonment the right, upon 
request, to a trial by jury of not less than six (6) persons. 


SECTION 1. There shall be established a Judicial Branch within the tribal government to 
enforce ordinances and laws of the Business Committee, the Election Board and/or to administer 
justice through a tribal court. The Judicial Branch shall also provide an appellant body for tribal 
members who are aggrie\ed by decisions of the tribal court. 

SECTION 2. There shall be established, the positions of Chief Judge and two (2) Associate 
Judges for the tribal court who shall be responsible to carry out the tribe's judicial functions in 
accordance with an approved tribal law and order code. The tribal appellate court shall consist of 
a Chief Appellate Court Judge who shall select appellate panel members irom a pool of eligible 
candidates set by the appellate court. 

The Business Committee shall appoint and contract with the Chief Judge and Associate Judges 
for the tribal court and the Chief Appellate Court Judge for the tribal appellate court. The Chief 
Judge and Associate Judges for the tribal court and the Chief Appellate Court Judge and Appellate 
Panel Judges for the appellate court must have extensive tribal judicial experience and be in good 
standing to preside over the tribal court and tribal appellate court. 


SECTION \. Organization of Business Committee and Duties of Officers. 

(a) The officers of the committee shall be the Chainnan, Vice Chainnan, and such other 
officers as may be hereafter designated by the committee. 

(b) The Chainnan shall be elected at large. The Vice Chairman and any other officers shall 
be elected from within the committee by secret ballot. A non\oting Secretary-Treasurer 
shall be selected from outside the committee and retained on an employment contract. 

(c) The Chainnan of the Election Board shall administer the oath of office to the newly- 
elected members of the Business Committee following certification of their election. 


(d) In the absence of any officer at a meeting, the Business Committee shall elect a temporary 
Chairman to preside for that meeting. 

(e) The Chairman of the Committee shall preside over all meetings of the committee, shall 
perform all duties of a Chairman and exercise any authority delegated to him by the 
committee. He shall vote only in the case of a tie. 

(f) The Vice Chairman shall assist the Chairman when called upon to do so, and in the 
absence of the Chairman, shall preside. When so presiding, he shall have all the rights, 
privileges, and duties as well as the responsibilities of the Chairman. In case of vacancy, 
the Vice Chairman shall succeed at once to the office of the Chairman until the next 
special or regular election for the office of Chainnan in accordance with Section 1, Article 
V of the tribal constitution. 

(g) The Secretary-Treasurer, selected pursuant to Subsection (b) above, shall conduct all tribal 
correspondence and shall keep an accurate record of all matters transacted at the business 
meetings. It shall be his duty to submit promptly to the Superintendent and the 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs copies of all minutes of regular and special meetings of 
the Business Committee. It shall be his duty to have the minutes permanently bound and 
ready for inspection at all reasonable times. It shall also be his duty to receive all petitions, 
applications, and other business papers and prepare same for presentation to the Business 
Committee. The Secretary- Treasurer shall serve as clerk of the Tribal Election Board in a 
nonvoting capacity and shall perform such services as may be set forth in an election 

The Secretary-Treasurer shall accept, receive, receipt for, preserve, and safeguard all funds in 
the custody of the Business Committee whether they be tribal funds or special ftinds for which the 
committee is acting as trustee or custodian. Checks and drafts shall be made out to the "Chippewa 
Cree Business Committee" and shall be endorsed "for deposit only". The Secretary-Treasurer 
shall deposit all such funds as directed by the Business Committee and shall make and preserve an 
accurate record of the money. 

Further, he shall report on all receipts and expenditures and the amount and nature of all funds in 
his custody. All reports shall be in writing and submitted to the Business Committee at its regular 
meetings and at such other times it may request. The Secretary-Treasurer shall not pay out or 
otherwise disburse any funds in his possession except when properly authorized to do so by 
resolution duly passed by the Business Committee. All checks shall be signed by the Secretary- 
Treasurer and countersigned as designated by resolution of the Business Committee. 

The books and records of the Secretary-Treasurer shall be audited annually and at other times as 
directed by the Business Committee by a competent auditor employed by the Committee. The 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs may audit the tribal accounts if he deems it necessary. The 
Secretary-Treasurer shall be required to give a surety bond satisfactory to the Business Committee 
and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. The Secretary-Treasurer shall be present at all meetings 
of the Business Committee. 

SECTION 2. Meetings 

(a) The Business Committee shall hold regular business meetings each month at the tribal 

office on a date to be set forth by resolution of the committee. 

(b) Special meetings may be called at any time by the Chairman upon ten (10) hours written 
notice delivered to members of the Business Committee and shall be called and conducted 
upon petition by five (5) members of the committee. 

(c) A quorum of five (5) committee members shall be present at any meeting before the 


committee may be officially called to order. Only members of the Business Committee 
shall have the right to \ ote. 

SECTIONS. Order of Business 

(a) Roll Call 

(b) Reading of the minutes of previous meeting. 

(c) Secretary-Treasurer to report business transactions and present any bills, requisitions, 
claims, etc. 

(d) Hearing of applications, petitions, complaints, and other business properly coming 
before the committee. 

(e) Any other business. 

(f) Adjournment. 

SECTION 4. Procedure for adoption of Constitution and Bylaws. 

(a) This Constitution and Bylaws attached hereto shall be in full force and effect whenever 
a majority of the aduh voters of Rocky Boy's Band of Chippewas voting at an election 
called by the Secretary of the Interior in which at least thirty percent (30%) of the eligible 
N'oters shall \ote. shall have ratified such Constitution and Bylaws and the Secretary of the 
Interior shall ha\e approved same, as provided in the Act of June 18, 1934, as amended by 
the Act of June 15. 1935. 


Pursuant to an order, approved October 18, 1935, by the Secretary of the Interior, the attached 
Constitution and Bylaws were submitted for ratification to the members of the Rocky Boy's Band 
of Chippewa's of the Rocky Boy's Reservation and were on November 2, 1935, duly adopted by a 
vote of 128 for, and 23 against, in an election in which over 30 percent of those entitled to vote 
cast their ballots, in accordance with section 16 of the Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934 
(48 Stat. 984). as amended by the Act of June 15, 1935 (Pub. No. 147, 74th Cong.). 
JOHN PARKER. Chainmm of Election Board. 

MALCOLM MITCHELL, Chainmm of Rocky Boy's Business Committee. 
JOE CORCORAN. Secreta)y. 
EARL WOOLDRIDGE. Superintendent. 

I, Harold L. Ickes, the Secretary of the Interior of the United States of America, by virtue of the 
authority granted me by the act of June 18, 1934 (48 Stat. 984), as amended, do hereby approve 
the attached Constitution and Bylaws of the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Resen ation. 

All rules and regulations heretofore promulgated by the Interior Department or by the Office of 
Indian Affairs, so far as they may be incompatible with any of the provisions of the said 
Constitution or Bylaws are hereby declared inapplicable to the Chippewa Cree Tribe of Rocky 
Boy's Reservation. 

All officers and employees of the Interior Department are ordered to abide by the provisions of the 
said Constitution and Bylaws. 

Approval recommended November 15, 1935. 

JOHN COLLIER, Commissioner of Indian .{(fairs. 

HAROLD L. ICKES. Secretary of the Interior 

WASHINGTON, D. C, November 23. 1935. 

Amended by election held April 22, 1972, and approved by Assistant Secretary of the 


Interior, Harrison Loesch May 17, 1972. 

Amended by election held January 6, 2004, and approved by Rocky Mountain Regional 
Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Keith Beartusk February 6, 2004 



3 Chaimian 

Dan Sangrey (1937) 

4" Chaimian 
Dan Belcourt 

7'" Chaimian 
Jolin Parker Sr. 

5 Chaimian 6'" Chaimian 

William "Bill" Morsette Sr Paul Mitchell (1941) 

1939-1940. 1Q46-1Q47. 1958) 

8 Chaimian 
Jim Monteau 

9'^ Chaimian 
Joe Corcoran 


1 ()'" C'liainiian 
Four Souls 

1 3"' Chaimian 
Paul Eagleman 

11'" Chaimian 
Joe Demontiney 
(1954-1955, 1966-1968) 

16'" Chairman 
Joe Rosette Sr. 

14" Chaimian 
Ted Laniere Sr. 

1 7'" Chaimian 
John Windy Boy 

12'" Chaimian 
Fred Nault 

15" Chaimian 
Pete Sutherland 

1 8'" Chaimian 
Rocky Stump Sr. 






>*i: ^ 




19'" Chairman 

John "Roddy" Sun Child, Sr. 


20'" Chairman 
Bert Corcoran 

2r' Chairman 
Alvin Windy Boy 




22'"^ Chamnan 

John "Chance" Houle 


Business Committee Members: 

1935 - Malcolm Mitchell (Chairman) only record found from Tribal Constitution 

1936 - Louis St. Marks (Chairman), Malcolm Mitchell, Baptiste Samatt, Dan Sangrey, 
Victor Nomee, Jim Denny, Four Souls, Jim Smith, Joe Corocoran 

1937 - Dan Sangrey (Chairman). Jim Denny, Eagleman, Joe Corcoran. Frank Billy, 
Baptiste Samatt, Four Souls 

1938 - Dan Belcourt (Chairman) only record found 

1939 -William Morsette Sr. (Chairman), Paul Mitchell, Louis St. Marks, Baptiste Samatt 

1940 - William Morsette Sr. (Chairman), George Denny. John Parker , James Denny. 
Pete Saddler, Fred Nault. Louis St. Marks, Baptiste Samatt , Dan Sangrey, Paul Mitchell 

1941 - Paul Mitchel (Chairman), George Denny, William Morsette Sr., Dan Sangrey 


1942 - John Parker Sr. (Chairman). William Morsette Sr.. John Sangrey. James Denny, 
Joe Day Child, (Editors note: Info from Housing Records) 

1943 - John Parker Sr. (Chairman). Gabe Lamere, Paul Mitchell, John Sangrey. George 
Denny. William Denny. Fred Nault 

1944 - John Parker Sr. (Chaimian) only record found 

1945 - John Parker Sr. (Chairman) only record found 

1946 - William Morsette Sr. (Chainnan) only record found 

1947 - William Morsette Sr. (Chainnan). Malcolm Mitchell. William Denny, William 
Saddler, Joe Corcoran. Dan Oats. Paul Eagleman, Wolf Child 

1948 Jim Monteau (Chainnan) (ndy record found 

1949 - Jim Monteau (Chainnan) only record found 

1950 - Joe Corcoran (Chainnan) only record found 

1951 - Fours Souls (Chainnan). Victor Lamere, Dan Oats, John Little Sun, Malcolm 
Mitchell, Pete Sutherland, Frank Billy, Joe Corcoran, Pete Denny 

1952 - Four Souls (Chainnan), Joe Corcoran, Frank Billy, Pete Denny, Malcolm 
Mitchell, Pete Sutherland, Dan Oats, Joe Stanley, William Morsette Sr. 

1953 - Four Souls (Chainnan), Joe Corcoran, Frank Billy, Pete Denny. Malcolm 
Mitchell, Pete Sutherland, Dan Oats, Joe Stanley, William Morsette Sr. 

1954 - Joe Demontiney (Chainnan). Jim Monteau, Fred Nault. Bill Denny, Malcolm 
Mitchell, Frank Billy, Jim Denny, Raymond Parker, Stanley Gardipee, Joe Parisian, 
Elmer Belcourt 

1955- Joe Demontiney (Chainnan). Jim Monteau, Fred Nault, Bill Denny, Malcolm 
Mitchell, Frank Billy. Jim Denny, Raymond Parker, Stanley Gardipee, Joe Parisian 

1956 - Fred Nault (Chainnan), Sam Windy Boy, Bill Denny. Art Raining Bird. Malcolm 
Mitchell, Frank Billy. James Monteau. Joe Demontiney. Jim Denny, Stanley Gaurdipee 

1957 - Fred Nault (Chainnan) only record found 

1958 - William Morsette Sr. (Chairman) only record found 

1959 - No records found 

1960 - William Denny, John Morsette, Joe Demontiney only record found 

1961 - Paul Eagleman (Chainnan) only record found 


1962 - Ted Lam ere Sr. (Chainnan) only record found 

1963 - Ted Lamere Sr. (Chainnan) only record found 

1964 - Pete Sutherland (Chairman), William Morsette Sr.. Robert Oats Sr., Wolf Child, 
Windy Boy, Joe Demontiney, Joe Rosette, Florence Standing Rock, Ed Eagleman 

1965 - Pete Sutherland (Chainnan), Robert Oats, Wolf Child, Windy Boy, Joe 
Demontiney Sr., Joe Rosette Sr., Ed Eagleman, William Morsette Sr., Florence Standing 

1966 - Joe Demontiney Sr. (Chairman), William Morsette Sr., Windy Boy, Gilbert 
Belcourt, Paul Small, Wolf Child. Richard Small, Robert Oats, Lloyd Billy, Pete 
Sutherland, Al Henry, John Windy Boy ( Editors Note: Taken from the 
website which lists 12 names) 

1967 - Joe Demontiney Sr. (Chairman), William Morsette Sr., Gilbert Belcourt. Richard 
Small, Paul Small Sr., Windy Boy. John Windy Boy, Lloyd Billy, Al Henry 

1968 - Joe Demontiney Sr.(Chairman), Joe Rossette (Vice Chairman), John Windy Boy 
(Secretary), Louie Denny. William Morsette Sr., George Sutherland, Cecelia Corcoran, 
Pete Denny, Wolf Child 

1969 - Joe Rosette, Sr. (Chainnan), Walter R. Denny, Lloyd Billy, George Sutherland, 
Pete Denny, John Houle, Cecelia Corcoran, John Windy Boy. Louie Denny 

1970 - Joe Rosette Sr. (Chairman). John Windy Boy, Walter Denny, Louis Denny, Lloyd 
Billy, George Sutherland, Pete Denny, John Houle, Cecelia Corcoran 

1971 - John Windy Boy (Chainnan), Joe Demontiney, Raymond Parker Sr., John 
Morsette. Joe Rosette Sr.. Ivan Raining Bird, Arthur Raining Bird, John Houle, William 
Denny Jr. 

1972 - John Windy Boy (Chainnan), Raymond Parker, John Morsette, Joe Rosette Sr., 
John Houle, Ivan Raining Bird, Joe Demontiney Sr., Art Raining Bird, William Denny Jr. 

1973 - John Windy Boy (Chairman), Gerald Chief Belcourt, Ivan Raining Bird (Vice- 
Chainnan), Robert Oats Sr., John Houle, John Morsette. Four Souls. Roy Small. Henry 
Four Souls 

1974 - John Windy Boy (Chairman). Gerald Chief Belcourt, Joe Big Knife, Ivan Raining 
Bird, Henry Four Souls, Four Souls, John Morsette, John Houle , Robert Oats Sr. 

1975 - John Windy Boy (Chainnan), Joe Rossette Sr., Joe Demontiney Sr.. Raymond 
Parker Sr., John Morsette, Joe Big Knife, Robert Oats Sr., Ivan Raining Bird, John Houle 

1976 - John Windy Boy (Chainnan). Joe Rossette. Raymond Parker Sr.. Ivan Raining 
Bird. Joe Big Knife, Joe Demontiney Sr.. John Morsette. John Houle, Robert Oats Sr. 


1977 John Windy Boy (Chairman). Robert Stump Sr.. I\ an Raining Bird. Joe Big 
Knife. Richard Sangrey, Pete Lamere, Joe Demontiney Sr.. Rayinond Parker Sr. (Note 
missing one name) 

1978 - John Wind Boy (Chainiian). Raymond Parker Sr.. Ivan Raining Bird, Joe Big 
Knife. Robert Stump Sr., Joe Rosette Sr., Pete Lamere, Joe Demontiney Sr., Richard 

1979 - John Windy Boy (Chairman). Roger St. Pierre Sr.. Paul Eagleman .Richard 
Sangrey, Joe Big Knife, Robert Stump Sr., Rocky Stump Sr., Pete Lamere, Ivan Raining 

1980 - John Windy Boy (Chaimian). Roger St. Pierre. Joe Big Knife Rocky Stump Sr.. 
Robert Stump Sr., Pete Lamere. I\ an Raining Bird, Richard Sangrey. Donald Meyers 

1981 - John Wind Boy (Chaimian). Pete LaMere. William Denny Jr. John Houle. Peter 
J. St. Marks. Roger St. Pieire Sr., Paul (Rocky) Small Jr.. Enos Johnson Sr.. Thomas 
"Zeke" Parisian 

1982 - John Windy Boy (Chairman). Rocky Stump Sr., Gary Eagleman. Peter J. 

St. Marks. Gilbert Parker. William Denny Jr.. John Houle. Enos Johnson Sr.. Thomas 
"Zeke" Parisian, Joe Rosette Sr.( Editors Note: one too many names on 

1983 - John Windy Boy (Chairman). Rocky Stump Sr., Gary Eagleman, Pete Lamere, 
Gilbert Parker, Joe Rosette Sr., Peter J. St. Marks. William Denny Jr.. John Houle 

1984 - John Windy Boy (Chairman), Rocky Stump Sr., Pete Lamere, John Houle, Joe 
Rosette Sr., William Denny Sr., Duncan Standing Rock, Gary Eagleman, Peter J.St. 

1985 - Rocky Stump Sr. (Chairman), Joe Rosette Sr., Roger St. Pierre, Duncan Standing 
Rock, Gary Eagleman, Raymond Parker Sr., Richard Sangrey, Raymond Parker Jr., John 

1986 - Rocky Stump Sr,(Chairman), Joe Rosette Sr., Roger St. Piene Sr., Duncan 
Standing Rock. Gary Eagleman, Richard Sangrey, Raymond Parker Sr., Dan Morsette, 
Raymond Parker Jr.. 

1987 - Rocky Stump Sr.(Chairman). Richard Sangrey. Charles Gopher. Dan Morsette, 
Raymond Parker Sr.. John Sunchild. John Windy Boy, Raymond Parker Jr., (One name 

1988 Rocky Stump Sr. (Chairman), Richard Sangrey, Charles Gopher, Daniel 
Morsette, Raymond Parker Jr.. John Sunchild. Joe Rosette, Earl Arkinson, Edward 

1989 - Rocky Stump Sr.(ChainTian), John Sunchild, Ted Lamere, Raymond Parker Jr, 
Pete Lamere, Alvin Windy Boy, Joe Rosette, Edward Eagleman, Earl Arkinson 


1990 - 1992 - Rocky Stump Sr.(Chairman), John Sunchild, Ted Lamere, Raymond 
Parker Jr, Pete Lamere, Alvin Wind Boy, James Morsette, Duncan Standing Rock, Joe 
Big Knife 

1993 - 1994 - John Sunchild (Chairman), Raymond Parker Jr., James Morsette, Brian 
Kelly Eagleman, Duncan Standing Rock, Paul Russette Jr., Joe Big Knife, Alvin Wind 
Boy, Leon Sutherland 

1995 - 1996 - John Sunchild (Chairman), Duncan Standing Rock. Brain Kelly 
Eagleman, Paul Russette Jr., Leon Sutherland. Roger St. Pierre Sr., Bruce Sunchild Sr., 
Kenneth Blatt St. Marks 

1996 - 1998 - Bert Corcoran (Chairman), Bruce Sunchild, Alvin Windy Boy. Roger 

St. Pierre Sr., Kenneth Blatt St. Marks, Duncan Standing Rock, Lydia Sutherland, Russell 
Standing Rock, Arnold Four Souls 

1998 - 2000 - Bert Corcoran (Chairman), Alvin Windy Boy . Bruce Sunchild Sr.. 
Duncan Standing Rock. Brain Kelly Eagleman, Jonathan Windy Boy. Lydia Sutherland, 
Russell Standing Rock, Arnold Fours Souls 

2000 - 2002 - Alvin Windy Boy (Chainnan), Bruce Sunchild Sr.. Duncan Standing 
Rock, Brain Kelly Eagleman, Jonathan Windy Boy, Charles Gopher. Pete Lamere, Tony 
Belcourt, Raymond Parker Jr. 

2002 - 2004 - Alvin Windy Boy (Chairman), Bruce Sunchild, Raymond Parker Jr., Pete 
Lamere, Jonathan Windy Boy , Tony Belcourt, Charles Gopher, John "Chance" Houle, 
Russell Gopher 

2004 - 2006 - John "Chance" Houle (Chairman). Bruce Sunchild, Raymond Parker Jr.. 
Brian Kelly Eagleman. Rick Morsette, Jonathan Windy Boy, Donovan Stump, Ken 
Writing Bird, Russell Gopher 

2006 - 2008 - John "Chance" Houle. (Chairman). Brian Kelly Eagleman, Raymond 
Parker Jr., Harlan Baker Gopher. Rick Morsette, Jonathan Windy Boy. Donovan Stump. 
Ken Writing Bird. Russell Gopher 

Editor 's Note: John Houle and Gilbert Parker both passed away while sening in office. 

.k.-s;'' J^ i' - 

^8^*'i^w '^^"^L 













1 * ^ 





» ^ 



Chapter 5 

"Hhiorij ofl^ckjj l^oxj "Education 

Written by Daryl Wright 


The History of Rocky Boy Education 

Long ago there were no schoolhoitses or books like we have nowadays. 
There were no classrooms. But Just the same the children went to school 
everyday. Their classroom was the outside of their teepee. Their 
instructors M'ere their dads or granddads. The mother taught their 
daughters around the home. ...There was no end to an Indian's training 
until he (they) got old. Then it was time for him to teach and train his 

Walter Denny, Chippewa Cree Tribal Elder, (Brewer, 1987) 


In the past, the education of the children was an important part of everyday life for 
the Chippewa Cree people. The language was spoken to them while they were still in the 
womb and was the primary means of communication in the community. Everyone 
participated in their education, teaching them all they needed to know to survive in their 
environment. The extended families played a very important role in this process. Aunts 
and uncles with specific skills were called upon to help prepare children to fulfill their 
roles within the tribal structure. If an uncle was an extremely successfijl hunter or 
warrior, he was called upon as a mentor. The same system applied to the women. Should 
an aunt or other relative have a special skill, like beading, tanning, or quillwork she was 
called upon to assist the children in their education. Tribal elders played a key role in 
teaching the philosophy of the tribe. They held ceremonies and provided guidance in 
spiritual matters. They taught them about the importance of being a productive member 
of the tribe and that honor and generosity established their social standing. One of the 
most important morals or lessons that they passed on from one generation to the next was 
the importance of the survival of the tribe as a whole. While individual accomplishments 
were important, they were viewed from a perspective of how they benefited the tribe. The 
Chippewa Cree people had the ideal educational system, designed to insure the survival 
of their people and their culture. 


However, life for the Chippewa Cree people was to change dramatically as the tribe 
became inundated by white settlers and their pious desire to bring civilization, 
Christianity and education to the Indian communities. 

Federal Policy on Indian Education 

"Savage ami civilizalion cannot lire ami prosper on the same ground. 
One of the tno must die. " 

Hiram Price, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1881 

The Rocky Boy Indian Reservation was not created until 1916, and it is important 
to understand the policies that guided the development of Indian education. In 1880, there 
were a total of 109 day schools and 60 boarding schools in the United States with an 
annual American Indian student enrollment of 4,651 (Adams, 58). These schools were 
mostly operated by missionary groups, or contract schools receiving federal monies. 

Policymakers and reformers, like the Indian Rights Association, became 
disappointed with the progress the reservation day schools were making in assimilating 
Indian students. Their primary concern was the fact that Indian students attending the 
reservation day schools would return to their homes and would relapse into their 
traditional ways, thus making it difficult to maintain their assimilation effort. As a result 
they made the decision to utilize the boarding school system, located far from the Indian 
students" home, as the focal point of American Indian education. Through the 1880s and 
into the 1 890s the reservation day schools" student populations grew very little and by the 
1900"s there were only 3,860 attending reservation schools. In contrast, the off and on 
reservation boarding schools grew from 6,201 in 1885 to 17,708 in 1900. From the 
1870"s to 1930 over 100,000 Indian children were enrolled in the federal boarding school 
system. These figures do not include the 24,000 who attended federal day schools and the 
86,000 Indian children in the mission and public school systems (Eder, Reyner, 151). 

In 1882, the policyinakers and refonners began to build upon early efforts of the 
Indian educational system to deal with the "Indian Problem". The most notable of these 
groups was the Indian Rights Association. An organization composed of religious groups, 
philanthropic ci\ ic leaders and government officials. They held their annual meetings at 
Lake Mohonk Mountain House (beginning in 1883) a luxurious hotel located on the 
northern part of Lake MoHonk in New York, h was here that they began to fonnulate a 
plan to bring citizenship to these new wards of the United States Government. But what 
end would their efforts have on the native populations? In their rush to bring about a 
change in the status of the American Indian they adopted a plan that they believed would 
facilitate citizenship and eliminate the "Indian problem. As part of their design the 
adopted four main goals for Indian Education, each designed to systematically strip 
Indian children of their language, culture and traditional ways. The first was to teach 
Indian children the rudiments of reading, writing, and speaking the English language. The 
desired outcome was to strip the native languages from the students and replace it with 
English. The second was to detribalize by teaching students to individualize. This meant 
to teach Indian children to work and to respect the values and beliefs of private property 
and accumulation of wealth, so the Indian children would learn to say "I"", instead of 
"We"" and "This is mine"" instead of "Ours."" The third goal was to Christianize the 
students, stripping them of their culture and traditional beliefs. The last goal was to teach 
them the principles of citizenship and the fundamental principles of a democratic 
government, but this aim went beyond citizenship. It was also within the design to teach 
Indian children the "National Myth"" of how the United States western expansion and the 

taking of Indian lands were justifiable. These goals became the guiding principles and 
were embedded in Indian education well into the twentieth century (Adams, 21-23). T.J. 
Morgan, Commissioner of Indian Affairs delivered an address titled "The New Indian 
Educational Policy" before the Annual Meeting of the Indian Rights Association in 1889. 
which reinforced these goals and emphasized the need to make haste in the wide spread 
application of these goals throughout Indian Country (Morgan. 1889). At the end of his 
address it becomes apparent that "Social Darwinism" was guiding his philosophy and 
words as he stated; 

That education should he in some degree at least equal to that possessed 
by his more fortunate uhite neighbor, who. in the struggle for existence, 
must of necessity, appear to him in the form of a rival, and before whose 
superior numbers he must go down, unless able to compete with him on 
his own grounds, with his own weapons. The time has come in our histoiy 
for us to recognize the only good Indian is an educated Indian. 

It is important to note that many of the issues and resolutions, discussed 
and passed during these Conferences at Lake MoHonk. become the forerunners of 
legislation and policy concerning how to deal with the "Indian Problem." 

ChihliL'ii 111 Ciirlisic Indian Iniluslhal School 

The flagship of the 
federal boarding schools was 
Carlisle Indian Industrial 
School, which opened its 
doors in 1879, and became the 
model for other boarding 
schools of this era. Operated 
by Captain Richard Henry 
Pratt, it was run in a strict, 
militaristic fashion with strict 
rules and punishments. The 
language and traditional ways 
of the student were expressly 
prohibited and students were 
punished for practicing them in any form (Atkins 19. 20). Beatings were a common fonn 
of punishment for grieving, speaking their native languages, not understanding English, 
attempting to escape and violations of harsh military rules. Their beautiftil and spiritual 
Indian names were replaced by Christian names, making it diffcult for the Indian students 
to keep even a small part of their cultural identity. 

The students spent one half day in basic academic instruction, and the other half 
learning trades that would allow the student to earn a living. The girls were taught 
domestic skills such as serving tea, cooking and sewing and the boys were taught 
farming, blacksmithing and other skills. The goal of this training was to prepare the 
student to co-exist in white society, but at the lowest end of the social economic scale. 
From 1879 to 1894 Carlisle offered academic instruction through the eighth grade. 
Beginning in 1 895 they expanded their academic program beyond the eighth grade. By 
1899. over 3,800 students attended Carlisle with only 209 graduating (Adams. 63). When 
Carlisle closed in 1918 over 10,000 Indian children passed through its doors and of those 
only 8% graduated fi-om the institution. 


Education beyond the eighth grade was available only at four institutions in 1 895. 
Carlisle Indian Industrial School, Haskell Indian School, Chemawa Indian School and 
Santa Fe Indian School. Interestingly, by 1920, very few other schools had obtained high 
school status (Hailmann. 22). 

The devastating impacts of the federal policies on the American Indian finally 
came to national attention in 1928. The Institute for Government Research published a 
report called "The Problem of Indian Administration" which was edited by Lewis 
Merriam and is commonly referred to as the "Merriam Report." The report revealed an 
American Indian existence filled with poverty, suffering, discontent and cultural 
genocide. The following recommendations concerning Indian Education were identified 
in the report; 

• Do away with "The Uniform Course of Study," which stressed only the cultural 
values of whites: 

• Only older children should attend the non-reservation boarding schools; 

• Younger children should attend a community school near home; 

• The Indian Service must provide youth and parents with tools to adapt to both the 
white and Indian world. 

The Merriam Report also made the following recommendations that fonned the 
foundation for the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (Merriam, 1928). 

1. Strengthen tribal governments and restore the bilateral relationship between the 
federal government and tribes; 

2. Stop the sale of allotments and restore tribal lands to communal holdings; 

3. Provide procedures and funds for tribal economic development; 

4. Grant preferential hiring of Indians in the Bureau of Indian Affairs; 

5. Recognize and aid tribes in maintaining and developing their cultures, especially 
their language, religion and crafts. 

John Collier. Indian Affairs Commissioner fi-om 1933 to 1945, used the 
Merriam Report to advocate for more congressional tlnancial support to help solve the 
"Indian problem" that the United States Government had created. Despite the fact that the 
Merriam Report and the 1934 Howard- Wheeler Act, referred as the Indian 
Reorganization Act of 1934 (IRA), helped to shift American policies ft-om intolerance to 
tolerance concerning native beliefs and language, these changes in policy were slow and 
in some cases ignored by those responsible for Indian education. Although there is some 
evidence that the idea of culturally relevant curriculum was implemented at the Rocky 
Boy Day Schools. An October 1937 article in the Great Falls Tribune praised the Rocky 
Boy students for their "natural art talent" and described a mural which the students 
created depicting the history of the reservation. The mural co\ ered one school room wall 
and was historically accurate based on the records at the Indian Affairs Office in 
Washington, D.C. (Brewer, 1987) 

In addition to the passage of the IRA. Congress also passed the Johnson- 
0"Malley Act on April 16, 1934, to subsidize education, medical attention, and other 
services provided by state or territories to Indians li\ ing within their borders. 


In 1969 a report on the impacts of the educational system on the native population 
was detailed in the "1969 Report of the Special Senate Subcommittee on Indian 
Education, titled Indian Education: A National Tragedy — A National Challenge." The 
report notes: 

• Indian student drop-out rates are twice the national average, nearly 100 per cent 
in some school districts; 

• Achievement levels of Indian children are two to three years below national 
nomis. and the Indian child falls further behind the longer he stays in school; 

• Indian children, more than any other minority, believe themselves to be "below 
average" in intelligence, and twelfth-grade Indian students have the poorest self 
concept of any minority group tested; 

• Forty thousand Navaho Indians, nearly a third of the entire tribe, are functionally 
illiterate in English; 

• Less than one fifth of the adult Indian population has completed high school or 
its equivalent; 

• Nearly 9.000 Indian children nine years old and under are sent away from home 
to Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding schools; 

• On the average, of a class of 400 students entering a Bureau of Indian Affairs 
high school, only 240 will graduate. Of those 240, 67 can be expected to enroll in 
college (28% as opposed to a national average of 50 %). Of these 67, only 19 will 
graduate from college. Only one out of every 100 Indian college graduates will 
receive a master's degree. 

In the report the Sub-Committee recognized that policies guiding the education of 
American Indian children were a failure of major proportions and a complete change 
would be required. In 1972 Congress amended the Higher Education Act of 1965 to 
include Title IV, Indian Education to provide extensive support to educate Indian 
students and added new structures in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare to 
carry out their goals. 

The Chippewa Cree and the Boarding School Era 

As the Chippewa Cree people wandered throughout the State of Montana in the 
late 1880s to 1916, the children from the tribe did not escape being captured and forced 
to attend the governmental boarding schools. While some voluntarily went to boarding 
schools to escape the extreme poverty that existed in their wandering community, others 
were hidden from the church and government authorities by their families. 


The Rocky Boy Indian Reservation was not created until 1916; nevertheless 
Chippewa and Cree students were forced to attend the government boarding schools as 
they wandered throughout the state without a homeland. Fort Shaw Indian School, 
located in Sun River Valley, of Montana opened in 1892 and is one of the schools that 
historical records indicate members of the Chippewa/Cree Bands were forced to attend. 
Fort Shaw was operated in the same fashion as the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. 
Peter Nabokov (Nabokov, 1991), in his book Native American Testimony, records the 
experience of Lone Wolf a Blackfoot, on his journey and arrival at Fort Shaw Indian 


// was vciy cold that day when irc were loaded into the wagons. None of 
us wanted to go and our parents didn't want to let us go... .Nobody waved 
as the wagons, escorted hy the .soldiers, took us toward the school at Fort 
Shaw. Once there our belongings were taken from us, even the little 
medicine bags our mothers had given to us to protect us from harm. 
Eveiything was placed in a heap and set afire (22(1). 

It did not matter that Carlisle Indian Industrial School was a thousand miles away; 

Indian children could not escape the lessons of the Indian educational system and forced 


The Fort Shaw Indian School had a 
women's basketball team that dominated the 
sport in 1904. The girls" team from Fort Shaw 
Indian School attended the St. Louis World's 
Fair as part of the Federal government's 
"anthropological exhibit" of American Indians 
that showcased the success of the Indian 
Boarding Schools (Fort Shaw Indian School. 
2008). The Fort Shaw team played anyone who 
wanted to test them and emerged undefeated. 

They received a trophy commemorating their 
achievements, declaring them World's Fair 
champions. One member of the team was 
Emma Sansaver. a Chippewa Cree from the 
Havre area, and two other members, Sarah 
Mitchell and Flora Lucero, are listed as 
Assiniboine Chippewa and Chippewa Cree Piegan respectively. The team mascot, 
Gertrude LaRance, was also of Chippewa Cree heritage (Commemorative Booklet, 
2004). The accomplishments of these heroes of the past are more than just being 
designated "World Champions." it is a testament to the resilience of these native women 
to overcome the hardships of life in the boarding school environment. 

According to the Rocky Boy Census 1900-1920, complied and revised by Diane 
Bynum in 2008 and tribal descendants of Fort Shaw Indian students, the following tribal 
members also attended the school, Clara Gardipee Parisian. Thomas Sutheriand, Mary 
Bonneau, Louis Mosney, William Courchane. and Sara Black Tongue. Fort Shaw Indian 
School closed its doors in 1910. leaving a legacy behind that miiTors any of the tragedies 
committed at any boarding school operating during this period. 

The research into these eariy efforts continues, though early correspondence and 
tribal oral histories indicate that prior to the establishment of the reservation children also 
attended boarding schools in Ft. Belknap. Fort Peck. Holy Mission Indian School. St. 
Peter's. St. Paul's Indian Mission Schools and the small Catholic school in Loma, 

The 1 9(14 girl 's ll'orld Champion haskclhall team 

from the Fori Shaw Indian Boarding School are 

(Front row. from left) Cennle Biitcli. Belle 

Johnson(Captain) and Emma Sansaver: (Back row, 

from left) Nettie Wirth. Katie Snell. Minnie Burton 

and Sarah Mitchell. Not pictured are Genevieve 

Healv. Ro.-ie LaRose and Flora Liicero. 

1916 to 2008 

After the creation of the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation, the policy of removing 
children from their homes to the boarding schools of the times continued. Superintendent. 
Indian Service reports from 1917 to 1959, and tribal oral histories, provide 
documentation that many of our children were sent off-reservation to get an education 
and in many of the earlier cases, these children were sent against the wishes of the 


parents. Rocky Boy Superintendent John Parker reported over one-third of the student 
population was attending off-reservation Boarding Schools in 1919 and through the 
1930"s the percentage of off-reservation boarding school students continued to rise. 
Resistant to the efforts of sending their children to the off reservation schools were many 
of whom Parker identified as being full bloods. Agency Superintendent Luman Shotwell 
detailed in his report that some of the children, who were identified as incoirigibles. were 
some of the first to be shipped off to the distant educational facilities. As a matter of 
policy due to the lack of adequate educational facilities trom 1917 to 1930 most 
resenation children beyond the fifth grade were sent to the government supported 
boarding schools. 

Some of the boarding schools identified in these Agency Superintendent reports 
were Wahpeton. Genoa, Chemawa, Flandreau. St. Paul Mission. Shoshone School (Ft. 
Hall). PieiTC. Ft. Peck. Ft. Belknap and others. One of the little known facts is that during 
1923-1924 nine tribal members were sent to Bacone Indian School in Oklahoma, though 
little evidence has survived concerning those attending this learning institution (Parker, 

However not all were sent off to these off reservation boarding schools. Mr. Eddie 
Whitford recalls how during his youth his parents kept on the mo\ e. staying in one place 
no longer than a year at a time to avoid sending him to school. He was ne\ er caught and 
sent to school, but not from the lack of effort by the Catholic priests who seemed to have 
a special interest in him. He is a tluent Cree speaker and although he is unable to read and 
write he has worked his whole life and proxided a good lixing for his family (Eddie 
Whitford. Personal Communication. August 17, 2()()S). 

Before she died in 1995, Mary .lane DeMontincy Rego, bom in 1924. shared with 
her son, Daryl Wright her experience of being taken from her family to attend Flandreau 
Indian School in South Dakota. Sometime during the late 1930s reservation 
Superintendent \V\H)ldridgc came to her home and told her and her brother John 
DeMontincy to pack and be ready, within the week, to be sent to a government boarding 
school. Later that week they were taken to the Ha\re train station to begin their joumey. 
She and her brother were scared to lea\e their family but found some solace in the fact 
that they would be together. Little did they know that they w ere to be separated along the 
journey. While sleeping on the train she awoke to the cries of her little brother as two 
matrons came on the train and forced her younger brother to follow them. Crying she told 
them to leave him alone, that some mistake had been made and they were supposed to go 
to the same school. But her cry fell on deaf ears as all she could do was watch them take 
him away. She remembered with clarit\ the look on her brother's face as he turned with 
tears in his eyes as they led him off to PieiTC Indian School. She recounted her days at 
Flandreau where she was punished for speaking her language or for some small infraction 
of the schools rules. Sometimes her punishment would be to scrub the floors with nothing 
more than a toothbrush and for more serious infractions she recei\ed coiporal 
punishment. They taught her all tyT)es of domestic skills that included sewing, food 
preparation and serving tea. As long as she lived she always hated w hat they had done to 
her and when she returned to the reser\ation it wasn't long before she left in order to 
protect her children from experiencing the ordeals that she had sur\i\ed. One of the last 
things she told her children was that she regretted not teaching them their language and 
cultural ways (Mary Rego, Personal Communication. Winter. 1990). 

During the 1940s, we begin to see changes in enforcement of making our children 
attend the boarding schools, and parents did ha\ e a say in the matter. Although the policy 
of removing Indian children against the wishes of their parents had been prohibited in the 
1920s, the policy was in most cases ignored. Allan Crain. resenation principal and 


teacher indicated that during his time in the Indian Service on the Rocky Boy Indian 
Reser\ ation he used three requirements to guide his decision on whether to send a child 
to one of the boarding schools. The first was whether the student lived a mile and a half 
away from the established bus routes. The second was whether the student was suffering 
from social hardships. The third was whether the child was behind in meeting the 
established Minimal Essential Goals. Students were no longer recruited and forced to 
attend, and many parents came to him with requests to send their student off to school 
(Allan Grain, Personal Gommunication. July 16. 2008). 

Anna Parker Grain attended Flandreau Indian School for her senior year in the 
1950. Although she was not a fluent Gree speaker, she did understand the language. Prior 
to attending Flandreau she went to Box Elder High School where she was one of the few 
Indian students attending. She disliked the high school and remembers being faced with 
prejudice from both non-Indian students and teachers. Her decision to attend Flandreau 
Indian School was based on her experiences at Box Elder and the hardships her mother 
faced raising her family in a single parent home. Her father had passed away years 
earlier. She remembers that times were hard and she and her brother, John Parker, 
decided to ease the burden and attend boarding school. Anna thrived in the boarding 
school environment and was happy to be in a school surrounded by so many other 
Indians. Like all Indian Boarding School systems she attended academic instruction for 
half the day and the other half was spent learning industrial skills. She worked in the 
school" s bakery and tea room and liked earning her own money for the hours she worked. 
She was also taught other domestic skills and remembers the first chore in the morning 
was cleaning her room and the dorm area. There were no Indian cultural activities or 
classes that taught Indian History at the school. All of the students she remembers spoke 
English, which was one of the subjects she liked the best. Her experiences taught her to 
be independent and the school provided her with good shelter, good food and the skills to 
survive (Anna Grain, Personal Gommunication, August 29, 2008). 

During the 1 940s and 1 950s changes in the Boarding Schools system were taking 
place. Many of the schools like Garlisle and Fort Shaw closed their doors. Unifonns were 
no longer required, and there was still an emphasis on industrial training and academic 
achievement. Language and culture were still not taught or encouraged but were tolerated 
and punishment for speaking one"s native language was becoming archaic. In addition, 
more of the schools taught at the high school level. Nevertheless, some schools clung to 
the strict militaristic codes and prohibitions on the use of their native languages into the 

Many of the personal experiences of those attending bordering schools were 
influenced by changes in the educational system and many succeeded and adapted readily 
because they became fluent in the English language. They were not hampered by having 
Ghippewa Gree as the first language spoken in the home. 

Reservation Dav Schools 1918 To 1960 

Rocky Boy Day School 

Rockx' Boy Day School 1921 

Rocky Boy Day School 

The first school was buih in 1918 in the agency area. The one room log building 
was built by Pete Kennewash, Roasting Stick, Jim Denny, Jim Smith, John Courchane 
and John Stump. The school did not officially open to receive students until May 1, 
1919; it served the first through third grades and there were 27 students attending the 
school in 1919 (Parker. 1919). 

By 1920, fifty-one children were enrolled in the Rocky Boy Day School with 29 
students attending on a regular basis. Mrs. Chattle was the teacher but was scheduled to 
leave at the end of the school year. Instruction was based on primary level curriculum and 
the girls engaged in sewing and cooking as part of their industrial training. The boys 
received some industrial training but equipment and supplies were unavailable at this 
time. Books were very limited and only a double swing served as their playground 

One of the continuing concerns for the agency superintendent was the absence of 
children attending the day school. Many parents refiised to send their children to the Day 
School or to off- reservation boarding schools, and a special concern for the 
superintendent was the children identified as coming fi-om the full-blood families (Parker, 

In 1922, the continuing attendance problems still existed and the Superintendent 
Parker wrote "'it was difficult to have a larger attendance, and as all the children who 
attended were at school for the first time, with only two exceptions, the number was 
sufficient for the school teacher to handle, until they were broken in to some extent." 
The superintendent also referred to some children as "these so called incoirigibles" and 
he began assigning extra work and entertaining the idea that a jail would encourage a 
better attendance ratio, especially amongst the boys who took off at the slightest excuse. 
He also writes that these types of students were sent off to the schools designed to 
address incorrigible students. However, according to reservation residents and fonner 
students, the treatment of their children at the day school was the major concern. The 
memories of these times were not happy ones, as they were forbidden to speak their 


language and punished when caught. Their hair was cut and they were taught to forget the 
old ways and learn American \ alues and mores in their place. These punishments and 
other problems attributed to the absenteeism rate and soon only 18 children were 
attending the day school. A soccer ball and a baseball and bat were added to the play 
ground equipment list and the school began to build a library of books available at the 
school (Parker. 1922). 

By 1 924 student attendance increased to 65 students and there were three teachers 
at the school. The superintendent wrote "We have one policeman for the enforcement of 

law and order. His duties require that 
he keep proper order upon the 
reservation and assist the 
superintendent and fanner in this; also 
to see that children are kept in 
attendance at school ( 1924)."" However 
with the jail constructed those students 
who now refused to attend were either 
incarcerated or forced to attend off- 
reservation boarding schools. As a 
result, soon the one room school house 
Tiwjh-.siianhcnrihuinn 1923 could no longer house the increase in 

the student population, and in 1925 an 
additional room was added to house grades five and six. 

The day school had two teachers. Mr. Guthrie and Mrs. McCall. Students in the 
fourth grade were not promoted in 1 926 and had to repeat the grade. School enrollment 
was 62 students and the average daily attendance was 40 students. The former 
playground equipment was no longer around and students had to play on the barren 
ground. About this time students were beginning to enroll in 4-H and a new organization 
of returning boarding school students was organized by the teachers and the 
superintendent to encourage these students to move away from the reservation to seek 
employment (Keeley. 1926). Books within the school's library were very limited and the 
children were primarily exposed to only their text books, until Havre residents organized 
book drives to supply Rocky Boy students with reading materials (School Children, 

A substantial increase in the number of students being served at the day school 
had Superintendent Shotwell wondering what to do with the overflow in 1927(Shotwell, 
1927). The capacity of the Rocky Boy Day School was 50 students and the school had 57 
students enrolled. He responded to this problem by transferring 32 students to other 
jurisdictions. However. 25 new students would be entering the next school year and he 
anticipated having to send more students to off reservation boarding schools the 
following year. The curriculum continued to follow the federal government's educational 
policies for Indian schools and assimilation remained the primary goal. 

During the 1920"s one of the major goals of the agency superintendants was to 
break up the agency camp where most tribal members lived in tents and tipis and to move 
them out to their land assignments. Reservation residents were finally mandated by 
Superintendent Wooldridge in 1930 to move away from the agency area and out to their 
land assignments to begin fanning and ranching. Many were reluctant and soon the 
superintendent refused to issue rations to anyone not mo\ ing out to their assignments and 
working the land. To provide further encouragement reservation residents were given 
incentives to move out to their land assignments and had to sign an agreement stating 
they would remain there. Punishment for failure to live up to the terms of the agreement 


was 30 days in the tribal jail. As a result, many of the students were located too far from 
the Rocky Boy Day School and were unable to attend school (Wooldridge, 1930). To 
address this concern the Indian Service, which later became the Bureau of Indian Affairs 
in the 1950"s, began the construction of several new schools in 1928 to serve the 
increased student population in these new districts in the outlying areas. By 1935 there 
were six day schools to educate reservation students through the fifth grade in the 
outlying districts, and the Agency School serving the sixth, seventh and eighth grades. 

Like the boarding schools, the Rocky Boy day schools, allowed only English 
as the means of communication during school hours. The non-Indian teachers, followed 
the guiding principals of Indian Education adopted by the Indian Service during T.J. 
Morgans' term as the Indian Affairs Commissioner. As part of their mission they 
attempted to replaces Chippewa Cree traditions and language with American mores and 
values. Physical punishment and incareration were often used to discourage children from 
speaking their language. Various punishments were used when the Chippewa-Cree 
students were caught speaking their own language; doses of castor oil, palms slapped 
with rulers, and spankings with yardsticks were the preferred modes of punishments. 
Many students "lost their language" because of this experience, while those who were 
raised traditionally continued to speak it outside of school (Brewer). 

The resistance of the Chippewa Cree parents to the suppression of their language 
took one of the three forms. Some parents attempted to withhold their children from 
school entirely. Others tried to teach their children as much of the native language and 
culture as they could before the children went off to school or during night with a group 
of tribal elders. The third group of parents resigned themselves to English-only 
schooling. This last group did not attempt to teach their children the native language 
because they thought it might handicap them in learning the non-Indian ways (Rocky 
Boy, 1973). Each of these issues on the views of parents and students is reflected in the 
personal accounts contained in this document. 

Sangrey Day School 

The first new school to be constructed was Sangrey School in 1928, where the 
Village Grocery is presently located and served kindergarten through fifth grades. One 

teacher taught at the school and the 
grades were combined in the two 
room school house. Roger St. Pierre 
attended Sangrey Day School during 
the 1940"s and remembers being 
required to work at various times of 
the year in a garden located at Dry 
Fork Farms. With limited supplies 
and tools they planted, weeded and 

Sangrey Day School harvested the garden whose produce 

was stored and used to feed students attending the Day Schools. Edward Saddler also 
recalls some of his experiences and the punishment he received when he was caught 
speaking the Cree language during school hours. He said that the change of lifestyle and 
learning a new language made his experience. "Not a good one" (St. Pierre, 2008). 


Haystack Day School 

Havstcick Dciv Sclioal 

bST ^-Mj 


Haystack Day School was constructed in 1930 and was located along the 

Haystack Loop. Like the other schools, one teacher taught all grades in one classroom. 

One of the tlrst children to attend the new 
school in 1 93 1 was Nadine Ironmaker 
Morsette. Nadine Morsette is an 83 year 
old tribal elder who vividly recalls her 
educational experience. Born in 1924, she 
was orphaned by the time she was three 
years of age. She recalls being raised by 
her relatives and the community and was 
convinced by her sister Ruby Chief Goes 
Out Stiffann to begin attending the day 

school in Haystack where she could be fed good food. Her name at the time was Ne-Chi, 

a nickname for Tea Maker, and she spoke no English. 

The tlrst words she learned to speak and understand at her new school were "You 

may stand." Punishment for speaking her 

language was a severe rap across the 

hands with a thick ruler. She was scared 

and couldn't understand why she was 

attending school. She said that it "made I I '"^'IP!*.! 

me backwards. 1 wanted to be invisible, 

blend in and not be seen or heard... that's 

how I grew up and 1 promised myself that 

one day 1 would speak their language."" 

Any fomi of practicing cultural or 

traditional beliefs was also a "no-no"" and ^^^^ 

Slinlciils iillcndiii^ Hiiysliick Day Scliool 

was also met with a severe rap across the hands. By the time she went to the Agency 
School, her name had changed to Nadine, and she still couldn't speak the English 
language very well. However she persevered and graduated from the agency school. 

^'^ _ After her graduation from the agency school, she spent a 

small amount of time attending Box Elder High School. The 
Lutheran Church had a truck with a covering and bench seat in 
the back and they transported students to the school. She didn't 
know why but she said that, "it wasn't feasible" for her to attend 
Box Elder School and she stopped attending the school. 

In 1980 she received her GED in Great Falls. Montana 
and she went on to receive training as a nurse's aide. She spent 
many years teaching the Cree language in the Rocky Boy Schools 
and as an elder advisor for Stone Child College. The one regret 
she had was not teaching her children the Cree language, 
because it's harder for them to participate in the cultural activities 
and ceremonies of our tribe. When asked why. she replied, "1 
never wanted my children to go through the things 1 had to (Nadine Morsette, Personal 
Communication, August, 20, 2008)." 


\iichiii. .\tor.s,.iu 


Parker Day School 

The Parker Day School was first buiU in 1928 and was a small tarpapered shack 
with an area to cook students' meals. A new school was constructed in 1930. on the 
present home site of Videl Stump. Charles "Chice" Gopher was bom in 1933. and 
attended Parker Day School in 1939 or 1940. He came from a traditional family and 
spoke no English when he went to school. His family encouraged him to learn English 
and their ways so he would be capable of making a good living for himself Before the 
first day of school his uncle came to his house and cut his hair so he would look good. He 
remembers his first teacher Ms. Portman whom he described as mean. The first things he 
learned to say in English were his name, where he lived and who his relatives were. 

In the fourth grade two 
teachers were at Parker Day 
School, Mr. and Mrs. Swab. Mr. 
Gopher remembers that they were 
interested in the Cree language 
and often asked students to 
translate English into Cree so they 
could help the non-English 
speaking students. During his 
time at this school he followed 
the maintenance men around the 
school and became fascinated 
with the boilers. He set his goal to 
although his parents wanted him to 


■^^i;,i:is^>^ « «3 

Parker Day School 

become a maintenance man and did so later in life 

become a mechanic. 

During the evenings, tribal elders like Shorty Young Boy. Chief Goes Out, Well 

Off Man. Jim Russette and Pete DeMontiney would gather the children up and they 

would meet at one of their homes. These gatherings were another part of his education. 

They would teach the songs and different aspects of 
the Cree culture and traditions, reminding him never 
to forget what they were teaching him and the other 
young ones. They also taught him discipline; if he was 
seen doing something wrong it was during this time 
that they corrected him. He remembers these were 
times of lots of sharing in the community and during 
the appropriate times of the year the elders would 
conduct the tribal ceremonies (Charles Gopher, 
Personal Communication August 22, 2008). 

Today. Charles Gopher is a member of the 
Tribal Elders Committee for the tribe and is always 
busy helping to teach the community members about 
the Chippewa Cree culture. He is always available to 
talk, and in the ways of past tribal elders, always 
speaks in a humble manner. 

Alhin Crain. teacher with students at 

Parker Day School. Videl Slump is on the 

rights side of Mr. Crain 


Parker Canyon Day School 

Little of the history ot Parker Canyon Day School survives in the memories of the 
Chippewa Cree people. It was a temporary school and was in existence for only a couple 
of years. It was built in 1931 and was abandoned after busses were available to transport 
students fi-om this area to the better built day schools on the reservation. 

Sa^vmill Dav School 

Sa»niill Day School 

The Sawmill Day School was constructed to meet the needs of students whose 
parents had mo\ed to the mountains to work at the tribal sawmill and on other projects 

funded through the Indian New Deal of 
the Roosevelt Administration. In 1933 
the first school in the Sawmill area held 
classes in a tent. As more fainilies moved 
into the area a one room school house 
was built and soon there was a need to 
construct a larger facility. Ted Russette, 
Sr. is 80 years old and attended the 
Sawmill Day School in 1934 when it was 

still a small one room building. He was 
not a Cree speaker when he entered in the 
Day School System. In 1935. the new Sawmill Day School was built. His teacher was 
Mrs. Sample and he describes his experience as "alright." Behavior problems brought on 
a "whipping" but he remembers no one being punished for speaking Cree. What he 
remembers the most was the division between the original tribal members and those who 
were being adopted into the tribe. The tribal sawmill was destroyed by a fire in 1936. and 
his family moved away to work on the Bonneau Dam Project. He still attended Sawmill 
School and rode a bus to get to the school. The school operated the bus for two years and 
the school temporarily closed in 1938-1939. He then went to school at Haystack Day 
School to finish his fifth grade year (Teddy Russette. Sr.. Personal Communication, 
August 24. 2008). 

According to reservation principal, Allan Crain, it was the most beautiful building 
of all the schools constructed on the Rocky Boy Reservation. It was later sold to a 
rancher in the Big Sandy Area in 1955. 

Agency School 

Until the Agency School was built in the agency area to ser\'e the sixth. se\enth 
and eighth grades in the 1930"s. many of the students graduating from the other da} 
schools were sent to off reservation boarding schools. The school was located in the 
agency campus area. 

At the Agency School students continued to receive instruction in English, 
reading, writing and other academic subject matters. They also received industrial 
training; the boys received instruction on fanning and other industrial skills and the girls 
received instruction on cooking, sewing and other types of domestic skills. Both the girls 


and boys proved to be very adept at honing these skills. The girls sewed their own dresses 
for school, and helped cook the meals served at the school. The boys worked with wood, 
in the shop located adjacent to the school, and built tables, cabinets, chests and other type 
of wood projects for their homes. 

Videl Stump is 69 years old and was bom in a tent during winter in 1939. He is a 
member of the Tribal Elders Committee. Videl and his wife Ruby are frequently called 
upon to speak to the children and college students about our way of life. In spite of all 
efforts to strip him of his language, he was still a Cree speaker by the time he entered the 
higher grades at Agency School in 1951. He remembers that everyone at the school used 
the same textbooks, and although the use of the Cree language was not encouraged they 
were not punished when caught speaking it. Only poor behavior was dealt with a hard 
swat on the backside. Mr. Allan Crain, Mrs. Noble and a Mr. Winston, who he described 
as being very mean to the students, were his teachers. Personal Hygiene and cleanliness 
were an important part of their training. Every student was assigned chores in the school, 
including washing floors, waxing and other duties to keep the school spotless, (When he 
attended the Parker Day School they had to remove their shoes and used slippers or a 
piece of cloth while in the building). They also helped in the schooFs garden. He liked the 
good food served at the school and remembers the cooks, Geneva Houle, Urusla Russette 
and Mrs. Van Gordon, very well. He also enjoyed the school picnics, when all the 
schools gathered and held different types of competitions, like baseball, sack races and 
baseball throws. It was at the Agency school where he learned to play basketball and took 
pleasure in traveling along the Hi-line and to Great Falls to play other teams. They often 
played teams from the high schools in the sun'ounding area. 

As part of his industrial 

training he began to take shop 

classes, where students were 

able to work on wood projects 

at the shop building close to 

the school. He learned about 

the use of different tools and 

Agency Sclwoi Safety. In describing the school 

he stated that it was more modem than the day schools (Videl Stump, Personal 

Communication, August 24, 2008). 

Allan Crain, an Indian Service teacher, came to the Rocky Boy Indian 
Reservation in 1949 and remained until 1959; he married Anna Parker, a Chippewa Cree 
tribal member, while on the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation. When moves to transfer the 
educational responsibilities to the Havre School District became evident, he transferred to 
the Navajo Resei-vation to finish his commitment to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Upon 
his retirement from the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1975 he retumed to the reservation 
and continued teaching and served as the Superintendent of School District 87J. His first 
teaching assignment on the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation was the Haystack Day School 
and used the Manual of Minimal Essential Goals developed for teaching Indian student 
by the Indian Service. During his tenure students were not punished for speaking their 
language although the teaching of language, tribal history, culture and traditions were still 
prohibited and not part of the Manual of Minimal Essential Goals. 

Mrs. Pearl Raining Bird Whitford, a 69 year old tribal educator in the Head Start 
Program, has fond memories of Mr. Crane. Mrs. Whitford was bom with a hearing defect 
and that made it hard for her while attending school. She entered school as a native Cree 
speaker and her hearing loss made it difficult to leam the English language. She stated 



— — m 

stag; s iii 




that without Mr. Crain"s help she would have never learned to speak the English 
language. (Pearl Raining Bird Whitford, Personal Communication August 1 7, 2008). 

Off -Reservation Public Schools -1900-2008 

An early account by Fred Nault on his public school experience is recalled in his 
book Montana Metis, as told by himself. He was forced out of the Dupuyer public school 
system around 1910 because they found out he was of Indian descent. After being forced 
to lea\e he attended Holy Family Mission School on the Blackfeet Reservation until the 
sixth grade. Although he was prepared to go on to Chemawa Indian School, his 
grandfather and grandmother said the school was too far away for them to visit it, so he 
ended his education and began working for a living. His experience was not unique as 
public schools of the time thought the education of Indian children was a federal 

In 1926, Luman ShotwelFs Annual Superintendent Report identified a single 
student and by 1931 the number had grown to 36 students attending the public school 
system. Most of these students had parents who moved off the reservation for 
employment purposes. 

The children located within the reservation did attend one of the public school 
located near the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation, though prior to 1 950 attendance to these 
schools were xery limited. There were three schools close to the reservation. Box Elder 
school is located next to the reservation line; Havre Schools were 30 miles north and 
Flatness School was located in the Williamson range area. The Flatness School operated 
only for a short time and no evidence was available to indicate that any students irom 
Rocky Boy attended this school. 

Box Elder Schools 

Box Elder School was the closest to the reservation; and a small portion of their 
school district extends into the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation, a result of additional lands 
purchased in the late 1930"s and early 1940"s. Due to a fire in 1964, the school was 
destroyed. There is little physical evidence from 1914 to 1964 that survived. A lone 
photograph of Box Elder School children shows that five or six tribal members were 
attending the school in 1947. Olive Parisian Rosette, a 1974 Northern Montana College 
graduate, and Margaret Swan, a 1975 graduate were the first Indian teachers at the Box 
Elder School. 

Olive Rosette, a non Cree speaker, also attended Box Elder School in her 
sophomore year in 1948. She recalls that very few tribal members were attending the 
school, and the Indians attending Box Elder weren't treated well. Some of the other 
students she remembers attending were Joe Rosette and his brothers, members of the 
Corcoran and Hobbs families. Most of these tribal members lived within the School 
District Boundaries and although the school and students weren't happy with the new 
influx of tribal members, they were allowed to attend (01i\e Rosette. Personal 
Communication. August 18, 2008). 

It wasn't until the passage of Federal Impact Aid Act in 1950, that we begin to see 
an increase in the number of Chippewa Cree students in the surrounding public school 
systems. Helen Sunchild Parker recalls being recmited by the Box Elder School in 1951 
and although she was frightened by the prospect of attending a school with a very small 
Indian student population, she attended Box Elder High School. (Helen Parker. Personal 
Communication. July 29. 2008). 


Federal Impact Aid and the lure of Johnson O'Malley funding, to augment district 
fianding, certainly influenced this effort to recruit Indian students in the surrounding 
school systems. By 1965, the number of those graduating from Box Elder High School 
from the Chippewa Cree Tribe outnumbered the non-Indian students 2 to 1. In 1970 the 
number had increased to 5 to 1 and during the 1980s the school's Indian student 
population had grown to 95%. Most of these figures are based on the photographs of the 
graduating class from Box Elder High School, since Montana's Office of Public 
Instruction, has only recorded race/ethnic data beginning in 1997. 

In 1990 the Box Elder Schools Indian student enrollment had increased to 96% of 
the student body and this figure is consistent through 2008. From 1960 to the present 
most non-Indian students migrated out of the district to the Big Sandy and Havre Schools 
systems. One of the monumental changes that were incorporated in the curriculum at Box 
Elder High School was an Indian History course. In 1967, Mr. Jim Magera, a coach and 
teacher at the school, started and taught the first course in Montana to teach Indian 
students about themselves. Daryl Wright, the author of this document, remembers the 
class and the lively discussions that took place as students became more aware of the 
historical events that negatively impacted their people. Box Elder School has also 
recently implemented a family program that is grounded in Chippewa Cree cultural 
beliefs and language; it has been well received by students and parents and plans are 
currently underway to expand the program. 

Although very few non-Indians attended the school, the representation for native 
concerns on the school board remained in the hands of the non-Indian ranchers and 
farmers from the surrounding area. The first tribal member to be elected to the Box Elder 
School Board was Walter Swan who was elected sometime in the 1960s (Bob Swan, 
Personal Communication, August 20, 2008). By 2000, the school board had become 
primarily Indian for the Box Elder School District. In the 2006-2007 school year the Box 
Elder School District had grown to over 366 students, with a 96% Indian student 

Havre Schools 

One of the reasons that few Indians attended the Havre Public Schools in the 
1940's and 1950"s was due to the lack of transportation. Those who did attend had 
parents working and living in the Havre area or were able to catch rides from their 
relatives who traveled daily to work in Havre. 

Louise Stump is a 65 year old tribal member who attended both elementary and 
high school in Havre for a short period of time in the 1950"s. As an elementary school 
student she was labeled as a slow learner and had to sit in the hallways during math and 
reading, with the other Indian students. She said "I couldn't help but feel unwanted 
because of racial and cultural differences." a feeling that never left her even when she 
attended her freshmen year at Havre High School in 1958. 

During her freshman year at Havre High School, she had to catch a ride with her 
relafives Paul Little Sun and Charlie Writing Bird who worked in the Havre area. In the 
winter she stayed with Mrs. Gable, a social worker, and paid her way by helping with 
Mrs. Gable's small children. She had no problems in her classes and in Algebra often 
assisted other Indian and non-Indian students. Some of her Indian classmates were Faith 
Eagleman The Boy and Caroline Denny. 

Although she enjoyed school she was subjected to cultural bias throughout her 
educadonal experiences in the Havre School District. One of the non-Indian students told 
her the teacher would refer to her as "Pocahontas", when she left the classroom. She said 


nothing, though another student reported it to the administration and the teacher was 
reprimanded. Another of her unpleasant memories was walking through town of Havre 
on Fridays, with some of the other Indian girls, to find a way back to Rocky Boy for the 
weekend. They were often the subject of racial slurs and catcalls by both the younger and 
older residents of the Havre Community. When asked whether her children are fluent 
Cree speaker she responded. "When they were young they were all fluent speakers 
because of their grandmother and now they speak crippled Cree because they were teased 
in school and then they quit communicating in their native language." 

Later in her life. Louise became a teacher's aide at the Rocky Boy Elementary 
School and she graduated from Northern Montana College. In 1975 she became the 
director of the Bilingual Music Program. She worked in the area of Bilingual Education 
for 10 years and was the Director of Bilingual Education fi-om 1977 to 1982. She is now 
the Director of a Teacher Training Program at Stone Child College (Louise Stump. 
Personal Communication August 21. 2008). 

It isn't until the Havre School District assumed the educational responsibilities, 
for reservation students, in 1960 that we begin to see a substantial increase of Indian 
students attending schools in Havre. This increase is primarily due to employment and 
the fact that the new overseer of Indian education provided a bus to the distant 
institutions in Havre, Montana. 

Moreover. Federal Impact Aid. Johnson O'Malley. and other financial aid, provided by 
the Bureau of Indian Affairs, gave the Havre School District all the incentive needed to 
assume the responsibility of educating the children of the Chippewa Cree Tribe. 

In the 2005-2006 school year the Indian student population had grown to 21% in 
the elementary schools and middle school and 13% at Havre High School (Havre High 

A New Direction in Rocky Boy Education 

Ri'ils\ Bnr Elcmentan' 

In 1959, the Havre School District constructed the elementary school and took 
over the education of our children from the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1960. During the 
1960"s our people became dissatisfied with the direction of the Havre School District, 
and began to dream of controlling their own school system. In the fall of 1968, Mrs. 
Dorothy Small was appointed to the newly created Advisory Education Committee, a 
group o^ Rocky Boy parents to act as a liaison between the Havre Board of School 
Trustees and parents of Rocky Boy students. The Rocky Boy Tribal Council and Havre 
Trustees created the committee to handle parent complaints and suggestions as there were 
no Rocky Boy representatix es on the board and the 30 mile distance to Havre 
discouraged parents from attending board meetings. The advisory committee consisted 
of six parents: Robert Fa\el, Chairman; Albert St. Pierre, Vice-Chairman; Alice 
Russette, Secretary; Dorothy Small, Treasurer; John Roasting Stick; and Sharon 


Watson (Brewer, 1987). After becoming disatisfied with the Havre Public School 
System they began seeking a new school district for the Rocky Boy community. Mrs. 
Alice Russette explains the importance of the advisory committee to effect change for 
Rocky Boy students: 

From the very beginning we must say that in our status as an advisory 
board we were never properly informed of any business transactions or if 
we had any ideas of our own, were ignored by the school board of Havre 
(Statement Alice Russette). 

At this point the committee and Rocky Boy parents realized that the only way 
they would have any control over their children's education was to have their own school. 
Mrs. Small in an interview with the Great Falls Tribune explained "',.. that at first people 
were critical of parents trying to get their own school because they were not educated. 
The Tribal Council had tried to do it once before and had failed, so they doubted that 
parents with no education could do it." Despite the negativism, the community voted 
172-90 in favor of establishing an independent school district in June 1969 (Rocky Boy 
Committee, 1970). 

After several hearings, meetings and community cultural activities they achieved 
their goal during a final hearing with the Hill County Superintendent of Schools, Mrs. 
Beathe Campbell and the trustees of the Havre School District 16-a, on February 17, 
1970. During a crowded hearing at the Hill County Court House, Robert Favel, Dr. 
Lionel DeMontigny, and 148 other tribal members were present and 30 members 
provided testimony on failure of the Havre School district to meet the needs of their 
children. During the testimony several key points were made: 

1. That out of 62 Indian children entering into the eighth grade only 12% 
graduated irom the Havre School district; 

2. That federal funds received by the Havre School District were being 
wasted and failed to provide a quality education for Indian children; 

3. That there was no evidence that funds received by the Havre School 
District for assistance in providing an education for Indian children 
were being used to provide compensatory or other programs specifically 
devised for these children. These sources of revenue appear to be added 
to the general operation fund of the school district until Fall of 1968; 

4. That failure at the High School reflects failure at the grade school level; 

5. That discriminatory practice was one of the reasons to request their own 
district (Havre Daily News, February 18, 1970). 

One of those testifying was Florence Standing Rock who appeared at the meeting in 
traditional dress and spoke to the audience in her native Cree language. Many believe that 
her testimony was a pivotal point of the proceedings. Louise Stump remembers her 
presentation! as she opened she spoke the first part of the testimony in Cree: 

Her name was Florence Standing Rock. As she spoke the T. V. cameras 
were on and flashbulbs were constantly going off. After she was done, she 
said to those attending the hearing in English. "This is the reason we 
have to have our own school. I just wanted to show you people that we 
have our own cultural needs that we have to address." "You people 
worship money so much whenever there is money concerned (rubbing her 


index Jiugcr caul thumb logclhcr to dciuonstratc greediness) "You put vow- 
hands out. She pulled her braids out and said. "This is what we believe in- 
-oiir own culture. You people can't teach us that. You can't teach the 
things J want niy kids to kiu)w in the juture (Brewer). " 

Albert St. Pierre also gave testimony during the hearing: 

Rocky Boy people have been unhappy for a long time because thev don't 
have any voice in the school. Hlien we go down to Havre school board 
meetings it seems they don't want to listen to us. It's been like this for a 
long time. For instance, a few years ago there was a teacher who kept 
striking the kids. A bunch of us got together and called in the Tribal 
Council. We got the school superintendent to the meeting, but right at the 
meeting he said, if you can't teach the kids mentally, you have to use force, 
you have to pound it into their heads. He said that right at the council 
meeting (Statement. Albert St. Pierre). 

Several weeks after the hearing, the Superintendent of Schools for Hill County 
finally approved the petition for the new Rocky Boy School District 87J on March 1, 
1970. and responsibility for the new district was transferred in July 1. 1970 (Havre Daily 
News. March 2. 1970). The new district provided educational opportunities for 266 
students in the kindergarten through eighth grades, and School District 87J became one of 
the few Indian controlled schools in the nation. 

Bert Corcoran, a member of the Chippewa Cree Tribe, was hired as the first 
Superintendent of the new school district and Gerald Gray, a Blackfoot Cree fi'om 
Browning, as the tlrst principal. The tribal members who served as the first School 
Board were Dorothy Small. Alice Russette, Albert St. Pierre and Duncan Standing Rock. 
With the formation of the new school district with a service area that encompassed the 
almost 98% of the reserxation. they began to revise the educational system fi-om the 
fonnal schooling pattern of the dominant culture to one that recognized and incorporated 
tribal culture within the educational framework. The continuation of Careers Opportunity 
Program, begun during the time the district was under the Havre School District, was 
important to the school administration. Many of the district's teacher's aides were 
pursuing education degrees and were close to completing their degree requirements. They 
continued to secure funding from the Department of Labor and Career Opportunities 
Program until 1975. Having success in increasing the number of Indian educators who 
graduated in 1974 and 1975. many of the aides needed an additional year to complete 
their degree programs. They applied for and received an additional year of funding for a 
Teachers Training Program from the State of Montana in 1975. These programs proved 
highly successful and 36 participants graduated from Northern Montana College. Many 
became the first tribal members with their Bachelors Degree in Education to teach at the 
Rocky Boy and Box Elder Schools. This was no mean task as the aides had to maintain 
their families, teach all day, and attend school at night (Brewer). 

With the passage of the Bilingual Educafion Act of 1968 (Title VII), the school 
was pro\'ided with a mechanism to help dexelop the means to protect our cultural beliefs 
through language retention. In 1971, the Rocky Boy School District obtained funding for 
the Bilingual Program and a new era of cultural activities for our students had begun. 
Robert Murie was hired as the first director of the Bilingual Program and was succeeded 
by Helen Parker. The school began developing Cree curriculum and teaching our 
language in Rocky Boy School System. They also developed adult education classes to 


teach the Cree language to many of our aduhs. Helen Parker, and Ethel Parker. Career 
Opportunity Program graduates, were the first bilingual teachers. 

In 1971. Sixty-five students in kindergarten and first grade began to receive 
instruction in the Cree language, the "oldest American Indian language to ha\e an 
alphabet", as well as Chippewa Cree folklore, dance, beadwork. tanning hides and drying 
meat fi-om Chippewa Cree elders. By 1973. the Bilingual Progi-am had expanded to 
included children in Headstart through the third grade. (Bi-Lingual Project, 1971 ). 

Another program that complimented the work being accomplished by the 
Bilingual Program was the Rocky Boy Research Project. In 1974, Harold Gray was hired 
as the Director and Pat Scott was the primary researcher. The school hired tribal elders. 
Art Raining Bird, ,ioe Small, and Walter Denny to work with the Bi-lingual program to 
teach not only the students but the adults as well how to read and write the Cree language 
in both the syllabic and phonetic fomis. The Rocky Boy Elementary and .Ir. High School 
became the focal point and repository as they began to collect and catalog everything 
they could on Chippewa Cree language, culture and history. 

They recorded the tribal history, and old stories and some of these materials were 
de\eloped into cunnculum for use in the school system. The school became the model for 
bilingual education and \ isitors and professionals from throughout the country came to 
analyze the success we were achieving in our program. Although the funding for the 
program ended in 1982. the Rocky Boy Schools continued to operate a Cree language 
program. Some of the material is still being used today and being re\itali/ed through the 
History and Cree Language program at Stone Child College. 

The success of the Bilingual and History Project w ere documented during a 
visit by the National hidian Arts and Crafts Board in 1976. Royal B. Hassrick, a 
member of the board commented. 

ll'lhi! Is hviiiii (-lone iit Rocky Boy is most sii^nificcui! iiiul is soniclhiiii^ the 
BIA in its schools luis nc^^cr quite got cirouiul to. (riving Itulinn chihlix'ii a 
pride of heritage is the essence of ecliiaition /or them. I ]\us impressed 
and the hoard was impressed by the fiict we sa^v happy laces at Rocky Boy 
School. These kids are enthusiastic. !'\e heen to enough Indian schools to 
know the Indicui schools are not noted for providing this kind of thing— 
this happiness cuid enthusiasm. It oh\iously must lunc something to do 
with the opercUions there. ...(Davis) 

By the time the Rocky Boy people had gained control of their educational system 
they had been subjected to over 70 years of the federally mandated assimilation policies, 
policies that ha\ e had a lasting effect on generations of Indian children who were forced 
to accept the American values and mores. However, in spite o^ being overw helmed by 
assimilation policies the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation remains a stronghold of cultural 
knowledge and tribal religious practices continue to this day. 

Today the Rocky Boy Elementary School has outgrown its present facilities, with 
a total student enrollment of 304 and a 100°o Indian student population in the 
kindergarten through eighth grades, and is presently seeking funding to build a new 


Rocky Boy High School 

Rockv Boy High School 

In 1976 during a community meeting, 63% of 
those attending voted to create a high school on the 
resenation. The community members were becoming 
very concerned over the high dropout rate of our 
students who attended other public school systems. 
With Federal Department of Education, Title IV 
funding, the Rocky Boy Alternative High School 
opened its doors in 1979 to meet the need of 32 
students who dropped out of the public school system. 
In 1980, the school had its first success story and 
graduate. Rusty Piapot. Robert Murie served as the first Director of the Alternative 
School but left at the end of the 1980 school year to finish his Masters Degree in 
Education at MSU-Bozeman. 

Irvin "Bobb)"" Wright was then recruited and hired. He changed the name to 
Rocky Boy Tribal High School, Home of the Rocky Boy Northern Stars. In 1981, eight 
students graduated and by 1982, 70 students were enrolled at the High School and 10 
members fi"om the tribe graduated that year. It was on its way to being a permanent part 
of the Rocky Boy Educational System. In 1982, School Superintendent Bert Corcoran 
and High School Principal Bobby Wright traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with 
Bureau of Indian Affairs Education Director, Earl Barlow. The purpose of their meeting 
was to discuss the possibilities of Rocky Boy Tribal High School being designated as a 
BIA Contract School, which would allow the school to access federal funding to support 
the school. Earl Barlow was able to arrange a meeting with the Assistant Secretary of the 
Bureau of Indian Affairs so they could make a presentation concerning their request. Mr. 
Barlow played an instrumental role in helping present their case to the new 
administration. After returning to the Reservation, they anxiously awaited word. Three 
days after they returned they received a call infomiing them the request was approved 
and Rocky Boy Tribal High became a BIA Contract School. Both Bobby and Bert 
continued to work with the BIA and the High School was placed fourth on the high 
priority list for new school construction (Personal Interview, Bert Corcoran, July 19. 
2008). Bobby left the reservation in 1983 to work on his Doctorate at MSU-Bozeman but 
continued to provide technical assistance to the school during 1984. 

In 1987. the Rocky Boy Tribal High School was built. After repeated failed 
attempts to petition to the Hill County Superintendent of Schools, Shirley Isabel, to create 
a new Public High School District. Edward Parisian and Dr. Bob Swan led an appeal to 
Montana State Superintendent of Schools, Nancy Keenan (Dr. Bob Swan. Personal 
Communications, August 13, 2008). After their successful appeal, in 1989 the Tribal 
High School became a public school, and the new high school became part of School 
District 87J-L. In 2007 the Rocky Boy High School had its largest graduating class of 36 
students and had a total enrollment of 150 students in the ninth through twelfth grades 
with a 100% Indian student population. 


Stone Child College 

"The name of the late Peggy Nagel. "Sitting Old Woman '. and Stone 
Child College is one that can not he separated. As a lifelong advocate for 
education her dedication and hard work is monument to what one can 
achieve when working towards a better life for our people. " 

Daryl G. Wright /, 2008 

^ -f]''^' '*** According to a 401 Planning Grant that developed "A 

^►^J^^fi— * "~^^^]^^ Plan for Our People" in the early 1970"s. the Tribe identified 
w 1^ 1f'"C''!\ 11^ b"**b I ^ ^^ ^ long-tenn goal the need to develop a Community College 
> . m , t™ »i^->»_ jQ meet the educational needs of the Rocky Boy community 
r^sH " sometime in the ftiture. In 1980. the Chippewa Cree Tribe 

^^^B ., ■ I ^ obtained a P. L. 93-638 contract to assume the responsibilities 

^R^l Bt g^ - - i jjfc lj :^- of the Higher Education Scholarship Program from the 
Bureau of Indian Affairs. Edward Parisian was hired as the first director for the new 
Tribal Education Department and by 1981 the tribe had also contracted the Adult 
Vocational Training and Johnson O'Malley programs. He also expanded the Adult 
Vocational Training Program to include college courses through an arrangement with 
Dull Knife Memorial College on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. Edward Parisian 
left the Tribal Education Department in the fall of 1982 to accept a position as the 
Superintendent of Rocky Boy Schools. Peggy Nagel was hired to replace Edward 
Parisian in 1982 and made one of her primary goals the creation of a tribal community 
college. As part of her vision Peggy began working with Edward Stamper, Bobby 
Wright, Lydia Sutherland, LuAnne Belcourt, John Sunchild and other tribal members to 
make this goal a reality. 

In 1984, they gained the support of the Chippewa Cree Business Committee 
(Tribal Council) and they passed a tribal ordinance creating the Charter for Stone Child 
College, but their work was far from complete. Their next achievement was gaining 
recognition as a tribal community college from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. 

To guide their efforts, the Board of Directors, Peggy Nagel and many others 
developed the following Mission Statement to guide the growth and direction of the new 

Mission Statement 

Stone Child College was established by Chippewa Cree Tribal Ordinance, to coordinate 
and regulate all higher education activities on the Rocky Boy's Indian Resenation; to 
maintain high standards for staff, faculty, administration and students; to maintain open 
enrollment; and to be accessible to potential students. The College is authorized to 
develop and operate programs granting degrees and certificates and/or enter into 
agreements with public or private agencies to offer post-secondary education on the 
Rocky Boy"s Indian Reservation. Emphasis is put on programs leading to degrees. Stone 
Child College, in its commitment to quality education, will be responsible for providing 
Stone Child College students with: 

1 . An opportunity for personal development through educational, cultural and 
community activities. 

2. Qualified student centered staff, faculty, and administration who will provide 
an aesthetic, intellectual, cultural, psychological, and safe environment. 


3. Encouragement to seek financial opportunities to enhance self-reliance and 
become financially independent. 

When Stone Child College first 
opened its door in the fall of 1985 it was a 
satellite campus Dull Knife Memorial 
College. Twenty six students were 
enrolled for the fall semester at the 
institution, and in the Spring of 1986. 94 
students from the Rocky Boy Indian 
Reservation were pursuing their 
educational dreams. At this time they were 
located in one of the houses above the Home <>[ Stone cinUi College 

Rocky Boy High School. The house had four bedrooms, two upstairs and two 
downstairs, which were turned into offices, the kitchen was the receptionist area and the 
living room housed the financial aid office and the student area. According to Ed 
Stamper, he remembers Peggy calling it a "real communiversity." Classes were held in 
space they found available in the schools, churches and other facilities within the 
reser\ation. In 1986 the College celebrated its first graduating class of four students, 
Theresa LaFromboise, Karen Morsette, Linda Gopher and Carol Oats who earned their 
Associate of Arts degrees. 

In 1987 the college became an operating affiliate of Salish Kootenai College. The 
enrollment at the college continued to climb to 137 students and expanded the degree 
program to include an Associates of Arts degree in General Studies-Liberal Arts Option 
and Human Services Technology and an Associates of Applied Sciences degree. The 
options included General Business. Secretarial Sciences, and Computer Sciences. They 
also offered a one year certificate of completion in Secretarial Sciences and two year 
certificate of completion in Building Trades. 

The overwhelming success of Stone Child College soon forced it to seek out 
larger accommodations. Stone Child College had outgrown its old facility and transferred 
to the old Tribal High School and former Tribal Administration building. Their student 
enrollment had grown fi-om 70 students in 1985 to 241 students in 1993 and they soon 
found it necessary to add additional buildings to meet the overwhelming needs of their 
student population. After ten years of working towards this dream Stone Child College 
received their final accreditafion from the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges 
Commission in the Spring 1993. 

t With the increasing student 

^ enrollment and a tribal population 

expected to double by the year 
2025, the old campus became 
overcrowded and could no longer 
adequately house the student 
population. To address this 
s//;///,l: ('/</ II. .»/<//( t eiiieisi,,ih' i iiiUi rnii.;.'. conccHi the Chippewa Cree 

Business Committee, College President, and the Board of Regents, began seeking 
resources for the construction of a new campus. With the help of RJS and Associates, 
grant writers for Stone Child College, they received a gift from the Lily Endowment in 
the amount of $1 million. Since 1999, the College has secured additional resources from 
a variety of private and federal sources which enabled Stone Child College to build new 
facilities (Jim Swan, RJS and Assoc, Personal Communication, July 21. 2008). 


To begin the development of the new campus, the Chippewa Cree Tribe donated 
50 acres of prime cuUivated cropland for the new 
college site. Today the new campus consists of 
seven new buildings, which many claim to be the 
most beautiful buildings on the Rocky Boy Indian 
Reservation. The Cultural Archives building, 
presently houses several offices, however new 
renovations are being planned to house tribal 
cultural and historical artifacts. The "Sitting Old 
Women Center" houses the Finance Office. 
Bookstore, Student Services, Financial Aid and 
Library. "Kennewash Hall." is where the School 

Administration, faculty, and Higher Education Jon -Cuhhy- Morsetie Vo-Tech Center 

offices are located. It also houses the classrooms and labs. Stone Child College also has a 
daycare facility for students and community members and a Food Service Building where 
students can enjoy a good breakfast and lunch. The "Jon "Cubby" Morsette" Vocational 
Technical Center was completed in 2004 and houses a variety of vocational programs as 
well as the Fine Arts programs. The latest addition is the Print Shop, where printing and 
photograph enhancement take place. Construction is currently underway for the new 
gymnasium, for which the college recently secured funding. 

From its humble beginnings in 1 984 Stone Child College now offers a wide array 
of courses, degree programs and one-year technical training certificates. To date. Stone 
Child College has awarded 483 degrees and 1 1 certificates. In 2007-2008 over 476 
students took advantage of the educational opportunities available. 

The Impacts of Indian Educational Policy on the 
Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation 

No other race of people has endured more hardships in order to survive than the 
American Indian. Federal policy, especially education policy, is one of the historical 
tragedies that has affected generations of Indian people. As the Indian Wars came to a 
close, we began to see a significant change in the federal policies that focused on the 
separation of Indian children fi-om their extended families and most significantly the 
stripping of their cultural heritage. It is to this policy that many attribute the loss of the 
Chippewa and Cree Languages and many of their traditional ways. While an enduring 
race, it has been difficult to maintain their identity under the continual barrage of federal 
Indian policy designed to accomplish what their guns could not. 

Generations of Indian youth were sent to Indian boarding and day schools with one 
thought in mind, to detribalize, break up the extended family and to assimilate the Indian 
populations. The results of these efforts on the Native population were devastating to 
generations of Indian children. The trauma and impacts on the native population are still 
felt to this day long after many of Bureau of Indian Affair schools have shut their doors. 

When it was no longer an acceptable practice to kill off the Indian problem, the 
federal government developed a more systematic approach which would produce the 
same desired results. In essence, we are back to square one. Even federal policy has come 
full circle, although it been disguised as a push to nationalize educational benchmarks 
and to provide all students with a quality education. The new battle cry of "No Child Left 
Behind" is just another attempt to assimilate not only natives but all people of color to the 
white nomi. It will be years before we will have enough infonnation to analyze the 


impacts of this legislation, but many native groups have already raised objections. They 
see it for what it really is. 

According to data collected by Robert Gopher, Tribal Health Planner for the Rocky 
Boy Health Board, 65-75" o of our population suffers from alcohol and/or substance abuse 
addictions and the resultant health complications. On average, American hidian students 
drop out of all grades at a rate more than 1 2 times than that of white students, and they 
drop out of high school at a rate three times greater than that of white /students. American 
hidian students in Montana also had a three-year average completion rate of 60.6%, 
noticeably lower than the White average of 86.6% (Oftlce of Public Instruction's 
Montana Statewide Dropout and Graduation Report). Like other Native American 
communities, our people experience disproportionately high mortality rates compared to 
other Americans from: Alcoholism - 627% higher. Tuberculosis - 533% higher. 
Diabetes - 249% higher. Injuries - 204%) higher. Suicide - 72% higher, and Homicide - 
63% higher. 

In light of the above statistics we begin to realize just how extensively the historical 
treatment of the Indian populations and educational impacts of the assimilation process 
has negatively affected our communities. Over four generations of our children has been 
subjected to the Day and Boarding Schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It 
has taken over 500 years of exposure to western civilization and 300 years of assimilation 
practices to bring us to the point where the systematic cultural genocidal goals have 
almost become a reality. The road back may take just as long to regain our spiritually and 
to reverse the impacts. 

Stone Child College has successfijlly obtained other grant resources to fiand Rocky 
Boy students attending other institutions of higher learning. Following is a breakdown of 
these programs: 




Out of 

4 Year 


Higher Education 
Tribal Scholarships 






Adult Vocational 
Training Tribal 




Indian Education 






English Language 







American Indian 
College Fund 












*The instate stiidcut immhers do not include Stone Child College students. 



As a tribe, we must insure our survival and learn from our mistakes and move 
forward in developing a new educational system that meets our needs and strengthens our 
language, and traditional beliefs and values. Federal policy must not stand in our way. 

In order to survive as a Nation we have to take a serious look at the impacts of these 
educational efforts and develop methods to reverse the trauma and regain what was 
systematically stripped from the minds of our people. We must return to the basis of our 
Traditional Pedagogical practices of respecting all things and teaching our children to 
survive in the environment which they find themselves. We must walk in both worlds in 
order to survive in the future, maintaining a balance of academic excellence and our 
traditional beliefs and practices. To accomplish this almost overwhelming task, as 
teachers we must take every opportunity to incorporate language, traditional beliefs and 
tribal history into every discipline taught in the reservation schools systems today. I must 
emphasize that this is not a choice; it is a necessity to ensure the cultural survival of a 
race brought to the brink of extinction through a well thought out educational system 
designed to do away with the "Indian Problem." 

There is no room for "No Child Left Behind", teaching for the test or other types of 
educational banking techniques. Ours must be based on our need to revitalize our 
language, history and cultural values and traditions. 

A History of Rocky Boy Education was written by Daryl G. Wright I, a member of 
the ChippcM-a Cree Tribe. He is a graduate student at the University of Montana, 
pursuing a Masters of Interdisciplinaiy Studies Degree in English Literacy/Creative 
Writing and Native American Studies. He is also a graduate of Stone Child College and 
plans to return and teach there. 

Works Cited 

Adams, David. (1997). Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding 
School Experience, 1875-1928, University Press of Kansas. 

Atkins, J.D.C. (1887). Indian Commissioner, Annual Report of the Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs, House Executive Document no.l, 50''' Cong., T' sess.. serial 2542. 

"Bilingual Project," Rocky Boy Communitv News , 12 November 1971. p. 2; 

Rocky Boy School District #87-J, "History of the Chippewa-Cree Indians," 
unpublished manuscript, 1984, Rocky Boy Manuscript Collection, Rocky Boy, 
Montana; "School of the People in the Second Year," Rocky Boy Community 
News , 12 November 1971, p. 2. 

Brewer. Kate. 1986. "History of Rocky Boy Education", unpublished manuscript. 
Rocky Boy Manuscript Collection, Rocky Boy Montana 

Davis, Jim. (19 December 1975); "Rocky Boy Becomes Model Indian School," 
Great Falls Tribune, 8, 16 


Carlisle Indian Industrial School. retrieved July 3, 2008 from 
http://en.vvikipedia.oru/'wiki/Carlisle Indian Industrial School 

Commemorative Booklet (2004). Celebrating the 100th Year Anniversaiy of the Fort 
Shan- Iinhan School 1904 U'orhi Campion Women's Basketball Team. Montana 
State University-Bozemen 

Eder, Jeanne, and John Reyner. (2004). American Indian Education: A Histoiy, 
Oklahoma, Oklahoma University Press. 151 

Fort Shaw Indian School, retrieved August 30, 2008 from 

http:/ com/index. php/Fort Shaw Indian School 

Hailmann, William N. ( 1913). Indian Commissioner, Annual Report of Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs, Education of the Indian. 22 

Havre Daily News. (1970. February 18). "Many Appear to Plead for Rocky Boy School 
District." 1 

Havre Daily News. (1970. March 2). "Rocky Boy School District is given Approval of 
Official". I 

Havre High School (School Year 2005-06). Montana Public School Enrollment by 
Race/Ethnicity, Reported October 3, 2005, Office of Public Instruction, Helena 

Keeley, John (1926). Rocky Boy Superintendent; Annual Report to the Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs, Sec. Ill, Reel 118, United States Bureau of Indian Affairs, 
Superintendant Annual Narratives and Statistical Reports, National Archives and 
Records Administration, Washington D.C. 

Merriam Lewis, et al. (1928). The Problem of Indian Administration. Baltimore, John 
Hopkins Press. 21-22, 86-89 

Nabokov, Peter (1991). Native American Testimony. New York, Penguin Books 220 

Nault. Fred. (1977). Fred Nault: Montana Metis, as told by himself. Rocky Boy. 
Chippewa Cree Research Project. 5 

Parker, John. (1920). Rocky Boy Superintendent; Annual Report to the Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs. Sec. Ill, Reel 118, United States Bureau of Indian Affairs, 
Superintendant Annual Narrative and Statistical Report. National Archives and 
Records Administration. Washington D.C. 

Parker. John. (1922). Rocky Boy Superintendent; Annual Report to the Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs, Sec. III. Reel 118. United States Bureau of Indian Affairs, 
Superintendant Annual Nairatixe and Statistical Report. National Archives and 
Records Administration, Washington D.C. 


Parker. John. (1923). Rocky Boy Superintendent; Annual Report to the Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs, Sec. Ill, Reel 118, United States Bureau of Indian Affairs, 
Superintendant Annual Narrative and Statistical Report. National Archives and 
Records Administration, Washington D.C. 

"Rocky Boy Committee Asks Own School Board." (8 February 1970) Great Falls 
Tribune , 21; "Rocky Boy Committee"; "Rocky Boy Seeks", Small, 
interview. May 1987. 

Rocky Boy Elementary School Bilingual Education Center. (1973). "Who Benefits from 
Bilingual Education on the Rocky Boy Reservation?", unpublished manuscript. 
Rocky Boy School Manuscript Collection, Rocky Boy, Montana. 

"School Children to Give Books to Indians, 
November 1 926. p. 6. 

The Havre Daily News-Promoter , 12 

Shotwell, Luman. (1927). Rocky Boy Superintendent; Annual Reports to the 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Sec. Ill, Reel 1 1 8, United States Bureau of 
Indian Affairs, Superintendant Annual Narrative and Statistical Report, National 
Archives and Records Administration. Washington D.C. 

Statement of Alice Russette before the Hill County Superintendent of Education Hill 
County Courthouse, Havre, Montana (2 February 1970). Rocky Boy Manuscript 
Collection, Rocky Boy, Montana. 

Statement of Albert St. Pierre before the Hill County Superintendent of Education. 

Hill County Courthouse, Havre, Montana, 2 February 1970. Rocky Boy 
Manuscript Collection, Rocky Boy, Montana. 

St. Pierre, Roger. (2008). Rocky Boy Education, unpublished manuscript, 1 

Wooldridge, Earl. (1930). Rocky Boy Superintendent; Annual Reports to the 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Sec. Ill, Reel 118. United States Bureau of 
Indian Affairs, Superintendant 

Annual Narrative and Statistical Report, National Archives and Records 
Administration, Washington D.C. 

Rock\- Box Head Start 

Stone Child College 


Square Butte from Box Elder in September 

Stone Child College from the parking lot of the SCC Print Shop 


Sialic Cliild College Presidciil Mcloily IJciirr speaking ul 20(17 SCC Grciduatkni eereinonies 

Flute peiidiiiuiiK e led hv Insinieiar Ed Stamper at Stone Child Cidlege 2(10' 


Hiilih liiiiu Ini/ii hip ,ij Diviik 111 Ban Am 

liiMilc ihc Bear I'aws wiiiicr 2007 




Ceil Willi nil Mouiiiain dining IVinicrJUO: 

Sionc Child Cullcsic ./(III 'Cnhhy ' Mursciic I o-Jccli Buddinn IVinta J""a 


/Idiiiir (niiird (I! llic R(ick\ Boy Pnw Wow 2(11)5 

J 10,1,11 (iinird. Roch.' Box Paw Wow 200S 


I 'it'w jroni (iiic of ihc Housing areas in Box Ehk-i 


Centennial from the gate at the Rodeo grounds 

Rodeo from earlier uu/ . ,ii. .1,^ :i 



Po-w ]\\>W 

Box lihliT Si luHil Aclivitics 



i T 

Liiihcian Cliiircli at Rocky Boy Aiicncy now a proUxlcd Historical Site 


One of the fust school busses on the Rocky Boy Resenation 

Bonneau Dam under construction 

Malcolm Mitchell and Family 

Road Construction 


Families on the Rocky Box Rcscnuiion 

Browns Dam comph'led in 19^4. Square Riiltc in the hackiiround 


One oj the first gas stations cm the Rocky Boy 's Resen'ation 

Roads being done on tlie Rocky Boy 's Reservation, in the 1^30 's 



rf^V«^ STAM F^^>^ 


Gelling wolcr for ihc family 


Early Saddle from Rocky Boy Resenation 

One of the many activities in the early schools on Rocky Boy Resenation 




Young children from the early years 

l\t\\ Wow in ilie earl\ \ear.\ on Rocky Buy Re.servalion 


Lutheran Church on Rocky Boy Rescrwiliou early 1900 's innv a historical site 

Ouilter in the 1 93(1 's on the Rocky Boy Resenation 


U'liirc Goose Two Teeth beading a hell 

Water Bird flexing a hide 



Sunuit! Mitli horst 

Edijic li'ifli f/iiii. ll'illic Smcill. uihl lihhcw Ochino 


Shrill Wind doing beadwork 

Water Bird Girl making Ivvad 

/ urf . IssDuulniinc Saldwrs. carlv I 'JOD 's 

Montana 's Governor Schweitzer at the drum with representatives from all ~ Tribes 


Spring blanket 2008 


Chapter 6 


%mfiih Cfiarb, Cree fanauaae fesson mans, hre-tesb, 

s, hosi tests, ana animal identification 

answer K^eijs, 



Mother's Mother 




Mother's Father 

Developed by Ethel Parker, Helen Parker, Florence Sun Child, and Wilma Windy Boy 



The Cree Language Preservation project is the result of a community concern that the 
Cree language is now endangered. The long range goal plan is "to develop and presene 
the Cree language, culture, history, and philosophy with guidance from our Tribal 
elders": by developing a cumculum. Family classes and youth immersion camps will be 
implemented using our newly developed curriculum based upon our culture to teach our 
language through lessons on culture and tradition. 

Baldy Bultc. photo taken during 2005 youth camp 


Pretest - Parti FAMILY ROLES 

Directions: Please fill in the blanks with the correct Cree words. 

1 . Name two or more Cree words for a baby ? 
a. c. 

b. d. 

2. What is the correct Cree word for mother ? 

3. What is the correct Cree word for father ? 

4. What is the correct Cree word for my grandmother ? 

5. What is the correct Cree word for my grandfather ? 

6. What is the correct Cree word for older sister ? 

7. What is the correct Cree word for older brother ? 

8. What Cree word can be used for younger sister or brother ? 

9. What is the correct way to say siblings in Cree? 

10. What would you call your parents in Cree? 




Directions: Draw a line from the English word to the correct Cree word. 















Directions: Draw a line from the English word to the correct Cree word. 




















Posttest - Parti FAMILY ROLES 

Directions: Please fill the blanks or check the correct boxes. 

10. Name the four ways you can say baby in Cree? 
a. c. 

b. d. 

1 1 . Write the correct Cree word for mother ? 

12. Write the correct Cree word for father ? 

13. Check the correct Cree word for my grandmother ? 
I no-ko-m 

I ko-ko-m 

14. Check the con-ect Cree word for my grandfather ? 

15. Write the con^ect Cree word for older sister ? 

16. What does ni-s-te-s mean? 

1 7. Write the correct word for siblings in Cree? 

9. What does ni-y-ki-kwah-k mean? 


Postest - Parti FAMILY ROLES 

Directions: Please fill the blanks or check the correct boxes. 

1. Name the four ways you can say baby in Cree? 

a. pe-pi-si-s c. tah-ko-p-tah-w-sah-n 

b. o-s-kah-wah-si-s d. _pe-pi-s 

2. Write the correct Cree word for mother? 

a. _Ni-kah-wi 

3. Write the correct Cree word for father? 

a. No-tah-wi- 

4. Check the correct Cree word for my grandmother? 

X no-ko-m 

5. Check the correct Cree word for mv grandfather? 

X ni-mo-som 


6.Write the correct Cree word for older sister? 

a. ni-mi-s 

7. What does ni-s-te-s mean? 

a. Older brother 

8. Write the correct word for siblings in Cree? 

a. 0"nK)Q-^ ni-ti-sah-nah-k 

9. What does ni-ki-kwah-k mean? 

a. Mv parents 



Pretest - Part 2 - A TRADITIONAL SKILLS 

Directions: Please fill in the blanks with the correct answers. 

L Name at least 10 wild game found in Rocky Boy. 

2, List the common edible wild game found in Rocky Boy. 

3. Which of the wild animals hibernate? 

4. Which of the wild animals change their color when the seasons change? 

5. What is the tradition of a bov"s first hunt and kill'; 

6. List the wild game that should be skinned. 

7. List wild game that should be singed first. 

8. Why was the buffalo important? 

9. Name at least one bird important to our culture? 


10. List the different ways wild game can be prepared, e.g. How do you cook a porcupine? 

Pretest - Part 2 - A Traditional Skills 

Directions: Please fill in the blanks with the correct answers. 

11. Name at least 10 wild game found in Rocky Boy. 

A. Deer B. Rabbit C. Prairie Chicken D. Pheasant 

E. Porcupine F. Elk G. Rock Chuck H. Duck 

I. Cow J. Gopher 

Others listed cow, gopher, antelope, fish, beavers, buffalo, grouse, eagle 

and skunk. 

12. List the common edible wild game found in Rocky Boy. 

Deer, rabbit, prairie chicken, pheasant, porcupine, elk, rock chuck, gopher, 
antelope, fish, beaver, duck, buffalo, and grouse are edible wild game in 
Rocky Boy. 

13. Which of the wild animals hibernate? 

Gophers, rock chuck and badger hibernate in the winter. 

14. Which of the wild animals change their color with the seasons change? 
Weasel, rabbits, deer, and elk change their colors when the seasons 

15. What is the tradition of a boy's first hunt and kill? 

When a young man, brought home his first kill, they should prepare a feast, 
invite and elder and pray for the young man. 

16.Llst the wild game that should be skinned. 

Deer, rabbit, elk, buffalo, porcupine, and antelope, should be skinned. 

17. List wild game that should be singed first. 

Rock chuck, gophers, prairie chickens and pheasants should be singed first. 

18. Why was the buffalo important? 
Every part of the buffalo was used. 

19. Name at least one bird important to our culture? 

Eagle should be named. Other answers to be accepted. 

20. List the different ways wild game can be prepared, eg. How do you cook a 

Boiled, fried, roasted, and dried are different ways wild game can be 


Post Test - Part 2 - A TRADITIONAL SKILLS 
Directions: Please fill in the blanks with the correct answers. 

1. There are eighteen wild animals found in Rocky Boy. List all of them. 

2. List all the common edible wild animals found in Rocky Boy. 

3. List the wild animals that hibernate in the winter. 

4. List the animals that change their color as the seasons change? 

5. Write the traditional protocol of a boy's first kill on a hunt. 

6. List all the wild animals that should be skinned. 

7. List the wild game that should be singed first before being cooked. 

8. Write why the buffalo was important. 

9. What kind of bird is most important to our culture? 

10. List all the different ways wild game can be prepared that vou can think 


Post Test - Part 2 - A TRADITIONAL SKILLS 
Directions: Please fill in the blanks with the correct answers. 

11. There are eighteen wild animals found in Rocky Boy. List all of them. 

Deer, gopher, rabbit, antelope, prairie chiekens. fish, pheasants, beavers, 
porcupine, ducks, elk, buffalo, rock chuck, grouse, duck, eagle, con- and, skunk 
are all animals found in Rocky- Boy. 

12. List all the common edible wild animals found in Rocky Boy. 

Deer, rabbit, prairie chickens, pheasants, porcupine, elk, rock chuck, gopher, 
antelope, fish, beavers, ducks, buffalo and grouse are all the edible wild animals 
found in Rocky Boy. 

13. List the wild animals that hibernate in the winter. 

Gophers, Rock chuck. Badger and. Skunks are animals that hibernate. 

14. List the animals that change their color as to the seasons change? 

Weasel, Rabbits, Deer and. Elk change colors as the seasons change 

15. Write the traditional protocol of a boy's first kill on a hunt. 

When a young man brought home his first kill, they would prepare a feast, invite 
an elder and, pray for the young man. 

16. List all the wild animals that should be skinned. 

Deer, rabbit, elk. buffalo, porcupine, and antelope are wild animals that should 

17. List the wild game that should be singed first before being cooked. 

Rock chuck, gophers, prairie chickens, and pheasants are wild animals that 
should be singed. 

18. Write why the buffalo was important. 

Eveiy part of the buffalo was used. 

19. What bird is the most important to our culture? 

The eagle 

20. List all the different ways wild game can be prepared that you can 
think of. 

Boiled, fried, roasted and, dried are different ways to prepare wild game. 












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fjsisofUlpcm 1io]j suhhkmentanj materia fs avai fa ^fe 

ammeir location 

Compiled by various researchers 



There are several books and documents in various places that can be used as part of the 
history of the Rocky Boy"s Indian Reservation. Within this chapter you will tlnd a list of 
what we have discovered and where these items are currently located. 

The first lists of items were discovered the last week of July 2008 by Brenden Rensink 
who is a PH.D. Candidate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is doing his 
dissertation on border-crossing of the Canadian and USA border and part of it would 
include the Cree Indians. Preceding this list is an explanation of where these items are 

Chippewa Cree Research Archives at Rocky Boy School 

Here is a catalog of the materials held at Rocky Boy School. The "archive" is in a 
storage room off of the basement classroom of Brenda St. Pierre at Rocky Boy 
Elementary School. The file cabinets that hold the collection are along the left wall, 
behind some tables. I have listed here the drawers and the titles of most the folders. 
Some of the folders had colored tabs, so I made note of that as well. The titles in Bold 
are the actual folder labels and everything else is either organizational notes of my own, 
or notes on folder contents. For some of the folders that 1 looked through, I have listed 
some of the contents of the folders. 1 believe that some of the correspondence materials 
(lots in Drawer 3) are the same as the microfilm rolls that the college has. 

Here is a photo I took of the file cabinets and I labeled them so they make sense with the 
catalog below. The file cabinets to the left and right might hold more stuff, but they were 
locked. Also, if you look at the drawers, there are some labels already on there that 
appeared to have some sort of organizational system. Also, many of the folders had 
numbers assigned to the: like CH4 for a Chippewa folder. CE35 for a Cree folder and so 
on. Perhaps there is an actual index somewhere that lists everything in more detail. 

Brenden Rensink 

Drawer 1 

• Blue Folders 

o Material for the Red River Rebellion: property of the bilingual 

o The Queen vs. Louis Riel, accused and convicted of high treason 
o Riel reenactment 
o Poundmaker 


Helena conference letters 

■ Notes froin Montana State Historical Society (Howard papers MS 27) 
Bills to be paid - research 

■ Louis Riei"s Quest for Justice - manuscript 

■ Deportation in 1 896 manuscript 

■ The Chippewa 

■ Tiie Cree 
Riel Rebellion 

■ Shoil history in Bullet list 
Riel Rebellion 
News clippings 

Red River Rebellion - Riel History 
Riel, Louis 

Royal Canadian Mounted Police - L. Charles Douthwaite 
Bibliography - Metis and Canada 
Dumont, Gabriel 
Gibson, Paris 
RiePs Manuscript (translator) Fort Garry Convention, Nov. 16, 1869 

Yellow Folders 
o Chippewas 

• Great Falls Tribune 1 909-1 1 -05 "a Rock> Bo> Defender" 

Chippewa treaties 

Chippew a culture 

History of the Ojibways 

History of Ojibways 

Reminiscences of the Chippew a Chief Hole-ln-The-Day 

Chippewa history 

Chippew a Cree leaders - Quinn 

Chippew a Cree history - Rocky Boy calendar 

Part 1 Rocky Boy History 1907-1939 

Anaconda Standard 1908-09-26 "Rocky Boy's Tribe to receive land 

1908-1 1-03 - Churchill to Sec. of Intenor 

1908-07-31 - Commissioner to Joseph Dixon 

1908-03-07 - C.F. Larrabee to Dixon 

1 908-02-1 5 - Acting Sec to Moses Clapp 

1 908-1 1-16- Churchill to Rocky Boy 

1 908-1 1 -28 - Churchill to Sec of Interior 

1908-12-25 - Churchill to Sec on InteriorJ.A. Garfield 

1 909-04-20 - Thalls W. Wheat to Comm of Indian Affairs 

1909-07-09 - Comm. R.G. Valentine to Annstrong 

1909-07-17 - Effa Goss (Culbertson, MT) to Dept. of Interior 

1909-07-23 - Frank Pierce to Effa Goss 

1909-07-26 - ? to Frank Pierce (Acting Sec of Interior) 

1909-07-26 - Dixon to Comm.. of Indian Affairs 

1909-07-22 - William Powers to Comm. Indian Affairs 

1909-08-14 - Comm Indian affairs to William Powers 

1909-08-1 1 - Paul B. Babcock to Sec. of Interior 

1 909-09-27 - Armstrong to Comm. Of Indian .A.ffairs 

1909-10-08 - C.F. Hauke to .\rmstrong 

1909-10-02 - Albert R. Chapman to Frank Pier>' (F' Ass Sec of State) 

1909-10-16 - Hauke to Chapman 




1909-10-16 - Thomas H. Carter to R.G. Valentine (Comm. Of Indian 


1909-10-22 - Haute to reply to Carter 

1909-10-25 - Citizens of Culbertson, MT to R.G. Valentine 

1909-10-27 - Valentine to Sec of Interior 

1909-10-29 - Ballinger (1*' Assistant Sec of Interior) to W.W. 

Heffelfniger, Esq and to Moses Clapp 

1909-10-26 - Logan to Valentine 

1909-1 1 -01 - Valentine to Logan 

1 909-1 1 -01 - Valentine to Churchill 

1909-1 1 -01 - Valentine to Armstrong 

1 909- 1 0-26 - Hauke to Logan 

1 909-1 1 -04 - Armstrong to Comm. Of Indian Affairs 

1909- 11 -12 -Hauke to Churchill 

1 909- 1 1 - 1 2 - Hauke to Armstrong 

1 909-1 1 -07 - John Bums to Valentine 

1 909- 11-30- Hauke to Bums 

1909-1 1-19 - Cut Bank pioneer "Blackfeet made the "goat""" 

1909-1 1-23 - Churchill to Comm.. of Indian Affairs 

1909-12-07 - Hauke to Churchill 

file- census - 1931 

file 1932 

file - birthdates 1924-1932 

file census 1932 

file census 1934 

file births and deaths 1934-1936 

file census, births, deaths 1937- 

o Chippewa Cree history, census of 1909 of Rocky Boy's Band TW 


o Turtle Mountain Chippewas 

o Part 2 Rocky Boy History 

o 1934 census supplement 

o Census 1933 

o Rocky Boy Reservation Rocky Boy 

o Rocky Boy Reservation Rocky Boy 

o Rocky Boy Reservation Rocky Boy 

o Rocky Boy Reservation Rocky Boy 

o Rocky Boy Reservation Rocky Boy 

o Rocky Boy Reservation Rocky Boy 

o Rocky Boy Reservation Rocky Boy 


o Rocky Boy Reservation Rocky Boy file census 1939 

o Birth and Death 1934-1936 

o Deaths 1924-1931 

o Supplemental birthdates 1924-32 

o Rocky Boy Reservation Rocky Boy file census 1933 

o Rocky Boy Reservation Rocky Boy file census 1933 
Green files 

o Census Hobbema 1929 

o Four Souls 

o Cree literature 

o Council of 12 history '1917 

o Original Chippewa Cree action group 

o Rocky Boy Reservation missions 

o Cree alphabet 

o Cree alphabet endings 

o % in Cree 


o Cree History - applications for discharge from treaty 

o Cree culture outline 

o Bibliography preface 

o Montana Historical Society Little Bear's Band 10/27/74 

■ 1905-10-12 Great Falls Tribune 'Little Bear calls all his people to their 
nati\e land" 

o Chippewa Cree history settlement on Blackfeet Res 

o Ration ticket of mic-o->vay-ous 

o Law concerning prairie buffalo 

o Jefferson, R. W estern Cree 

o Piapot 

o Cree names - Glacier Park 

o Cree way project Quebec 

o Sun Dance Proclamation 

o Montana Historical Society Oct. 28 - Nov 1, 17 and Data 

o Rocky Boy Reservation Rocky Boy file 1930 

o The trial of Louis Riel, S.A. Arsenych 

o Montana Historical Society Library and Archives 

Drawer 2 

• Red files 

o Respect for homes by Art Raining Bird 

o Four Souls interview 

o Mr. Four Souls 

o Bear story 

o Ed Belgarde interview 

o Belgarde, Ed - Landless Indians 

o Bull, James - Hobbema 

o Earl Bornson 

o Frank Caplette 

o Frank Caplette 

o Frank Caplette 

o Chief Stick, Pat Sr. 

o Chief Stick interview 

o Chief Stick 

o Chief Goes Out, Marilyn 

o Lovers of long ago 

o Corcoran, Cecilia 

o Corcoran, Cecilia 

o Coyote 

o Dakota Paul 

o Day Child, Joe 

o Denny Jim 

o Walter Denny files 

■ W alter Denny - look out story 

■ Walter Denny -river story 

■ \\ alter Denny - pow wow 

■ Captured Blackfeet girls 

■ Short stories 

■ Homes 



Misc. papers 

Farewell letter 

Misc papers 

Duties of a mother 


Ghost story 

4 directions 



Original stories 

Chippewa Cree 
o Jim Gopher 
o Walter Denny - log cabin 
o Day Child story 
o What is a rainbow 
o Art Raining Bird speech 
o Promise papers 
o Stories 
o Indian holiday 
o Walter Denny - stories 
o Jim Denny story 
o Earth, animals, humans 

o Stories - Jim Denny, Roasting Stick, Windy Boy 
o Indians traveling 
o Louis Riel Rebellion 
o Early Indians 
o Misc papers 
o Horse 
o Otter 
o Mouse 
o Deer 
o Chicken 
o Dog 
o Bear 
o Duck 
o Turtle 
o Cat 
o Bee 
o Milk 
o Meat 
o Elk 
o Potato 
o Cow 

o Study skills "sial calypso" 
o Jean 

o United States legal rights of Native Americans born in Canada 
o Fred Huntley 
o Fred Huntley 
o Fred Huntley 



Little Bear 


Little Bear 


Walter Denny notebook 


Joe Mackinaw 


Mr. Mitchell 




Wilfred Pelletier 






Tribal government 


Louis Riel Rebellion 


Canadian Rebellion 


Blood Indians horse story 


Cree stories 




Short story 




Spiritual lecture story 


Boney spectre story 


Stories and recipes 




Tribal history 


Louis Raining Bird 


Joe Small 


Tom Shingobe 


Small Boy 


Joe Small 


Joe Saddleback 


George Shields 


Nancy Smith 


Florence Standing Rock 


Florence Standing Rock 


Joe Stanley 


Joe Small 


Gilda Stanley 


Old Man Preaching Book 


Lydia Sutherland 


Charles Topsky 


Charles Topsky 


Charles Topsky 


Ernest Totootsis 


Project stories 


George Watson 


W ind\ Boy 


Eyes to kill 


Windy Boy 


Wind> Boy 


Wind> Boy 


Roasting Stick nianila en\ elope 

Yellow files 


o Hill 57, Sister Providencia 
o Hill 57 b/w pictures 
o Hill 57, Tribune news articles 
o Little Shell Chippewa 
o Landless Indian in Montana 
o Historical maps of Montana reservations 
o Map of Rocky Boy 
o Algonquian dialects 
o Chippewa pictures 
o Historical photographs 

o Chippewa Cree History ko-ne-wa-kop 104 year old Cree woman 
o Linderman 
Drawer 3 

• Elementary school folders 
Indian humor #1 

Reason why hell divers have red eyes 
Pis-kwa was made beautiful 

Chippewa-Cree - all things are related 
Cree Indians - The Montana Cree 
The talking stone 
6"' grade poems 
School poems 
Old Indian legend 
Contest entries 

A man names "Who Coughed Beads" 

How Pis-kwa was made beautiful 
Indian humor 
Countj' Fair 
Reservation progress 

Horse stealing story 
Cinderella story - French - Cree 

The second international pow wow - transcribed by Kathy Sutherland 
Cree primers 
Hell divers have red eyes 

Children should know 
Our home the Bear Paws 
What is poverty 

Words of the old people - Walter Denney 
Rocky Boy Reservation 
Poverty on the reservation 
Children literature 

What is the future of education on the reservation 


Teepee-setting up a teepee 


Indian Education - then and now 

Indians acquire own school district 

Little pipe story 

History contest winners 

Love story 

Drawings Indian dress, etc. by Vincent Chief Stick 

Drawings by \'incent Chief Stick 

History contest winners 

Drawings Mike Pullin 

Drawings - John Chief Stick 

Drawings: small animals by Vincent Chief Stick 

Drawings niise 


Draw ings - vegetables and fruits by Vincent Chief Stick 

Draw ing - birds of North America by John and Vincent Chief Stick 

Ready for signature 
Chippewa Cree leaders - Reil 
Chippewa Cree leaders - Pennito 
Chippewa Cree leaders - Little Shell 
Chippewa Cree leaders -Little Poplar 
Chippew a Cree leaders -Laframboise 
Chippew a Cree leaders -Kennewash 
Chippew a Cree leaders -Day Child 
Chippew a Cree leaders - 
Chippew a Cree leaders - 
Copyright issue 
Raymond Gray Papers - Cree 
Printing regulations - For Rocky Boy School 
Big Bear 
New s paper articles of Rocky Boy establishment 

o Thomas H. Carter Papers 

■ 1 909- 1 1 - 1 3 - Havre Plaindealer 

■ 1909-07-26 -Great Falls 

■ 1 909-07-20 - Culbertson citizens to Thomas Carter 
. ] 909-07-3 1 - W. Matthews to Carter 

■ 191 0-0 1 -22 - Havre Plaindealer - Rocky Boy \von"t get lands 

■ 1 909-08- 1 - FS Reed to Sec of Interior 

Report on Rocky Boy progress and letters - Earl NV'oolridge, Superintendent 
1929 - Letters from students to Superintendent Shotwell 
Rocky Boy Reservation Education 
Chippewa Cree History 1908 

o 1 908-02-29 - Samuel Bellow to Comm. Of Indian Affairs 
Chippewa Cree History 1909 

o 1909-10-13 - Armstrong to Comm. Of Indian Affairs 
Chippewa Cree History Crees in Montana before the Rocky Boy Res 

o 1 896-0 1 - 1 9 - Anaconda Standard p7 "l hose Dirt> Crccs" 

o 1887-10-24 - Fort Benton River Press - p. 1 "No Room For The Crees" 


o 1 898-04-29 - Great Falls Tribune - "Crees to Meet Here" 

o 1898-03-19 - Great Falls Tribune "Crees Ask for Help" 

o 1 903-0 1 -03 - Great Falls Tribune "Deporting the Crees" 

o 1 902-05-1 5 - Calgary Herald "Canadian Indians" 

o 1 926-07-05 - The^Butte Miner "Refugee Cree Tribe" 
Chippewa Cree History - Deportation of Crees in 1896 

o 1901-07-15 - W.A. Jones to Sec of Interior 

o 1901-12-20 - Great Falls Tribune "Help for Them on Reservation: 

o 1 896-06- 1 9 - Great Falls Tribune "The Crees are Under Arrest" 

o 1 896-06-1 1 - Great Falls Tribune - "The Cree Situation" 

o 1 896-05-2 1 - GF Trib ""Buffalo Coat Will Resisf " 

o 54"' cong., Sess. 1 ., May 1 3, 1 896. Chap 1 75 - "Act for Deporting Crees" 

o 1 896-06-06 - GF Tribune - "More Facts About the Crees" 
Chippewa Cree History 1911 

o 191 1 -09-01 - Indians of Rocky Boy's Band who have been allotted on 
Blackfeet Res 

o 191 1-12-00 - 2"^ Assist. Comm.. to Na-Tay 

o 1911-01-27- Abbott to Mcfatridge 

o 191 1-02-01 - Mcfatridge to Comm. Of Indian Affairs 

o 1 9 1 1 -02-24 - Abbott to Mcfatridge 

o 191 1-03-04 -Valentine to Dixon 

o 1911 -07- 1 9 - John b. Bottin XXX To Hauke 

o 1911-08-01- Valentine to pray 

o 1911-08-12- Hauke to Cobum 

o 191 1-07-31 - Cobum to Comm. Of Indian Affairs 
Chippewa Cree History 1910 

o 1910-1 2-27 - Mcfatridge to Comm. Of Indian Affairs 

o 191 0-02- 1 2 - Memorandum Office of Indian Affairs 

o 191 0-04- 1 1 - Charies E. Roblin to Comm. Of Indian Affairs 

o 1910-07-21 - Wheat to Comm. Of Indian Affairs 
Chippewa Cree History 1912 

o 1 9 1 2-08-23 - Baker to Hauke 

o 1912-02-02 - Hauke to Mcfatrdige -Mentions na-tay 

o 191 2-02-28 - Mcfatridge to Comm. Of Indian Affairs 

o 191 2-04-05 - E.B. Merrit to 2 Assist Comm. - moving RB to CORiver 

o 191 2-08-09 - Hauke to Baker 

o 1912-08-30 - Baker to Comm. Of Indian Affairs - 1 5pgs 

o 1912-10-11- Baker to Comm. Of Indian Affairs 1 Opgs 
Chippewa Cree History 1913 

o 1913-12-23 - Mcfatrdige to Comm. Of Indian Affairs 

o 1913-12-26 - Little Bear and Peter Kenewash to Sect Lane 

o 1913-12-26 - Little Bear and Peter Kenewash to Sec. Lane 

o 1913-1 1-20 - E.B.B Merit to Mcfatridge 

o 1 91 3-1 1 -20 - Mcfatridge to Comm. Indian Affairs 

o 1913-1 1-21 - Mcfatridge to Comm. Indian Affairs 

o 1913-11-17- Resolution adopted by the city council of Havre, Mt about 
Ft. Assinboine Settlement 

o 1913-1 1-26 - Cato Sells to William H. Bole -Ed. Great Falls Tribune 

o 1913-11-28- Mcfatridge to Comm. Indian Affairs 


o 1913-1 2-0 1 - C.F. Condem Busshe to Sec of Interior - mentions 

o 1913-12-1 1 - Cato Sells to Mcfatridge 

o 1913-1 1-12 -T.J. Walsh to Sec of Interior Lane 

o 1913-1 1-13 - Goss to Sec of Interior Lane 

o 191 3-09-08 - Bole to Sec. Lane 

o 1913-09-20 - Bole to l" Assist. Sec of Interior 

o 1913-09-08 - A. J. Jones l" Assist Sec to James Rolland 

o 1913-09-29 - John Francis Jr. to Comm. Indian Affairs 

o 1913-11-12- Goss to Sec of Interior 

o 1913-01-19 - GF Tribune "Rocky Boy and His People" 
Chippewa Cree History 1914 

o 1914-03-09 -Bole to Cato Sells 

o 191 4-03-24 - Bole to Cato Sells 

o 1915-02-03 -Bole to Cato Sells 

o 191 4-04-24 - Rocky Boy to Comm. Of Indian Affairs 
Chippewa Cree History 1915 

o 191 5-02- 1 - Dept of Interior to Meritt 

o 191 5-06- 1 4 - Livingston to Comm of Indian Affairs 

o 1915-07-10 - Linderman to Sec. Lane 

o 1 91 5-08-29 - Memorandum Office Indian Affairs 

o 1915-06-14 - Little Bear to Comm. Indian Affairs 
Chippewa Cree History 

o 1 908- 1 1 -22 - Rocky Boy to Churchill 

o 1908-10-24 -Rocky Boy to Churchill 
Chippewa Cree history correspondence E.B. Merritt 
Chippewa Cree history correspondence E.B. Merritt 1923 RB Indians 
Rocky Boy Reservation Rocky Boy file - 1953 
Fiats on Rocky Boy's Reservation 

Rocky Boy Reservation Rocky Boy file -1918 
Rocky Boy Reservation Rocky Boy file -1921 
Rocky Boy Reservation Rocky Boy file -1924 
Rock\ Boy Reservation History 

o A plan for our people, anon manuscript 
1930 industry, health and education 
Rocky Boy's and the depression 
1929 - medical and sanitary matters 
1926 - report of Rocky Boy Day School 
1929 - school supplies and salaries 
1928 - construction of school building 
correspondence E.B. Merritt 1929 
correspondence E.B. Merritt 1930 
correspondence E.B. Merritt 1924 
correspondence E.B. Merritt 
correspondence E.B. Merritt " 1932 
correspondence E.B. Merritt 1933 
correspondence E.B. Merrittl934 


Rocky boy reservation superintendents 
Chippewa Cree research evaluation - 1976-77 
Rocky Boy correspondence 

o 191 2-05-24 - Rocky Boy to Linderman 

o 191 3-08-23 - Victor R. Griggs to J. W.Neal 

o 1913-01-20 - Wheat to Comm. Of Indian Affairs 

o 1913-08-09 - Jewell D. Martin to Comm. Of Indian Affairs 

o 1916-03-30 - Linderman to Little Bear and Rocky Boy 

o 1913-08-21 - Fred. C. Morgan to Comm. Indian Affairs 

Early reservation 

Beaver Creek Park files 



Story of hardship of sometimes 

Research stories 


Havre Story by Art Raining Bird 

Art (traditional paint) 

Pembina Band of Indians - Chief Little Shell 

Rocky Boy's Reservation - tentative Rocky Boy census, may 30, 1917 

Malcolm Mitchell 

Original buffalo stories 

Drawer 4 

• All files are stories, organized thematically. Many of these are copies of things 
found in Drawer 2, others are new. Sources include Walter Denny, Art Raining 
Bird, Jim Denny 

o Transportation and communications 

o Relationship and roles 

o Dwelling and homes 

o Food preparation and storage 

o Survival 

o History 

o Sports 

o Customs 

o Arts and crafts 

o Social studies 

o Hunting and methods 

o Music, dress and dance 

o Religion 

o Animal stories, legends, spiritual stories 

Drawer 5 

• Wi-sah-ke-chahk stories 

• Files containing "Chippewa-Cree Bibliography" notes, research and drafts 

Drawer 6 

• "Chippew a-Cree Bibliography" files 


Drawer 7 

• Native newspapers 

Drawer 8 

Copies of "Metis: Canada's forgotten people" by D. Bruce Sealy 

Cowan and songs 

Long George, Francis 

Tayler, James Wickes 

The Battle of Belly River - Crees vs. Blackfeet 

Battle of Belly River 

Files on other tribes 

Rocky Boy - Chippew a leader 

Chief Rocky Boy's briefcase 

Little Bear and Big Bear files 

Fort Assiniboine files 

Random topic files 

In August 2008, Stone Child College sent a formal request to Rocky Boy School 
to obtain copies of everything listed above. In this request we stated that we 
would put these materials in our college library so that our students, faculty, and 
community would have access to them. To date we have not heard back fi-om the 
school as to the status of our request. 

All of the following documents are located in the Stone Child 
College library archive section. 

Rocky Boy Tribal History Project 
Working Bibliography 

Allen. Iris, ed. "A Riel Rebellion Diary." 

Burt. Larry W. "In a Crooked Piece of Time: The Dilemma of the Montana Cree and the 
Melis." Journal oJAnicriccw Culture 9(1) Spring 1986: 45-51. 

Cloud. Henry Roe. "Federal Responsibility and Relief for the Great Falls hidians." 

Cochin, Louis. From I/if Remiscences of Louis Cochin. In Canadian North-West 
Historical Society Publications. 1 (11): 24-72. 

Dempsey. Hugh. "The Last Letters of Rev. George McDougall." 20-30. 

Dempsey. James. "Little Bear's Canadian Band or Americans?" Alberta History Autumn 

Denig. Edwin. "Of the Crees or Knistcncau." In Fire Indians Tribes oj the l^pper 
Missouri. 99-136. 


Dusenberry. Verne. "Waiting for a Day that Never Conies." Montana: The Magazine of 
Western Histoiy. 8(2) April ^958: 26-39. 

"The Rocky Boy Indians: Montana's Displaced Persons. " Montana Heritage Series 3. 
Helena: Montana Historical Society Press, 1-6. 

Ewers, John Canfield. Ethnological Report on the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy 
Resen'ation, Montana and the Little Shell Band of Indians. 

Fraser, W.B. "Big Bear. Indian Patriot." 1-13. 

Hawley, Pete. "The Life of Pete Hawley (as told to Lee Micklin)." 

Irvine, A.G. "A Parley with Big Bear." Alberta Historical Review 11 (4): 19. 

Lafromboise, Josephine. Personal Interview. Interviewed by Bob McDonald. 8 June 

Rocky Boy Business Committee. Resolution. 6 Feb. 1936. 
—Meeting Minutes. Regular Meetings. 30 July 1941. 

Tobias. John L. "Canada's Subjugation of the Plains Cree. 1879-1885." Canadian 
Historical Review 64(4) December 1983: 519-548. 

Vanstone, James. Simms Collection of Plains Cree Material Culture. Field Museum. 
"Senator Joseph M. Dixon and Rocky Boy A Documentary Postscript." By Jules 
Alexander Karlin article ti-om Canadian Historical Review. 

Adoptees 1946-1947 

S.3646 (A Bill in the US Senate January 18, 1916) 

"Vem Dunseburry Papers 1927-1966. Find Aid from the MSU Libraries. 

Selected Articles on Frog Lake and Reil Rebellion from the Nor" Western: Centennial 
Edition H.R. 8899 concerning acquisition of lands for RB 1932 

Shirt Family History from Pam Piche 

Photo from Bill Morsette (Duck Creek?) 

Martha Edgerton Plassman Paper 

Stone Child College - Library Chippewa Cree Additional Materials 

Dusenberry , Vem. The Montana Cree- A Study in Religious Persistence. 

Denny , Walter. Stories by Walter Denny. 

Bryan, Jr., L. Montana Indians: Yesterday and Today. 


Ellis, Douglas. Spoken Cree. 

Tabajimo: Teacher Guide to Cree Folklore. 

MT Advisory Council for Indian Education. Directory of Indian Education Programs in 

MT Office of Public Instruction. Montana Institute for Effective Teaching of American 
Indian Children. 

Miller, J.R. Big Bear: A Biography. 

Rocky Boy School Students, Poetry: Rocky Boy School. 

Raining Bird, Art. Wi-Sah-Ke-Chak and the Bear. 

Stein. Wayne J. Windy Man. 

Tribal Resource. Alphabet. 

Rocky Boy Schools. First Grade Cree and Kindergarten. 

Unknown Author. Big Bear"s Cree. 

Tribal Resource. Common Plants of Rocky Boy. 

Rocky Boy School. Raining Bird-Mystic, Philosopher Friend. 

Tribal Resource. Family History. 

Tobias. John L. Canada's Subjugation of the Plains Cree 1879-1885. 

Murray, Stanley N. The Turtle Mountain Chippewa 1882-1905. 

Unknown Author. Canadianization of the Cree, 1970 to Riel Rebellion. 

Unity of Nation. Metis Celebration and Conference. 

Davis, Elizabeth. Early Reservation History. 

Tribal Resource. History of the Chippewa Cree. 

Tribal Resource. Tribal Plants. 

Tribal Resource. Kennawash Photo. 

Tribal Resource. Tribal Map. 

Tribal Resource. A Tribal Background. 


us Census Bureau. 1990 Census of Rocky Boy Reservation. 

McLaughlin. 1917 Tribal Census. 

Denny, Walter. Chippewa Cree of Rocky Boy's Reservation. 

MT Office of Public Instruction. Montana Indians - Their History and Location. 

Blue Quill. Cree Stories. 

Brendtro, Larry. The Circle of Courage. 

Tribal Resource. The Two Horse. 

Tribal Resource. Pwah-nes Learns from Father. 

Hunter, Emily. Seek a Word in Cree Student's Handbook. 

MT Office of Public Instruction. American Indian Resource Manual. 

Tribal Resource. Overall Economic Development Plan. 

Indian Education Act. Integration of Knowledge. 

Denny, Walter. The Weasel. 

Raining Bird, Art. Buffalo Hunt. 

Small, Joe. Joke Book. 

Blue Quill. Cree Words. 

Rocky Boy Schools. Cree Writing Program. 

Denny, Walter. Bird Stories. 

Raining Bird, Art. The Assiniboine and the Sundance. 

Raining Bird, Art. Poor Coyote. 

Blue Quill. Stories in Cree. 

Denny, Walter. The Eagle. 

Tribal Resource. A Little Boy Story. 

Denny, Walter. An Ant Story From Long Ago. 

Tribal Resource. The Little Fibbing Indian Shepherd. 


Denny. Walter. The Butterfly Story. 

Denny. Walter. Why the Bat has no Feathers. 

Denny. Walter. How the Turtle got it"s Shell. 

Raining Bird. Art. How Our Ancestors Used the Buffalo. 

Raining Bird. Art. Stories of Our Ancestors 

Tribal Resource. Animals. 

Small, .loe. What's the Meaning of This. 

Tribal Resource. Wi Sah Ke Chah k and the Weasel. 

Rocky Boy Schools. 10 Animal Stories. 

Rocky Boy Schools. Stories of the Stars. 

Raining Bird, Art. Wi-Sahke_chah_k and the Closing Eyes Dance. 

Hunter. Emily. .Ioe"s Stoiy. 

Hunter. Emily. Cree Language Book. 

US Government. Corporate Charter of the Rocky Boy Tribe. 

Unknown Author. The Struggle Toward Civilization and Self Support. 

Cameron, William. The War Trail of Big Bear. 

Tribal Resource. Chippewa Cree Law and Order Code. 

Presnel, MS. Historical Demography of Rocky Boy Reservation. 

Eder. Jeanne. Chief Little Shell's Tribe of Landless Chippewa Indians. 

Fine Day. My Cree People. 

Dempsey, Hugh. Big Bear the Man and His Mission. 

River, Celeste. A Mountain in his Memory. 

US Bureau of Mines. Field Inventory of Mineral Resources on Rocky Boy. 

Densmore. Chippewa Customs. 

Unknown Author. 1980 Profile of Montana Native Americans. 


Unknown Author. I inding a I Ionic for Rock\ Bo>"s Indians. 

Ingram. Shirley. Integrating the Cree Culture into the Schools. 

Denny, Walter. Stones of the Old Ones. 

Rock) Boy Schools. The Cree Indians. 

Denny. Walter. Praver for Toda\ and E\ eryday. 

Tribal Resources. Chippewa Cree Election Ordinance. 

Morsette. Nadine. Cree Writing. 

Cloud. Edna. North .Xnicrican Cree Dictionary. 

Gourneau. Pat. Histt)r> of the Tuille Mountain band of Chippeuas 

Sleeker. Soma. The Chippewa Indians. 

Hilger. Inez. Chippewa Child Life. 

Whitecalf. Sarah. The Cree Language and Our Identitw 

Vizenor. Gerald. The People Named the Chippewa. 

Eklund. Coy. Chippewa Language Book. 

Ahenakew . Alice. Cree Tales og Curing and Cursmg. 

Dempsey. Hugh. Big Bear the End of Freedom. 

Ahenakew. Edward. \'oices of the Plains Cree. 

Mendelbaum. Da\id. The Plains Cree. 

Hickerson. Harold. The Chippewa and Their Neighbors. 

Flanagan. Thomas. Riel and the Rebellion. 

Wiebe. Rud\. The Temptations of Big Bear. 

Nault. Fred. Fred Nault: Montana Metis. 

Micklin. Lee. Born Cree. 

Rock\ Boy Schools. Chippewa and Cree.