APRIL 18, 1916


Born circa 1851 in Montana Territory, his Ojibwe name meant “Stone Child,” or “Rocky Boy.”  In the 1880s, the Montana Chippewa and Cree were without treaty or land.  A peaceful man, Rocky Boy’s aim was to keep Chippewa tribal identity alive in Montana.  Chippewa were often living on other tribes’ reservations.  In 1902, he began negotiating for a Chippewa Reservation in Montana.  In 1916, the United States established the Rocky Boy Reservation, a joint Chippewa-Cree Reservation and Chippewa and Cree began to relocate to there.  However, the government subsequently removed 200 Chippewa names from the Reservation’s tentative roll.  As Cree now were the majority on the Reservation, Rocky Boy’s goals were dashed.  The United States still has not recognized their nationality and has not granted a Montana Chippewa Reservation.  Rocky Boy’s main legacy may be that as reservations were opened up to white settlement between 1900 and 1910, he was instrumental in keeping the peace.  

Source:   John Phillip Well-Off-Man, “The History of Chief Rocky Boy and his Band and the Founding of Rocky Boy Reservation, Autumn 2007 (Professional Paper).  Retrieved 11/29/2020, Wayback Machine (archive.org)
Photo:  Source and date, unknown but prior to 1916.  Public Domain. 

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