indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Native Sun News: Little Shell Tribe gets closer to recognition

Filed Under: National | Recognition
More on: 113th, house, john walsh, jon tester, little shell, montana, native sun news, scia, senate, treaties
   

The following story was written and reported by Brandon Ecoffey, Native Sun News Managing Editor. All content © Native Sun News.

nsn-jontester.jpg
Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana)

Little Shell Band inches closer to federal recognition
By Brandon Ecoffey
Native Sun News Managing Editor

WASHINGTON —The Little Shell Band of Chippewa Indians, after more than 35 years of attempts to become a federally recognized tribe, is now beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel.

Two separate bills, one in the House and one in the Senate, are being lobbied for by congressman from both sides of the aisle.

Late last week the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs approved a bill that would grant the already state recognized tribe, federal recognition. The bill that was introduced by Sen. Tester (D-MT) and Sen. Walsh (R-MT) if passed would be the first recognition bill passed in more than twenty years.

“The Little Shell deserves recognition and passing this bill through committee is a big step in the right direction,” Tester said. “While the journey has been difficult, the Little Shell has the backing of the State of Montana, all affected local governments and all of Montana's tribes. I will continue to press for the long-overdue respect and federal recognition the Little Shell earned.”

Sen. Tester recently took over chairmanship of the Indian Affairs Committee and has wasted no time as he has begun championing several bills relevant to Indian Country including one that would provide funding for Native language Immersion learning which tribal leaders from across the Northern Plains have praised. Senator Tester barely survived a re-election campaign that saw voters from heavily populated Indian precincts carry him to victory.

The newly appointed Sen. Walsh, a Democrat, who co-sponsored the bill, also feels that the legislation is necessary and deserved.

“This important step towards recognition is long-overdue for the Little Shell,” Walsh said. “I’m proud to partner with Chairman Tester to help finally right a wrong that will allow the Little Shell to have the federal recognition they deserve.”

Although Federal Recognition bills have been controversial and highly politicized in the past, Little Shell’s campaign to become federally recognized has received support from tribes in Montana and states congressional representatives.

“Nobody opposes our recognition,” said Little Shell Chairman Gerald Gray. “Every tribe in Montana supports us and the state recognizes us as a tribe. It has been a long journey but we are now beginning to see some progress…We deserve to be recognized because we are a tribe.”

The Little Shell Tribe descends from the signatories of the Pembina Treaty of 1863. The treaty that saw large portions of the state of North Dakota ceded to the federal government. The treaty was also signed by members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and the Chippewa-Cree people who now inhabit the Rocky Boy Reservation in Montana.

After the Pembina Treaty was ratified by Congress in October of 1863 the Little Shell followed the Buffalo herds westward in to Montana and in to the Turtle Mountains of North Dakota. In 1892 a United States Commission was assigned the duty of negotiating a cession of lands from the Turtle Mountain Chippewa and to facilitate removal of the Indians from the area. Chief Little Shell and his band refused to sign on to the deal and walked out of the negotiations. A group would follow Little Shell and they would become known as the Little Shell Band.

In 1908 the United States Congress began working to recognize the tribe and had attempted to provide funding to purchase trust lands for them however after political wrangling, efforts stalled and none was ever purchased on behalf of the Little Shell Band. In the 1930’s and 1940’s the tribe attempted to once again earn federal recognition under then Commissioner of Indian Affairs John Collier’s Indian Reorganization Act. Federal agents who visited the Little Shell determined that the tribe should be provided recognition and funds to purchase lands, however federal finances were drastically impacted by the Great Depression and once again lands were never purchased.

Little Shell along with Turtle Mountain and the Chippewa-Cree would file suit against the federal government in 1946 with the Indian Claims Commission and in 1972 would receive compensation for the claims in 1971 and 1982.

In 1978 the Little Shell once again attempted to earn recognition when they would apply with the Bureau of Indian Affairs paperwork to do so. In 2003 a report would come back from the Department of Interior recommending that the tribe be recognized however a more recent decision from the DOI would backtrack on that initial finding.

Although bills that would grant federal recognition are exceedingly rare the unique circumstances that exist surrounding Little Shell has led many D.C. insiders to admit that Little Shell is deserving of one of these rare bills.

The Senate bill is not the only legislation being introduced on behalf of the Little Shell. A similar bill was introduced in the House by Rep. Daines (R-MT). H.R. 2991 was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

The Senate bill can now be considered by the full Senate.

(Contact Brandon Ecoffey at staffwriter2@nsweekly.com)

Copyright permission Native Sun News


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Mine proposed near sacred site in Black Hills (3/3)
DOI schedules listening session on buy-back program in Arizona (3/3)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee set for hearing on IRRIGATE Act (3/3)
Mary Pember: Bad River Band wins as massive mine put on hold (3/3)
Column: Navajo Nation takes basketball obsession to new level (3/3)
Mohegan Tribe names one of its own to head gaming enterprise (3/3)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe and state in court over casino plan (3/3)
Muscogee Nation set for big job far as part of casino expansion (3/3)
Seminole Tribe touts compact as lawmakers take up expansion (3/3)
Lawmakers in Nebraska table bill affecting expansion of gaming (3/3)
Just Joking: Humor from National Congress of American Indians (3/2)
Native Sun News: Northern Cheyenne family celebrates history (3/2)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Native snipers among world's deadliest (3/2)
Omaha Tribe welcomes denial of rehearing in boundary lawsuit (3/2)
Supreme Court won't hear Stockbridge-Munsee Band land claim (3/2)
Indian tobacco company rebuffed in another dispute with state (3/2)
Jodi Gillette: Administration making progress in Indian Country (3/2)
Kevin Abourezk: Leaders of Winnebago Tribe face recall attempt (3/2)
Aaron Schutt: Alaska Native role in FCC's auction benefits public (3/2)
Steven Newcomb: NMAI should help expose Indian law's bigotry (3/2)
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: Native sovereignty in a race-based society (3/2)
David Wilkins: Tap into the knowledge and power of our nations (3/2)
Opinion: Native women won't feel safe without action in Canada (3/2)
Indian families in South Dakota battle to keep children at home (3/2)
Marijuana presented as another opportunity for Indian Country (3/2)
Lac Vieux Desert Band relies on revenue from lending business (3/2)
Leader of Kiowa Tribe challenges BIA's intervention in election (3/2)
Cherokee Nation mourns loss of respected journalist John Shurr (3/2)
Pechanga Band to reclaim ancestors and artifacts from military (3/2)
Travel: Ancient culture continues on Hopi Reservation in Arizona (3/2)
Saginaw Chippewa Tribe banishes two women after drug arrest (3/2)
Joseph Webster: Tribes assert sovereignty over Class II gaming (3/2)
Tohono O'odham Nation spends $200M on first phase of casino (3/2)
New Mexico lawmakers advance new Class III gaming compact (3/2)
Fort Sill Apache Tribe in court for gaming compact in New Mexico (3/2)
MGM on track to complete $1.2B casino near US Capitol next year (3/2)
Wrapup from National Congress of American Indians DC meeting (2/27)
Native Sun News: Rapid City leader calls for tax on alcohol sales (2/27)
Mark Trahant: Beautiful trend emerges with power of Native vote (2/27)
Ivan Star: Lakota traditional history tells the true untold stories (2/27)
Audio: House Appropriations Committee hearing on BIA budget (2/27)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee to hold hearing on irrigation bill (2/27)
National Indian Gaming Commission choice gets another hearing (2/27)
Kevin Abourezk: Omaha language advocate passes on at age 58 (2/27)
Gyasi Ross: Yawna Allen shares her Native and African ancestry (2/27)
Frank Hopper: Alaska Native Brotherhood was about resistance (2/27)
Stanley Heller: Don't forget the Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado (2/27)
Cherokee Nation chief faces at least four challengers in election (2/27)
BIA and DOJ seek to mediate Cayuga Nation leadership dispute (2/27)
Non-Indians guilty for hunting incidents on Montana reservation (2/27)
Man from Te-Moak Tribe pleads guilty to voluntary manslaughter (2/27)
Administrator for Alaska tribe cuts her position out of the budget (2/27)
Opinion: Find common ground on Indian mascots in Connecticut (2/27)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.