Enviros Versus the Blackfeet Tribe

Aaron Flint posted on August 12, 2013 12:31 :: 910 Views

The chairman of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation says his community can be “more sovereign by the barrel.” He was referring to potential Bakken oil development, of course.  Then, the chairman of the Crow Tribe sent a powerful message to the international NGO environmental groups who are trying to block the tribes’ development of coal resources.  

Now the environmental NGOs are targeting the leaders of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation who desire more jobs and economic development for their tribe as well.  

The AP has this

A series of new oil exploration leases on the border of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and Glacier National Park has renewed the anger and motivation of those opposed to energy development along the Rocky Mountain Front.

The latest set of exploration leases renews debate and tension between park officials and drilling foes with tribal leaders resistant to federal intrusion into activities on reservation lands and hoping an oil boom can reduce unemployment and poverty. Not much oil has been produced in the last three years, but dozens of wells have been drilled on the reservation, which contains nearly 2,400 square miles — an area about the size of Delaware.

Aside from lecturing Indian tribes with what they can and cannot do on their lands, the continued theme of blocking economic development because it happens to border this or border that can also be detrimental to future conservation efforts.  When land designations or protections are made, the boundaries exist for a reason- to limit activities inside those boundaries.  This theme from the media and the environmental groups that anything bordering a land designation should also face the same restrictions will cause more opposition to additional conservation efforts.   


The Crow Tribal Chairman sent a powerful message to the international environmental NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) looking to block jobs and economic development on Montana’s Crow Indian Reservation.

In case you missed it, Chairman Darrin Old Coyote testified before a US House of Representatives Natural Resources Subcommittee on the importance of coal to his tribe.  

CHAIRMAN OLD COYOTE: I strongly feel that non governmental organizations cannot and should not tell me to leave Crow coal in the ground. I was elected to provide basic services and jobs to my citizens and I will steadfastly and responsbly pursue crow coal development to achieve my vision for the Crow people. 

Click below to watch his full opening remarks:   

Chairman Old Coyote’s remarks are also reminiscent of remarks made by the Chairman of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation’s tribal council:  

Tribal Council Chairman Floyd Azure says tapping the Bakken would make the tribes “more sovereign by the barrel,” echoing the mantra of tribal leadership on North Dakota’s oil-rich Fort Berthold Reservation. “That means that we can take care of ourselves. If we didn’t have to depend on the federal government, we’d be a hell of a lot better off than we are now. We depend on the federal government for damn near everything we have.”

Crow Tribal Chairman’s Message to NGO’s on Coal


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