See the ‘shining mountains’ of Glacier National Park
Native Americans used to refer to this stretch of the Rockies as the “shining mountains.” Glacier National Park still shines with functional glaciers. Video shot by Brian Kaufman, Detroit Free Press.
The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council on Wednesday voted unanimously to open the east entrance to Glacier National Park for the 2021 season.
The park’s east entrance has been closed to the public since last March to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among Blackfeet tribal members, who are at a greater risk of suffering complications from the virus. Tribal, state and federal officials agreed to close the park’s east gate while allowing the public to access the park through other entrances.
James McNeely, the tribe’s public information officer, said the tribe will work with Glacier National Park and local business owners to ensure members of the community remain safe from COVID-19.
“Masks will be required for an indefinite period of time, possibly the next couple years. Also, proper hand hygiene and social distancing are still highly recommended along with regular testing,” he said in a statement.
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The Blackfeet Nation on March 2 began offering COVID-19 vaccines to everyone age 18 and older. As of Wednesday, 95% of the tribe’s eligible population had been vaccinated.
As of Tuesday, the tribe had two active COVID-19 cases and zero hospitalizations from the virus. Forty-seven tribal members have died from the respiratory illness. The tribe saw a peak in cases in October when they reported more than 400 active cases.