Thursday, January 16, 2014

Jan. 16 – On this day in Montana history in 1908 the Milk River Valley News was celebrating a U.S. Supreme Court decision granting water rights to Native Americans on the Fort Belknap Reservation and the signing of a contract that would bring a sugar beet factory to the area. A mass meeting of farmers was called by the Harlem Industrial Association to talk about the new factory. The water rights decision was “quite satisfactory to all,” the paper said, and there was water enough to go around.  However, the paper put it in terms that reflected some bias: “The suit is the outcome of the Indians embarking in farming and as the white settlers were using all the waters of Milk River, which was very little, the reds were deprived of the waters.”

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