Blackfeet Indian Agency (Montana)

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The Blackfeet Indian Agency, located in Browning, Montana is the administrative office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs on the Blackfeet Reservation.

History

The Blackfeet Agency was established in 1855 at Fort Benton, Montana. At its creation, it was under the Central Superintendency. It had jurisdiction over Blackfeet (Siksika), Piegan, Blood (Kainah), and Grosventre Indians.

1861Claimed by both the Central and the new Dakota Superintendency
1862 Assigned to Dakota Superintendency
1863 Assigned to the new Idaho Superintendency
1864 Assigned to the new Montana Superintendency

In 1869, a new Blackfeet Agency was built on the Teton River about 35 miles from Fort Shaw, Montana. In 1870, the Milk River (later Fort Peck) Agency was created for the Grosventre Indians. In 1876 the Agency was moved to Badger Creek and in 1879 to another location on Badger Creek.

Records

Letters received by the Office of Indian Affairs from the Blackfeet Agency, 1855-1869, have been microfilmed by the National Archives as part of their Microcopy Number M234. Copies are available at the National Archives and at the Family History Library and its family history centers on their microfilm roll number 1660760.

Many of the historical records of this agency are housed in the Rocky Mountain Regional Archives of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Denver, Colorado. Records in that collection which may be of assistance to the genealogist include:

  • Vital records, including list of Indian lodges, ca. 1877-78
  • Census records, 1895-1908
  • Marriage records, 1894-1915
  • "Registers of Indians by Families," 1901-04
  • Records of births and deaths, 1902-17
  • Family histories, 1908
  • Census rolls and related records, 1891-1947
  • Supplementary census rolls, 1923-42
  • Census record cards, 1925- 51.

Many other historical records are also included in the agency records.

References

  • American Indians: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington DC: National Archives Trust Fund Board, National Archives and Records Administration, 1998.
  • Hill, Edward E. (comp.). Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1981.
  • Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. New York, New York: Clearwater Publishing Company, Inc., 1974.
  • Historical Sketches for Jurisdictional and Subject Headings Used for the Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880. National Archives Microcopy T1105.
  • Preliminary Inventory No. 163: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Services.