Global Volunteers - Volunteer Programs in Montana

By Global Volunteers   Reviews (7)   94% Rating

Join Global Volunteers in helping and understanding the Blackfeet culture as a volunteer. Your help is wanted to improve educational, recreational, and social aspects of life on the Blackfeet reservation.

Possible volunteer work projects include:
* Building and fixing playgrounds
* Landscaping public areas
* Organizing a library
* Assisting at a nursing home and offering companionship to elderly
* Painting classrooms

Opportunities for working in professional areas are also available. Volunteers of any background are encouraged to share their skills. This program is great for families volunteering together. We appreciate your interest in volunteering to improve conditions for Native Americans at the Blackfeet Reservation with Global Volunteers!

View Program Information
  • United States
Program Length: 
1-2 weeks
See site for details.
Age Group: 
Cost Description: 

Program fees include food, accommodations, transportation within volunteer projects, project costs, administrative expenses, and support from Global Volunteers staff. The rest of the program costs are used to support the continued development of our host communities. Discounts are also available for students, family and multi-person groups, and returning volunteers. Free-time activities, airfare, or other travel are not included in the fees.

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Program Reviews (7)

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  • Suh Ning
    Age: 31-50
    Immersion in Native American Culture and Celebration

    This is my first trip to US and volunteering in Blackfeet Native Americans Reservation enabled me to get to know more about the culture and history of America. During my one week volunteering, I helped out in the Great Flood Memorial on 8 Jun. I also helped to bring the Blackfeet Care Center Residents to the Glacier Peak Casino's Mortgage Burning celebration on 11 June 2015, where everyone gets a $20 voucher to play in the casino and a grand funfair with free food and games outside the casino.

    During my stay in Blackfeet Reservation, I went to a sweat lodge, where Native Americans practise their unique tradition of praying. I had an unforgettable experience hearing the stories of what the people came to pray for and I personally went through the full ritual of heat, sweat and pitch darkness.

    These are the some of the many unique experiences that will be the highlights of my story on my first trip to USA!

    Chief giving a speech at Mortgage Burning Celebration
    Rainbow welcome the horse-riding volunteers
    Sweat Lodge experience
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  • Mindy
    Age: 31-50
    Rochester, New York
    Amazing and eye-opening cultural experience.

    I've titled this review "eye-opening" for many reasons, but it mostly boils down to one point: I felt like my eyes had been "closed" for a while, and while in Montana with Global Volunteers, I finally opened them up, looked around, and took it all in. Culturally, this trip is amazing. The relationship that Global Volunteers has with the community is excellent, and it allows for trip members to feel like a part of the community. I learned more about Blackfeet and American Indian culture in one week than any novel, textbook or documentary could ever teach. The trip also opened my eyes to the need on the reservation -- a need that my team could help address. And finally, the landscape is breathtaking. To take time away from computers, phones, and my busy lifestyle, I was able to open my eyes to the pristine beauty of "Big Sky Country." I definitely recommend this trip to anyone looking for a new experience. Yes, you need to be open-minded and a bit flexible, but if you can manage that, the experience is well worth it.

    How could this program be improved?

    The program can seem disorganized at times. I know a lot of this has to do with being on the reservation. What I would suggest is just making sure that all the volunteers know this ahead of time-- prepare them to be flexible and "go with the flow".

    Helping to build tipis with community members.
    Serving meals as part of North American Indian Days.
    Our 2015 team of 15 pharmacy students, 1 faculty member, and 1 high school student.
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  • Sherry
    Age: 51 or older
    Davenport, IA
    Blackfeet Wisdom

    Our family visited the Blackfeet Reservation with GV in 2010. The beauty and wisdom of that culture has remained with us ever since. I have often still referred to things I learned and experienced there.

    Our appreciation for creation grew from witnessing the respect and honor demonstrated by the BF People. It was an honor to be permitted to experience their world first hand.

    This experience also shattered many stereotypes that we have been exposed to living in a white dominated society. We are so grateful to have participated in this volunteer experience and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to gain an appreciation for another culture. The direct participation in and with BF People's daily lives and practices was a unique opportunity.

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  • Noa
    Age: 18 or younger
    Washington, DC
    George Washington University
    Eye Opening Father-Daughter Project

    My dad and I went on this as part of my bat mitzvah service project. Even though I was the youngest person on the trip (12 at the time), it was a very interesting project. It was also a lot of work. Perhaps the most thing I did was the two days I went around delivering lunches to people who could not leave their homes. We also met one women who showed us pictures about the Blackfeet religious ceremony held to ensure that her son in the US military stayed safe. It was a very interesting experience.

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  • Cindy
    Age: 31-50
    Orlando, Florida
    Expanded Horizons

    To experience Montana alongside the Blackfeet Indians is to immerse oneself into what is truly important. The Indians hold family and community amongst their most important values. Although volunteers participate for just a short time, relationships come easily and the volunteers feel embraced by the community. Elders share stories of the Great Rocky Mountains while children share traditional Indian dances. Volunteers have many opportunities to engage in the community from assisting the librarians and the facilities staff at the Blackfeet Community College to helping the Boys and Girls Clubs sew Indian costumes for the upcoming Pow Wow. For newcomers to Indian culture, this volunteer opportunity enables a wonderful glimpse into incredible heritage and tradition.

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  • MDavis
    Age: 31-50
    Redmond, WA
    Helping others, making friends and growing

    I thoroughly enjoyed my week on the Blackfeet Reservation. I met wonderful people - both the local people as well as the other volunteers. The GV staff go out of their way to make living conditions as comfortable as possible. Don't expect luxury. The work can feel disorganized at times, but it does come together. Small actions have a big impact. Take every opportunity to enjoy, learn, and appreciate the local culture. GV isn't there as a tour guide, but they will offer suggestions. Take their suggestions - go on the hikes, go to the sweat lodge, go to the Mission, go on the horseback ride. There is so much to do and see and learn. I returned a more appreciative person.

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  • CHA
    Age: 31-50
    Acceptance in the Blackfeet Community

    All the locals we met were very welcoming and often thanked us for our service. Some projects are done by volunteers without local participation. But it's the necessary price to have an inside appreciation of an Indian reservation. Global may be the only group that has developed such a strong ongoing relationship. There's not a lot to do on your own during free time so our team leader brought in local speakers and planned incredible side trips to show us the area (Glacier National Park, horseback riding on a working ranch, spiritual ceremonies, etc.) Global still needs to work on better housing. Apparently the previous provider of housing had a falling out with Global. We spent time in a house that needed a good cleaning and then at the community college in large dorm style rooms. You gotta like dogs; they're everywhere (and have a history with the Blackfeet). Overall an incredible experience.

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About the provider

Global Volunteers, a non-profit organization, has been giving short-term volunteers the chance to provide essential services to local people on service programs since 1984. Volunteering under the direction of local leaders, team members form groundwork for international peace via common, global understanding. Our goal is to sustain authentic development projects with the host community and give volunteers wide opportunities to help.

Since 1984, over 30,000 people have volunteered with Global Volunteers in 34 different countries. Visit our website to learn more about how to join this movement and become a Global Volunteer!