The Badger-Two Medicine region is an almost entirely unroaded expanse of mountains, ridges, river valleys and wetlands along Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front. It is located at the intersection of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, and is part of the headwaters of the Missouri River.
The Badger-Two Medicine is sacred to the Blackfeet people. It is the home of their creation story, and has continued to be a place of refuge and healing for 10,000 years. It provides strength, subsistence, and cultural identity to the Blackfeet people, which is why they have vowed to protect it.
Badger Two Medicine is the last cultural refuge of the Blackfeet Nation, home to many of their cultural origin stories, a stronghold for our ceremonies and traditions. It is where the Blackfeet practiced their culture in safety after the federal government outlawed their ceremony. It is where they still seek healing and solace, guidance and renewal.
Others besides Blackfeet also seek the power of the Badger-Two Medicine.Many travel to this beautiful area to hunt and fish, to hike and camp, to graze cattle and to pack horses. Others, like the grizzly bear and wolverine, the elk and mule deer, seek refuge in these mountains by settling in seasonally before following ancient migrations out onto the prairie or high into Glacier National Park. The Blackfeet Nation wants all these people – two-legged and four-legged, finned, furred and feathered – to be able to access the Badger-Two Medicine forever, and their vision for permanent protection does exactly that.
Legislation to permanently protect the Badger-Two Medicine as a Cultural Heritage Area is supported by hunters, anglers, ranchers, business owners, a former oil lease holder, conservation interests, large private landowners, outfitters and guides, and many others. It has been endorsed by the Blackfoot Confederacy, the National Congress of American Indians, and the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council, which represents all the Tribes of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.
The permanent protection of Badger Two Medicine would have many benefits: including the protection of cultural and traditional uses of the area; a guarantee of Blackfeet’s existing treaty rights and the ability to contribute to future management decisions. Further, it would provide job opportunities for Blackfeet people to conduct trail maintenance and other contracted forest work. It would also add protections for headwater streams that are an important source of clean water for agricultural operations and communities both on and off the reservation.