Montana: Fort Peck


Residents of the Fort Peck Reservation are descendants of two separate tribes, the Assiniboine Sioux and the Yanktonai Sioux. However, historians believe the two tribes were originally one people.  

History of the Reservation: An act of Congress on May 1, 1888, established the present-day boundaries of the Fort Peck Reservation. The reservation trust land spans about 1.5 million acres; about 378,000 acres are tribally owned and 548,000 acres (about half the size of Rhode Island) are individually allotted Indian lands. The tribe also stewards about 185,000 acres of public domain land in trust. 

The Fort Peck Allotment Act of 1908 required the survey and allotment of lands included in the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. The Act further demanded the sale and dispersal of lands deemed as “surplus” after the allotment. Each eligible Native American was to receive timber, irrigable land and 320 acres of grazing land. Parcels of land were withheld for a government agency, church, school and railroad use. The unallotted and unreserved land was disposed of, resulting in a checkerboard pattern of land ownership (e.g., fractionated lands) that intersperses Indian land with non-Indian land. Defiant of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, the Assiniboine and Sioux maintain the constitution they ratified in 1927. 

Life on the Reservation: Fort Peck is the second-largest reservation in Montana. Sources say enrollment ranges from 10,700 to over 12,000 people, and the reservation’s population is nearly 10,400. A prosperous industrial park in Poplar is one of the largest employers in Montana. Various enterprises, including metal fabrication and production sewing, are housed here. Farming, ranching, oil extraction and electronics manufacturing also play a part in the reservation economy. The tribe supplies many of the jobs, employing about 400 people. While the average annual household income is $43,000, about 12% of the labor force is unemployed and about 35% live in poverty. 

Fort Peck on the map: Northeastern Montana 


Income, Poverty, Population and 

Land Size, General Info and