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Little Shell Tribe Legal News

June 25, 2003:
Read Adobe PDF Version of Signed Agreement.

Read HTML Version of Signed Agreement.

June 24, 2003:

Little Shell Tribe Resolves Election Dispute, New Elections tentatively Scheduled for August 9, 2003

In a strong show of Self-determination, Sovereignty, and Chippewa tradition, The Little Shell Tribal Council met with the "Little Shell Seven" in a meeting Sunday mediated by Pamela Bundt, Little Shell Anthropologist, and resolved their differences stemming from the 2000 Little Shell Elections. Under Sunday's agreement, both sides acknowledged making mistakes and a blanket amnesty was granted to all individuals for any actions related to the election. The parties also agreed to adhere to the results of the August election.

The Tribe will hold a general meeting in Great Falls on July 12th to discuss and plan for the election, a specific time and location will be announced at that time. A copy of the mediated agreement is winging it's way to the website and will be posted here when it arrives.

May 1, 2003

Montana Supreme Court AFFIRMS SOVEREIGNTY of The Little Shell Tribe!!

In a Opinion Released Yesterday, the Montana Supreme Court states that the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians as a SOVEREIGN Entity with a cohesive Community that has been sustained over the past Century, that State Courts have no place in interfering in our Internal affairs.

"...We agree with the District Court that the Little Shell satisfies each element of the Montoya test and therefore is a tribe entitled to sovereignty..."

"...this Court is unwilling to interfere with the longstanding right of tribal sovereignty to resolve the underlying matter in this case...."

Justice Terry N. Trieweiler Concurring Opinion states in part:
"I concur with all that is said in the majority Opinion regarding the sovereign immunity of Indian tribes, whether or not they have been recognized by the federal government; and, I concur with the majority's conclusion that the Little Shell Band meets all the common law criteria for recognition as a tribe. Finally, I concur that to the extent that the Appellants' District Court complaint relates to tribal self-government, the District Court was without jurisdiction to entertain it...."

To read the full Opinion of the Montana Supreme Court and the associated Documents, go to the State Law Library of Montana's webpage for 01-888 (04-29-03) Koke v. Little Shell Tribe Of Chippewa Indians Of Montana, INC. 2003 MT 121

Adobe Acrobat Reader required to read .pdf files

Montana Supreme Court Case 97-555 Schmasow v Native American Center

1. The appellant, Sara Schmasow, brought an action against the defendants, the Native American Center, Inc. (NAC) and others, claiming that NAC should have selected her for the position of executive director pursuant to an Indian employment preference provision in NAC's contract with the Indian Health Service. NAC hired another Indian, James Parker Shield, instead. Schmasow argued in the Eighth Judicial District Court, Cascade County, that Shield did not qualify for the employment preference since he was not a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe. Schmasow appeals the District Court's conclusion that Shield was eligible for the employment preference and its grant of summary judgment in NAC's favor.
2. The dispositive issue in this case is whether Shield, who is not a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe, qualifies for an Indian employment preference pursuant to NAC's contract with the Indian Health Service.
97-555 (1-26-98) Appellant Brief

97-555 (3-20-98) Respondent Appendix

97-555 (3-20-98) Respondent Brief

97-555 (4-3-98) Appellant Reply Brief

97-555 Opinion

Montana Supreme Court Case 88-194 (04-12-90) State v Lapier

This is a Case where Leland Neal LaPier, a 165/512 Blood Descendant of Pembina origin and claimed affiliation with the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewea Indians AND the Turtle Mountain Band. Although he was not enrolled with either tribe and had never attempted to enroll. He appealed to the Montana Supreme Court of his criminal convictions in the District Court of the Ninth Judicial District, Glacier county. In a jury trial, he was found guilty of aggravated burglary, aggravated kidnapping, and felony assault. LaPier was sentenced to thirty years for aggravated burglary, thirty years for aggravated kidnapping, to be served concurrently, and five years for felony assault, to be served consecutively. LaPier appealed the convictions on the basis that he was immune to justice from state and federal courts on the basis of his descendancy of Pembina tribes.

The Opinion below is from the Montana Supreme Court dated April 1990 on his claims.

MT Supreme Court Opinion:
88-194 (04-12-90) State v Lapier

2001 Montana Code

Planning and Economic Development:
90-1-131. State-tribal economic development commission -- composition -- compensation for members.

Human Skeletal Remains and Burial Site Protection:
22-3-804. Board -- composition -- rights -- responsibilities.

Native American Rights Fund


Little Shell Legal news Archive

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The Little Shell Tribe Newsletter is FREE to all Enrolled Tribal Members. It is published 12 months a year and is supported by particle funding by the Little Shell Tobacco Abuse Prevention Program. To place your name on the list for the newsletter, Click Here to get the Address/phone number to request your name and address be placed on the newsletter subscription list. The Contact is Toni Jo Atchison, Tobacco Abuse Prevention Specialist

Toni Jo Atchison, Little Shell Tobacco Abuse Prevention Specialist Announces Tribal Newsletter is FREE to Tribal Members

By the LittleShellTribe.com Webmaster:

Toni Jo Atchison, Little Shell Tribal Tobacco Abuse Prevention Specialist has announced that the Tribal newsletter is FREE to all Enrolled Tribal Members. Previously, a subscription of $10 was required for the newsletter and was published quartely. The subscription cost covered monies that funded the creation, mailing of the newsletter, along with helping with office expenses. Now, with funding provided in part under a contract with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program, and the Little Shell Tobacco Abuse Prevention Program, the Newsletter will be published 12 months a year. To place your name on the List for the newsletter (if you do not currently receive it), contact Toni Jo at the main office or write a letter requesting your name to be placed on it. Tribal and Non-Tribal members are still welcome and are encourgaged to send donations to the Office to help with tribal expenses.

To view the Little Shell Tribal Tobacco Prevention Program, Click Here


In order for the tribal government to operate and represent the members of the Little Shell Tribe through the Federal Recoginition process and enrollment, there is an immediate need for operating funds for office rent, clerical supplies, mailing, telephone services, and copier payments. Any size donation will help our tribe keep the doors open. Many thanks to the people who have contributed to the LST

Webmaster Note: This website and domain is not paid for by any funds sent to the LST. I pay for this out of my own pocket and have donated it's pages to the cause of the Little Shell Tribal members.


This Website and Domain is owned and operated by Little Shell Tribal members, It is not operated or controlled by the Government of the Little Shell Tribe. All Rights Reserved. This website is updated and operated by me, Robert Dean Rudeseal. I am an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Montana and a direct descendant of Pierre Berger and Judith Wilkie who brought the Little Shell Tribe permanently to Montana.

All items on this website are posted in accordance to the Fair Use Laws of the United States of America. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works