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The History of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, Montana, 1800-2000

"This book details the survival of the groups of peoples that became the Fort Peck Tribes. It is a remarkable story that speaks to a resilience of human spirit and a tenacious desire to retain an ancient, honorable identity."
- James Shanley, from the Acknowledgments

This groundbreaking book speaks to all who want to understand what it means to be a Native American in a changing world. The words of Chief Spotted Dog reveal the motivation behind writing the book as well as the best reason for reading it: "When you develop your mind, it’s as if your feet have wings so you walk with an enlightened mind, spirit, and body while you live."

The first two chapters of the book not only trace the origins of the two tribes that eventually wound up on the Fort Peck Reservation, but also offer insight into how they dealt with change as white settlement in the East forced them and other Native Americans into the land now known as Montana. “This is about the strength of the people living from day to day often in a survival mode, and taking care of their families,” says author Caleb Shields.

The book details the treaty, government affairs, political and social development, and other aspects of tribal history that span 200 years. It features more than one hundred black-and-white historic photographs, many published here for the first time.

Funding for the book was approved in 2005 by the Montana Legislature as part of what is known as "Indian Education for All" to meet the demands of the 1972 state Constitution. Native American legislators led the fight for the bill that provided money for all seven tribal colleges in the state to write tribal histories.

About the Authors:
James Shanley, Ph.D., is president of Fort Peck Community College. Caleb Shields served on the Fort Peck Tribal Executive Board in 1975 and served twenty-four consecutive years before retiring from politics in late 1999. He served as tribal chairman for his last three terms. David Reed Miller, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies at First Nations University of Canada. Joseph R. McGeshick, Ph.D., is a poet, novelist, and educator of Chippewa/Sioux/Assiniboine ancestry. Dennis John Smith, Ph.D., teaches history and Native American studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Order for $39.95 through the Montana Historical Society Museum Store, call toll-free at 1-800-243-9900, or order here.