Front lawn of the Medicine Bear Shelter in Browning, MT. September 2018.

One year ago, FAST Blackfeet received a two-year, $30,000 grant from the First Nations Development Institute to support the efforts of the Blackfeet Nation to eliminate systemic gaps in Blackfeet food system that leave many families food insecure. Over the past year, with this support, FAST Blackfeet has attained non-profit status and has officially decided to partner with the Medicine Bear Shelter in Browning to begin planning a Food Resource Center. It is FAST Blackfeet’s dream that the Food Resource Center can provide emergency food supplies to families in need and create a demo kitchen where people can learn the skills necessary to create healthier meals from scratch.

In 2016 and 2017, FAST Blackfeet conducted a Community Food Sovereignty Assessment that identified that almost two of every three adults living in Blackfeet Country experience food insecurity at some point throughout the year and that people have a lot of difficulty accessing foods that are important to culture and ceremony.

Possible area for expansion of the Medicine Bear Shelter.

The Medicine Bear Shelter currently serves a lunch meal to 110 – 180 people each weekday. They are supported with food donations from the Blackfeet Nourish Project (feel free to donate to them if your pockets are feeling heavy!), which is a project of Nourish the Flathead located in Whitefish, MT. Medicine Bear also hopes to raise the money necessary to build a new dormitory building where people could stay overnight. You can donate to Medicine Bear’s shelter expansion here.