Thursday, June 26, 2008

NAT: Blackfeet Language Institute

Blackfeet Tribe launches Blackfeet Archives and Library Project
By Woody Kipp, Wednesday, June 25, 2008 10:07 AM MDT

A long awaited project has finally gotten off the ground with the determination of Blackfeet Tribal Council Chairman Earl Old Person and several other Councilmen including Edwin Little Plume, Ronald Kittson, Rodney Gervais, Pat Thomas and Roger Running Crane. The Blackfeet Archives and Library Project opened its doors Nov. 4, 2007, and has since been sorting through the Tribe's governmental and historical documents. In the very near future the information will be available for anyone wishing to research the Blackfeet Tribe's governmental history as well as retrieve family photos, do genealogical research and retrieve newspaper and other articles about the Blackfeet Tribe.

Since losing everything in an office fire in the early 1960s, the Blackfeet Tribe has not had a formal archives department with which to track the progress of the Blackfeet Tribe, its people, triumphs and defeats. The archives will contain valuable information about our ancestors, our leaders, our reservation, and the Blackfeet people in general, which may not have been preserved in any other location, but will come alive with the archives.

With this project, Blackfeet Archives will provide several million pages of vital record data and photographs, which will be available for the world to view. "In my mind, this collection will be as valuable as any history book because it contains information about the entire Blackfeet Tribe, including our government," said Chairman Earl Old Person. Vice Chairman Roger Running Crane added, "I'm enthused about the project because of the increased access to information it will allow."

Once the material from Blackfeet Archives has been launched, the data will be available on a website for people to access. The first release of data will include the 1982 Claims documents, which contains an enormous amount of tribal history. Subsequent data releases will contain treaties, tribal ordinances, resolutions, Tribal Councilperson biographies, family genealogy, and other data that identifies what the Blackfeet Tribe is. Links to other Blackfeet records will also be available on the website.

For more information on Blackfeet Archives and Library, contact the Blackfeet Tribe at (406) 338-5194.

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