Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 1027
501 Medicine Bear Road
Poplar, MT 59255

Contact Information

406-768-5155

Website

http://www.fortpecktribes.org/

Casino(s)

Cultural History

Established in 1871, the new Fort Peck Indian Agency caters to the Assiniboine and the Sioux Indians. The Fort Peck Agency is currently situated in the area within the premises of old stockade of Fort Peck. The place was purchased from traders in the Durfree and Peck thus the name. The tribe did not stay long to its original place and had to relocate in the area in Polar because of natural calamities such as floods. The tribe engaged in warfare during the 1860s, as the United States government attempted to take the Black Hills, a sacred place for Indians so that they could bind the Sioux to agencies along Missouri. The battles reinforced the issues that were once brought up by the Great Sioux War in 186 to 1868. Some of the Sioux tribe agreed to come with the government while many others resisted. This resulted in the animosity between the government armies who were tasked to bring together the tribe and the Sioux Indians. The resistance of the Indians also led to the fierce encounters in Rosebud County and was then culminated in the Battle of the Little Bighorn in the year 1876.
 
The Indians found it hard to survive in the 1880’s due to the extinction of buffalo in their area. It also led to starvation among the Assiniboines of the World Point Sub-Agency when they did not have resources to use for food. More than three hundred members of the Assiniboines died and the suffering continued as the supply of food weakened. The winter season also triggered more deaths as help did not come close for the Indians. These and more troubled the Indians in their reservation. In response to the pleads, the Act of May 1, 1888 established boundaries and set the limits for the outsiders. The Act was a year after the Dawes Act which divided the tribally-owned Indian into fragments of land to be handed to individuals. Since then, a good number of non-Indians inhabited the land, and more lived in the boundaries of the reservation. The primary sources of income in these areas were grazing and farmland.
 
When the Allotment Act of 1908 came to reality, the act called upon the original lands to be handed back to the Indians. These lands now make up the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. After the allotment, the remaining land areas which were not part of the law were soon disposed under the homestead acts. The Act diminished the territory of the tribe. 1,348,408 acres of land were declared to be surplus and were soon occupied by the non-Indians. 
 
The tribe made history when they first established their community boarding school in 1877. It was discontinued in the 1920’s and was again back to business years later. The schools were run by Missionary Mormons and Presbyterians. However, these schools achieved little success as the Fort Peck Reservation focused on public schools. Today, one post-secondary institution is to be found in the reservation. The institution is known as the Fort Peck Community College. The first constitution of the tribe was adopted in 1927. They now have their Tribal Board as well as other enterprises including the metal business, production, and ranching. There are also 6,800 members living in the reservation and another 3,900 residing outside the reservation.

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