blackfeet nation

Blackfeet Nation

Montana, USA – 2022

In the 17th century, the Blackfeet settled in the region that is now Montana. Previously, they resided in the woodlands north and west of the Great Lakes, but pressure from British traders pushed them west. They eventually acquired firearms and horses and became a formidable example of the classic Plains Indian culture.

Ravaged by smallpox and constantly struggling with the challenges of extreme winters, low bison numbers and relative isolation, the Blackfeet had great fortitude and are often now referred to as the “Real People” of Montana.

The Blackfeet’s tribal headquarters are in the town of Browning in the extreme North West corner of the state. The celebrated Glacier National Park may sit to the west and with it comes smart resorts like Whitefish, but Browning has little refinement – it is a grim and remote frontier town that is avoided by most travelers. It’s all a bit sketchy up there – especially in the winter.

However, within 20 minutes of Browning, the Blackfeet enjoy some of the most majestic scenery in America, and it was this that drew me to the location. It was always going to be a winter shoot, as the snow added in another character for free.

So in January 2023, we made the road trip north from Bozeman – it’s a long way, and the sense of adventure intensifies towards the Canadian border. This is a remote and isolated corner of America, and relative to other reservations in the US, I sense that filmmakers have had a light footprint around Browning.

The tribal elder, Dutch Lunak and his horse Rain Man make for a powerful combination. The Blackfeet take the greatest joy in celebrating their heritage, and Dutch wears his look well. I wanted a face that conveyed dignity, wisdom and sovereignty, and I think he gave me all three.

On the way home from Browning, Dutch took us to his favourite saloon in the village of Dupuyer (census population 86). Buffalo Joe’s is a gem of an establishment, and quite soon, this picture will be on the wall.


LARGE - Edition of 12:
  • Image Size: 71” x 96” in (180.3 cm x 243.8 cm)
STANDARD - Edition of 12:
  • Image Size: 52” x 69” in (132.1 cm x 175.3 cm)

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