U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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Billings Area
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Welcome from the Fort Peck Service Unit


Services Offered  ·  Community  ·  History  ·  Tribal Website

Fort Peck Service Unit The Fort Peck Reservation is located in the northeastern Montana and includes Daniel's, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan, and Valley counties with 89 percent of the Indian people residing in Roosevelt County. For FY 1996 the Official IHS Population for the Fort Peck Service Unit consists of 7,304 Indian people. The FY 1995 "User Population" is comprised of 8,427 Indian people.

Direct ambulatory and preventative health services are provided through the I.H.S programs with all inpatient services provided through contractual agreements with the 22-bed community hospital in Poplar, and the 32-bed community hospital in Wolf Point.

The Fort Peck Service Unit is accredited by Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).

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Contact Information

Verne E. Gibbs Health Center
P.O. Box 67
Poplar, Montana 59255
Main: (406) 768-3491
Fax: (406) 768-3603

Chief Redstone Health Clinic
P.O. Box 729
Wolf Point, Montana 59201
Main: (406) 653-1641
Fax: (406) 653-3728

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Services Offered

  • Administration
  • Alcohol Treatment
  • Ambulance
  • Appointments/Registration
  • Audiology
  • Business Office
  • CHR's
  • Contract Health Service
  • Dental
  • Diabetes
  • Environmental Health
  • Health Education
  • Laboratory
  • Mental Health
  • Nursing
  • Nutrition
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Public Health Nursing
  • Radiology
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Social Services
  • WIC
  • Specialty Clinics
  • Statistics

Housing

The Service Unit has available the following types of units:

2 Bedroom Model
2 - Bedroom Main Floor, Large Open Upstairs Area, 1 Bath, Living Room, Kitchen, Central Air, Garage, Sprinkler System
Walking distance to the Clinic and Hospital

3 Bedroom Model
3 - Bedroom, 1 bath, Kitchen, Living/ Dining areas, Central Air, Washer/Dryer, Crawl Space, Storage Shed
Walking distance to the Clinic and Hospital

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Community Information

The Fort Peck Reservation lies in the portion of Montana that has a "continental type climate". Annual rain fall is 12.72 inches and the climate is correspondingly dry. Summers are warm, but seldom oppressive. Sunny weather predominates during the warmer season, but interruptions in the form of thunder showers do occur, mostly in June and July, and in the afternoon or early evening.

The principle communities on the reservation are as follows:

  • Poplar - Located here are the headquarters for the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, the Fort Peck Indian Agency, the Verne E. Gibbs IHS Health Center, Poplar Community Hospital and Nursing Home. Poplar is the second largest town on the reservation and approximately 3,698 Indian people reside here.

  • Wolf Point - Located here is the Chief Redstone IHS Health Center, Faith Lutheran Home, and Trinity Hospital. Wolf Point is the largest town on the reservation and approximately 2,949 Indian people reside here.

  • Brockton, Frazer, Oswego, and Fort Kipp These are the smaller communities within the reservation boundaries and approximately 472 Indian people reside in Brockton, 562 in Frazer, 71 in Oswego and 204 in Fort Kipp.

Education

Brockton Public Schools
Superintendent Phone: 406-786-3195
Barbara Gilligan School Phone: 406-786-3318
Barbara Gilligan Junior High Phone: 406-786-3311
Brockton High School Phone: 406-786-3311

Poplar Public Schools
Superintendent Phone: 406-768-3409
Poplar School Phone: 406-768-5601
Poplar 5-8 Phone: 406-768-5602
Poplar High School Phone: 406-768-5603

Wolf Point Public Schools
Northside Elementary Phone: 406-653-1653
Southside Elementary Phone: 406-653-1480
Wolf Point Junior High Phone: 406-653-1200
Wolf Point High School Phone: 406-653-1200

Frazer School-District 2 – 2B
High School Phone: 406-695-2220
Modem Line Phone: 406-695-2254
Principal Phone: 406-695-2242
Superintendent Phone: 406-695-2241
Alta-Care Phone: 406-695-2209

Tribal College
Fort Peck Community College
Phone: 406-768-6300
Website: http://www.fpcc.edu Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov

Recreational Activities

woman holding fish Fishing in Northeastern Montana
The Missouri River Country of northeastern Montana provides a wide range of exciting and unspoiled angling opportunities available only in this unique corner of the Northern Great Plains. Smaller reservoirs, creeks and rivers harbor lunkers yet still offer the intimacy many fishermen seek, while Fort Peck Reservoir and the Big Muddy itself provide the challenges and rewards of big-water fishing. With four-season opportunities and habitually light fishing pressure, it is no wonder that the Missouri River Country is a well-kept angling secret. Shore fishermen, fly fishermen, boat fishermen-- no one's disappointed. It's so good here that there are those who would rather keep the fifty different species and lunker opportunities to themselves, thank you.

Fort Peck Reservoir
Eighty miles west of Poplar and only 60 from Wolf Point lies one of the few waters in the country where an angler can legitimately expect to corner a 12 pound walleye. The largest hydraulic earth-filled dam in the world holds back 49 other species of fish as well as 1,500 miles of shoreline and a body of water 130 miles long. Northern pike to 30 pounds are often caught alongside trophy walleye and sauger. Lakers generally run from 4 to 6 pounds with a few up to 19. Channel cats run to 20 pounds, chinooks over 20 pounds, and those battling paddlefish frequently exceed 100 pounds. Small mouth, crappie, yellow perch, freshwater drum and sturgeon provide welcome breaks in the action. Social butterflies will be sorely disappointed while those who find secret hot spots will feel indulged: it is not unknown to fish all day without encountering a fellow angler. The adjacent river, dredge cuts and below-dam sites are equally species-gifted and challenge boat-, shore- and fly-fishermen to try their luck alongside camping, picnicking and other recreational opportunities afforded by these beautiful river lands.

For most, the operative word here is Walleye. Fort Peck fishery is such an exceptional fishery that the Professional Walleye Trail has chosen it as one of its four major tournament sites two years in a row. Walleye fishermen can expect to catch their favorite beasts in the two-to-five pound category regularly with an occasional eight to ten and even twelve pounder rounding out the stringer. In 1995 a monster 16.3 pounder was pulled from the reservoir. It could be your turn next, after mine.

Missouri River
The Missouri River from the Fort Peck Dam east to the North Dakota border holds more excellent fishing opportunities. Near Fort Peck itself, dredge cuts and the cold water river section immediately below the dam show exceptional northern pike and rainbow trout fishing as well as walleye and sauger. Moving eastward, the mouths of in-flowing tributaries, especially the Milk and the Poplar Rivers, are consistent producers and during the spring spawning season provide truly exceptional action. One well-kept secret is the quality of the Poplar River which runs within 100 yards of the Poplar Indian Health Hospital. You must discover the secret yourself. I'm not allowed to blab.

Fishing for Dinosaurs
The Missouri River and Yellowstone River in eastern Montana and western North Dakota offer a unique opportunity to catch the huge, prehistoric fish named for its manner of locomotion. These monsters are traditionally caught by snagging with a treble hooks and weights setup from just after ice out until June. The wise eat their Wheaties, paddlefish of 60 pounds are common with quite a few specimens over 100 pounds caught every year. The flesh is a culinary delight and their eggs are compared favorably with imported caviar.

Hunting Fort Peck at its Very Best
Picture a prairie with stands of cotton wood in the coulees and river bottoms along with vast shore lines. Spectacular sunrises and sunsets encompass the finest hunting in the North American Continent. It will be difficult to decide weather to stalk trophy game or fish for abundant denizen of the deep.

The grass lands are home to significant populations of upland game birds including: sage hens, sharptail grouse, hungarian partridge and pheasants which await the wing shoot enthusiast. Geese and ducks are lured to the water fouler who prefers to hunt with flocks of birds, not hunters.

Big game hunting for elk, mule deer, white tail deer, antelope and sheep is available of general season hunting. A premier archery season around the Fort Peck reservoir affords the chance to collect a trophy bull elk for those in search of the challenge. Herds of big game are large enough to allow several tags for certain species.

The long range marksman will find prairie dog towns that are untouched. There are also many fur bearing species such as coyote, badger, bobcat, mountain lion and others.

All of this is readily available on thousands of acres of state, federal, tribal and private land open for public use. If you care to share in the natural splendor, abundant wildlife and stress free way of life, please come join us the Fort Peck Area.

Additional Recreational Sports for All Ages
The Fort Peck Reservation and the surrounding areas have endless recreational opportunities. There are seasonal recreational sports for all ages. For the youth there is Little league, Babe Ruth, and Legion baseball programs as well as softball for girls and adults.

Water sports are also available, swimming is available local swimming pools in Wolf Point and Culbertson. Other recreational sports:

Youth - Soccer, Baseball, Football, Wrestling, Volleyball, Girls softball, Swimming, Girls basketball and Boys basketball

Adults - Softball, Basketball, Golf, Racquetball, Horseback riding, Bowling, Rodeo, Camping, Tennis, Water skiing and Boating

Please check out the following websites:

Website: http://www.fortpeckdam.com Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov

Website: http://www.fortpeckpaleo.com Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov

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History of the Fort Peck Reservation

Black and white picture of Native American Chiefs Welcome to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation and the home of the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of Montana. The history of the Fort Peck Reservation was born out of a complex series of reservation periods, warfare, and the steady migration of both Indian and white people to the area. The present day boundaries of the reservation were established by an act of Congress on May 1, 1888. The reservation is located in the extreme corner of northeast Montana and comprises an overall land base of 2,093,318 acres (approximately 3,200 square miles). Of this area, approximately 378,000 acres are tribally owned and 548,000 acres are individually allotted Indian lands. Total Indian-owned land on the reservation is 926,000 acres, less than half of the reservation land base. The Fort Peck Reservation is 110 miles long and 40 miles wide with the Missouri River serving as the southern boundary.

Reservation History

The history of the reservation and its people, begins in 1851 at Fort Laramie in Wyoming where the tribes of Montana and Dakota territory, which included the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, negotiated with the United States Government for land and peace. Out of this "Great Council" territories were assigned and the Assiniboine originally claimed land south of the Missouri River (or south of the present day reservation). Sioux territory comprised most of Dakota Territory, or what is now the states of North and South Dakota.

In 1855 and again in 1874, the Blackfeet tribes were assigned a territory north of the Missouri River, which extended east from the Rocky Mountains to an area that would become the western boundary of Montana. The establishment of this area for the Blackfeet is significant as bands of Assiniboine and Sioux people were either assigned to the territory or recognized as having common hunting rights on the land, particularly the Sioux who were migrating into the area as political exiles from Dakota Territory and the Minnesota Wars of 1862. During this period, large numbers of Sisseton, Wahpeton, and Wahpekute Sioux bands primarily under the leadership of Standing Buffalo and Yanktonais and Yankton Sioux bands under the leadership of Medicine Bear, Strike the Rees, Red Thunder, Black Catfish, and other principle leaders, moved into the area.

Meanwhile, the Sioux again at Fort Laramie, signed another treaty in 1868 creating the "Greater Sioux Reservation," in Dakota Territory. Repeated violations of this treaty by the United States Government would eventually lead to the famous Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, where General George A. Custer and most of his men would lose their lives. The numerous fights between the Sioux and the United States Army before and after this battle would lead to the migration of additional Sioux bands (Tetons) into the present Reservation Area.

There were numerous Assiniboine bands already living in the area during this time of conflict, warfare, and rapid change. The area was prime buffalo country but that would soon change as white buffalo hunters moved into the area and began to slaughter the animals by the thousands. By 1883, the buffalo had disappeared from their northern range and the life style of the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes changed dramatically. It was also during this same period that the Assiniboine Tribe lost without "just compensation" the territory outlined by the original 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty. Through a series of actions and without the consent of the Assiniboine, Congress in responding to pressure from white ranchers and settlers, opened the original reservation for settlement.

Finally on May 15, 1886, Congress in an effort to stabilize the area, attached a rider to the Indian Appropriations Act and authorized the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to begin negotiations with the Tribes of the territory. Led by Major Larabee, the Northwest Indian Commission, traveled during one of the harshest winters on record to the area and met separately with the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes to establish the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. Meanwhile, white representatives of Montana Territory were busy lobbying Congress to remove all of the tribes from the territory. On the final document, 137 Assiniboine with Redstone as the chief signatory and 263 Sioux with Medicine Bear as the chief signatory authorized the present reservation agreement.

The People

The Fort Peck Reservation is home to two separate warrior nations, each composed of numerous bands and divisions. Descendants of six of the 33 bands of Assiniboine came to reside at Fort Peck. These are: the Canoe Padddlers, Rock Band, Red Bottom Band, Cree Speakers, Fat Horse and Canoe Paddlers of the Prairie. More bands may have settled here, however, division over the presence of their ancient enemies the Sioux, lead many to move and settle farther west of Fort Peck to the Fort Belknap Reservation. The Sioux on the Fort Peck Reservation represent all of the divisions of this great nation. The largest group to settle on the reservation is the Cuthead Yanktonais bands under the leadership of Medicine Bear, Strike the Rees, and other principle men. The Sisseton, Wahpeton, and Wahpekute bands of Sioux migrated to the area from the Minnesota Wars. And, bands of Teton Sioux also settled the area after the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Today, there are over 10,000 tribally enrolled members, of whom approximately 6,000 reside on or near the reservation. The major population areas are located in six reservation communities along the southern border on U.S. Highway 2 near the Missouri River. Traveling east to west these are: Fort Kipp, Brockton, Poplar, Wolf Point, Oswego, and Frazer, MT. The two tribes adopted their first written constitution in 1927, but replaced it with a new constitution in 1960. The official governing body of the Tribes is the Tribal Executive Board which is composed of twelve voting members, plus a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary-Accountant, and Sergeant-At-Arms. All members of the governing body, except the Secretary-Accountant, are elected at large every two years. Tribal headquarters are located in Poplar, Montana.

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Fort Peck Tribes Website

Visit the Fort Peck Tribes Website Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov

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