indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439   fax: 202 318 2182
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
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...
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Lummi Nation brings totem pole to fight Keystone (9/3)
Native Sun News: Film company aims to bring Native stories to life (9/2)
Mark Trahant: Alaska Native candidate joins rival in governor's race (9/2)
Walt Lamar: Tribes face problems dealing with legalized marijuana (9/2)
Jennie Stockle: Fans mock Cherokee people with Trail of Tears sign (9/2)
DaShanne Stokes: State-recognized tribes need eagle feathers too (9/2)
Indian studies professor denied position over remarks about Israel (9/2)
Alaska Natives excluded from secret military intelligence program (9/2)
Judge schedules hearing in Gun Lake Tribe's gaming land litigation (9/2)
Viejas Band looking to expand casino after reaching new compact (9/2)
California tribes are drawing large numbers of Filipinos to casinos (9/2)
Mohegan Tribe wants 'right-sized' commercial casino in New York (9/2)
Tim Giago: Oglala Sioux people aren't afraid to say no to easy cash (9/1)
Native Sun News: Release of secret uranium mining data ordered (9/1)
Mark Trahant: It's past time for tribal leaders to govern the nation (9/1)
Jennie Stockle: A safe space for opponents of offensive mascotry (9/1)
John Christian Hopkins: A big thank you to the friend I never met (9/1)
National Museum of the American Indian celebrates 10th birthday (9/1)
Mother arrested in connection with child's death on Navajo Nation (9/1)
Opinion: Energy development can help secure tribal independence (9/1)
Cherokee Nation announces $170M casino and retail development (9/1)
Tunica-Biloxi Tribe won't be sharing gaming revenues this quarter (9/1)
Seminole Tribe on track to see gaming revenues increase to $2.1B (9/1)
Eastern Shawnee Tribe to reopen gaming facility in February 2015 (9/1)
Editorial: Tohono O'odham Nation didn't play by 'rules' with casino (9/1)
Opinion: Gaming good for Eastern Cherokees but not for fellow tribe (9/1)
Opinion: Federal recognition only means more casinos in California (9/1)
Native Sun News: Tribes walk out of contract support cost meeting (8/29)
Clara Caufield: Northern Cheyenne Tribe spends $2.4M on property (8/29)
Mike Johanns: Retracing steps of great Ponca Chief Standing Bear (8/29)
Steven Newcomb: Racist mascot a sign of deeper problems in US (8/29)
Lauren Jones: Affordable Care Act benefits Native Americans too (8/29)
Gila River Indian Community to see $77.6M from Cobell buy-back (8/29)
Energy boom linked to rise in human trafficking in Indian Country (8/29)
Navajo man heads up Native American Homelessness Task Force (8/29)
9th Circuit hears case over Yakama Nation tobacco manufacturer (8/29)
WAER: ICWA matters handled in 'kangaroo courts' in South Dakota (8/29)
MPR: Red Lake Nation opposes liquor license near dry reservation (8/29)
Tule River Tribe helps remove marijuana operation on reservation (8/29)
Omaha Tribe signs agreement with EPA to improve utility services (8/29)
Las Vegas Paiute Tribe rejected 'gift' from NFL team's foundation (8/29)
KPLU: Spokane Tribe maintains close ties with baseball franchise (8/29)
Opinion: HUD loan program a small step to boost Indian housing (8/29)
DNA study finds distinct population of Native people in Arctic area (8/29)
Tribes closely watching Big Lagoon Rancheria casino land dispute (8/29)
Tohono O'odham Nation to build off-reservation casino in phases (8/29)
State questions Forest County Powatatomi Tribe's slot machines (8/29)
Quapaw Tribe eyes local support for commercial casino in Kansas (8/29)
Native Sun News: Police officers who shot Indian teen get medals (8/28)
Cara Cowan Watts: Laying the groundwork for college scholarship (8/28)
Rudolph Ryser: Indigenous nations need leverage to bring change (8/28)
DOI extends $100M in Cobell buy-back offers on two reservations (8/28)
Cobell buy-backs could return over 38K acres to tribe in Montana (8/28)
Five-year-old Navajo boy sent home from school for his long hair (8/28)
Three charged with murder for death of Mississippi Choctaw man (8/28)
Lummi Nation seeks cooperation after ruling in treaty rights case (8/28)
Artist Gregg Deal takes on Indian mascots for performance piece (8/28)
Sports announcer won't use Washington NFL team's name on air (8/28)
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.