GREAT FALLS — Governor Steve Bullock announced on Wednesday a three-phase plan to "re-open" Montana, as closures and restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 will be gradually rescinded.
But changes won't be happening right away on the Blackfeet Reservation; the tribal nation does not have to abide by the governor's re-opening plan since they run their own government.
"That was up to the governor to make that decision. And so at this point, you know, the council is undoubtedly going to keep a close watch," said James McNeely, Blackfeet Tribe Public Information Officer.
A curfew remains in place from 10 pm to 6 am, and alcohol sales are restricted to the hours of noon until 8 pm. In addition, all access to Glacier National Park from the east entrances remain closed.
McNeely says they are doing what's right for their people: "We hold our elders and children near and dear and people with compromised immune systems, and that's what I think drives us is our whole being of Blackfeet people. We want to keep each other safe, so that's why we are going to continue to keep the reservation closed."
The tribal office is staying closed until May 31st, and they will revisit when the time comes.
"I remind people to follow the CDC guidelines of keeping social distancing and washing your hands and being proactive like we've been and make sure that you're following the rules that are set in place. Follow the curfew laws and the and the ordinance that's put in place and to stay safe," he said.