The Fort Peck Reservation (‘Fort Peck Tribes,’ ‘Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes,’ ‘Tribes,’) is located in northeast Montana. A “Reservation” is a geographical term which defines an area of land reserved by the United States Government for Indian Tribes to live on and utilize. The United States’ main original goal of establishing Reservations was to bring Native Americans under U. S. Government control, minimize conflict between Indians/Non-Indians and encourage Native Americans to adopt and apply the ways of the Non-Indian.
The Fort Peck Reservation is home to two distinct American Indian nations—the Assiniboine and Sioux. Each is composed of subordinate bands. The Canoe Paddler and Red Bottom bands comprise the Assiniboine. The Hunkpapa, Sisseton, Wahpeton and Yankton groups constitute the Sioux. Also, historically enacted Federal Homestead legislation since allowed for Non-Indian homesteading and settlement within the Fort Peck Reservation. Today, both Native American and Non-Indians reside in harmony on the Reservation. Although each has separate governance, they regularly transact to identify, discuss and resolve common needs.
The Fort Peck Reservation encompasses most of Montana’s Roosevelt County. The remaining portions of the Reservation are situated throughout the Montana Counties of Valley, Daniels and Sheridan. The Reservation is approximately 110 miles (east to west) in length and 50 miles in width (north to south.) The Reservation is geographically bound by the Big Muddy Creed, the Missouri River, the Milk River, Porcupine Creek and a northerly U. S. Governmental linear survey demarcation. The Reservation’s two largest towns are Wolf Point and Poplar.
The Reservation’s geological features were generally created by southerly glacial advances throughout the area. From the broad flood plains of the Missouri River, the land gently elevates to the north and west. It is bisected by the valleys of several streams and the Poplar River. The higher prairie topography, which comprises a significant portion of the Reservation, is comparatively level with gently rolling hills with rounded tops too steep for cultivation, but are compatible with livestock grazing activities. Elevations vary from 1,900 to 3,100 feet. There is an abundance of wildlife in the area. Summers are warm while winters are cold.