Before I begin spinning a few [short and tall] tales, I’d like to post a few pieces of background information. 

When you think of Indian Land, do you imagine the dessert or a picture paradise? My hometown of Polson, located on The Flathead Indian Reservation, rests on the southern shore of Flathead Lake. Nearly 30 miles in length, all but the Northern tip of the natural freshwater lake rests within the Reservation boundaries. Flathead Lake was formed after the last ice age, approximately 10,000 years ago. The deepest area of the lake reaches nearly 400 feet in the East Bay. I’ll be writing a piece about The Flathead Monster, a creature rumored to live within the lake. Hundreds of people have encountered the legendary lake monster.

Established in 1855, The Flathead Indian Reservation [Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes] is located in Northwestern Montana and has land in four counties; Lake, Sanders, Missoula, and Flathead. The Reservation consists of nearly 2000 square miles of beautiful forested mountains, valleys, lakes, and rivers. I’d wager the US Government is kicking themselves for surrendering this land, even if all of it and more had been settled by the tribes long before the white man invaded.

With the exception of a few sport birds, non-natives cannot hunt anything on the reservation. This includes Elk, White-tailed Deer, Mule Deer, Grizzly Bear, Moose, Wolves, and Bison. Bald Eagles are common, and I can remember seeing one perched in front of my childhood home on more than one occasion.

The list of native and non-native fish species is extensive. I will add this piece of information, though. The Flathead Lake and River System holds a population of White Sturgeon and Squawfish. I’ve hooked into a few large Squawfish but never landed one. Now that I’m older and have quite a bit of fishing experience, the species is protected.

Here are a few examples of upcoming pieces. Thank you for reading. It’s a humbling experience.

Ice Caves and the Minotaur

Camping on the river island

Flathead Lake. The largest natural freshwater lake west of the Missouri River

The Flathead Monster

Being a white boy on the Rez

Discovering Hidden Underground Homes

Rumbles with neighboring small towns

Mysticism and Witchcraft

The murder on the hill

Scared of school

The best fishing of my life

Meth labs come to Polson

Tales of Bigfoot

Reservation racism

The creature at the damn dam

Neverending violence

People disappear on the Rez

High mountain clannish folk

Forth of July Pow Wow

Huckleberries and Grizzly Bears

Joseph Shanklin

June 26, 2021

6 thoughts on “Life On The Reservation Intro Part II

  1. Here in Canada we are reeling with the devastating news of the remains of hundreds of indigenous children and some adults found on the grounds of the former Residential Schools. It is truly a horror and I now there will be many more to be found. Heartbreaking and I feel ashamed as a white person that this happened .

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Now another 700+ have been found. Today I also saw anarticle about a hospital on Vancouver Island known as the”Indian Hospital”. What went on there was horrific. Children and women were experimented on and also sterilized without consent. That was done with funding by the Federal government and the United Church. It is beyond belief. It breaks my heart . It really does. But I am looking forward to reading your memory post of your time on a reservation.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is horrific news indeed. As sad as the situation is, evil no longer surprises me in the least. There is so much of it in the world. I’m impressed by your level of compassion and empathy, Anne.

        Once more, thank you so much for your interest. I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences. 😊


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