This summer I am hiking a ~600 mile section of the Continental Divide Trail in Montana. Every hike, I learn more about how to responsibly engage the outdoors. Part of that is consciously learning about the land I'm hiking on, including who it rightly belongs to and who is working to protect it.
In the first half of my trip, I'll be hiking near the Badger-Two Medicine. Situated between the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and what is now Glacier National Park, this sacred Blackfeet land was illegally leased by the U.S. government for oil and gas development in 1982. Over the past decades, the Blackfeet Nation, with support from environmentalist and legal organizations, has fought to protect this land from drilling, fracking, and other invasive development. Though these coalitions won some crucial legal cases, the Badger-Two Medicine remains vulnerable as the current Department of the Interior is reversing earlier protective efforts.
After some research, I've decided to raise funds for the Glacier-Two Medicine Alliance. The GTMA was founded by both Blackfeet and non-Native organizers and has worked for more than three decades to protect and defend this land. Currently, their primary focus points include securing permanent protection for the region, restoring the Blackfeet Nation's rightful stewardship of the land, and blocking oil and gas leases on the land.
In addition to this fundraiser for GTMA, I also wanted to support social justice work that is fully under the leadership of Blackfeet members. Conversations with some generous tribal members who have been active in Badger-Two Medicine protection efforts guided me toward Identity, Inc. (which focuses on protection of Blackfeet land and cultural practices) and Saokio Heritage (which works toward revitalization of Blackfeet language and traditional knowledge, especially environmental practices and food sovereignty). Unfortunately neither of these organizations is connected to this fundraising platform, and I've learned from past experiences that I can't feasibly do big fundraising efforts on my own right now. So I'm committing to making a matching donation: at the end of my hike, I'll match the total raised for GTMA and split it evenly between these two organizations.
I'll be very grateful for any contribution you are moved to make to support these important organizations. As usual, if you donate $25 or more, I will happily send you a postcard from the trail. I have excellent handwriting and will endeavor to tell you a good trail story. For updates on my hike, you can always check my blog.