Blackfeet Nation Winter Storm Relief

Updated March 7, 2018

Multiple winter storms with large amounts of snow, high winds and subzero temperatures have impacted the state of Montana. According to, "Some parts of the Montana Rockies have seen more than 40 feet of snow this season so far, while some towns are seeing record snow."

Graphic for Blackfeet UM Parish disaster relief

This record snowfall has impacted the communities around Blackfeet United Methodist Parish (BUMP) in northwestern Montana. Approximately 15,000 people are affected in the Blackfeet reservation. Yellowstone Conference has initiated a disaster response plan. Mountain Sky Area Bishop Karen Oliveto has requested a $10,000 emergency grant from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), which was used to purchase 6 semi-loads of wood. We continue to need support as this work will continue beyond the immediate response.

Yellowstone Conference has a Disaster Relief Fund and you can give online:


When United Methodists hear of a need, they respond!

The Rev. Calvin Hill, pastor of the Blackfeet United Methodist Parish (BUMP) is so grateful for all of the food, paper supplies, hygiene items, and baby supplies that you have sent their way. For now, they have all they can store. Items still on their way will go to Christ UMC in Great Falls and Columbia Falls UMC. As the items in Browning now are distributed, more will be brought from Great Falls and Columbia Falls. (There is limited storage space at the annex in Browning). When supplies are exhausted from Great Falls and Columbia Falls, the disaster response team will alert the conference if more is needed. Again, thank you!

Firewood is still needed! Please contact the UMCOR volunteer management team below if you can help. Please do not take wood directly to Browning without letting the team know so they can direct you to where it goes and if someone can receive it.  

No clothing donations are needed at this time.

In an effort to not overwhelm Browning with the responsibility of storing supplies, we are attempting to establish receiving churches on both the East and West side of the mountains. Those receiving points are:

                West Side                            Columbia Falls UMC

                East Side                             Christ UMC - Great Falls

                                                             Van Orsdel UMC - Havre

Volunteers are needed but must be coordinated with the volunteer coordinators.


Please check with the UMCOR Blackfeet Nation Winter Storm volunteer management team:

Nancy Flint, 406-249-6114 | 
Debbie Irby, 406-461-2136 | 
Sally McConnell, 406-600-0303 |

  • Cooks at the annex to provide meals for volunteers and/or people stranded, and also provide hospitality.
  • Persons to help with dispatch/switchboard at the annex
  • Sawyers to cut, split and stack firewood

Your skills and available time will be matched with the current needs identified by the Blackfeet United Methodist Parish, who is the requesting partner and contact. It is preferred that you do not contact them directly at this time. They are managing the on-site response to this disaster and are extremely busy with that task. Once you are on-site you will be given a contact person.

Things you need to know:

  • You will need to bring all of your bedding, including cot and air mattress, and toiletries (including toilet paper) and paper supplies for meals (plates, napkins, cups)
  • You will need to bring all of your own food and water for the duration of your stay
    • Think about bringing supplies that could be cooked community style, such as soups/stews, chili, spaghetti, etc.
    • Buying supplies locally is problematic as their stock has been depleted
  • You will need warm winter clothing
  • Travel to and from Browning has been difficult because of winter driving conditions
    • Check Montana Road Report before travel
  • Emergency services in case of an accident are available:
    • Blackfeet Community Hospital, 760 Hospital Circle, Browning, 406-338-6100
    • Northern Rockies Medical Center, 802 Second St. SE, Cut Bank, 406-873-2251