OUR GUEST IS NATHAN DEROCHE (BLACKFEET) TO DISCUSS THE LAME BULL TREATY.
In the fall of 1855, assuming their leaders understood the specifics of the treaty, the Blackfeet people believed that their homeland had been guaranteed them if they would share the Three Forks area as a common hunting ground with the western tribes and share the area east of the Milk and north of the Missouri with the Assiniboine. These hunting agreements would last 99 years. The U.S. government would provide many things they needed in exchange for safe passage through Blackfeet country. At that time, nothing else was coveted within this vast homeland. But this was a short story. In 1862 and 1863 gold was found at several important sites right in the middle of the common hunting ground and others within the Blackfeet Reservation. Within 10 years of the treaty, by 1865, there were no more bison in the shared hunting ground. Mining camps, instead, dotted the landscape, and miners trespassed throughout Blackfeet country looking for gold.
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