The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council resolved on Thursday, Nov. 5, to allocate some $300,000 to purchase turkeys and “all the fixin’s” for distribution to Reservation residents for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Public Information Officer James McNeely reports the move was the result of Incident Command, Manpower, the Tribal Council, the Medicine Bear Shelter and the Blackfeet Food Distribution Program having gotten together to develop a plan.
Holiday turkey packages will be delivered to Reservation residents in Browning, East Glacier Park, Heart Butte, Babb-St. Mary, Seville, Old Agency, Two Medicine, Birch Creek and Durham. Funded through CARES Act money, the program aims to allow families to stay within their own cohorts for dinner without having to travel for supplies. The programs were meeting on Friday, Nov. 6, to work out the details.
In other updates, the Stay-at-Home order has been extended until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 22, but McNeely observed the number of cases has been declining, and the Tribe and Incident Command are looking at what Phase II of opening might look like.
This week, the Tribe will be closed from Wednesday, Nov. 11, until Monday, Nov. 16. Veterans Day marks the Wednesday closing while a memorial to Stan Juneau, former Councilman and educator who passed last week, will be commemorated on Thursday, Nov. 12. On Friday, Nov. 13, a small, virtual memorial is planned for 10 a.m. in front of the Tribal Offices to remember all those lost to COVID-19. The ceremony will be carried on Starlink Cable and on the Blackfeet Tribe’s Facebook page.
“I want to commend the community in curbing the pandemic,” McNeely said, noting only three new cases having been found as of Thursday, Nov. 5.
He went on to emphasize that the Thanksgiving turkey dinners are meant for all residents of the Blackfeet Reservation, members or not. Like the COVID-19 funeral expenses being paid to families of COVID-19 victims, the programs are aimed at all the residents of Blackfeet Country.