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Schultz and Joe Kipp, with Grinnell visiting Blackfeet country, they had explored and hunted together nearly every year since 1885. It is approaching 1895 when Joe Kipp “… admits being interested in mining claims, staked up just over the ridge of the mountains from the place or locality in question... As they admit of their company or combination having the whole range staked off, and also state no other person or persons, have claims in this region, it would seem that they are about the only persons directly interested in the development of the alleged mining interests…” or so says Inspector Thomas Smith in 1894 according to the investigative report (circa 1950-52) of Michael Foley for the United States Indian Claims Commission. Cheating Indians had been so pervasive that special tribunals had been set up for the United States Courts to investigate American dealings with the Indians and the report of Mr Foley has an entire section devoted to just this treaty. It is hard to imagine that Grinnell, who would move on to conclude the so called “Grinnell Agreement”- wresting the gold bearing Little Rocky Mountains from the Gros Ventres Indians for a paltry $350,000, would not have known of the illegal mining explorations of his friend Schultz and the so called “Kipp Gang” in Blackfeet country, in fact not only Kipp, but Shultz and the previous Indian Agent, ‘Captain Cooke’ as well, had ‘pre-staked’ claims in the Northern Rockies Continental Divide Range, anticipating the coming land cession to the Whites. These are the very lands that Grinnell, Shultz and Kipp had explored in Grinnell’s map-making ventures beginning in 1887. Suddenly, in September, 1895, Grinnell was back in Indian country as a duly appointed
representative of the United States whose business was to conclude a land cession of the suspected mineral bearing properties of the Blackfeet, now comprising portions of Glacier National Park and further lands, the Forest Service properties Badger (Bear) River and South Fork of the Two Medicine Lodges Rivers, south of US Highway 2 and the present day national park boundary. The Blackfeet Chiefs of 1895 had their backs to the wall. The United States had starved them into submission, first by the policy of destroying the Buffalo herds, then the Blackfeet were not delivered their promised foods until thousands had died (known as the Starvation Winters, with an under-reported death toll in the annals of the USA, between 1882 and the end of the starvation winters many Blackfeet simply vanished from the Oral History, the southernmost Bands of Indians that would have been Big Lake’s people particularly noted here) and the ridge a few miles below the Badger Canyon was so littered with caskets and unburied bodies, that it became known as Ghost Ridge. Ceding the Sweet Grass Hills due to this starvation, in 1887, was supposed to have given the tribe the requisite wealth to take them into to the future, down the Whiteman road, but most of this money had been stolen by its United States administrators, and not surprisingly, the unwilling Blackfeet Chiefs now were back before the negotiators sent by the United States who now wanted these further lands with the suspected mineral potential. The meeting of the Blackfeet Chiefs and the United States Commissioners to discuss this issue was at the Blackfeet Indian Agency hospital building in what is now Browning, Montana. Commissioner Pollack to the Blackfeet Chiefs: “We understand that you have agreed on what part you wish to sell, that lies entirely with you.. Commissioner Grinnell to the Chiefs: “What I shall say to you will be simply to second Mr Pollack’s remarks..
Commissioner Clements: “We are not here to drive a bargain, the government simply desires to buy land that the Indians do not want.. Little Dog [a bad translation, this is the ‘Pup’] to the Commissioners: “The Indians did not ask the Government to come and buy their land..” The Pup rebuts the commissioners opening remarks as absolutely untrue. The Pup is a ‘pagan’ Blackfeet, as are most of his people at this time, and does not want to sell the mountain home of his tribe’s gods. Besides, The Pup is convinced these men are here to cheat his people. The Pup’s presumptions are not without foundation, it has already been falsely reported to the United States Indian Commissioner Browning that the Indians nearly unanimously want to sell the mountain portion of their reservation, which, excepting White Calf, is absolutely rebutted by the further speeches of these chiefs.. “White Calf to the Commissioners: “We Indians, in my mind, are nothing but common dogs. The Great Father has taken it into his head to break in these wild dogs and has done so..” White Calf is a Christian and a broken man, not a chief in the old sense. White Calf is a sycophant that always will grovel before the United States, as indicated in his terms of speech ‘The Great Father.’ White Calf is under the absolute influence of Joe Kipp and James Willard Schultz, and what is described in the investigative reports of the United States Indian Claims Commission as the [criminal] “Agency Ring.” Commissioner Grinnell is so close to these thieves that he is in fact considered by most of the Indians present to be a de facto member of the same criminal ring, known to the Indians at the agency as the „Kipp Gang.“
Three Suns to the Commissioners: “We will approach each other with caution..” Three Suns knows these men cannot be trusted, the USA has relentlessly persecuted this chief for his “Pagan” beliefs, but he also knows business must be done or the Whites will take what they want regardless, and by means of violence if necessary. Commissioner Pollack: “We want to know if you will [also] sell the land south of the rail road.. As to the value of it, you have owned this land for many years and you have been over it and know what it is. We, the commissioners, except Mr Grinnell, have not, so you know more of it than we.” It has been Joe Kipp and James Willard Schulz, under escort and protection of Christianized Blackfeet loyal to White Calf who is protected by the United States, that have guided Grinnell on numerous trips through these lands over the ten preceding years. White Calf: “I am glad to the action of the commission in treating with the Indians, you are disposed to be fair.” The sycophant White Calf, simply put, is licking the Whiteman’s boots. “I don’t think the Indians and yourselves should have any violent discussions..” This is White Calf’s warning to his fellow Chiefs, White Calf has seen 80% of his people die as a direct consequence of the Whiteman’s general actions against Indians. White Calf is a mentally broken man for that fact and White Calf is afraid. White Calf will give up anything the Whiteman asks..
“When the news came that the government wished to buy the land from us, we looked around for men to represent us. Mr Grinnell and Mr Conrad are among them. They will help us in forming this treaty.” There is at this time a criminal syndicate of Agency employees and associates that have been agitating for this land cession. Grinnell’s bosom friends, Kipp and Schultz, are among them. Grinnell’s role, stated by White Calf, as representing both the United States and the Indians is a gross conflict of interest. It is White Calf, used by the Whites, that has requested Grinnell be a Commissioner for the United States, and it is White Calf, in his capacity as confederacy chief that has been further used by the Whites to falsely represent to the United States that the Blackfeet majority wants a land sale of the area in negotiation. Schultz and Kipp’s other acquaintance representing the Indians, Conrad, has already personally profited from the previous (1887) Sweet Grass Hills Blackfeet land cession through the selling of his gold bearing mineral claims there (likely acquired from Joe Kipp) to Great Northern Rail Road magnate J.J. Hill. Little Bear Chief [a poor translation, this is actually Young Bear Chief] to the commissioners: “I would like to know for what purpose you are here..” Young Bear Chief has just called these men liars, a direct response to the opening remarks of Commissioners and an attempt to reign in White Calf. He does not accept the purpose of these proceedings on its face. Young Bear Chief knows that there is always a hidden agenda when dealing with the Whiteman, and it is invariably bad luck for the Indians. Young Bear Chief knows these Whitemen are highly untrustworthy and perfectly capable of cheating the Blackfeet. The Blackfeet majority did not invite these men, it was Schultz and Kipp, using White Calf, that have brought these men
here and Young Bear Chief consequently expects to be cheated. He will not be disappointed in that expectation. Commissioner Pollack to Little Bear Chief: “You have a large tract of land which you cannot use. The better plan is for the government to buy this land that you may be provided for when your present treaty expires. You must do this or the government will be obliged to support you..” This is a thinly veiled threat to starve the Blackfeet if they do not sell, the last time they had no treaty annuities, less than ten years previous, the Blackfeet had brought countless bodies to the top of Ghost Ridge, too starved to have the strength to bury their dead in the frozen ground. And now most of the subsequent Sweet Grass Hills treaty annuities have been exhausted, for the most part squandered or stolen by Whitemen present for these proceedings, especially the criminal cabal whose members count Kipp, Schultz and the USA’s supervising Indian Agent among them. Little Bear Chief: “After I make my offer of what I wish to sell, I don’t want you to say that you want more land. It is my privilege to say how much land I want to sell you.” Young Bear Chief is the leader of what is left of the Blackfeet warrior class. His responsibility is the guardianship of the tribe’s resources, especially game for hunting. This chief knows the value of the mountain game as a resource to keep his people alive when treaty annuities are exhausted, a critical resource considering the Buffalo are now extinct in Blackfeet lands. Young Bear Chief knows he will be forced to sell, the Whiteman always takes what he wants, but nonetheless Young Bear Chief will struggle to keep what he can. “From the Cut Bank north to the Boundary Line is what I wish to sell.”
This was an ingenious suggestion by Young Bear Chief. He has moved the commissioners proposed southern sale boundary north to the outer edge of territory that would be White Calf’s responsibility were White Calf still adhering to the Blackfeet Laws and Gods. North of the main fork of the Cut Bank River is the Hudson divide and inclusive of the mountains on the other side, especially the Paramount Chief Mountain, representing White Calf’s Chieftaincy and his christians, this can go with White Calf’s decision to sell, a foregone conclusion in Young Bear Chief’s thinking. Young Bear Chief has his fellow Chiefs’ concurrence in this idea after there is an adjournment for a private discussion between the Commissioners. Little Dog: “We have decided to sell from the Cut Bank to the Boundary Line..” It is official. The Pup is the Chief of the Amskapi Pikuni. White Calf cannot argue with this. But the Commissioners buy time by means of another adjournment in the proceeding to discuss some arm-twisting of the Indians, conversations that they do not want on the record. After this adjournment, Little Dog both gives some ground and complains of the tactics. Little Dog: “We do not want to sell the land north from Birch Creek, but think that we will sell the land north from the rail way.” Alluding to the dirty tactics employed to confront the Indians with the coercion he sees coming from the adjournments, The Pup continues “We do not go outside to come to any conclusions about this, and we don’t think you should do so..”
Commissioner Pollack: “We have decided to propose to pay for the lands north from the rail way one million dollars, and from Birch Creek north one million two hundred and fifty thousand dollars..” Here is what The Pup, Three Suns, Young Bear Chief and the rest of the Indians saw coming. The Whitemen do not know how to take NO for an answer. They will have everything, north and south of the railway. Pollack continues with a deadly threat every Indian present understands“I fully agree with the agent, Major Steell, that when he said that it would be impossible to keep the Whiteman off of that portion of the reservation- that it would take nearly the whole army to do so.. ..we want you to consider it well..” The Pup and the Blackfeet know what happens when the army comes to protect the Indians.. the Army murders the Indians on the smallest pretext. Custer murdered the Cheyenne before he had received his just desserts when coming to murder the Sioux. Chief Heavy Runner’s son is present, he was at the Sweet Grass Hills on a Buffalo Hunt when his father’s village was murdered on the Marias by the army only twenty some years previous, nearly 200 dead, mostly the elderly, women and children. And it is the “Agency Ring” leader, the whiskey trader Joe Kipp, a bosom friend of Grinnell, who is now working for the Indian Agent on this proposed treaty that led the Army to Heavy Runner’s camp on the occasion of that massacre. And only five years before this treaty negotiation, the United States Army had murdered Big Foot’s band at Wounded Knee. The Pup did not appreciate this threat. Little Dog: “We don’t like the proposition you have just made.. ..We are of peaceful mind towards you and don’t intend to have any violent debate..”
But The Pup is trapped. Pollack has just made it clear that the Whiteman will have everything he wants whether the Indians like it or not, and from the Indian point of view, by violence if necessary. Pollack: “You have made no [counter] proposition..” Pollack thinks having The Pup in a corner will break his will. Little Dog: “I am about to make a proposition.. I think it will surprise you; make you faint and fall down..” The Pup hopes to drive these people away by asking three million dollars for the land north of the rail way only, but it is futile, he and Pollack argue over the mountains worth to the Indians, Pollack telling the Indians the mountains are of no value to them, The Pup disagrees and insists “we do not intend to retreat or go back.” It is becoming heated, but White Grass intervenes. White Grass: “My friends, while we shake hands, let us come to a peaceful understanding.. The Pup’s words are good. All he said, I agree with..” White Grass, cognizant of Pollack’s threats, justifies The Pup to Pollack in terms of economics, there is no Indian present that would dare to mention this is the abode of their Gods, this is how and why Big Foot’s band was murdered only five years before, at Wounded Knee, over the evangelical’s paranoias generated around Ghost Dance, and the practice of Indian religion which has long been outlawed by the United States. Bull Shoe also comes to The Pup’s defense and attempts to preserve the mountains south of the
rail way for the Indians. All of the Indians know something will have to be given up, but what can be saved? Bull Shoe: “The words of The Pup and White Grass are my words..” Bull Shoe goes on to appeal to Grinnell to basically act like a Human Being, all in terms of economics, the only argument they can be allowed make. Grinnell knows full well what the Indians cannot say, what they are not allowed to say, that their sense of humanity, their very identity as Indians is being stripped away, the home of their gods, their ability to practice their religion, taken at gunpoint, under Pollack’s allusions to starving the Blackfeet and to bringing the army in. Little Dog to Grinnell: “We are waiting for you to speak” The Pup knows what Grinnell says will be.. White Calf had already been used in the name of the Blackfeet to bring this man into these unwanted negotiations. Grinnell is supposedly a “Good” Whiteman the Indians can “trust”, the phony frontier legend surrounding Grinnell relative to these people has already begun some ten years ago when the Christian White Calf’s group of Blackfeet has given this man a name and adopted him into the tribe on his first arrival in this country, an event unthinkable only two decades before, when names and membership had to be earned by deeds, to belong to these people. White Calf’s bunch and his heirs, represented in the present day Chief Earl Old Person, have freely given out names and ‘adoptions’ to persons such as Grinnell that are totally meaningless in the old Blackfeet context.. to people who have done nothing to deserve the honors, including Ronald Reagan, the 1950’s actor. Now The Pup and the Blackfeet will discover just what sort of “friend” they have acquired by the Christian Blackfeet ‘adoption’ of Grinnell.
Grinnell: “You have asked three times as much as we think those mountains are worth..” Grinnell sets out to destroy any remaining hopes the Indians will either keep a portion of their mountains or get a fair deal. The non Christianized Blackfeet remembered this man in the pejorative sense ever after. He was, after all, the friend of Schultz and Kipp. “We do not wish to make fools” [of the Indians.] Grinnell knows this is an insult, belittling the Indians position. “After we make a treaty.. the papers.. must go to Washington to the Big Chief of all the Indians..” Grinnell not only further insults these people, he is reminding them who is the boss, Grinnell holds the executive appointment of ‘the Big Chief of all the Indians.’ Grinnell goes on to tell what every Blackfeet present knows is a lie, excepting the Christians who will receive favorable treatment, that the sale of the lands in question will provide for the Indians and that they will become rich, and how important this is and how much Grinnell worries about their children. All the Indians and Grinnell know that the Indian’s administrators are thieves and that the money is habitually squandered on the Indian Agent’s friends in cush jobs requiring little, if any work, and that most of it is stolen. The Indians have made this point repeatedly known in the larger context of the proceedings. Little Plume: “I will not go out of the trail marked by The Pup..” The Indian resistance continues, isolating White Calf, but now White Calf intervenes to prevent his chiefs taking this direction.
White Calf: “I am in favor of resting, I see that we cannot come to any agreement.. If we rest, some may change their minds, I am in favor of going away and councilling among ourselves..” White Calf has gone directly against The Pup and the rest of the Chiefs’ resistance, playing the Whiteman game, he sets out to adjourn for purpose of maneuvering behind the scenes. Three Suns rebuts White Calf, pointing out who actually speaks for the Blackfeet. Three Suns: “The Pup has told you what part of the mountains we wish to sell, we are all willing to stand by him.. You have said the mountains are poor, no, they are rich.. we want to reserve a part of the mountains- as when a man is selling his horses, he keeps one for himself.. We have decided today [imperative, done, finished, last offer] to sell the mountains north of the rail road.. It is useless for us to go away again and council together..” This is directed as much to White Calf, telling him to shut up, that he is a nothing chief, as it is to the Commissioners. Running Crane backs Three SunsRunning Crane: “I think we should have no extended discussion..” The Blackfeet, with the sole exception of White Calf, are saying to the Whitemen ‘take it or leave it.’ Middle Calf: “We will not recede from our.. offer.. ..We will be very glad after you go away..” What the Commissioners do not understand, except for Grinnell, is the Indians are placing their real feelings, grossly insulting the
Whites, via thinly concealed allusions, into the greater discussion. This would be typical of a hot topic in the Blackfeet language councils, but the context is lost in the translations, the Whitemen don’t get it, except for Grinnell who has previously insulted the Indians in kind. In formal Blackfeet language proceedings, the really contentious points of a subject’s discussion are indirectly alluded to, likewise, insults are placed like concealed darts in the greater context of the conversation. Throughout the greater context of these conversations, there have been allusions to the Whiteman’s history of cheating the Blackfeet. All the while, nearly every Chief works to undermine White Calf’s adjournment proposal. Four Horns continues the work of isolating White Calf who will give away everything, if presented the opportunity. Four Horns: “I don’t believe the Indians will deviate from their proposition or price [three million dollars for north of the tracks only] Don’t take this in an unfriendly way, it is your fault if you don’t make a treaty, not mine..” After Four Horns has backed the other Chiefs’, White Calf capitulates to his fellow Blackfeet, momentarily. White Calf: “This is the Chief Mountain in the country..” White Calf is referring to himself in aboriginal terms, as himself being indistinguishable from Chief Mountain: to please his Chiefs, he is now addressing the gathering as though he were the mountain itself speaking. For this moment only, White Calf has reverted to his role under Blackfeet law and capitulates to his several chiefs pointed directive.
“And now we offer it to you from the rail road to the boundary line..” White Calf is giving up only the territory The Pup had indicated he would give up. At this point, White Calf’s speech is an attempt to reassert an idea, that he is the leader of the Blackfeet who have long abandoned his leadership in favor of the leadership of The Pup. Significantly, no lands south of the rail road are offered, and any small chance of White Calf reasserting authority with his chiefs must fall into line with The Pup’s position. White Calf now finalizes this idea. “All we have said on this subject we will always say, and we will not change.” By traditional (pre-White) Indian law, White Calf cannot over-rule his Chiefs. They have spoken, he is their mouthpiece, that is that. But White Calf is a two faced liar these days and will shortly sell his chiefs out to the Whiteman in a secret meeting Little Bear Chief: “When I heard there was to be a treaty I thought I would not come.. Before I came I saw that there would be trouble ahead.. It is because a snake has crawled into our councils..” Young Bear Chief is making an allusion to the cabal of Schultz, Kipp and company, the “Kipp Gang”, Young Bear Chief wants to say Kipp and Schultz are corrupt, but cannot do so in the presence of Grinnell, their friend, in the open “..when it was decided to sell, it set very heavy.. if the Great Father [sardonic] wants to know how.. first in regard to the land north of the Cut Bank and how they [the Indians] changed [the proposed sale boundary south to the rail road from Cut Bank], let him come to me and find out..”
Young Bear Chief wants either of the two Commissioners, other than Grinnell, to know of the corrupt nature of the proceeding, and what pressures are being applied to the Indians behind the scenes.. the deals being made behind their backs. Young Bear Chief’s problem is that these men already know and, what’s more, don’t give a damn. Wolf Tail: “You should be well pleased with your trip, you got bear skins and goat skins” This refers to Kipp and Schulz taking Grinnell hunting to get everyone of the visiting Whitemen trophies commemorating their trip “..these thing you got are as good as money..” Wolf Tail is rebutting the Whites contention the mountains are without value to the Indians, this lie must be refuted, these are the last of their subsistence hunting lands, and very valuable indeed. Bull Calf: “It makes me glad when I can pull trout out of the mountain streams..” Grinnell: “It is getting late and I want to say a few words before we adjourn..” This is the adjournment the Indians did not want before a deal is concluded, they know the Whitemen will regroup together with White Calf, Schulz, Grinnell and Kipp, among others, and find a means to cheat them “..In all of this time I have never told you anything but the truth..” Grinnell continues
“..now in this treaty [north of the rail road only] we will give you one million dollars and leave you all the wood you need and take only the rocky ridges..” In fact William Running Crane, aka ‘Goat’, who receives his power from the creature for which Goat Mountain is namedChevron’s proposed drilling site in these lands of recent timesstates these very words in the Blackfeet language, from Oral History, on video tape in the 1990’s, that the deal translated to the Indians for the mountain portion of the reservation in 1895 was in fact only for the “Rocky Ridges.” Grinnell now threatens the Blackfeet “..If you people would rather have the government sell the land for you..” This is a very ugly threat, in effect, I will take the land anyway and give you what I like, without the pretense of negotiations. Little Dog: “For what object shall we meet again?” The Pup AGAIN rejects Grinnell’s threats, the entire affair should end now. Pollack: “Some have not spoken, and we want to give you a another chance to talk this matter over..” Pollack does not honor the fact that these Chiefs have spoken the will of the Blackfeet people, according to their tradition. He refuses the Indians desire to end the whole business now. Little Dog: “We cannot agree. Why meet again then?” Pollack: “The land is yours..”
With this lie the Indians were dismissed. Proceedings were terminated, but the Indians have been misled into believing that the negotiations are over. There is a meeting in the middle of the night arranged with the Commissioners by Joe Kipp and then, following a secret meeting between the commissioners and White Calf, together with only those few Christianized Blackfeet that support the land cession, the Indians are reconvened: Pollack: You have consulted among yourselves and your friends and have determined upon some plan.. We are glad to meet you again.. White Calf: Our Father, Major Steell, our friend Joe Kipp, and the butcher Joe Cook, are the ones that have led us to take a new view of this treaty.. Major Steell, the Indian Agent, like the Indian Agent before him, Captain Cooke, is a member of the criminal syndicate, Whiskey Trader Joe Kipp, the guide that led the army to Heavy Runners village for the massacre on the Marias in 1870, is the ringleader of that syndicate -the “Kipp Gang” at the Blackfeet Agency- and a member also, is Joe Cook. White Calf then gives a fawning speech to the Whites about how good they are to guide this effort to the betterment of the Indians.. in short, the worst fears of The Pup and his close supporters are now realized, a back door deal has been made and The Pup has not been notified and is not present. Suddenly White Calf has, to his own benefit- and the benefit of his limited group of Christian Blackfeet only, given the lands from the Birch Creek, the lands south of the rail road that the Indians under The Pup had altogether refused to negotiate, all the way to the border line with Canada, inclusive of the negotiated lands, for one million, five hundred thousand dollars, the sycophant White Calf, a self described “broken common dog”, has delivered exactly what
the Whitemen have asked. But it is spoken of in context of a ‘new’ agreement. Here, the minutes are tampered with. This ‘new’ agreement is never recorded into the minutes by the stenographer, when twice read over to the Indians, one of those readings by Grinnell himself, it is merely noted in the minutes that this ‘new’ agreement has been “read” to the Indians by Grinnell, at a subsequently called session. It is mentioned by the Indians in the minutes that the Indians expect to keep all of the timber and grazing lands, and the right to hunt and fish in the transferred area, essentially everything is retained by the Blackfeet, in their view, except the “Rocky Ridges”, as previously stated would be the case by Grinnell in an earlier statement and as is reflected in the Oral History of the Blackfeet. But the treaty translated to the Indians does not show up in the agreement. The fact that the translated sale was exclusively confined to the “Rocky Ridges”, and there was continuing Indian ownership of the mountain timber and meadow lands, together with their aboriginal hunting and fishing rights, and continued ownership of the water. The real deal offered the Indians can be drawn from their speeches and the statement of Grinnell, and reflects in today’s Oral History of the Blackfeet. But this is not what was written into the agreement. Now there are two agreements: The paper agreement in the National Archive is the “Agency Ring’s” total sellout. The other agreement is the agreement translated to the Indians, the one that persuades many of the chiefs to sign after the fact. This second agreement, what was actually translated to the Indians, was never recorded into the minutes or officially adopted on paper. The official record, taken together with Blackfeet Oral History, can clearly identify this event as a classic ‘bait and switch.’ The agreement translated to the Indians, made in the absence of The Pup, any false written agreement in the National Archives
notwithstanding, is the Blackfeet transferred only the “Rocky Ridges” and retained ownership all of the timber and grazing lands within the mountain tract, plus the aboriginal right to hunt and fish. This Oral agreement made with the Blackfeet would stand on its own legs, except for the fact that any agreement was made under extreme duress, in violation of Blackfeet tribal law- against the express will of the Blackfeet people under the leadership of The Pup. In actuality, there has only been contract fraud and the ceded lands in their entirety still rightfully belong in the possession of today’s Blackfeet Nation, Glacier National Park inclusive, extending at least as far west as the original Blackfeet place names. Grinnell’s most bald faced lie concerning this treaty was in the Commissioners report to the United States upon the treaty’s conclusion- when it was written to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in a document signed by Grinnell: “We.. studiously avoided making any promise or saying anything that could be constructed into a promise that something outside of what appears in the agreement would be done for the Indians.” Another lie Grinnell signed off on in this report on the treaty was the statement that the Indians had expressed happiness with the Sweet Grass Hills land cession, to wit: “The Indians expressed themselves as well satisfied with the former agreement..” In fact the general context of the Indians speeches throughout the negotiations led by the Pup indicated the Indians felt persistently cheated by the Whites, inclusive of the Sweet Grass Hills cession treaty Grinnell refers to as the “former agreement.” Grinnell particularly, being familiar with the speech habits of these Indians, would have known this. Grinnell was also well aware of the constraints put on the speeches of the Chiefs because of matters of
both culture and history. The Indians could not speak of the mountains importance from a standpoint of religion for two very great reasons, the Gods generally cannot be spoken of, or named, outside of the context of ceremony, and the Indians were being forced into Christianity at gunpoint during this period and both the Indians and Grinnell knew that any admission of continuing Indian religious practices risked jail, even death at the hand of the Army for the Indians. This forced all of the speeches into the context of economics at the treaty proceedings, per the pretenses of the Whitemen present and the broken man, White Calf. Three Suns was highly cognizant of this fact, the investigative report of Michael Foley for the United States Indian Claims commission backs Blackfeet Oral History’s assertion that Three Sun’s band centered in the area south of Browning towards Heart Butte was discriminated against by the Indian Agents who saw these people as “Pagans” unfit and totally undeserving of favorable treatment, unlike the Indians associated with the ‘Good Indian’, the sycophant, collaborator and Christian, Chief White Calf. Refusing Christianity is why Three Sun’s people were starved to death up to 1885. There was no incentive on the White administrators part to care for these people, they wished them dead as “Pagans.” A third great lie signed off on by Grinnell in the report to the United States on the treaty, is that the lands in question, outside of the mineral potential, are without value to the Indians whatsoever. In fact these were the last useful hunting lands in the possession of the Blackfeet and a significant hunting and gathering resource in times of lean, a demonstrable fact that continues to be true in the not infrequent starvation times to the present day. Without this resource Three Sun’s band would starve again, because of the discrimination they experienced at the hands of the Indian Agent who largely favored and took care of only the Christian converts among the Blackfeet, centered at Browning.
A further problem with the treaty is, if members of Joe Kipp’s cabal were the translators, Grinnell’s reporting to the United States that the accuracy of the translations were assured by means of utilizing two translators, one English to Blackfeet, the other Blackfeet to English is disingenuous. There are two, and they are both well known Blackfeet historical personages, capable of the correct phonetic spellings of the Blackfeet whose names are translated, Blackfeet to English, on the signature pages of the agreement. Both are friends of Grinnell. Both belong to what United States Indian Claims Commission investigations describes as a criminal cabal at the agency, calling it the “Agency Ring.” One is Joe Kipp. The other is James Willard Schultz.* The agreement translated to the Indians is not the agreement to which their signatures are appended. The Amskapi Pikuni principle chief, The Pup, refused to sign the deal made by White Calf behind his back. Three Suns signed under the greatest of duress- the knowledge that his band centered at Heart Butte would know severe persecution and starvation by the Indian Agent if the Indians did not capitulate. Young Bear Chief has signed because his responsibility, the retention of the Indian hunting resource, has been preserved to the Indians per the actual translations to the Indians and the Blackfeet subsequent understanding of the treaty’s content in Oral History. What might be discovered were the ostensibly professional scholars, these many failed anthropologists, actually conscientious investigators of circumstance that followed the truth, regardless of where that path might lead? The picture is not pretty on its face. *2 I once heard Anthropologist Jack Holterman wonder aloud how Grinnell could have become mixed up in the corrupt treaty process of 1895. I have always liked and gotten along with Jack. And I think I may have found the answer to his question. It is likely not the answer Jack would have suspected. The answer will largely be
heresy to both conservationists and anthropologists. But it is the answer the path of truth points to. George Bird Grinnell was Theodore Roosevelt’s hunting companion and mentor in the conservation movement. Grinnell was politically connected at the highest levels in the United States and keenly cognizant of establishing his own legacy in the preservation of the most stunning scenic wild lands of the West, and together with Roosevelt, is considered a founding father of America’s National Parks so called ‘crown jewels’, Glacier National Park inclusive. Remember that within two years of seeing these dramatic peaks, glaciers and lakes, Grinnell was busy returning to make maps of them. But Glacier could not have become a National Park, belonging as it did, to the Blackfeet Nation. It is unquestionably established that by the time of 1895, Grinnell had become intimately familiar with these Blackfeet lands through his exploration of them every year with Schultz and Kipp. The investigations of the United States Indian Claims Commission establish that Grinnell, by this time, did not believe these lands that today comprise a large portion of Glacier National Park had any commercial mineral potential. Yet in the negotiations with the Indians, Grinnell initially valued the Glacier Park portion alone at four times the value over the other half of the lands comprising the 1895 land cession. And Grinnell only offered a fraction of that amount to the Gros Ventre and Assinaboine Indians for the known gold bearing features of the Little Rocky Mountains. Grinnell’s friends, Schultz and Kipp, and their partners comprising the ‘Kipp Gang’ (called the “Agency Ring” by the investigator for the United States Indian Claims Commission), appear to have been the only Whitemen to have staked the literally several hundreds of claims over the mountain area, an area Grinnell doubted had commercial mineral potential whatsoever, but making it look like there was a “Gold Stampede” in progress. It was the ‘Kipp Gang’, indistinguishable from the
“Agency Ring”, United States government officials inclusive, that suggested the “Army be brought in to the area to prevent a Gold Stampede”, a weapon of intimidation used against the Indians over the areas eventual ownership. It was the ‘Kipp Gang’, using White Calf, that falsely reported to the United States that the Indians were anxious to sell. Finally, it was the Kipp Gang’s friend Grinnell that, through his false reputation as a ‘friend’ of the Blackfeet, via the invitation of White Calf, and his political connections, became the main player who sheparded the Indians out of the future Glacier National Park ownership. The biggest cheat in the phony written treaty, the paper that was not ever properly recorded by the minutes as given in translation to the Indians, is a cheat which almost certainly reflects the personal interests of Grinnell. Article One of the written treaty provides that the Indians continuing rights to hunt, fish and gather wood upon the ceded land (the aboriginal rights in the unrecorded translation to the Blackfeet as preserved to the Indians in perpetuity) are only good “so long as the same shall remain public lands of the United States.” What Grinnell knows concerning this clause is that “Public Lands” can be withdrawn from the public lands status by the United States, a detail that would be lost on the Indians even had it been translated, and that is exactly what happened with the northern portion when, only fifteen years later, Grinnell played a key role in establishing Glacier National Park and terminating Blackfeet timber, grazing and hunting rights in those lands, which should have been guaranteed by this treaty in perpetuity. The Indian’s Oral History understanding of this treaty is that all timber and meadowlands, together with the rivers and attending right to hunt and fish has been reserved in ownership to the tribe so long as there is a United States, and that the Whiteman has taken, per Grinnell’s assertion to them “I have never lied to you.. and
[we] take only the Rocky Ridges” means just that, only the rocky ridges have been sold. At this time of the treaty negotiation, Grinnell is already influential in the conservation movement, and the further theft of the reserved native rights by withdrawal of the lands from the ‘public lands’ status, in the creation of Glacier National Park, a national park creation highly important to the Grinnell conservation legacy, had to have been anticipated by Grinnell with the “so long as the same shall remain public lands of the United States” clause in Article One. Remember, these Commissioners, Grinnell inclusive, were perfectly willing to threaten the Indians with both starvation and the Army, and finally, those threats failing to move The Pup, Grinnell himself threatened to have the land sold by the government for them, with no pretense of negotiations or any say in the matter by the Indians. What was in it for the “Agency Ring”, the ‘Kipp Gang’, Grinnell’s close friends? At least another ten years of treaty annuities that could be pilfered from the Blackfeet. And White Calf’s Christians would continue to receive their preferential treatment at the hands of the Indian Agents. The losers were those Blackfeet that wished to keep their cultural identity, the sacred mountains, and their last subsistence hunting grounds. In 1895, that would have comprised a majority of the Blackfeet people. Did the Indians believe there was gold in these mountains? Some of them possibly did, considering all of the phony claims that were staked by the Kipp Gang to make the appearance of a ‘Gold Stampede.’ But largely I think not. If there was gold, the Indians would have known it. These highly observant people knew thousands of years before Darwin’s birth that there was an age the earth was ruled by reptiles. The ancient Blackfeet stories related to this reptilian world that had been buried
in mud is only recently a discovery of the Whiteman as his archaeologists dig dinosaur bones from the earth that was Blackfeet country. In the minutes of 1895 there were direct references to gold by the Indians in their comments to the Whites. But knowing a little something about the Indian habits of speech, I am inclined to believe that these references were a means of calling the Whiteman’s bluff- a way of saying ‘put up or shut up’ concerning the Indians demand of three million dollars for the land north of the Railway. The Indians were saying ‘If you really think there is gold in these mountains, then show us the money.’ The bottom line is they did not want to sell. A supposed mineral assay by Schultz, noted by Investigator Foley, was likely intended to hoodwink the greedy Indian Agents, the likes of Captain Cooke who had some 100 or more claims staked over the area, into pressing for the areas cession by the Indians. I would not be surprised at all if the mineral Schultz submitted for analysis was from the Helena area, where gold in its raw state was easily come by. In fact gold was never discovered in the area concerned with in the treaty of 1895. My hypothesis is that Grinnell, together with Shultz and Kipp, wrote this entire play, to enhance Grinnell’s conservation legacy. This is how Grinnell was able to become, only fifteen years later, the founding father of Glacier National Park. The only ‘gold’ was the majesty of the lands that are home to the Blackfeet Gods. Grinnell stole these lands for his legacy. Subsequently, Grinnell’s criminal associations –and lies- leaves a Grinnell legacy not only of an icon in anthropology and conservation.. Grinnell could also be ‘Jabez Stone’ who sold his soul in ‘The Devil and Daniel Webster.’ I would like to see a law school hold ‘moot court’ on Grinnell’s guilt or innocence related to
this event of 1895, but more importantly, this case should be presented in reality in the civil venue, before the United States Federal Court, to effect returning these lands to their rightful owners, the Blackfeet Indians.
*A statement of Schultz I discovered after writing this, that was not included in the records reproduction of the original 1895 treaty and associated documents from the National Archive was discovered at the Oklahoma State University Archives: I, J. W. Schultz, hereby certify that I wrote the names appearing upon the foregoing pages, the same being those that were signed by the parties by making their mark; that the same was done by them freely and voluntarily, and the names appearing thereon are Indians, both full bloods and mixed bloods, belonging upon and attached to the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.Given under my hand at the Blackfeet Agency this the 28th day of September, 1895. J. W. SCHULTZ. And: We, Charles Simon, James Perrine, and Richard Sanderville, do certify that the annexed and foregoing agreement by and between the United States and Indians, both full bloods and mixed bloods, residing upon and attached to the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, in Montana, was fully interpreted to said Indians and they made to understand the same; that after said interpretation the said Indians whose names appear subscribed to said agreement signed the same in our presence. We further certify that said Indians are members of said tribe and reside upon said reservation, set apart for said Indians in Montana, and that said subscribers are male adults over the age of 21 years. Given under our hands at the Blackfeet Indian Agency this 28th day of September, 1895. CHARLES SIMON,
Special Interpreter. JAMES PERRINE, Indian Interpreter. RICHARD SANDERVILLE, United States Agency Interpreter. [These Whitemen’s or halfbreeds relationship to Joe Kipp and the ‘Kipp Gang’ bear further investigation] *2 Sally Thompson [aka Sally Greiser} should not be lumped into the category I define as ‘Anthropological Mercenaries.’ In fact Sally (and Weber Greiser) went to great lengths attempting to respectfully investigate the Blackfeet traditions despite the considerable handicaps placed upon them by traditional Blackfeet laws and boundaries which they took pains not to violate, a refreshing and unusual approach from the outside.
A Buffalo Ghost Returns Returning to Grinnell’s mapmaking hobby, it has become a historical footnote that has loomed large in the recent times, relevant to those Indians that continue to seek their dreams in the ceded lands, inclusive of the area south of Glacier National Park. That footnote is the idea that these place names originate with Schultz, Kipp and Grinnell, rather than the Blackfeet, to be later adopted by the United States Geological Survey onto today’s maps. Today, as the United States takes a new look at exploring these Blackfeet Sacred Lands for gas and oil, some anthropologists are claiming the Blackfeet religious claims to these sites are undermined by Grinnell giving the names. Essentially it is being insinuated by the United States and their hired anthropological mercenaries that the Blackfeet traditionals are making their religious claims up, that these religious sites are modern inventions of the Indians. So the insults follow on the continued injuries to the Blackfeet peoples. But if this historical record is not corrected,
then these so called Anthropological Scientists will have weakened the Blackfeet traditional religious practitioners case for these sites protection, and the gas and oil interests may well proceed with activities that will destroy the fasting and dream sites as viable cultural properties. This is Ethnocide by ethnology. Perhaps in today’s world there is a remedy: holding these failed anthropologists personally liable for their shoddy, superficial work- via the civil lawsuit. During the prior period of Grinnell’s mapmaking hobby, and his associated days of exploring the Continental Divide Range of the Northern Rockies in Blackfeet country to that purpose -with Joe Kipp and James Willard Schultz- there were several instances that the original proper Blackfeet place names were assigned to the actual geographic features, in some instances correctly, sometimes off by a short distance. The idea that these Blackfeet names originated in most instances with Grinnell, Kipp, Schultz, and subsequently the United States Geological Survey, is patently wrong. Rising Wolf Mountain stands above Rising Wolf’s historic mountain campsite on the Two Medicine Lodges River, below the lake. Rising Wolf earned the right to that mountain name. It is nearly without question that it was on account of Rising Wolf’s status and counsel that the Blackfeet never fought a general war against the Whiteman, whether in Canada or the USA. That he was a great Blackfeet personage deserving of a mountain named for him by the tribe is without question. Mountains and other geographic features were named by the Blackfeet for the great personages of their society, especially if those mountains or other geological features are associated with acquiring power or were the fasting locations or near the habitual campsites of these individuals. Red Blanket Hill, the south ridge above the Cut Bank River near Starr School, is just such an example. Running Eagle Falls on the Two Medicine River also is one. Mount Pablo, in the Blackfeet ceded lands, is reputed to be
the fasting site of that man from the historic enemy tribe to the west. Chief Mountain itself belongs to the Paramount Chief of the Confederacy, stated in no uncertain terms by White Calf himself when he said to the Commissioners after the treaty proceedings “Chief Mountain is my head. Now my head is cut off.” There is no dispute that many of the Indian names on the western side of Glacier National Park originate with the Kootenai. So why cannot the Blackfeet names originate with the Blackfeet? It is the Blackfeet traditional religious practioners themselves that have, in part, prevented the truth coming forward. How can that be? In the earliest times of exploration of this general vicinity by the Whites, the Indians did not conceal nearly as much information from these ‘strangers’ as they subsequently decided to. When these Indians discovered that the Whites realistically recorded knowledge via the alien magic of pen and ink, whether in drawings or the strange habit of print, and could take the Indians knowledge away and disseminate it widely, things changed dramatically in the aboriginal mindset. In the Indian’s thinking, if you had intimate knowledge of another’s power, their ‘medicine’, their ceremony and sacred places, you can use that knowledge to ‘kill’ that person or people’s power. That became a concern. Taking this knowledge away to perhaps be so widely spread that it would come to be the knowledge of enemy tribes, required a new parameter in dealings with the Whites. The Sweet Pine Hills became the Sweet Grass Hills. The Grizzly Bear or Real Bear River became the Big Badger River, although it had already been called that name for many generations by all of those Blackfeet who belonged to the religious group called the Medicine Pipe Society, because they are taught to be careful when to use this bear’s name, and under certain
circumstances, they are not allowed to speak the name of the Grizzly Bear at all. So instead it is the “Big Badger.” And there were other problems. You are not supposed to discuss certain sacred matters outside the context of ceremony. Most anthropologists do not know how to unlock the code leading to ceremony and are unable to acquire the authentic sacred knowledge. And if they did know how, they would not likely be anthropologists anymore in the academic sense. Because their parameters of knowledge, and with this, their perceptions, even their approach to their life and their discipline, would have changed. Much of the Blackfeet Ceremonial and Sacred Place knowledge written of in books is not accurate, because habitually it has been spoken of in figures of speech or couched in concealed terms that are lost in translation. Layer over the top of that the idea that the studies of these peoples by ethnology are most certainly subjective studies, as they must be, as one culture sees another, then subsequently, sadly, those books and articles are the source of what many of today’s Indians, those who do not speak their language, know of their own culture. So now we can already have fourth hand reporting coming from Indians that the anthropologists might assume are first hand sources. Bad information is reinforcing itsself. It becomes even more complicated than that. Some of the authentic Medicine Men have no qualms whatsoever about giving disinformation to the anthropological investigators. These particular informants see it as essential to protect their knowledge from these prying people. Especially the anthropologists that are known to be christians. Does everything the Whiteman touch turn into a lie? Whenever it has to do with Indians, it would seem so. Western science has
failed to properly assess the cultural differences, there are often times no general equivalent perceptions of the world, as seen by Indians, in western culture. The western world’s science and empirical methods have failed, in the studies of these peoples. Science does not yet fathom why it is, that if you wound a mountain, that mountain will no longer produce dreams in the Indian psyche, the dream site and the dreamer are now dead, the Indian sees himself as dead. This can be directly related to White Calf’s statement “Chief Mountain is my head. Now my head is cut off.” No matter that the body lives. White Calf knew he was no longer an Indian. Now, for a few paragraphs, I will be a turncoat on the Blackfeet culture, and the old Blackfeet rules of behavior, to demonstrate in the empirical sense for the Whiteman, that those anthropologists and historians who believe that Schultz, Kipp, Grinnell, and the United States Geological Survey, originated the Blackfeet place names in the Blackfeet ceded lands, Glacier National Park inclusive, are wrong. Below Buffalo Mountain (the Buffalo’s ‘Hump’.. “Bison Mountain” according to the USGS map), and it’s “Head” (head mountain on the USGS), there is a sloped plain, it is really these mountain features shoulder, shared between the Blackfeet reservation and Glacier National Park. This is just four or so miles north by northwest of the large historic tourist lodge at East Glacier. This plain abruptly ends in a cliff overlooking the present day artificial lower Two Medicine Lake, which has been created by a dam. A probe of the base of that cliff, and the ancient ‘Pishkun’ that is there, would reveal this is a site where Buffalo were run off the cliff and fell to their death. That would be some amazing coincidence of naming by the USGS, that their “Bison” Mountain and it’s “Head” Mountain precisely overlook this site of a most ancient ‘Pishkun’ and/or ‘Okun’ (both Pishkun and Okun,
in Blackfeet, mean ‘Corral’), and it is Okun which is precisely the term the Blackfeet employ to describe their so called Sundance. But it does not stop there. This is also the origin of the name of the Two Medicine Lodges River which this site overlooked before it became today’s Lower Two Medicine Lake with the installing of the dam. Sundance, Medicine Lodge and Okun are all synonyms and related to Pishkun- Sundance and Medicine Lodge being English bastardizations of the meaning of Okun, or the Sacred Corral, whereas Pishkun is Buffalo Corral. But both terms can and do refer to the ‘Medicine Lodge’ of the Two Medicine Lodges River, Pishkun having been the term used by Brings Down the Sun to describe the origin of the name of the Two Medicine Lodges River. In the ancient days, before the artificial Lower Two Medicine Lake became what it is, every time there was a Sundance, Medicine Lodge, Sacred Corral or Okun, whatever you want to call it, above today’s artificial lower lake, close to Running Eagle Falls, there were actually Two Medicine Lodges, or Corrals, the second being the invisible Pishkun of the ancestors on the south bank, beneath Buffalo Mountain and its “Head” which are part and parcel of this plain and cliff. This is the ancestor’s Pishkun that, from the Sundance, one could hike to. And until I had written this, the Blackfeet Sun Priests could still safely, from the concealment of this knowledge, go this ancient site to pray, fast and dream, they could and can still commune with this ‘Buffalo Ghost’, represented in the mountain above and Pishkun below. But perhaps now it will be just another tourist attraction like the so called “Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump” with its Bison relics under glass, to the north in Alberta, Canada. Losing its solitude, and the dreams that sustain it, the Blackfeet culture will continue in a death spiral. But this seems of little consequence to me, because the legacy of Grinnell, taken together with the present day anthropologists, their
anthropological studies, and their many false assumptions, particularly the idea that impacts to the Indian’s dream sites can be mitigated, are killing the Blackfeet culture anyway. But perhaps the ongoing spiritual slaughter of these Indians, following on their physical slaughter, can stop. But that returns us to my fasting place, the ‘Real Bear River’ (Grizzly Bear River), called the ‘Big Badger’ by today’s Blackfeet, known to the present day Whiteman as the Badger Creek, and to the story of the greed of the Whiteman superceding all things the Indians hold sacred. It is a story about the treaty of 1895 stealing this land from the Indians so today’s Presidents’ Bush, the elder and younger, or future corrupt presidents, can attempt giving these stolen lands to their friends in the oil and gas industry. In fact as investigator for Mark R Mueller, the attorney of Floyd Heavy Runner, I’d uncovered not only this 1895 theft engineered by George Bird Grinnell, but also documented a deliberately falsified Environmental Impact Statement by criminals working the inside of government on behalf of CHEVRON during the administration of George H.W. Bush when attempting to drill the southern area of the so-called ‘Ceded Strip.’ My uncovering the modern theft via a counterfeited compliance to law is what in fact stopped development of these sacred lands. That falsified document can be tied to Condoleezza Rice, John Yoo and Jay Bybee. It is my uncovering this corruption that ultimately led to my exile and multiple attempted assassination of myself. The rest of the [modern times] story is in the chapter “Epilogue” in my book “Napi Mephisto” By Ronald Thomas West
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