Indians of Montana > Salish Indians
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| Ancestral Homelands: |
not yet researched
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Alternate Names and Spellings:
- 1 History
- 2 Tribal Headquarters
- 3 Records
- 4 Important Web Sites
- 5 References
- 6 Bibliography
-- Brief History of the Tribe --
- 1700s and 1800s: Living in Canada
- 1837, 1845, 1857, 1869-70: Smallpox epidemics
- Prior to 1850: moved west and south to the Rocky Mountains and the Missouri River areas
- They raided the camps of the Crow, Assiniboin, Cree, Kutenai, Kalispel (or Pend d'Oreille) and Flathead in search of horses
- 1855: Treaty (Lame Bull's Treaty)
- 1865: Treaty at Fort Sully involving the Blackfeet Band of Sioux, often mistaken for the Blackfeet Tribe
- 1870: Colonel E. M. Baker attacked the Blackfeet winter camp on the Marias River in Montana, killing 173 men, women and children and taking more that 140 prisoners.
- 1877: ceded land in Canada
- 1880s: settled on reservations in the United States and Canada
- 1886: ceded land
- 1888: gathered to Blackfeet Reservation
- 1895: ceded land
- 1907-1911: land on the Blackfeet Reservation was allotted to individual members of the tribe
- 1935: Adopted Constitution and By-Laws
Additional References to the History of the Tribe
- Frederick Webb Hodge, in his Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, gave a more complete history of the Blackfeet tribe, with estimations of the population of the tribe at various time periods.
- For additional history of the tribe, read more....
- For a history of the Blackfeet, told from their own perspective, see their history from the tribal website.
The following agencies of the Bureau of Indian Affairs had jurisdiction over the Blackfeet for the time periods indicated. BIA agencies were responsible to keep such records as census rolls, allotment (land) records, annuity rolls, school records, correspondence, and other records of individual Indians under their jurisdiction. For details, see the page for the respective agency.
The agencies which had jurisdiction over a major portion of the Salish in the United States were:
Census (a specific type of record kept by the BIA Agencies)
The Bureau of Indian Affairs compiled annual Indian Census Rolls on many of the reservations from 1885 to 1940. They list the names of individuals, their age, and other details about each person enumerated. For more information about these records, click here.
The following table lists the census rolls for the Blackfeet Indians:
|Agency||Location of Original Records||
Post- 1885 Census
|Blackfeet Agency, 1890-1939||National Archives in Washington D.C.||Rolls 3-11||573849-573857|
There are several sets of correspondence between the supervising offices of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the local offices -- agencies, subagencies, etc. The correspondence is often historical in nature, including reports of the conditions among local groups of Indians, hostilities, plans for building facilities, activities of traders or missionaries, etc. Occasionally, there will be names of individuals but little detail about them. For more information about American Indian correspondence, click here.
The following table lists some of the correspondence records relating to the Blackfeet Indians:
|BIA Field Office||Location of Original Records||
|Upper Missouri Agency, 1824-1874||National Archives in Washington D.C.||Rolls 883-888||1661613-1661618|
|Upper Platte, 1846-1870||National Archives in Washington D.C.||Rolls 889-896||1661619-1661626|
|Blackfeet Agency, 1855-1869||National Archives in Washington D.C.||Roll 30||1660760|
| Montana Superintendency, 1864-1880
||National Archives in Washington D.C. and Kansas City Regional Archives of NARA||Rolls 488-518||1661218-1661248|
Some correspondence for the following field offices may be included in the records of those offices preserved in the research facilities indicated.
|BIA Field Office||Location of Original Records|| General Agency Records
|Cheyenne River/Standing Rock, 1862-1957|| Washington D.C. and Kansas City Regional Archives of NARA
|Blackfeet Agency, 1873-1927|| Washington D. C. and Denver Regional Archives of NARA
|Blackfeet Agency, 1875-1952|| Washington D.C. and Seattle Regional Archives of NARA
During the latter part of the 18th Century and most of the 19th Century, treaties were negotiated between the federal government and individual Indian tribes. The treaties provide helpful information about the history of the tribe, but usually only include the names of those persons who signed the treaty. For more information about treaties, click here.
Treaties to which the Blackfeet Indians were a part were:
- September 17, 1851, referred to in treaty, at Fort Laramie
- 1855 October 17,
- 1865 October 19, at Fort Sully -- this treaty was with the Blackfeet band of Sioux Indians, not the Blackfeet Tribe. They are two different entities or groups.
- April 29, 1868, at Fort Laramie
Tribal Office Records
The Tribal Office is responsible for enrollment records, vital records, tribal police records, tribal court records, employment records and many others. They are an entirely different set of records from those kept by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Most of them remain in the Tribal Office. For details, contact that office at the address for the Tribal Headquarters listed above.
Prior to the Indian Reorganization Act, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, through their agencies, may have recorded some vital events. Some were recorded on health forms, such as the "Sanitary Record of Sick, Injured, Births, Deaths, etc." Others were recorded as supplements to the "Indian Census Rolls." Some were included in the unindexed reports and other correspondence of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Some vital records for the Blackfeet Indians include:
- Blackfeet Agency, M595, Births and Deaths 1924-1932, FHL Film: 573855 and 573856; 1916-1938, FHL film: 573857
Important Web Sites
- Official Web Site of the Blackfeet Indians of Montana
- History of the Blackfeet from Frederick Webb Hodge's Indians of North America...
- Constitution and By-laws for the Blackfeet Tribe of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation of Montana, adopted in 1935 and subsequently amended.
- State Office of Indian Affairs website regarding the Blackfeet Indians
- Blackfoot Indians Wikipedia
- Genealogy website for the Blackfoot Indians
- Frederick Webb Hodge. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1906.
- DeMarce, Roxanne. Blackfeet Heritage, 1907-1908; Blackfeet Indian Reservation, Browning, Montana. Browning, Montana: Blackfeet Heritage Program, . FHL book 970.3 Si29b.
- Gilham, Robert C. (comp.) Blackfeet Nation Family History: A Compilation of Records of Members of the Blackfeet Nation and Some Non-Indian Relatives. Riverton, Utah: R.C. Gilham, [199-?]. 4 volumes. (All on FH film 2056034)
- Vol. 1 -- Joseph to Double Blaze, George
- Vol. 2 -- Double Blaze, Hamilton to Little Dog, Maggie
- Vol. 3 -- Little Dog, Mary to Running
- Vol. 4 -- Running After Buffalo to Ziegler
- 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 970.1 R259e; WorldCat 37475188; 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