indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Health Coverage for American Indians and Alaska Natives
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Cover Story: Crow Tribe banks on big energy development deal

Filed Under: Environment | National
More on: coal, crow, economic development, energy, montana
     


This week's issue of The Missoula Independent features a cover story on the Crow Tribe and its coal development deal:
Crow Tribal Chairman Darrin Old Coyote rides proudly along Crow Agency's main drag on a Thursday morning in mid-May, wearing an ornate headdress and riding a horse named Skip. Behind Old Coyote stretches a long procession of tribal officials, parade floats and 20-year-old Crow member Amanda Not Afraid, recently crowned Miss Indian Rodeo 2014 at a ceremony in Las Vegas. Hundreds of people line the streets. A vendor on the curb is selling decorative beach towels. Another offers biscuits and gravy for $3 off a grill in the bed of a pickup.

Old Coyote became the 21st chair of his tribe in late 2012, when his people elected him by a wide margin over incumbent Cedric Black Eagle. Today's parade honors the tribe's Head Start students, and each class sits atop its own float. Other flatbeds are dedicated to various tribal offices and organizations, from the Apsaalooke Housing Authority to the Apsaalooke Nights Casino. Near the end of the parade route, Old Coyote stops on the side of the road, waving to the procession until the last float rolls slowly by.

The Crow Indian Reservation in south-central Montana is the state's largest, encompassing roughly 2.2 million acres—nearly half of it individually allotted trust land. Flanked on the west by the Pryor Mountains and the east by the Little Bighorn Battlefield, much of Crow is dedicated to livestock grazing and cropland. But the area is rich in natural resources, too. The Powder River Basin, a geological bonanza of coal deposits, stretches north from Wyoming over the reservation boundary. An estimated 9 billion tons of coal lie beneath Crow alone, and since the Colorado-based Westmoreland Mining Company first came to the reservation to open its Absaloka Mine in the 1970s, the tribenow numbered at more than 13,600 membershas relied almost solely on the coal industry as its economic backbone. Revenues from coal development account for nearly half of the Crow Tribe's annual budget.

After the parade, Old Coyote leans against his horse trailer. He's untucked his green ceremonial shirt from his jeans and replaced the headdress with a cowboy hat. His spurs—the same pair, adorned with the American flag, that he wore while riding behind President Barack Obama on horseback on the reservation in 2008jingle as he crosses his legs. Coal might be a "bad four-letter word" to many, he says. But for a people suffering from a staggering 47 percent unemployment rate—a people now 40 years dependent on a product scientists, environmentalists and political officials around the globe are blaming for climate change—there aren't many alternatives.

"Unless these NGOs can tell me how else to feed my people," Old Coyote says, "we're going to pursue development."

Get the Story:
Coal's long shadow (The Missoula Independent 5/29)


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

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Democrats make urgent case for Hillary Clinton as president (7/28)
Mark Trahant: The story is far from over for Senator Bernie Sanders (7/28)
Native Sun News: Indian Health Service eyes new hospital in Rapid (7/28)
Brandon Ecoffey: Oglala Sioux Tribe must start fitness revolution (7/28)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Show respect for sacred Lakota family unit (7/28)
Harlan McKosato: Violence against Native people swept under rug (7/28)
Indian Country shares spotlight at Democratic National Convention (7/27)
Recap: Native American Council at Democratic National Convention (7/27)
Lakota Country Times: SuAnne Big Crow Center focuses on fitness (7/27)
Native Sun News: Tribal college showcases works of Lakota artists (7/27)
Vi Waln: Too many of our own people continue to smoke cigarettes (7/27)
Andre Cramblit: Growing wiser in my return to Dartmouth College (7/27)
Indian Country makes presence known at Democratic convention (7/26)
Tim Giago: Questioning the motto of GOP candidate Donald Trump (7/26)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala team lands Indian relay title again (7/26)
Native Sun News: Tribes honor author of Indian Child Welfare Act (7/26)
Delphine Red Shirt: Let's eat food that's always been good for us (7/26)
Peter d'Errico: Luci Tapahonso tackles legacy of boarding schools (7/26)
Donald Trump tried to partner with Agua Caliente Band on casino (7/26)
Native American Council meets at Democratic National Convention (7/25)
Police officer cleared over fatal shooting of Navajo Nation woman (7/25)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Donald Trump and his campaign of hatred (7/25)
Native Sun News: Tribal advocate focuses on Great Plains efforts (7/25)
Lakota Country Times: Descendants of Pine Ridge legend gather (7/25)
Johnny Rustywire: Navajo mother works hard at motel for family (7/25)
Alex Jacobs: Nation finally admits problem with policing and race (7/25)
Dwaine Perry: Ramapough Lunaape Nation marching for justice (7/25)
Charges filed for assault on disabled member of Nisqually Tribe (7/25)
Man arrested for American Indian Movement flag settles lawsuit (7/25)
Interior Department consults tribes about new trust reform law (7/22)
Training sessions planned for final Indian Child Welfare Act rule (7/22)
Yurok Tribe shares sad news about salmon festival -- no salmon (7/22)
Mark Charles: An entire nation's big problem with Donald Trump (7/22)
Mark Trahant: Donald Trump promises a world with no treaties (7/22)
Native Sun News: Appeal delays release of Keepseagle checks (7/22)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux Tribe hosts walk for cancer (7/22)
James Giago Davies: Police officers get away with 'kill option' (7/22)
Andre Cramblit: Police officer shootings seem far too common (7/22)
Donald Trump closes convention that left out Indian Country (7/22)
New law in Oklahoma goes against Indian Arts and Crafts Act (7/22)
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.