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The Rocky Boy’s Reservation lies in north-central Montana near the Bear Paw Mountains. The smallest of all the Montana reservations, it is home for about half of the 4,714 enrolled members of the Chippewa-Cree Tribe.
The reservation, part of the old Fort Assiniboine Military Reserve, is the smallest in Montana and was established by executive order in 1916. Chief Rocky Boy (Chippewa) and Little Bear (Cree) were instrumental in getting the reservation set aside for their people.
Official Tribal Name:
Chippewa-Cree Indians of the Rocky Boy's ReservationAddress:
Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning
Anishinaabe- Original People. (Chippewa)
Today the Anishinaabe have two tribes: Ojibway/Ojibwe/Chippewa (Algonquian Indian for "puckered," referring to their moccasin style) and Algonquin (probably a French corruption of either the Maliseet word elehgumoqik, "our allies," or the Mi'kmaq place name Algoomaking, "fish-spearing place).
Chippewa-Cree -The Chippewa and the Cree on the Rocky Boy Reservation were once two separate tribes with different cultural backgrounds.
Meaning of Common Name:
Hypenation of the two English names for the tribes that live on this reservation
Rocky Boy Cree, Rocky Boy Chippewa
Alternate spellings / Mispellings:
Name in other languages:
Ojibwe or Plains Ojibwa and Plains Cree
Reservations: Rocky Boys ReservationLand Area: 203, 015 acres, with 112,512 acres remaining that are tribally owned. The rest was sold to non-Indians during the Allotment period.
Tribal Headquarters: Rocky Boys Agency, Montana
Rocky Boy Agency is located 14 miles southeast of Box Elder, between Havre and Great Falls on U.S. Highway 87. The Tribal Building, BIA Office, Tribal Health Center, elementary school, high school, service station, day care center, Housing Office, Parker Youth Center, and Stone Child College are located here.
Time Zone: Mountain
B.I.A. Office: Rocky Boy
The Rocky Boy’s Reservation lies in north-central Montana and is the smallest indian reservation in Montana. It is near the Canadian border and near the Missouri River on its southern edge. Rocky Boy lies partially in the Bear Paw Mountains, while the remainder of the reservation is made up of plains and foothills.
The Rocky Boy’s Reservation is part of the old Fort Assiniboine Military Reserve, and was established by executive order in 1916.
The spring and summers on the Rocky Boy Reservation are fairly mild with an average rainfall of about 8 inches, and a temperature that is rarely greater than 100 degrees farenheit. The winters are cold and the temperature occasionally drops to -40. However, there are frequent mild Chinook winds.
There are three communities on the reservation besides the tribal headquarters at Rocky Boy’s Agency: Box Elder, Duck Creek, and Haystack - which are all quite tiny and limited for commercial services.
BOX ELDER - This community is named after the creek which flows through it and is located approximately 14 miles west of the Agency and is the closest settlement. It consists of a general store, a service station, post office, and school K-12. The town is on U.S. Highway 87, 87 miles from Great Falls, and 20 miles from Havre, Montana. The Bonneau Dam is the prominent topographical feature of the community, as well as a good spot for trout bed pike fishing. Although the creek bottom is fairly wide in most places , very little of it is cleared. Agriculture is currently limited to gardening and hay production on a small scale. Future plans call for cleaning more of the creek bottom so that it may be used for a Christmas tree enterprise and/or the raising of forage crops. At present, most of the community members are wage eamers. Approximately 662 Indian people reside here.
DUCK CREEK - This community begins on the western outskirts of the Agency and is situated along several miles of the creek for which it is named. It is the gateway to the fishing here. Most residents gain a livelihood from ranching and within the community which has a common water system, recently connected to the main water system for the reservation. Approximately 223 Indian people reside here.
HAYSTACK - Situated around the prominent Haystack Butte (elevation 4,768 feet) and is one of the largest communities on the reservation. It begins about 2 miles east of the Agency and extends northward for several miles. Most of the community is situated in the grassy foothills of the mountains in the northeastern portion of the reservation. It's residents are ranchers and/or wage earners at the Agency. Approximately 688 Indian people reside here.
The Rocky Boy Housing Authority manages units in the communities and on rural scattered sites through HUD Low Rent and Mutual Help home ownership housing programs. Other housing is available through the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service for their employees. Private housing stock is limited.
About half an hour’s drive north of the reservation is the off-reservation town of Havre, MT, where one can find retail stores, chain supermarkets, gas stations, etc. Havre also has affordable housing, a modern hospital, churches, schools and a library.
The Baldy Butte Ski Resort is a favorite downhill ski retreat in the winter. Hunting and fishing are excellent in the area, as are camping, hiking, backpacking and just plain exploring. Many deer, elk, and antelope inhabit the area, as well as the tribally-owned herd of buffalo.
Population at Contact:
Registered Population Today:
Tribal Enrollment Requirements:
The Chippewa Cree Reservation was established by executive order of the President in 1916. The Tribal governments maintain jurisdiction within the boundaries of the reservation including all rights-of-way, waterways, watercourses and streams running through any part of the reservation and to such others lands as may hereafter be added to the reservation under the laws of the United States. The Tribal government operates under a constitution consistent with the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 and approved by the Tribal membership.
Charter: Indian Reorganization Act of 1934
Name of Governing Body: The administration of Tribal government is conducted by the Chippewa Cree Business Committee.
Number of Council members: 6
Dates of Constitutional amendments:
Number of Executive Officers: The Business Committee consists of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary/Treasurer, and six additional Council members which are elected by the Tribal membership.
Elections are held every two years
Cree, Chippewa, English
Number of fluent Speakers:
Bands, Gens, and Clans
Ceremonies / Dances:
Modern Day Events & Tourism:
Annual Pow Wow 3rd weekend of August near Rocky Boys Agency (Open to the Public)
Hunting and Fishing, Camping
Legends / Oral Stories:
Art & Crafts:
Religion & Spiritual Beliefs:
Education and Media:
Tribal College: The Stone Child Community College at the Rocky Boy’s Agency offers post-high school studies and associate degrees. Another option for those who choose to further their education is Montana State University - Northern, in Havre.
Headstart and grades K-12 are available in the Rocky Boy’s school system are also available in both Box Elder and the off-reservation city of Havre.
Other Famous Contemporary People:
Tribe History:Chippewa and Cree Tribes and Rocky's Boy Reservation Timeline
In the News: