The second warship to ever bear the name of our state—the Montana (SSN 794)—was anointed in May with a proper Native American blessing. The ship’s sponsor, former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, chalked her initials onto a steel plate. “We celebrate the tradition of the keel laying and look forward to blessing her, christening her, and ensuring that the natural beauty, rich culture, and spirit of the great state of Montana accompany the ship and crew throughout her lifetime.”
The Blackfeet Reservation in northwestern Montana, just east of Glacier National Park, is the 13th largest reservation in the U.S. at about 1.5 million acres. Roughly 85 percent of the residents are Native Americans.