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Chief Mountain Leased for Oil Development

UPDATE: Chief Mountain Leased for Oil Drilling 

It’s official, according to Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) records, the sacred Chief Mountain on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, has been leased for oil and gas drilling.  Back in May of 2013 the BIA approved leases to all of the Blackfeet controlled lands on the reservation, around Chief Mountain. I cant say whether the area will be drilled, but it is now under a 5 year lease.

chief mountain fall colors glacier national park (Tony Bynum/

The area shown in this image is now leased for oil and gas development. Hard to say whether they will drill it, but it was leased in May of 2013.

This map shows the new leases around Chief Mountain. The area to the west is Glacier National Park.

blackfeet reservation, chief mountain leased for oil drilling

Chief Mountain and the area to the north, east, and south is leased for oil drilling.


This oil drilling map will show you the entire reservation area. Chief Mountain is in the upper left of the Blackfeet reservation area. This is a short video I made a few years ago, of the Chief Mountain area now leased for oil drilling.



Tony Bynum

21 Responses to “Chief Mountain Leased for Oil Development”

  1. Patrick Black Weasel says:

    This isn’t right. Our leaders are selling everything and the public wasn’t even notified nor was public information provided. Who will benefit from this lease? and who will compensate for the destruction that drilling does to the land? how will the Blackfeet People (generations) ever see the beauty of our last tribally owned mountain?

  2. Jennifer says:

    Do you know who leased all this land?

  3. Tim Lavalley says:

    To sad…even Chiefs and people who lead us are selling out. At what expense…there seems to be no honour or strength in leaders now days. It has become political and selfish. How much money can I can in MY pocket before I leave this earth and screw the future generations. This is what has become of our leaders…majority it seems but not all. I say unto those who follow that road….Step down and disappear APPLE.

  4. Tony says:

    These are just the leases. I’ve not heard of any drilling plans yet. As for who leased the land, the documents I saw said, “Nations Energy.”

  5. Patricia Bad Eagle says:

    This is heart breaking. Not only for Niisitapii Piikani Blackfoot way of life, we are tied to this land. Ecologically, biologically, and globally we will suffer, another symbol of rape and destruction of our mother Earth, our giver of all life. Pity, that resource development, money, has more value to any leadership then sustainable renewable life giving survival.

  6. paul edwards says:

    This is the kind of sick, reckless, and destructive result of rotten, corrupt “leadership” in the worthless officials who make such deals with the dirty and depoiling bastards who run Big Oil and Big Gas.

  7. T Spoonhunter says:

    Oki Nisitapii! Exploration is still disturbing to the land and animals. Our lifeway is dependent on the protection of our land not the destruction. We are not Blackfeet if we do not protect what was given to us by the Creator, animals, plants, rocks, and spiritual beings. I worked on the Badger Two Medicine Committee to stop any more exploration and drilling in the area of BTM to protect Sisikaitstipwa way of life in the Lewis and Clark Unit. It was a 40 year battle many started before me but I stood for the preservation of our land and resources both cultural and natural. Yes, there were even our own tribal members against the preservation of the area. Chief Mountain should never be opened up for exploration or drilling. Our ancestors and people have fought for decades to protect this area for our people. Our bundles are tied to this area. We have reserved rights that have been abolished at times limiting our true connection to our way of life. Why would our leaders make such a devastating decision? I am very saddened it has come to this and pray for strength for our people to take a stand and stop this immediately!! Hunya!

  8. Mark Quire says:

    This is outrageous. Is nothing sacred anymore? I hope the Blackfoot people can somehow turn this around.

  9. Jenelle.H says:

    they shouldnt be taking something thats sacred to us blackfoot people and others who enjoy the mountain. Its sad to see that resource development and money rise are more important now a days to any Leader then the renewable resources that can help us maintain a lifestyle we’ve always known,

  10. anne clark says:

    I am shocked to read this…I am not a native American but have believed all native Americans have stood and fought for mother earth…this changes everything! Actions speak louder than words…

  11. Connor Bridge says:

    I am disturbed and disgusted that such a beautiful and important piece of Montanas (and Canadas) heritage would be whored away. And for what? What could be more important?

  12. Brian says:

    Blackfoot indeed.

  13. anonymous says:

    The “leader” is not a leader if they SELL OUT and COMPROMISE
    the wellbeing of Mother Earth, The People and the Animal Nations.

    Are these Tribal “leaders” really leaders? Do they work for the federal govt?
    Are they being paid off by corporations?

    In this new paradigm and era, you, we The People can no longer give
    our power away to a “leader” – so blindly, so willingly.

    This seems to be happening all over this world now. As we see this “pattern”,
    and the lesson. Why do you trust a “leader” that would sell you out?

    Tribal “leader” or not – he has not asked for the Consent of the People and clans – therefore, he does not represent the People nor is he a leader.

    Take them out. Clean them out. No compromises. Learning from our history this time around. The People now must and need to take back their Land
    and power.

  14. anonymous says:

    It’s time to kick out the BIA and the fed govt.

    Why are we allowing them to “rule”?

  15. tim says:

    One thing that we all seem to forget is that we choose our leaders. The BIA is just a permit processing agency. If we want true leadership then we must stop pointing fingers and stand up and take action. The tribal leadership is elected not anointed
    There’s a great deal of work that goes into that process and if you’re not willing to make sacrifice necessary then accept the out comes.

    It’s not magic. Be an agent of change yourself and do something about it.

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  17. Henry Talleagle says:

    You granola freaks have no idea what the Pikuni people have been through in the last 100 years and the only Blackfeet followers you can attract are the Cree ‘wannabes’ and ‘white hippies. Born near Browning on those wind swept plains, I know first hand the suffering and sorrow of my people,so when you talk about sacred this and sacred that, you are merely being ignorant!

    • Tony says:

      Henry, thank you for taking the time to comment. . . it sounds like you’re no longer here on the reservation living with your people. But, it also sounds like you know the landscape here. Congratulations, you’re a special person. The history of the Blackfeet people and all other native Americans is fraught with illness and sorrow for sure. At the same time, we are still here and still alive to tell our stories. . . You can wallow in your depression and tear down your brothers or you can look to the future as our creator has taught us. In time you will temper your frustration, look to the future, and come home . . .

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