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Grown Up West: Children of Blackfeet Reservation in Montana

Children ages 2-18 compete in events such as roping, mutton busting, goat tying, and bull-riding in the bi-weekly summer youth rodeos on the Blackfeet Reservation. Stampede Park Blackfeet Reservation Browning Montana.   (Photo by Rebecca Drobis)

Grown Up West: Children of the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana

On the Blackfeet Reservation in northern Montana, winters are long and difficult; unemployment is high and infrastructure lacking. Children grow up without the latest video games and movies or a rigid schedule of activities. But despite the sometimes-harsh realities of the reservation, their imaginations flourish. Photographer Rebecca Drobis has been making trips to the reservation over the last decade. Impressed by their resilience, Drobis trained her camera on the reservation's youth, hoping to capture universal images of childhood.

"There exists the purity of imaginative play -- an intersection between raw nature and the developing mind of a child," Drobis writes. "These children have tremendous physical confidence, strength and a spirit of fearlessness. They race down pothole-covered roads on bicycles, bound from a trampoline onto a neighbor's car, sled down a hill at top speed in subzero temperatures and run barefoot through deep woods. And the natural world has a deep and meaningful presence in a child's life here." (grownupwest.com)