Editorial: Little Shell Chippewa deserve recognition

"So what if it’s 100 years late? We’re sure Montana’s Little Shell Chippewa Tribe will still take it.

That’s how long the 4,300 Little Shell members have been trying to obtain federal recognition as a tribe — the recognition that is necessary to qualify for government services already available to other Native Americans.

Montana’s congressional delegation — Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester and Rep. Denny Rehberg — introduced legislation last week that requires immediate action. The tribe was recognized by the state seven years ago, joining the seven other tribal nations in Montana. At about the same time, the Department of the Interior issued a positive finding for the tribe. Since then, however, the matter has been snarled in what the delegation called 'bureaucratic obstacles.'

As 'landless' Indians, the Little Shell Tribe, based in Great Falls but with many members in the Helena area as well, has long been denied basic services afforded to Indians on reservations.

The bill includes tribal land as well making members eligible for education, housing, health care, and other assistance."

Get the Story:
Editorial: About time for Little Shell Tribe (The Helena Independent Record 3/4)

Relevant Links:
Little Shell Tribe - http://www.littleshelltribe.com

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