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Amskapi Piikani - Blackfeet Nation

The Amskapi Piikani [People of the Blackfeet Nation] have interacted with every element of this landscape, across much of what is today known as Montana, since time immemorial. This area of Northwest Montana,  home to the Blackfeet Nation, stands the mountains which Piikani refer to as the "backbone of the world". Hear unique perspectives from Amskapi Piikani as they carry on the holistic approaches and reciprocal relationships that have always been a part of their culture and traditions, in ways that empower their community as they move into the future.

This content is Co-Produced by Lailani Upham of Iron Shield Creative.

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and view informational links.

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Life in the Land: Amskapi Piikani - Blackfeet Nation

Full film: 45 minutes

Voices Featured & Podcasts

Each interview is featured in its entirety in its own podcast episode.

The podcasts are also available on Apple, Spotify, Podbean, and Google Podcast under "Stories for Action".

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Lauren Monroe, Jr.

Lauren Monroe, Jr. serves as Vice Chairman of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council. He is also an artist, film director, & worked for the Blackfeet Nation Fish & Wildlife Department. 

Lauren speaks with us about his own connection to the land and the critical nature of having Blackfeet leadership in area land management, including the stewardship of the Badger-Two Medicine. Lauren also shares the hope he holds for his community, seeing them move forward in ways that carry on traditional connections and life ways, for the health of people and the land. 

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Kim Paul & the Piikani Lodge Health Institute

Kim Paul is the founder and Director of the Piikani Lodge Health Institute (PLHI), a community-driven organization that integrates traditional lifeways to create resiliency for the people and biosystems of the Blackfeet Nation. Their work encompasses climate adaptation, job and career creation, opioid misuse prevention, regenerative grazing, and youth outdoor programs, recognizing the interconnections of community well-being with the health of the ecosystem they are a part of. Kim speaks to the value in holistic approaches, reviving connections to the land and traditional lifeways for the Blackfeet People, and the value in community-guided research. This episode also hears from Tyrel Fenner, Hydrologist for PLHI's Climate Adaptation and Regenerative Grazing Programs, and Jimi Champ, Vocational & Horticulture Teacher at Browning High School.

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Jesse DesRosier

Jesse DesRosier is a teacher of the Blackfeet Language, teaching at the Piegan Institute, Cuts Wood School in Browning, Montana, and at the Blackfeet Community College. Jesse is also an artist, an advocate,  a Veteran, a husband, and father.

Jesse shares with us about the intricate connection of the Blackfeet Language to the land and how Blackfeet ways of life are directly embodied in the language. Jesse shares the hope he gains from witnessing the young members of the community connecting to their language and culture. He also speaks to the connections to the Badger-Two Medicine area and the significance of this land's management being led by the Blackfeet people.

 

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Joe & Kathy Kipp

Joe and Kathy Kipp know how to work hard and keep busy, as cattle ranchers, community advocates, parents, grandparents, and so much more. They live on Cut Bank Creek, outside of Browning, Montana. Joe speaks about the importance of stewarding native grasslands, as a rancher and as Amskapi Piikani, his people’s connection to this land, and his experience working in predator/livestock conflict as the Chairman of the Blackfeet Nation Stockgrowers Association. Kathy will share with us about connecting to traditional foods and her berry orchard, and the value in having community representation. They will both speak to the strength of their people, the realities of trauma endured by the Blackfeet, and their own messages for those within and outside of the Blackfeet community in how to communicate and move forward in a good way.   
 

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Kristen Kipp

Kristen Kipp is a cattle rancher, a mother, a hunter, an advocate, and so much more. She runs her own cattle operation within her family’s ranch outside of Browning, MT. She works in Producer Outreach for the Piikani Lodge Health Institute and the Blackfeet Nation Stockgrowers Association. Kristen speaks about her own connection to the land and role in stewarding it. She also speaks to her experience living in grizzly bear country, being on the Governor’s Grizzly Bear Advisory Council, and the need for representation in all forms of advocacy.