Jodi Rave: Chippewa Cree woman in Clinton camp

"Lena Belcourt, a Chippewa Cree, will lead Sen. Hillary Clinton's Native campaign efforts in Montana, according to an announcement from the Clinton campaign on Thursday.

Belcourt, a health policy analyst, advises tribal leaders on local, state and national policymaking. She lives on the Rocky Boy's Reservation in north-central Montana.

“Indian people need a candidate who will hit the ground running, who has links to Indian Country and has supported legislation important to Indian Country,” said Belcourt in a statement. “We need someone who knows who we are. That's Hillary Clinton.”

Health care is shaping up to be a primary concern among Native voters, leaving Belcourt to focus on Indian health care in her campaign work across Montana. The Indian Health Service is funded at less than 60 percent of its basic need.

Clinton was a co-sponsor for the reauthorization of the 2007 Indian Health Care Improvement Act. Belcourt's work in Indian Country includes developing Medicaid eligibility determination contracts and allocation plans. The University of Montana graduate was a health and disability policy adviser on Gov. Brian Schweitzer's transition team in 2005. She also assisted Alvin Windy Boy Sr., former chairman of the Chippewa Cree Tribe, on his health policy agenda."

Get the Story:
Jodi Rave: Health policy analyst will lead Clinton's Native campaign in Montana (The Missoulian 4/25)

Relevant Links:
Jodi Rave -

Related Stories:
Jodi Rave: Montana tribal leaders back Obama (4/24)
Clinton wins primary in Pennsylvania (4/23)
Indian baby gets face time with Obama and Clinton (4/21)
Kevin Abourezk: Crow man to help Obama in Montana (4/21)
Jodi Rave: Clinton campaign falters on Indian policy (4/17)
Kevin Abourezk: Tom Daschle for vice president? (4/14)
South Dakota tribal leaders endorse Obama (4/11)
Indian lawmaker in Montana backs Sen. Obama (4/11)
Opinion: No defense for Obama's pastor Wright (4/10)
Indian lawmaker rescinds Obama endorsement (4/8)
Indian superdelegate from Montana backs Obama (4/7)
Jodi Rave: Clinton and Obama make Indian pledges (4/7)