Blackfeet Nation and NCAI to Announce National Campaign to Protect Sacred Lands from Oil and Gas Drilling  

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BROWNING, MONTANA —  On Wednesday, the Blackfeet Nation and the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) will announce a national campaign to cancel remaining oil and gas leases within the Badger-Two Medicine—165,588 acres of almost entirely unroaded expanse of mountains, ridges, river valleys and wetlands along Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front.

Forty-seven oil and gas leases were granted illegally more than 30 years ago without tribal consultation. Today, 18 leases remain. In 2013, Solonex, LLC filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Government to begin drilling in the area.

After 30 years of pursuing cancellation of the leases with U.S. government agencies, the Blackfeet Nation is announcing a national campaign to urge Congress, President Obama and federal agencies to cancel all remaining leases in the Badger-Two Medicine. The Badger-Two Medicine is located at the intersection of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex.

“The Badger-Two Medicine is a sacred place where the Blackfeet people gather food and medicine,” said Tyson Running Wolf, secretary of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council. “Drilling in the lands that are at the heart of our creation story and site of so much cultural significance is not an option and we will be putting the full weight of a growing alliance behind our efforts to stop drilling.”

Among those attending Wednesday’s announcement will be: Chief Earl Old Person, Blackfeet Tribal Business Council; Tyson Running Wolf, Blackfeet Tribal Business Council; John Murray, Blackfeet Tribal Historic Preservation Officer; Jacqueline Johnson Pata, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).

 

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