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White Feather country

Many years ago, White Feather told us that he was a member of the native American tribe known as The Blackfoot (Blackfeet). He spent much of his life in the state of Montana and would probably have stood upon the banks of these rivers.

The photographs on this page were taken by Catherine Stegner Cowan on a visit to the region in 2022.

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The Gallatin

This is the Gallatin River

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The Missouri

This is the Missouri River, a little way past the confluence of the Gallatin, with the Madison & Jefferson Rivers

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The Madison

This is the Madison River

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The Jefferson

This is the Jefferson River at the top, coming into the Madison River

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The Confluence

This is the confluence of the Gallatin, with the combined Madison & Jefferson Rivers

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Above - The confluence of the 3 rivers.

Right - A bison sculpture at the Sacajawea Hotel in Three Forks

A writer who was adopted by the Blackfeet Indians is authority for the following information:

 

When first met by adventurers of the Hudson's Bay Company, Henry (1754) and Cocking (1772) revealed that the three tribes of Blackfeet Indians claimed as their country and their hunting ground, the vast extent of plains and mountains between the Saskatchewan and Yellowstone rivers, and from the summit of the Rocky Mountains between these streams, eastward for an average distance of three hundred miles. In 1855, at the mouth of the Judith River, the three tribes concluded a treaty with the United States, the so-called Stevens Treaty, whereby the government stipulated that the country lying between the Canadian boundary line and the Yellowstone River, and between the summit of the Rockies and a north and south line intersecting (the junction of the Missouri and the Milk River) was the country, the property of the Blackfeet tribes. This, of course, included what is now Gallatin county, which they called "Ahkoto waktai Sakum." - 'Many-come-together Country,' or as we would say, 'Three Forks of the Missouri country.'