Environment | National

Blackfeet Nation ramping up for significant energy production

The Blackfeet Nation of Montana is gearing up for some major energy development, causing divisions among its members.

According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, one million acres of the 1.5-million acre reservation has been leased to energy companies. Development has created jobs and generated revenue for the tribal government.

“It’ll change the lives of a lot of people,” Grinnell Day Chief, the tribe’s oil and gas manager, told The New York Times. “It’ll be a boost to everybody. There’s talk of a hotel coming up.”

Not everyone agrees. A group of Blackfeet women has been raising awareness of the impacts of development, particularly a controversial technique known as fracking.

“It threatens everything we are as Blackfeet,” Pauline Matt told the paper.

Even the National Park Service is worried. The superintendent of Glacier National Park wants the BIA to conduct an environmental review of drilling on the reservation.

Get the Story:
Tapping Into the Land, and Dividing Its People (The New York Times 8/16)
Blackfeet women make pilgrimage to call attention to hydraulic fracturing on native land (The MIssoulian 8/12)

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