Friday, May 18, 2018

Blackfeet Nation - US 89 North

US 89 ends deep in the Heart of The Blackfeet Nation hard beside Glacier National Park where Montana meets Canada on the 49th Parallel.

The Story Of The Blackfeet People is complex & compelling and can't be told in a simple post such as this.  Suffice to say The Blackfeet People once totally controlled an area from the north Canadian prairies to the south side of today's Yellowstone National Park and from The Rocky Mountain Front to The Dakotas!

The Blackfeet Nation's 1.5 million acre reservation today is a mere fleeting shadow of The People's once enormous cultural control.

Two of the many defining moments in modern Blackfeet Nation History were the infamous Two Medicine Mission boarding school and the epic, tragic June 8, 1964, flood that killed 30 Blackfeet Nation People.

The Blackfeet Nation's boundaries are now marked on all sides by both remnants of the Two Medicine Mission and the detritus of car bodies lost in the Sixty Four Flood.

Sculptor Jay Laber was tasked by Blackfeet Nation Elders & leaders to remove all the cars and trucks destroyed in the 1964 Flood, as well as to deal with remnants of the old mission.  Laber masterfully combined both essential elements into world class art works marking the entrances to The Blackfeet Nation on the North, East, South and West.

Laber's sculpture reaches deep into the human psyche to capture primal emotions and render them forever memorable in metal.  To see Laber's monumental pieces sitting astride the building blocks of an old Indian Boarding School long gone destroyed only makes the scene more powerful.  It is as if the icons of wanton cultural and physical life and death destruction have once again been reborn into new forms of Power & Knowledge for those of The Blackfeet Nation People who move forward with hope, promise and fortitude.

As we stand humbled beneath Laber's creations, we can only see a positive future ahead for The Blackfeet Nation.  Laber, by the way, is an accomplished atlatl hunter who reasons that atlatls jumped started modern North American culture!

Here are the links to all our photos of Laber's South & North Blackfeet Nation guardians:

Birch Creek:



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