Letter: Members of Crow Tribe should vote against water rights
"Crow tribal members are being told to vote yes on a referendum to approve the Crow water compact with the state of Montana. This is the next step in a May 7, 1868, treaty that held that the tribe has a legal right to the waters flowing through the tribe’s traditional lands.

The Crows are a nation governed by law, and that is good, but for the Crow Tribe, the law is more like bingo or a lottery. We are told to clap, and we do so, never knowing why. The Crow tribal executive and legislative branches ignore us and treat us like children. We should have a say in what happens to the millions of dollars we are to get.

Montanans’ water rights are protected by the Montana Constitution; it has a water rights registration system and independent courts to decide conflicts. Without Crow legislation that specifies how the money will be spent, we risk it going where it all too frequently goes — into the pockets of the elected officials and their friends and families.

Curly, a Crow scout, said, “The soil you see is not ordinary; it’s the blood and bones of our ancestors for future generations.” Is not the blood and bones of our people in the water that flows across tribal land?"

Get the Story:
John Bull Shows: Tribal water rights existed before government said so (The Billings Gazette 10/6)