MTPR

Elouise Cobell

When the Blackfeet Tribe learned its tribal members were about to start receiving payouts from a massive federal court settlement, the tribe wanted to get ahead of some of the problems that can arise when a lot of money floods a cash-based society.

"There was about 150 some million dollars that was injected into this economy here," says Mark Magee, the Blackfeet Tribe’s land department director.

From Ruth Garfield, a female sheriff in 1920, to Elouise Cobell, a Blackfeet banker in the 21st Century, women have significantly shaped the state and communities across Montana. Beyond Schoolmarms and Madams celebrates the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote in Montana, six years before the 19th Amendment. Two of the authors, Annie Hanshew and Laura Ferguson, discuss how the Montana Historical Society selected the collection of women's stories.

A memorial honoring Eloise Cobell displayed at the University of Montana's Eloise Cobell Land and Culture Institute.
Cole Grant

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Blackfeet woman who led a 15-year legal fight against the federal government over mismanagement of Indian trust funds will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the nation's highest civilian honor.

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.
(PD)

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell visited Montana this week. She promised to change the future of the federal government’s relationship with Indian country.

Chief Earl Old Person speaks before a crowd at All Chief’s Park in Browning, on May 3. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell also spoke at the event, which signified the Blackfeet Tribe’s first step in participating in the federal Land Buy-Back program.
Corin Cates-Carney

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell visited Montana today, with a stop in Browning, where she announced that the Blackfeet Nation will soon begin participating in the $1.9 billion Indian Land buy-back program.