Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation (Montana)
- Established -- 1916
- Agency (BIA) -- Rocky Boy's Indian Agency located at Box Elder, Montana
- Principal tribe -- Chippewa-Cree, Assiniboine, Blackfeet Indians including the Gros Ventre, Flathead Indians, Kalispel Indians, Nez Perce Indians,Pend d'Oreille Indians, and Spokane Indians.
- Population -- 2010 census is 3,221 This number does not include non- Indians. In 2005, it was estimated that Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation had 5,656 citizens. Most live on Reservation.
On September 17, 1851 the territory of the Blackfeet Indians was defined then approved on October 17, 1855 near the mouth of the Judith River. The correct name of the original Blackfeet Reservation, is the Judith River Indian Reservation.
After the 1876-1877 Black Hills War and Nez Perce War, and the exodus that followed, many Chippewas acted on their own and signed treaty with the United States. On January 31, 1874, the United States set aside the Judith Basin Reservation. It was located about 30 miles east of Great Falls, Montana and extended east of Lewistown, Montana. This is where many Little Shell Chippewas lived.It bordered the Fort Assiniboine Military Reservation which shows up on 1880s maps as the Fort Assiniboine Indian Reservation.
Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation was established in 1879, when Fort Assiniboine Indian Reservation was established. The United States may have used it as a POW Camp first then made it a Reservation soon after. It originally covered over 1,000 sq. mi. On the extreme southern border was the Chippewa Judith Basin Reservation.
After chief Rocky Boy died in April of 1916, the United States reduced the reservation's land mass from over 1,000 sq. mi. to under 100 sq. mi. The reduced Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation was confined to the Bear Paw Mountains, excepting the area around Box Elder. The United States changed the name from Fort Assiniboine Indian Reservation to Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation.
Soon after the Reservation was dramatically reduced in size, 100s of Chippewas were removed from Reservation rolls and relocated to the Papago Indian Reservationof Arizona and the Navajo Indian Reservation (Arizona). Many also moved to Hill 57near Great Falls, Montana. Rocky Boy's Reservation is within the original Blackfeet Reservation which was created on September 17, 1851 and approved on October 17, 1855. The Little Shell Blackfeet Chippewas continued to govern the original Blackfeet Reservation which was created on September 17, 1851, well into the 20th century.
In 1921, a meeting was held on Joseph Paul's family's ranch near Lewistown, Montana. It was probably about filing a land claims lawsuit about the original Blackfeet Reservation. On June 10, 1939, another meeting was held at Joseph Paul's home in Great Falls, Montana. Even in 1939, they assigned 9 district representatives for the original Blackfeet Reservation. After World War II, many of the Little Shell Chippewa leaders gave up. Joseph Dussome hired a lawyer in 1950 and filed a land claims lawsuit in 1951.
To learn more about the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana and how they governed their original Blackfeet Reservation, click www.indianaffairs.gov/cs/groups/xofa/documents/text/idc-001419.pdf this link. On page 119 (not on the adobe acrobat reader but on the pdf book pages) is the information about the June 10, 1939 meeting at Joseph Paul's home in Great Falls, Montana.
On page 92, under "The Creation of Organizations in Montana, 1920-1936," is information about the first Little Shell Tribe organization in Montana. Howard Paul (Joseph Paul's son) preserved the information. The meeting was held at Joseph Paul's family's ranch near Lewistown, Montana in 1921. Click memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/S this link, to read the September 17, 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty which created and defined the Blackfeet Territory which is the original Blackfeet Reservation.
Little Shell Chippewa leaders have every right to claim the Assiniboine Territory (it has the number 300) and the territory of the Crow (it has the number 517 and yellow color and extends to Wyoming). No Crow Reservation (the Crow Reservation is really a Cheyenne Chippewa Reservation) is found anywhere in the land area in Montana and Wyoming with the yellow color and number 517. The treaty of October 20, 1875 did not add land to the Crow Reservation. It established a Reservation for the Cheyenne Chippewa's. Click memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D this link, to read the October 20, 1875 Treaty. On the bottom of the page click the Montana 2 link. You will notice the Northern Cheyenne Reservation bordering the Crow Reservation on the east, and the Northern Cheyenne Reservation (it has the number 585) bordering the Crow Reservation on the north. However, the Arapaho (the Southern Cheyenne) Wind River Reservation and Northern Cheyenne Reservation, are within the land area in Montana and Wyoming, with the yellow color and number 517. Both the Arapaho and Cheyenne are really Chippewa.
Agency: 2010 population is 355. Indians make up 94% of the population of Agency which also goes by Rocky Boy's Agency. It covers 8.59 sq. mi.
Azure: 2010 population is 286. Indians make up 97% of the population of Azure. It covers 4.50 sq. mi.
Boneau: 2010 population is 380. Indians make up 98% of the population of Boneau. It covers 2.45 sq. mi.
Box Elder: 2010 population is 87. Indians make up 57% of the population of Box Elder. It covers 0.79 sq. mi. The Little Shell Blackfeet Chippewa's had a minor district at Box Elder. In 1939, the Box Elder district representative was Joseph Dussome.
East Box Elder: 2010 population is included with that of Rocky Boy West. East Box Elder is located a quarter of a mile east of Box Elder and 1 mile north of Rocky Boy West. There may be up to 200 or more people living at East Box Elder.
Parker School: 2010 population is 340. Indians make up 99% of the population of Parker School. It covers 7.38 sq. mi.
Rocky Boy West: 2010 population is 890. Indians make up 97% of the population of Rocky Boy West. It is located a couple of miles southeast of Box Elder. It is a newer Rocky Boy's Reservation community. It was built some time after 1991. It covers 5.45 sq. mi.
Saint Pierre: 2010 population is 350. Indians make up 99% of the population of Saint Pierre. It covers 8.07 sq. mi.
Sangrey: 2010 population is 306. Indians make up 98% of the population of Sangrey. It covers 6.34 sq. mi.
West Boneau: 2010 population is included with that of Boneau. West Boneau is located about 3 miles west of Boneau. It is a new Rocky Boy's Reservation community. It was built in either 2004 or 2005.
Though Rocky Boy's Reservation was not established until 1916, it has a larger population than the nearby Fort Belknap Reservation. The larger population at Rocky Boy's Reservation can be attributed to certain events in the past and the determination of the leaders of Rocky Boy's Reservation to keep their citizens within their domain. Joseph Dussome and other Chippewa leaders, helped to get land added on to Rocky Boy's Reservation during the early and mid 20th century. They did likewise for Fort Belknap Reservation. Fort Belknap Reservation should include Dodson, Harlem, and Zortman as their communities. There are up to 1,000 Indians who are citizens of Fort Belknap Reservation, who live a short distance from Fort Belknap Reservation. Including their populations, the Fort Belknap Reservation population is closer to 4,000.
The majority of records of individuals were those created by the agencies. Some records may be available to tribal members through the tribal headquarters.They were (and are) the local office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and were charged with maintaining records of the activities of those under their responsibility. Among these records are:
- Allotment records
- Annuity rolls
- Census records
- Health records
- School census and records
- Vital records
Many of the records of individual Indians living on the Rocky Boy's Reservation were kept by the Rocky Boy's Agency of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Others are kept by the Tribal Office.
- Chippewa Indians
- Judith Basin Indian Reservation
- Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation (North Dakota)
- Indians of Montana
- Papago Reservation, Arizona
- Indians of Arizona
- Little Shell Band of Chippewa Indians, Montana
- Fort Peck Indian Reservation (Montana)
- Navajo Nation, Arizona (Reservation)
- 1880s Map of Fort Assiniboine Indian Reservation - anishinabe-history.com/fort-assiniboinetwo.jpeg
- American Memory Indian Land Cessions in the United States, 1784 to 1894]
- American Memory Indian Land Cessions in the United States, 1784 to 1894
- Confederation of American Indians. Indian Reservations: A State and Federal Handbook. Jefferson, North Caroline: McFarland & Co., c1986. WorldCat 14098308; FHL book 970.1 In2.
- Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin #30, 1906. This publication lists the 22 states which had reservations in 1908. Available online.
- Kappler, Charles J. Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1902. 7 volumes. WorldCat 74490963; FHL book 970.1 K142i. Available online.
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- Prucha, Francis Paul. Guide to the Military Posts of the United States, 1789-1895. Madison, Wisconsin: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, c1964. WorldCat 522839; FHL book 973 M2pf.
- Schmeckebier, Laurance F. The Office of Indian Affairs: Its History, Activities, and Organization. Service Monographs of the United States Government; no. 48. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1927. Reprint. New York: AMS Press, 1972. WorldCat 257893; FHL book 973 B4b v. 48.
- Sturtevant, William C. Handbook of North American Indians. 20 vols., some not yet published. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978– .
- Volume 1 -- Not yet published
- Volume 2 -- Indians in Contemporary Society (pub. 2008) -- WorldCat 234303751
- Volume 3 -- Environment, Origins, and Population (pub. 2006) -- WorldCat 255572371
- Volume 4 -- History of Indian-White Relations (pub. 1988) -- WorldCat 19331914; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.4.
- Volume 5 -- Arctic (pub. 1984) -- WorldCat 299653808; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.5.
- Volume 6 -- Subarctic (pub. 1981) -- WorldCat 247493742; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.6.
- Volume 7 -- Northwest Coast (pub. 1990) -- WorldCat 247493311
- Volume 8 -- California (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 13240086; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.8.
- Volume 9 -- Southwest (pub. 1979) -- WorldCat 26140053; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.9.
- Volume 10 -- Southwest (pub. 1983) -- WorldCat 301504096; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.10.
- Volume 11 -- Great Basin (pub. 1986) -- WorldCat 256516416; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.11.
- Volume 12 -- Plateau (pub. 1998) -- WorldCat 39401371; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.12.
- Volume 13 -- Plains, 2 vols. (pub. 2001) -- WorldCat 48209643
- Volume 14 -- Southeast (pub. 2004) -- WorldCat 254277176
- Volume 15 -- Northwest (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 356517503; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.15.
- Volume 16 -- Not yet published
- Volume 17 -- Languages (pub. 1996) -- WorldCat 43957746
- Volume 18 -- Not yet published
- Volume 19 -- Not yet published
- Volume 20 -- Not yet published
- Tiller, Veronica E. Velarde. American Indian Reservations and Trust Areas. [Washington, DC]: Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1996. WorldCat 35209517; FHL book 970.1 T463a.
- United States Department of Commerce, Frederick B. Dent, Secretary. Federal and State Reservations and Trust Areas. 1974. FHL book 970.1 Un3fe/1974.
- United States Department of the Interior. Executive Orders Relating to Indian Reservations. Washington: [United States] Government Printing Office, 1912 (v. 1), 1922 (v. 2). Vol. 1 – May 14, 1855 to July 1, 1912. Vol. 2 – July 1, 1912 to July 1, 1922. FHL film 1440543 Items 8-9.
- United States Federal and State Indian Reservations, Map. Available online.
- Waldman, Carl. Atlas of the North American Indian. New York: Facts on File, 2009. 3rd ed. WorldCat 244771132; FHL book 970.1 W146a 2009.
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- 1901 Indian populations on Indian Reservations under certain Indian Agencies. digital.library.okstate.edu/KAPPLER/Vol1/HTML_files/APP1027.html
- Indian populations on Indian Reservations in 1930. Statistics were for the Indian Reorganization Act. www.doi.gov/library/internet/subject/upload/Haas-TenYears.pdf