Here's a little more info:The Little Shell Band of Chippewa Indians is moving closer to the federal recognition it has sought for 35 years.
The U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee approved legislation Wednesday that would recognize the tribe.
The bill sponsored by Montana Sen. Jon Tester and co-sponsored by Sen. John Walsh now goes to the full Senate.
Tester is the chairman of the Indian Affairs committee. He says Wednesday's action is a big step in a difficult journey. - Helen Air, 4/2/14
This is promising news indeed. Walsh has been out speak with Montana's Native Americans:The landless tribe has about 4,500 members loosely centered in Great Falls. They have struggled to stay together for more than a century of poverty and dislocation.
The state of Montana officially recognized the tribe in 2000.
Federal recognition could bring the tribe land for a reservation, along with housing and education assistance. - The Missoulan, 4/2/14
Native American turnout will be key to winning this race and Walsh is not only reaching out to Native Americans but also fighting for them in the Senate. Lets help fuel Walsh's campaign so he can defeat Tea Party Congressman Steve Daines (R. MT). Click here to donate and get involved with Walsh's campaign:Did you hear anything on your recent reservation listening tour that surprised you?
As I visited tribes, I heard a lot of Native veterans complain that they have trouble getting medical care at either Indian Health Service or Veterans Administration facilities. This is very frustrating to me. As a veteran, I want to be sure our veterans are taken care of. One or two Montana tribes are dealing with this problem with memorandums of agreement that coordinate care between the two agencies. It’s a smart practice, it came out of Indian country, and we can take it to other tribes. Those are the types of ideas we should focus on—ones tribes believe will work and that we can help them make work.
Is this an aspect of sovereignty?
We need to respect sovereignty at the state and federal level—to ensure that tribes maintain their sovereignty. But most important, state and federal governments need to support tribes when asked and not push ideas on them from outside.
When visiting areas surrounding reservations, I get the sense that some fear stronger tribal economies will mean less, not more, for nearby communities. How do you react to that?
It’s a shortsighted view. I’m disappointed that it’s 2014, and as I travel on reservations, I see they’re lacking businesses, lacking infrastructure. We need to encourage development on reservations, so tribal members can be educated and work at home. Strengthening our tribes will strengthen all our communities and our entire state.
How important is turnout in a mid-term election, when there’s no presidential race to generate extra interest? And would turnout be helped by the reservation satellite-voting access Montana tribes are asking for?
Turnout will be an issue in the upcoming election. I am on the Senate’s Rules Committee and will push to make sure Indian country and all Americans have the ability to vote. Our democracy depends on that and will be strengthened by increasing turnout and voter access. In Indian country and across Montana, which is a very rural state, I’m concerned about people traveling long distances to polling stations. We shouldn’t focus on reducing access to voting, but on making it easier and available to everyone. - Indian Country Today Media Network, 3/31/14