Difference between revisions of "Gros Ventre Indians"

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The following agencies of the Bureau of Indian Affairs had responsibility for the Grosventre Indians:  
The following agencies of the Bureau of Indian Affairs had responsibility for the Grosventre Indians:  
*[[Upper_Missouri_Indian_Agency|Upper Missouri Agency]], 1819-1864
*[[Upper Missouri Indian Agency|Upper Missouri Agency]], 1819-1855
*[[Blackfeet Indian Agency (Montana)|Blackfeet Agency]], 1855-1864  
*[[Fort Berthold Indian Agency (North Dakota)|Fort Berthold Agency]], 1864-1870  
*[[Fort Berthold Indian Agency (North Dakota)|Fort Berthold Agency]], 1864-1870  
*[[Fort_Peck_Indian_Agency_(Montana)|Fort Peck Agency]] (called Milk River Agency from 1870-1873), 1870-1873, 1876-1878
*[[Fort Peck Indian Agency (Montana)|Fort Peck Agency]] (called Milk River Agency from 1870-1873), 1870-1873, 1876-1878  
*[[Blackfeet Indian Agency (Montana)|Blackfeet Agency]]
*[[Fort Belknap Indian Agency (Montana)|Fort Belknap Agency]], 1873-1876, 1878-present<br>
*[[Fort Belknap Indian Agency (Montana)|Fort Belknap Agency]], 1873-1876, 1878-present<br>

Revision as of 16:44, 8 April 2010

Indians of Montana > Grosventre Indians

Alternate Names: A-A-Ni-Nin, Gros Ventre, Gros Ventres

{{#if: Arapaho, Cree, Assiniboin|
Gros Ventre Indian- Assiniboin Boy byEdward S Curtis Collection People.jpg
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Regions with significant populations
Ancestral Homelands: Milk River branch of the Missouri River in northern Montana; they also migrated into Saskatchewan

Fort Belknap Reservation in Montana.


Federally recognized

Linguistic Group


Cultural Group


Other Related Ethnic Groups

Arapaho, Cree, Assiniboin


The Grosventre separated from the Arapaho in the mid 1650's. Part of the tribe went to Canada and settled new Eagle Hills.

The tribe had early trade relations with the Cree Indians. The earliest recorded contact with non-Indians occurred in 1754.

In the 1780's and 1790 the tribe migrated to the Upper Missouri River. In so doing they encroached on the Crow Indians and came into conflict with the Cree and Assiniboin. They sought alliance with the Blackfeet Indians. The inter-tribal conflict led to 400 Grosventre Indians being killed by the Cree and Assiniboin in 1835 at Sweetgrass Hill.

A Treaty was signed in 1855 with the U.S. Government, at the mouth of Judith River, in the Territory of Nebraska, with the Grosventres, Blackfoot, Piegan, Blood, Flathead, and Nez Perce, which established a common hunting ground.

In the 1860s, inter-tribal conflicts caused war, and the tribe joined forces with the Crow to defeat the Blackfeet, who were once their allies. The tribe suffered a major loss to the Piegan Indians.

Fort Belknap was built about 1871 to provide a place for the Grosventres to receive their annuities and other supplies. While it was discontinued for two years from 1876 to 1878, it was re-established in the latter year.

St. Paul's (Catholic) Mission was established in 1887.

In 1888, the Fort Belknap Reservation was established and the Grosventre Tribe was placed on it, along with some of the Assiniboin.

The Grosventres adopted their By-Laws in June 1936 as part of the Three Affiliated Tribes, under the Indian Reorganization Act.

Brief Timeline

  • 1650: the Grosventre separated from the Arapaho and moved northwest, to Eagle Hills in Saskatchewan, Canada
  • 1700: traded with the Cree
  • 1780: smallpox epidemic
  • 1780: migrated south to Upper Missouri River; by doing so they encroached on the Crow. Sought alliance with the Blackfeet.
  • 1790: tribal problems with the Cree and Assiniboin
  • 1835: 400 Grosventre killed by Cree and Assiniboin at Sweetgrass Hill
  • 1851: Treaty
  • 1855: Treaty
  • 1866: Treaty
  • 1867: suffered a major losses by Piegan
  • 1888: placed on the Fort Belknap Reservation in northern Montana; the Assiniboin also came to the Fort Belknap Reservation.
  • 1896: The Grosventre and Assiniboin coerced to sell land by government (gold had been discovered in area known as Little Rockies.)


The primary reservation for the Grosventre Indians is the Fort Belknap Reservation, which they share with the Assiniboin.

Additional References to the History of the Tribe and/or Band

Tribal Headquarters

Fort Belknap Indian Community
RR1, Box 66
101 Tribal Way
Harlem, MT 59526
Phone: (406) 353-2205
Fax: (406) 353-4541
Official Website: www.ftbelknap-nsn.gov



The following agencies of the Bureau of Indian Affairs had responsibility for the Grosventre Indians:

Census Records

Agency Location of Original Records

Post-1885 Census

M595 RG 75 Rolls 693

Roll Numbers


Film Numbers

Blackfeet Agency, 1875-1952 Seattle - -
Fort Belknap, 1885-1939 Seattle 126-31 576481-486

Correspondence Records

Agency Location of Original Records


M234 RG 75 Rolls 962

Roll Numbers




Upper Missouri, 1824-66 Washington D.C. 883-88 -
Montana Superintendency 1864-80 Washington D.C. 88-518 -
Fort Berthold, 1867-80 Denver, Kansas City, Seattle 292-99 -


  •  1851  September 17, Fort Laramie in Indian Territory, with Sioux, Grosventre, Assiniboin, Blackfeet, Crow, Dakota, Cheyenne, Arapho Manda
  •  1855  October 17, with the Blackfeet
  •  1866  July 27, Agreement at Fort Berthold-unratified

Vital Records

  • Fort Belknap,  M595, birth and deaths, early - 1935, FHL Film: 576485 and births and deaths, 1936-1939, FHL Film: 576486
  • Fort Berthold,  M595, births and deaths, 1926-1932, FHL Film: 576490 and births and deaths,1936-1939, FHL film: 576491

Important Web Sites





  • Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives; Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  • Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1906 Available online.
  • Klein, Barry T., ed. Reference Encyclopedia of the American Indian. Nyack, New York: Todd Publications, 2009. 10th ed. WorldCat 317923332; FHL book 970.1 R259e.
  • Malinowski, Sharon and Sheets, Anna, eds. The Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes. Detroit: Gale Publishing, 1998. 4 volumes. Includes: Lists of Federally Recognized Tribes for U.S., Alaska, and Canada – pp. 513-529 Alphabetical Listing of Tribes, with reference to volume and page in this series Map of “Historic Locations of U.S. Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Canadian Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Mexican, Hawaiian and Caribbean Native Groups” Maps of “State and Federally Recognized U.S. Indian Reservations. WorldCat 37475188; FHL book 970.1 G131g.
Vol. 1 -- Northeast, Southeast, Caribbean
Vol. 2 -- Great Basin, Southwest, Middle America
Vol. 3 -- Arctic, Subarctic, Great Plains, Plateau
Vol. 4 -- California, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Islands
  • 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