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Judith Basin Indian Reservation

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United States Gotoarrow.png American Indians Gotoarrow.png Montana Gotoarrow.png Indians of Montana Gotoarrow.png Judith Basin Indian Reservation

Judith Basin Indian Reservation[edit | edit source]

It is a non federally-recognized Indian Reservation in Montana.

Established on August 16, 1873

Principle Tribes -- The Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana, Blackfeet Indians, Flathead Indians including the Kalispel Indians, Pend d'Oreille Indians, and Spokane Indians, and the Nez Perce Indians

Population -- Last census may have been around 1900. Possibly 300 to 400.

Judith.jpeg


History[edit | edit source]

Above is a map of the Judith Basin Indian Reservation. It is located about 25 miles east of Great Falls, Montana and a couple of miles from Fort Benton, Montana. It covers around 125 to 150 townships (each small square box in the the above map represents one township) or over 5,000 sq. mi. When including Fort Assiniboine Indian Reservation, it's over 6,000 sq. mi. In August of 1873, the government of the United States reached a treaty agreement with certain Little Shell Chippewa Indian leaders, in which the Judith Basin Indian Reservation was established. Correct name of the original Blackfeet Reservation is either Judith Basin Indian Reservation or Judith River Indian Reservation. The October 17, 1855 Blackfeet Treaty (aka Lame Bull Treaty), was signed near the mouth of the Judith River which is within the Judith Basin Indian Reservation.

The Judith Basin Indian Reservation is located within the boundaries of the original Blackfeet Reservation which was created on September 17, 1851 and approved on October 17, 1855. The treaty text of the October 17, 1855 Treaty, does not mention the Crow Indian Tribe nor the Dakotas. It mentions the Blackfoot Indians, Flathead Indians, and Nez Perce Indians. All are Chippewa, with the Flathead (the Flathead are the Flathead, Kalispel, Pend d'Oreilles, and Spokane) being an admixture of Algonquin Chippewa and non Algonquin. The Nez Perce are the Amikwa Chippewas (the Amikwa Chippewas are also known as the Nez Perce), who originally lived east of Lake Superior, north of Lake Huron, and up to Lake Nipissing in Ontario. White settlement and Native American tribal prophecies led them to migrate west into Alberta, British Columbia, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and California.

To the north and bordering the Judith Basin Indian Reservation was the old Fort Assiniboine Military Reservation which was established in 1879, or about 4 years after the Judith Basin Indian Reservation was eradicated. Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation (Montana) is within the old Fort Assiniboine Military Reservation, which indicates a link between the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana, to the old Judith Basin Indian Reservation. Maps from the late 19th and early 20th century, show Fort Assiniboine Military Reservation as being the Fort Assiniboine Indian Reservation. Earliest map of the Fort Assiniboine Indian Reservation i found, is from 1887, which is the year the Blackfeet Reservation was fragmented into the much smaller Blackfeet Reservation, Fort Belknap Reservatiion, and Fort Peck Reservation. Latest is from 1904, which is the year the 1892 McCumber Agreement was passed. Fort Assiniboine Indian Reservation is connected to the Judith Basin Indian Reservation.

According to Little Shell Chippewa Tribe Attorney, J.B. Bottineau, the population of Little Shell Chippewas or Chippewas from the Turtle Mountains, was between 300 and 400 in Montana. In 1904, Bottineau wrote that the Chippewas were temporarily living in the Basin in Montana. He was obviously referring to the Judith Basin Indian Reservation. Some speculate Bottineau was referring to the Montana towns of Basin and Boulder, which are west of the Judith Basin Indian Reservation. Bottineau's information indicates that the Judith Basin Indian Reservation was still a Reservation as late as 1904.

In 1906, up to 1,000 Indians were captured in southeastern Montana. According to historians, they fled the Uintah-Ouray Reservation of Utah, for the Pine Ridge Reservation. In November of 1906 Tribal leaders told the government representatives that they were going to the Black Hills. The Black Hills are located in southwestern Montana. Lewis and Clark wrote that they were above (north) of the Black Hills on June 2, 1805. They were at what is now Loma, Montana on June 2, 1805. Directly to the south of Loma, Montana by 25 miles, are the Highwood Mountains. The Highwood Mountains are within the Judith Basin Indian Reservation. Click this link lewisandclarkjournals.unl.edu/read/ to read about Lewis and Clark's information about the Black Hills of Montana.

The Unitah-Ouray Reservation of Utah covers 6,207 sq. mi. When including the Fort Assiniboine Indian Reservation with the Judith Basin Indian Reservation, it covers over 6,000 sq. mi. After the negotiations were completed, the Chippewas agreed to relocate to the Cheyenne River Reservation of South Dakota. Later, many were relocated to the Uintah-Ouray Reservation of Utah. Click this link anishinabe-history.com/black-hills.pdf to read about the Ute Relocation of 1906-1908. Page 238 (6 on the pdf reader)mentions Spring Creek. Spring Creek was the most important Chippewa settlement within the Judith Basin Indian Reservation.

There was a forced relocation of Chippewas from Montana to South Dakota, to receive land allotments. Instead of land allotments, Chippewa traditionalists demanded a Reservation which was granted to them within the Cheyenne River Reservation. Land allotments were given to Chippewas a few miles north of Pine Ridge Reservation and a few miles west of Cheyenne River Reservation. Many Chippewas settled down to live at the Pine Ridge Reservation. It is believed that the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana were living on the Judith Basin Indian Reservation in the time frame of 1870-1999. They say that they established Lewistown, Montana. Lewistown, Montana is within the boundaries of the Judith Basin Indian Reservation.

Relocation[edit | edit source]

In 1902, chief Rocky Boy negotiated for a Chippewa Reservation in western Montana. White supporters requested for a Chippewa Reservation within the Flathead Reservation which was denied. However, on June 9, 1903, the Flathead Forest Reserve, (established on February 22, 1897) was added to the Lewis and Clark Forest Reserve. At that time (1903) many Chippewas were living in the Lewis and Clark Forest Reserve. During the years (1902-1906), the Montana Chippewas were still living throughout the entire land area of the original Blackfeet Reservation. Read the pdf book about the 1906-1908 Ute Exodus to learn more.

The Chippewas of Flathead Reservation were becoming alarmed about the land acts. Chief Rocky Boy negotiated with Senator Dixon about the fears of the the Chippewas. Chief Charlo expressed his feelings and told the government representatives that he would rather relocate his people to the plains than live at the Flathead Reservation.

Throughout 1909, negotiations continued. In early November of 1909, an agreement had been reached. It dealt with the surplus land at the Blackfeet Reservation and created a new Reservation for the Chippewas within the 4th Blackfeet Reservation. Several hundred Chippewas relocated to their new Reservation within the 4th Blackfeet Reservation. They boarded trains in November of 1909 and reached their new Reservation within a short time. The relocation took time to complete. The new Blackfeet Reservation is located between the forks of the Milk River and St. Mary River. Another new Chippewa Reservation was also created in 1909. It covers 60 townships or 2,160 sq. mi. It is connected to the original Rocky Boy's Reservation (the Fort Assiniboine Indian Reservation), Fort Belknap Reservation, and the Judith Basin Indian Reservation. In all, the four Chippewa Reservations cover well over 9,000 sq. mi.

It follows a line directly north and south of the forks of the Milk River, to the Canadian border and Cut Bank Creek. From Cut Bank Creek, it follows a line southeast to Mission Lake. From Mission Lake, it follows a line northeast to Cut Bank. All land east and north of those lines is the surplus land. The surplus land covers around 500 sq. mi. or near 320,000 acres. The surplus land went to the whites. The rest of the Reservation (about 2,250 sq. mi.) is the new Chippewa Blackfeet Reservation. Most of the Chippewas who relocated to their new Blackfeet Reservation lived in southwest and western Montana and where the Judith Basin Indian Reservation is located. Many others came from the Coeur d'Alene and Nez Perce Reservations of Idaho.

Joseph Paul[edit | edit source]

It was from the old Judith Basin Indian Reservation, that Joseph Paul would emerge as a leader of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana. Our earliest accounts of Joseph Paul come from his son Howard Paul. Howard Paul told of a meeting that was held on his family's ranch near Lewistown, Montana in 1921. The meeting was probably about filing a land claim lawsuit about the original Blackfeet Reservation, which included the Judith Basin Indian Reservation.

The obituary of Joseph Paul stated that he was born on October 1, 1883 at Fort McGinnis, Montana and died at the age of 75, in 1959. He is listed as being one of the 4 children of Elzear Paul and his first wife, who died in 1881 so the birth year of Joseph Paul is questionable. There were 2 Forts in Montana with the name Fort McGinnis. One was located just south of Cut Bank, Montana. It was abandoned in 1879. So Joseph Paul may have been born as early as 1879. The other was located near Lewistown. Birth records claim Joseph Paul was born near the Fort McGinnis near Lewistown.

Joseph Paul was obviously a leader of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana in 1921 and probably years earlier. He may have known chief Rocky Boy. He may have known chief Little Shell III and chief Red Thunder. However, they both were arrested in 1895 and forced to relocate to the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Rolette County, North Dakota. The surname, Red Thunder, was well represented during the 1956 census for the Little Shell Tribes community of Hill 57, which is adjacent to Great Falls, Montana. According to the 1956 Hill 57 census, 16 of the Chippewa's living at Hill 57, had Red Thunder as a surname. That's nearly 5% of the population of Hill 57. Many of the Chippewas of Great Falls, can trace their origins to the Judith Basin Indian Reservation, which is 25 miles east of Great Falls.

Click this www.slideshare.net/anjelwilliams/1956-census-hill-57 to read the 1956 census for Hill 57. By the 1970s, the Hill 57 Chippewa population had declined dramatically. On August 18, 1950, the United States ushered in the Termination period by Terminating the Chippewas Hill 57 Colony or Rancheria. Chippewas had bought land at Hill 57 or Mount Royal and were granted each 5 acres of land in the 1930s, by the government of the United States. A few Chippewas may own land at Hill 57 at this time.

Population[edit | edit source]

Since it is believed that the Judith Basin Indian Reservation was eradicated in 1875, an estimate for the Reservations population is not possible. However, Chippewas were living within the Judith Basin Indian Reservation in the 1870s, 1880s, 1890s, and the early 20th century. As mentioned, Bottineau estimated that between 300 and 400 Chippewas were living in the Basin in Montana in 1904. He meant the Judith Basin Indian Reservation. In the early 1870s, the Chippewa population within the Judith Basin Indian Reservation was much larger. The Crow are Hidatsa. The Hidatsa are also known as the Gros Ventre. The Gros Ventre are also known as the White Earth or White Clay People. The Gros Ventre are Algonquin Chippewas. They are also known as the People of the Falls or People of the Waterfalls. Of course, they originally lived where the Great Falls of the Missouri River are.

The "Paul" Surname[edit | edit source]

In Montana, the first Pauls probably lived in the western part of the state. Chief Big Face Paul, lived in the Bitterroot Valley. He requested that Christian Missionaries be sent into the area during the 1830s. Father DeSmet eventually made his way to the Bitterroot Valley in the 1840s. Within the Kootenai and Flathead Tribes, there were several leaders with the surname Paul during the 19th century. The Paul surname is still found within the Flathead Reservation.

Howard Paul eventually became one of the first chairmen of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana. He was born in 1914, near Lewistown, or near or within the Judith Basin Indian Reservation. Both the Pauls from central Montana and western Montana, have origins which started in Manitoba, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ontario, and Quebec.

Reference[edit | edit source]