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Indigenous Immigrants and Refugees in the North American Borderlands by Brenden W. Rensink, Texas A&M Press, 2018

Chapter 9, Note 20 (pages 186 and 265)

Some Chippewas would later hold that Blackfeet elders had been secretly lobbying for the Chippewas to be allotted surplus lands there for well over a year, rather than having that land go to white homesteaders. (p. 186)

Chapter 9, note 20 . . . for sources and discussion of the reactions to Chippewa settlement on the Blackfeet Reservation, both for and against the plan. (p. 265)

Despite news that the initial integration of Chippewa onto the Blackfeet reservation was cordial, disputes arose.[1] The Choteau Acantha reported “great indignation” among the Blackfeet upon Rocky Boy’s arrival. See Choteau Acantha, November 18, 1909. Other reports varied in their coverage of relief that a solution had been found and caution that it may prove equally vexing.[2] Blackfeet Reservation Agent Clarence Churchill felt that it was local whites stirring Blackfeet up against the Chippewas.[3] James Denny explained that Blackfeet Chiefs Little Dog, Bear Chief, Wolf Tail and Curley Bear expressed they would prefer that Rocky Boy’s band receive the surplus Reservation lands instead of whites.[4] Windy Boy added Big Spring and Mountain Chief to the list of elders that had been trying to get their surplus lands given to Rocky Boy instead of opening it up for white settlement. To the prospect of white homesteaders, Little Dog said, “I don’t want that to happen. It’s best we give this land to my friend, Rocky Boy.” Windy Boy states that this conference took place in the fall of 1908, a full year before the government finally decided to place Rocky Boy’s band with the Blackfeet.[5] Rocky Boy’s people were supposedly content in their new home, and initially got along well with their Blackfeet neighbors and found work nearby logging.[6]

[1] “They are supremely happy,” said John A. Armstrong. See Conrad Observer, November 25, 1909. See also Choteau Acantha, December 2, 1909. See also, “Job for Rocky Boys,” Camas Prairie Chronicle (Cottonwood, ID), January 21, 1910, 7; and Harlowton News (MT), January 28, 1910, 3.

[2] “Reservation is Found for Rocky Boy Indians,” Yellowstone Monitor, November 11, 1909, 8; “Placed at Last,” Whitefish Pilot, (MT), November 19, 1909, 1; “Rocky Boy’s Band Caught,” Barre Daily Times (Barre, VT), November 18, 1909, 2; “Rocky Boy’s Dream Fulfilled at Last,” Yellowstone Monitor, (Glendive, MT), November 18, 1909, 1; ““Fates Queer Irony,” Cut Bank Pioneer Press, November 19, 1909; “Blackfeet Made the ‘Goat’,” Cut Bank Pioneer Press, November 19, 1909; “Browning Resents it,” Cut Bank Pioneer Press, November 19, 1909; “Rocky Boy on Rough Water,” Conrad Observer, November 25, 1909; “Rocky Boys Rummaging Through Garbage,” Whitefish Pilot, November 25, 1909, 3; “Troubles of Rocky boy are now Happily Over,” Billings Gazette, December 7, 1909, 5; “Justice for the Blackfeet,” Choteau Acantha, December 16, 1909; and “Home at Last for Rocky Boy and his Indians,” The Enterprise, June 23, 1910, 6.

[3] C. F. Hauke to Clarence A. Churchill, December 7, 1909, RG 75, RB Files, NARA-DC, Part 2.

[4] James Denny, “About the Beginning of Rocky Boy Reserve,” p. 3, undated manuscript, Rocky Boy School Archives (RBSA), Box Elder, Montana.

[5] Interview with Windy Boy, undated, RBSA.