Tyler Childers to Play Benefit for Blackfeet Nation

Tyler Childers is currently on his “Mule Pull ’24 Tour” across the United States, with pretty much every stop selling out arenas and amphitheaters, and some on consecutive nights. But he’s taking some time from his busy schedule to play a benefit in Whitefish, Montana on August 4th at the Big Mountain Ranch. This is the same location where the Under The Big Sky Festival is held each year in July, and it is being sponsored by Outriders.

Vincent Neil Emerson is also performing at the benefit, and there will be Indian Relay Races during the event—a traditional and fast-paced horse racing competition rooted in the history of Native American tribes. Tickets are on sale now.

Blackfeet Nation and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation is one of the largest Indian reservations in the United States. Located on the east side of Glacier National Park, it’s about 3,000 square miles and is larger than the state of Delaware. Blackfeet Nation territory also traditionally spans into Canada.

The Blackfeet Indian Reservation hasn’t been the victim of any major natural disasters lately. Instead, the benefit appears to be tied to a cause that Tyler Childers regularly champions in his native region of Kentucky and Appalachia: addiction. Over the last few years, Blackfeet Nation has been forced to declare multiple states of emergency due to the opioid and fentanyl epidemics.

Overdose deaths tend to affect native Americans at a 30% higher rate, and reservations usually have less healthcare resources to deal with addiction issues. “Our treatment facility here, they’re not equipped to deal with opioid addiction, so they’re usually referred out,” Blackfeet Tribal Business Council member Stacey Keller tells Montana Public Radio.

The Blackfoot Tribe first declared a state of emergency in March of 2022 over the issue. Then in the summer of 2023, they declared another state of emergency for an even more diabolical problem.

Due to their lack of treatment facilities in Montana, Blackfoot tribe members looking to recover were sent to the Phoenix, Arizona area in a fraudulent scheme where they were never given treatment and often ended up on the street while companies collected upwards of $1,300 a day per patient from Medicaid.

In 2020, Tyler Childers and his wife Senora May started the Hickman Holler Appalachia Relief Fund to address addiction issues in Appalachia, and Childers plays the annual Healing Appalachia benefit in September.

Hopefully August’s benefit can help the Blackfoot tribe as they attempt to battle addiction issues that continue to ravage many parts of the United States.

© 2024 Saving Country Music