Blackfeet Indian Reservation

The Blackfeet Indian Reservation or Blackfeet Nation is an Indian reservation of the Blackfeet tribe in Montana in the United States. It is located east of Glacier National Park and borders Canada to the north. Cut Bank Creek and Birch Creek make up part of its eastern and southern borders. The reservation contains 3,000 square miles, half again the size of the national park and larger than the size of the state of Delaware. It is located in parts of Glacier and Pondera Counties.

Elevations in the reservation range from a low of 3,400 feet to a high of 9,066 feet at Chief Mountain. Adjacent mountains include Ninaki Mountain and Papoose. The eastern part of the reservation is mostly open hills of grassland while a narrow strip along the western edge is covered by forests of fir and spruce. Free-ranging cattle are present in several areas, sometimes including on roadways.
Several waterways drain the area with the largest being the St. Mary River, Two Medicine River, Milk River, Birch Creek and Cut Bank Creek. There are 175 miles of streams and eight major lakes on the reservation.

The 2000 census reported a population of 10,100 living on the reservation lands. The population density is 4.26 people per square mile. The Blackfeet Nation has 16,500 registered members. The main community is Browning which is the seat of tribal government. Other towns serve the tourist economy along the edge of the park: St. Mary and East Glacier Park which has an Amtrak station and the historic Glacier Park Lodge. Small communities include Babb, Kiowa, Blackfoot, Seville, Heart Butte, Star School, and Glacier Homes. North American Indian Days is an annual festival held on pow-wow grounds near the Museum of the Plains Indianin Browning. Not on the reservation, but adjacent to its eastern edge, is the city of Cut Bank.
As on other American reservations, the tribe runs local government and provides most services including courts, child welfare, employment assistance, wildlife management, health care, education, land management, senior services as well as garbage collection and water systems. The native police were replaced by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs in 2003 because of problems in the local force.

The reservation includes several types of land use. Of the total 1,462,640 acres, 650,558 acres are held in trust for enrolled tribal members, 311,324 acres are held directly by the tribe, 8,292 acres are Government Reserve, mostly irrigation projects and the Cut Bank Boarding School Reserve. The remaining 529,826 acres are Fee land which is taxable and may be privately owned by the tribe, tribe members or non-tribe members.
The tribe leases land for homes, farms, grazing, and commercial uses. Leases must always be offered to tribe members first before non-members. The tribe also has the right of first refusal; all private land offered for sale must be offered to the tribe first. If they decline to purchase it a waiver is granted.

Unemployment runs very high on the reservation. In 2001, the BIA reported 69% unemployment among registered members of the tribe. Among those who were employed that year, 26% earned less than the poverty guideline. The Blackfeet tribal business council is chaired by Willie Sharp.

The major income source of the reservation is oil and natural gas leases on the oil fields on tribal lands. In 1982, there were 643 producing oil wells and 47 producing gas wells. The reservation also has a significant tourist industry. Other economic activities include ranching and a small timber industry which supported the Blackfeet Indian Writing Company pencil factory in Browning.

There are no paved north-south roads in Glacier National Park, access to sites on the east side of the park is provided by US 89 which runs through the reservation to the Canadian border crossing near Chief Mountainwhich provides access to the Canadian sister park, Waterton Lakes National Park. Both east-west routes for the park travel through the reservation as does passenger train service. Several hiking trails continue out of the park across the reservation and require Blackfeet-issued permits.

Wildfire firefighting is a major seasonal income source. In 2000, some 1,000 Blackfeet worked as firefighters including the elite Chief Mountain Hotshots team. Firefighting income brought in $6.1 million that year. However, this income is highly variable depending on the severity of the wildfire season.

Update —May 5, 2010— In a marathon session Friday, April 30, the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council (BTBC) approved three major initiatives totaling $5.5 million to be paid from an upcoming oil exploration payment from Newfield Production Co.

The approved items include a $200 special per capita for all 16,500 members, initial funding for a new Browning grocery store, and over $1 million for land acquisition. It is anticipated the $200 per capita will be paid within 60 days. This special per capita is separate from the annual December per capita.

Native Americans have been handcrafting jewelry since they first drew inspiration from their natural surroundings and transformed shell and stone into wearable jewelry. Some of the oldest discovered pieces date from over 10,000 years ago. The skilled artisans at Alltribes continue the age-old tradition and create captivating works of art that will surpass your expectations!

Alltribes is one of the rare workshops that you can actually come in and visit, and see Native Americans creating extraordinary pieces of jewelry. We are conveniently located near Scottsdale, Mesa and Phoenix, AZ in the historic town of Gilbert. Alltribes Native American Art and Jewelry blends ancient history, natural beauty, and unparalleled expertise flawlessly.

Our Jewelry

The design and quality of our Silver and Turquoise jewelry are unmatched and stand far above the rest. Turquoise conveys a special meaning as it has for centuries and in populations across the globe. Turquoise signifies healing, spirit and good fortune. The masterful techniques, our artisans incorporate this semi-precious stone into beautiful and intricate designs, draws customers from around the world.

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Our Local History

Gilbert, AZ provides the ideal location for crafting our Native American jewelry. The Navajo and Hopi Indian tribes have inhabited nearby lands for many thousands of years. Their eternal respect for natural beauty and their innate talent shines through in every handcrafted piece of jewelry.

Our dazzling, Sleeping Beauty Turquoise comes from a nearby mine in Globe, AZ. This unique and exceedingly rare turquoise is renowned for its hardness, durability, and gorgeous color. Our artisans preserve the natural beauty of this precious stone, so you can admire its elegance for years to come. A hand buffed polish protects the stones and heightens its natural beauty.

Our Tradition

In addition to Native American jewelry, Alltribes upholds the ancient traditions of Native Americans by offering more than remarkable jewelry. You can also own Hopi Kachina dolls, pueblo pottery, hand-dyed leather belts, dreamcatchers, tomahawks and other Southwestern and Native American artifacts, to beautify your home and your life. It is our pleasure, to help spread knowledge about the Native American culture to the general public.

As part of our continuing effort to inform and inspire, we offer a vast array of in-depth knowledge for those who want to learn more about Native Americans and the Southwest. Our online knowledge center is free for all and includes some of the most interesting and complete information available online.

Alltribes has been serving our valued customers for over 50 years, so you can rest assured that when you have a question or concern, we'll be right here, ready to help. When you purchase something online today, you never know if the company will still be there, next week or next month.

Alltribes' reputation and longstanding experience ensure you get more than just jewelry – you get a wealth of seasoned knowledge and exceptional service…..that you can count on! We consider our customers to be part of our extended family and we're proud to say that our family now spans continents. We'd love to have you join us!

In addition to our local Native American products, we offer distinguished wares, sourced from Native American tribes across the U.S. Navajo, Hopi, Zuni and other Native American artists provide one-of-a-kind items that we proudly offer to you, at direct to you prices!

Alltribes is much more than just a manufacturer, store and knowledge center. We keep a jewelry workshop on site. If you want a custom design, our silversmiths will work with you to turn your dream into reality. Have an idea for something new? Talk with our artisans and discuss how to bring it to fruition. And should your beloved jewelry ever need to be repaired, we help with that, too.

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