The following statement was issued by the Blackfeet Tribe’s Public Information Office Jim McNeely on Thursday evening, Feb. 11:
On Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, Governor Greg Gianforte has stated he will lift the statewide mask mandate. While the Blackfeet Reservation is located in northwest Montana, the following is a statement from the Tribe regarding masks:
“The Blackfeet Reservation is a sovereign nation and will continue to adhere to a mandatory mask mandate which was authorized by the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council under Ordinance 121 at the beginning of this pandemic in March of 2020. The Blackfeet Tribe will continue every effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by wearing masks, social distancing, practicing hand hygiene (washing hands and/or use of hand sanitizer) and following recommended CDC guidelines.”
The Blackfeet Reservation is home to around 10,000 residents. Since the pandemic outbreak late last winter, there have been 1,359 cases and 46 deaths of enrolled tribal members due to COVID-19.