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Montana Indians Today: 13,000 Years and Counting


with Ruthann Knudson

adjunct instructor of sociology and anthropology at Montana State University

Montana’s seven Indian reservations include 12 tribes. Many of Montana’s tribes have lived within this area for at least 13,000 years, according to traditional oral, historical, and archaeological information, including the Kutenai and Salishan people in northwestern Montana, Blackfeet and Gros Ventre on the eastern Montana plains, and Shoshone or Bannock in southern Montana. By the early-1800s several tribes were shifting south. The Cheyenne people moved from the Great Lakes area into eastern Montana in the early 19th century. The Sioux, Assiniboine, and Cree were pushed into Montana in the 18th and 19th centuries. Knudson helps audiences understand modern reservations, tribal politics, and socioeconomics by exploring the history of habitation in the state, federal conquest of the tribes, and the sociocultural diversity altered by disease, boarding schools, modern transportation and communications.