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Little Shell Tribe receives documents to bolster federal recognition

Filed Under: Politics | Federal Recognition
More on: 114th, bia, congress, h.r.286, little shell, montana, north dakota, s.35, tmbci
     
   

Chief Little Shell was a leader of the Little Shell Tribe in the late 1800s. Photo from Turtle Mountain Chippewa Heritage Center

The Little Shell Chippewa Tribe of Montana hopes a new set of documents bolsters its bid for federal recognition.

The evidence comes from the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, The Great Falls Tribune reported. Chief Bill Sitting Chief, a hereditary leader of the North Dakota-based tribe, brought the baptismal records, letters and other documents that show the Little Shell existed as a tribal community.

"This is about justice,” Sitting Chief said at the Little Shell Tribe's offices in Montana, the Tribune reported. “It’s about the right thing to do.”

The documents cover a period of time in which Bureau of Indian Affairs said evidence was lacking to provide the Little Shell Tribe's existence. It's possible it could be used as the agency reconsiders the tribe's petition, which has gone through ups and downs through the last three administrations.

The Clinton administration issued a favorable finding in 2000. But the Obama administration changed course and issued a final determination against the tribe in 2009, the first time in the BIA's history that a proposed finding went from positive to negative.

Separately, the tribe has seen strong support in Congress for legislative recognition. But S.35 and H.R.286 have yet to see floor movement in the 114th Congress.

Get the Story:
Turtle Mountain documents could aid Little Shell Tribe (The Great Falls Tribune 3/9)

Related Stories:
Little Shell Tribe still waiting for decision on federal recognition (12/07)
House subcommittee embraces two tribal federal recognition bills (09/30)
House subcommittee takes up two federal recognition measures (09/28)
Congress returns to work and takes action on tribal measures (09/21)
Little Shell Chippewa Tribe welcomes federal recognition reforms (07/03)
Little Shell Tribe seeks greater access to bison from Yellowstone (06/17)
Senate committee approves two federal recognition measures (03/19)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs schedules business meeting (03/12)
Bill seeks removal of 'halfbreed' and 'breed' names in Montana (02/05)
Editorial: Recognition overdue for Little Shell Chippewa Tribe (01/13)
Bill introduced to extend recognition to Little Shell Chippewa Tribe (1/7)
Little Shell Chippewa Tribe still hopeful for federal recognition (05/12)
Native Sun News: Little Shell Tribe gets closer to recognition (04/16)
Montana senators back federal recognition for Little Shell Tribe (02/20)

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