Rocky Boy Tribe
Chippewa Indians of
Heart Butte, Montana
Located on the southern portion of the Blackfeet Reservation, and about 25 miles south of Browning, the Chippewa CDP (census designated place) of Heart Butte, has a population of 698. Around 94% of the CDP's population is Native American, while around 4% is non Indian. The total area Heart Butte covers is 4.5 sq. mi. There are 185 housing units in Heart Butte. It gives Heart Butte nearly a 3.5 average household size. Many of the CDP's citizens are not doing well financially. Around 44% live under the poverty line. Elevation is 4,472. Zip code is 59448. The settlement is situated next to the tree line of the nearby Rocky Mountains. From north to south, Heart Butte extends about a mile and a half. However, a gap of about four city blocks separates the north part of the settlement, from the south part of the settlement. After the Chippewa's made camp at this location, many started to refer to the Anishinabe settlement as Canvas City. They did so because the Anishinabek were still living in tepees and tents. Many of them were relocated there during the deportation in 1896 and the subsequent following years, when the United States kept forcing many of the landless Chippewa's living throughout Montana, especially western Montana, to relocate to the Blackfeet Reservation.
The whites also forced many of the landless Chippewa's to relocate to the Crow, Flathead, Fort Belknap, and Fort Peck Reservations. However, the Blackfeet Reservation was the one location the whites favored. Between 1900 and 1910, up to 5,000 landless Anishinabek were living in the Dearborn River Valley (very near Craig - they were hiding out there), Marias River Valley, Milk River Valley (it may have had the largest Chippewa population), Sun River Valley (many of the Chippewa's were very fond of the western part of the Sun River Valley because of its hiding locations), and the Yellowstone River Valley, and other Montana locations. The Chippewa's of this settlement are descended from the Chippewa's who lived along Birch Creek which is about 7 miles to the south. They lived in the location because of its mountainous terrain which you'll see in the photos. Heart Butte is actually partially in the mountains. Below are several links to pictures of Heart Butte, Montana