Hwy 2 and 89; 13 miles east of East Glacier (National Park), 54 miles from Shelby, 120 miles from Great Falls. Population: 4,133. Reservation Population: 8,851. Visitor Information: Phone: (406) 338-7181; Website: www.blackfeetcountry.com
Browning is the largest community on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, situated near the eastern gateway to Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes International Peace Park in Alberta, Canada. It is connected to the world by two major highways, the east-west Montana “Hi-Line”US 2 and US 89, which runs from Great Falls north to the Canadian border.
Within the 1.5 million acre Blackfeet Reservation the traveler will find campgrounds, hotels and restaurants, an outstanding museum and visitor center, as well as a multitude of recreational opportunities. Browning and the outlying communities are well known for the limitless pursuits they offer to outdoor recreationalists. The reservation is dotted by over 20 lakes and hundreds of miles of streams and rivers. Hunting and fishing are complemented by golf, camping, hiking, rodeos and two major annual native celebrations during the summer and fall seasons. Snowmobiling, ice fishing and cross-country skiing dominate the winter months.
The North American Indian Days celebration in Browning is always held the second week in July. Tipis are pitched on the powwow grounds for four days of contest dancing, games, a number of sports events and socializing. Comprising one of the largest gatherings of United States and Canadian tribes, the celebration is an unforgettable experience.
Located at the junction of Highways 2 and 89, the Museum of the Plains Indian exhibits the creative achievements of Native American artists and craftspeople, with a permanent display presenting the rich diversity of historic arts of the tribal peoples of the Northern Plains. One of the exhibit highlights is the display of traditional costumes of the Northern Plains people, presented in complete detail on life-size figures. Other displays are devoted to numerous art forms related to the social and ceremonial aspects of the tribal cultures of the region. Two special exhibition galleries are devoted to changing presentations promoting the creative works of outstanding talented contemporary Native Americans.
The Blackfeet Heritage Center and Art Gallery is located across the street from the Museum of the Plains Indian on Highway 2 in the former studio of prolific Browning sculptor Bob Scriver, a rewarding attraction for the estimated two million visitors who enter Glacier National Park each year via the Blackfeet Reservation. The Center is also the permanent home of a world-class dinosaur fossil. An “absolutely exquisite specimen” discovered on the reservation in 1995, the 74-million-year-old baby T. rex fossil is the smallest ever found.