Indian lawmakers in Montana discuss priorities
Montana's nine Indian lawmakers said economic recovery and job creation are their top priorities, The Great Falls Tribune reported.

The lawmakers represent all of the state's reservations. "We represent the communities of Montana with the highest unemployment rates, the poorest educational achievement, and many issues that need the attention of Montana," said Sen. Carol Juneau, a Democrat whose district covers the Blackfeet Nation.

Rep. Tony Belcourt, a Democrat whose district includes the Chippewa Cree Tribe, said tribes have projects to go as soon as they receive funds from the national stimulus bill. "We have had shovel-ready projects for probably 20 years that have been forgotten about," Belcourt said.

Sen. Jonathan Windy Boy, a Democrat whose district covers the Chippewa Cree Tribe, said reservation residents share the same concerns as other Montanans. "Even though we do reside on reservations, we are citizens of this state and there are a lot of issues that come to the table in areas of health care and areas of Medicaid and mental health system that not only affect us, but affect Montanans as a whole," he said.

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Lawmakers discuss jobs, economy for tribal nations at Indian caucus (The Great Falls Tribune 2/4)

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