Blackfeet Nation blames BIA for growing lawlessness
Members and leaders of the Blackfeet Nation of Montana blame the Bureau of Indian Affairs for a growing sense of lawlessness on the reservation.

Citing corruption and mismanagement, the BIA took over law enforcement from the tribe in February 2003. But the agency has failed to live up to its promises, tribal members and leader say, pointing to a number of high-profile crimes, including homicides and suspicious deaths.

"Today, our reservation is lawless," vice chairman Roger "Sassie" Running Crane told The Great Falls Tribune. "It has become a dumping ground for drugs."

Among the crimes that have raised alarms is the murder of 18-year-old Zach Gervais, a popular basketball player. Though the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Montana say the investigation is ongoing, the Gervais family said they have never been contacted.

Vicky and Kenneth Hoyt also say they haven't been given any information about their son's death. The U.S. Attorney says it is investigating.

The tribe has scheduled a public hearing this Wednesday to address law enforcement issues.

Get the Story:
Deaths prompt outcry: BIA law enforcement is failing, Blackfeet leaders say (The Great Falls Tribune 4/15)
Glacier County still responding on reservation despite tribe's objections (The Great Falls Tribune 4/15)

Relevant Links:
Blackfeet Nation -

Related Stories:
Blackfeet criticize BIA, feds on law enforcement (04/06)
Blackfeet Nation works on cross-deputization (03/17)
Blackfeet Nation seeks to reclaim police powers (03/15)
Blackfeet Nation to work with BIA on policing (07/25) (7/25)
Two police forces patrolling Blackfeet Reservation (7/22)
Fired lawyer spills beans on tribal misspending (7/21)
Blackfeet leaders call for separation of powers (05/05)
BIA takeover of police force praised, criticized (04/14)
Blackfeet Nation agrees to full BIA control (02/21)
Blackfeet Nation in talks with BIA on police force (2/20)
'Something needed to be done' about tribe's police (2/18)
BIA takes over Blackfeet Nation police force (2/17)
Mont. tribe's police force cleaned out (01/30)
Mont. tribal police force suspended (12/06)