Search for Leo Wagner will be scaled back, Blackfeet Fish & Wildlife will continue search

PRESS RELEASE – SUNDAY, MAY 9, 2021 – 1:30 P.M.

Browning, MT – The search & recovery efforts for 26 year old Leo Wagner will begin to be scaled back on Monday, May 10, 2021, according to Incident Commander KWebb Galbreath.

Blackfeet Fish & Wildlife will continue to search the area.

Leo has been missing since April 27, 2021 and had been last seen near the St. Mary/Babb area on the Blackfeet Reservation.

Search & Rescue teams along with law enforcement agencies have been assisting with the recovery.

James McNeely, Public Information Officer
(406) 338-3513

Blackfeet Clean-Up Week – May 10-17



Blackfeet Solid Waste Free Dumping Hours

  • Monday to Friday – 8:30 am to 5 pm
  • Saturday and Sunday – 9:30 am to 4:30 pm

Outlying Communities

  • Monday: Babb 2 Cans
  • Tuesday: Seville 2 Cans
  • Wednesday: HB 2 Cans
  • Thursday: East Glacier & Blackfoot 2 Cans
  • Friday: Starr School 2 Cans

For questions call (406) 338-5702



Browning, MT – The search & rescue for 3 year old Arden Pepion has now become a search & recovery, according to the Blackfeet Joint Incident Command.

Based on the elements and duration of time that has passed since she was last seen we have come to realize that it now a recovery.

Search & Rescue teams along with law enforcement agencies from across the state are continuing to assist in this recovery effort.

James McNeely, Public Information Officer
(406) 338-3513


The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council has taken action to amend the Blackfeet Water Code (Resolution 211-2021) as a part of the Tribe’s obligation to implement the provisions of the Blackfeet Water Rights Compact and Settlement Act. The amendment repeals and replaces Ordinance 62 adopted on May 15, 1980 and re-adopted on July 12, 1988.

The public has 30 days starting March 11, 2021 to provide comments to the Blackfeet Water Code.  All comments must be received by the Blackfeet Legal Department on or before April 10, 2021.

View or download the Blackfeet Water Code and authorizing Tribal Resolution No. 211-2021. A hard copy of the Blackfeet Water Code is available at the Blackfeet Tribal Offices (front reception desk).

Please submit all comments by April 10, 2021 (30 days from March 11, 2021) to:

  • Blackfeet Legal Department
    P.O. Box 849
    Browning, MT 59417

Comments also may be submitted by email on or before April 10, 2021 to

The amended Blackfeet Water Code is summarized below:

The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council adopted the Water Code under the authority of the Blackfeet Constitution and By-Laws and its sovereign authority, which is to control, manage and protect the waters of the Blackfeet Reservation in perpetuity for the permanent Blackfeet homeland.

Pursuant to the Treaty of October 17, 1855, the Blackfeet Tribe reserved all waters of the Blackfeet Reservation necessary to provide a permanent homeland (Winters Doctrine right); and are essential to the existence of the Blackfeet Tribe culturally, historically and economically and to the continuing viability of the Blackfeet.

The purposes of this Water Code is to protect the health and welfare of Reservation residents, the political integrity of the Tribe, and the economic security of the Reservation through effective administration, regulation and management of the Reservation water resources in order to protect the quantity, quality and integrity of the water resource.

The Tribe possesses the sole jurisdiction and authority to administer Tribal waters on the Reservation for the benefit of the Tribe and its members and to authorize use of the Tribal Water Right by any person.

The administration, regulation and management of the waters of the Reservation through under this Water Code shall comply with due process requirements, all Tribal law, regulations and procedures and any applicable federal law. 

The protection and preservation of the Tribe’s water resources, and the economic stability and well-being of the Blackfeet Tribe now and for generations to come, are dependent on the efficient and effective management, control and development of the Tribe’s water resources which this Water Code is intended to provide.

The Water Code applies to every person who seeks to use or is using Blackfeet Tribal Water.  This includes Tribal members, allottees and non-members. No person shall use Tribal Water without a permit issued pursuant to this Water Code.  The Water Code sets out the process for obtaining a Tribal water permit and also addresses the circumstances in which a permit may be transferred to another tribal member, a family member or to third parties.

The Water Code also provides for the establishment of the Blackfeet Water Department and the structure and authority of the Department.

On and after April 15, 2009 (the date of State ratification of the Blackfeet Compact), all basins on the Blackfeet Reservation are closed to issuance of State of Montana certificates of water rights and water permits and the Blackfeet Tribe shall have sole and exclusive jurisdiction to authorize use of water within the Blackfeet Reservation.

The Blackfeet Tribe entered into a Compact with the State of Montana and the United States quantifying the Winters Doctrine rights of the Tribe. (ratified by the State of Montana, MCA 85-20-1501, and by the United States in the Blackfeet Water Right Settlement Act, Public Law 114-322, 130 Stat. 1628, Title III, Subtitle G).  The Compact and Settlement Act were approved by the Blackfeet tribal membership in a referendum vote held on April 20, 2017 and certified by the Secretary of the Interior’s delegate on May 30, 2017.

Southern Peigan Health Center Announcement : Walk-in Vaccine Clinic Info

Walk in vaccine clinic: March 2, 2021!

Eagle Shields Center starting at 9 AM

Must be 18 years old and older!

If you are in isolation or quarantine please finish out your time. Then call us, 338-7912!

You will fill out a questionnaire and receive your Covid-19 injection!

Bring your family, a friend, pass the word!

ALSO Johnson and Johnson vaccine should be here sometime this week!

Understanding the COVID-19 Vaccine distribution

Here is a quick guide to understanding how the vaccine will be given and to who. There are limited amounts available and the manufacturers are working very hard to get the vaccine out to everyone. Indian Health Services across the country have received limited amounts. The CDC has set guidelines on who will receive the COVID-19 Vaccine first. They have set a phased system that is being followed by local health officials, including the Blackfeet Reservation.

Phase 1a is for all healthcare workers and residents in nursing homes/long term care facilities including workers. They have started receiving the vaccine.

Phase 1b is for essential workers, police, fire fighters, food workers, postal workers, teachers, and day care workers. Also, people 75 and older will be part of this phase.

Phase 1c is for people ages 65-74 and also for people with health conditions ages 16-64. It is also for essential workers such as transportation, communications, media, public health and safety.

As the vaccine becomes available, the CDC will continue to expand to more groups and phases. Everyone will be vaccinated. The goal set by the CDC is early summer.

Even with the vaccine, everyone needs to continue to follow the guidelines set forth by the CDC and the Blackfeet Tribe:


COVID-19 Vaccine information

COVID‐19 Vaccine – 12/23/2020 IHS Blackfeet Service Unit
  • Food and Drug Administration issued the second emergency use authorization to Moderna COVID‐19 Vaccine to be distributed in the U.S for use in individuals 18 years of age and older.
  • The Indian Health Service received 22,425 doses of Pfizer and 46,000 doses of Moderna.
  • In the first two weeks of vaccine distribution, 85,000 doses have been distributed through the IHS to federal, tribal and urban Indian health programs.
  • We need to continue to diligently prevent the spread of COVID‐19 by consistently practicing the 3 Ws: Wear a mask, Watch your distance, Wash your hands
  • With colder weather, and more people indoors – we find that pandemic fatigue is setting in.
  • Maintaining physical distance from those we love is difficult. The holidays are typically a time to reconnect with family and friends. As we are seeing cases of COVID‐19 continue to rise, we must renew our sense of personal accountability to protect ourselves, and those around us.
  • Vaccination is the safest, most effective and most reliable way to keep yourself, your family and your community healthy and safe from COVID‐19.
  • COVID‐19 vaccines are 95% effective and have undergone rigorous safety testing.
  • COVID‐19 vaccines are one of many important tools to help us stop this pandemic.
  • While we begin administering the first doses of this remarkable COVID‐19 vaccine, there are simple measures everyone can practice now to lower spread, decrease risk of severe complications, and move toward safely reopening. Our best immediate defense against #COVID19 is to continue following the 3Ws and getting your flu shot!
  • The IHS has allocated COVID‐19 vaccines to the IHS Areas proportionally based on the number of individuals in the first priority group, which includes health care personnel and long‐term‐care residents as determined by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
  • This would allow IHS to vaccinate 100% of its health care work force and residents of long term care facilities not accounted for by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
  • Health facilities will use the remainder of the Pfizer and Moderna doses to vaccinate the next priority populations in accordance with ACIP guidelines and agreements.
  • December 20, CDC ACIP interim recommendation for groups to be vaccinated:
  • Phase 1b: persons 75 years and older and frontline essential workers (first responders, teachers, food and agriculture, manufacturing, correction workers, U.S. Postal Service, public transit, and grocery store workers) and
  • Phase 1c: people aged 65 to 74 years old and people 16 to 64 years old who have high-risk medical conditions, and other essential workers
  • The task force continues to coordinate vaccine logistics, issue guidance and communications, and prepare for additional vaccine updates.
Sovereign authority of tribal nations:
  • The IHS developed the COVID‐19 Vaccine plan based on The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID‐19 Vaccination Interim Playbook for Jurisdiction Operations, while recognizing the sovereign authority of tribal nations to provide for the welfare of their people.
  • Tribal health programs and urban Indian organizations that chose Indian Health Service for distribution are encouraged to follow U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ACIP guidelines. Currently, we are in Phase 1A, which prioritizes health care workers and residents of long term care facilities.
  • Blackfeet Community Hospital healthcare workers received the first round of vaccine along with the Blackfeet Care Center and Blackfeet EMS on December 23, 2020!

Blackfeet Information Update (video).

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ



Blackfeet Tribe approves $75 payment to all tribal members


The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council has approved a per-capita payment in the amount of $75.00 to all tribal members.

Due to COVID-19, all checks will be mailed beginning Monday, December 7, 2020

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from the Blackfeet Tribe.