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August 29, 2006

Metis celebration and Pow Wow begins Thursday August 31,2006

From Lewistown News-Argus

by ANNETTE HAYDEN
News-Argus Staff Writer


The 2006 Metis Celebration Pow Wow and Re River Cart Rendezvous will offer three days of Native American culture events, including skilful demonstrations.

The cultural enchantment of the 2006 Metis Celebration Pow Wow and Red River Cart Rendezvous will come to Lewistown beginning Aug.30, with the main events taking place Sept. 1-3 at the Fergus County Fairgrounds. There is no admission fee and the public is encouraged to attend or participate in any or all of the festivities.

“The entire weekend of events is free and open to the public,” said steering committee member John LaFountain, of Billings. “We would like to see more locals take part in the events. There will be Native American fiddlers, dancers, singers, and crafters from throughout the states and Canada and we want to make sure everybody knows they are welcome to come out to the fairgrounds and enjoy themselves.

“Local musicians should definitely feel welcome to come down and get in on the Pre-80s music contest. The first-place cash prize is $700. There will also be a fiddling contest with a first-place prize of $1,000. Anyone who wants to enter the parade portraying life pre-1900 is encouraged to join in. People with horses are welcome to come down and ride. The mountain man group from Lewistown is going to be in the parade. We just want all of the entries to be representative of the 1800s.”

The annual Metis Celebration Pow Wow is a family event and an opportunity to let children experience Native American cultures that are part of the area’s history, La Fountain said. No dogs, drugs or alcohol are allowed at the event. Native American dance demonstrations and contests, raffles, displays, games, storytelling, cultural demonstrations, concessions and more promise to engage visitors in the rendezvous of Montana’s native beginnings.

This year’s Celebration will feature a number of new events, according to La Fountain. A Red River Cart Rendezvous will be on display, as will numerous displays of family histories. Demonstrations of skill will include hatchet throwing and archery. A variety of contests will award more than $8,000 in total cash prizes.

“We will have all kinds of Native American crafts this year,” said Donna Walraven, trade booth coordinator. “There will be bead work, jewelry, all kinds of leather crafts, furs and a lot more. We’ll have T-shirts with this year’s event logo, and there will be food booths. We have lots of reservations for tipi camping, which we have never had before. People with Native American heritage are coming from Las Vegas, Nev., Utah, Oregon and Canada to participate – they’re coming from quite a ways.

“It isn’t just a gathering for Metis,” Walraven added. “We have everybody. It is Metis and Little Shell, Crow and a lot more taking part and helping us. Different ones help in different categories. We really appreciate the public coming and taking part. We’ll have games and activities and both children and adults will learn a lot. I’ll have my history books open to the public and many come each year to look for their family heritage.”

Walraven said she has been tracking family genealogies for 35 years, ever since she realized her Native American descent.

“I have histories on Crow, Blackfoot, Chippewa, all of them,” she said. “I make the books open to the public every year at the Rendezvous and I help people find their family. There is always so much going on during the Rendezvous. We have a lot of fun. And I think this will be biggest gathering we have ever had.”

Schedule for 2006 Metis Celebration events

The 2006 Metis Celebration Pow Wow and Red River Cart Rendezvous events all occur at the Fergus County Fairgrounds except for the parade, which will begin on 7th Avenue S. (by the Lewistown Public Library) and travel down Main Street. Parade judging and prize awards will take place before the parade begins.

Wednesday, Aug. 30:
3 p.m. Open camp and set up.

Thursday, Aug. 31:
Daytime - Socializing and open jam
7 p.m. - Metis National Anthem
7 p.m. - Open Mic and jam - everyone welcome

Friday, Sept. 1:
Daytime - Visiting and various games
7 p.m. - Metis National Anthem.
7 p.m. - Contests: fiddling, jig, waltz - $1,000 cash prize for each
8 p.m. - Auction fund-raiser: bring an item to donate
9:30 p.m. - Contests continue followed by open jam for all musicians

Saturday, Sept. 2:
Mr. & Mrs. Central Montana Metis will be chosen
10 a.m. - Little Shell meeting
11 a.m. - Parade line up on 7th Avenue S. by Lewistown Public Library

Noon - Parade
1 p.m. - Pre-80s Music Contest and Liar’s Contest at the fairgrounds gazebo area. Cash prizes.
1:30 p.m. - Pow Wow and Grand Entry
5:30 p.m. - Metis Feed - open to the public and free to all
7 p.m. - Grand Entry and Pow Wow/ Crowning of Little Shell Princess
7:p.m. - Team Dancing with $500 in cash prizes

Sunday, Sept. 3:
10 a.m. - Wellness Walk/1 mile sponsored by the Little Shell Tobacco Abuse Prevention Program, T-shirts and water available.
1 p.m. - Grand Entry and Pow Wow/Pre-80s Music Contest continues at the gazebo area
5 p.m. - Category and contest winners announced
6 p.m. - Closing Ceremony and evening socializing



August 25, 2006

Technology helps to preserve Indian languages

From Bozeman Daily Chronicle

By CHRISTINA GOOD VOICE
Associated Press Writer

WHITE EAGLE, Okla. (AP) -- Suzanne White Eagle never dreamed in her 71 years that she would be able to speak her American Indian language into a machine and have it translate the phrase into English.

But White Eagle did just that Wednesday as part of an effort to preserve the Ponca language, now spoken fluently by only about a dozen of the 3,000 Ponca tribal members in north-central Oklahoma.

The handheld machine, called a Phraselator P2, was developed for the U.S. military. Once programmed with a new language, the machine acts as a translator, spitting out the English counterpart for a Ponca word.

White Eagle has been helping in that programming, recording Ponca phrases and English translations.

Don Thornton, a Cherokee citizen from Banning, Calif., purchased the device from defense contractor, Votex International, and pioneered its use for capturing American Indian languages that are in danger of being lost as tribal elders die and fewer young people speak native tongues.

"The inventor of the device never imagined it could be used for language revitalization," said Thornton, who runs Thornton Media Inc. with his wife, Kara.

Some of the tribes in Oklahoma whose languages have been recorded are the Choctaw Nation, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, Comanche Nation, Ponca Tribe and the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribe of Oklahoma.

Thornton said he will soon be recording the language of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and tribes in Montana and Alberta, Canada.

White Eagle has lived most of her life about five miles south of Ponca City. She moved away for about 15 years while her husband was in the military.

White Eagle said even before she left home she felt her tribe's language was "fading away" and became determined to preserve the native tongue.

"It scared me - to see our language slipping away," White Eagle said. "So I said, 'let's get started. Let's teach our language.'"

Webmaster Note:There is no word on when Thornton will be recording the Chippewa, Metis, or Cree Languages of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana.

August 22, 2006

Well-known Metis elder, Sarah LaRocque, dies at age 102

By JIM DULLENTY News-Argus Staff Writer:

Sarah L. LaRocque was looking forward to painting her face, putting bells on her ankles and taking part in this year’s Metis Festival in Lewistown when she died Wednesday at the age of 102.

“Oh, she’ll be there,” said the man she raised, James “Sonny” LaRocque of Lewistown.

LaRocque

According to Sonny, the woman who was his aunt but whom he considered to be his mother was capable of just about anything. She lived by herself in a small house in Roy until she was 97.

She hunted, trapped, fished, picked berries, worked on ranches, cleaned houses – she would do anything that was honest work, he said. And through it all, she was one of Central Montana’s most notable characters.

Down through the years, there have been many stories in the News-Argus and other newspapers about Sarah LaRocque’s role as one of the area’s few surviving Metis. Prior to her death, she was the oldest elder in the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe.

Sonny said Sarah finally enrolled as a Little Shell Chippewa when she was 100. Before that for the longest time she either didn’t know how to enroll or just never started the process. For most of her life, the Little Shell were not recognized as a tribe by the federal government.

“In those early days in Montana, one did not make a big deal about being an Indian because there was so much prejudice against them,” said Sonny Larocque. “But she was always proud of her Indian heritage.”

Sonny’s parents divorced and his father, Jim J. LaRocque, worked for the railroad and on ranches and was gone a lot. So Sarah, to help her brother, took his two children, Sonny, and a sister, Victoria “Tiny” Felder, two years older, who lives in Colorado.

In 1950, when Sonny was 11, Sarah sent the two children to St. Ignatius School. They were there for two years, then sent to St. Xavier’s and then Sonny went to Boy’s Town in Nebraska. He finally got his high school diploma as a GED.

Sonny remembers that though the times were tough, growing up in Roy in the 1940s was “good.

“We had a train that came into town three times a week, I think, and the highlight of our lives was to go down and watch the train come in. There was a big orange water tank from which the train got its water,” said Sonny.

Sarah got money from his father for caring for the two children but she also sold her crochet work and quilts. On a trip to Washington state, she sold her doilies door to door and she also made doll clothing.

Born on May 15, 1904, at the base of Black Butte, Sarah started out living in a tent. There were 13 kids although not all lived into adulthood, Sonny said.

He said her job in the earliest days was to make the family bread.

In the 1930s, the family bought a little house in Roy and Sarah spent the rest of her life there until she was taken to a nursing home in Lewistown at the age of 97.

“She fell and cracked a bone in her leg and she had to be hospitalized. She was admitted to a nursing home but longed to go back to Roy. So finally, she got to go home where she lived for another year by herself,” said Sonny.

He said the people of Roy were wonderful to her hauling water, bringing groceries and checking on her. But she fell again and Sonny said he felt he had to put her in a Lewistown nursing home again. She remained there until her death.

A young man she was going with was killed in a car wreck. So she vowed then never to get married, Sonny said. She also joked that she didn’t want to change any more dirty diapers after taking care of her brother’s two children so she never married.

“Sarah was a very good person. I am convinced that she would give you the shirt off her back,” Sonny LaRocque said.

August 14, 2006

Congressman Denny Rehberg(R-MT) has submitted Bill in the US Congress to Federally Recognize the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana.

By Congressman Denny Rehberg (Press Release):

Rehberg Introduces Bill to Bring National Recognition to Montana’s Little Shell Tribe

WASHINGTON, DC - Montana’s Congressman, Denny Rehberg, today introduced legislation that will bring national recognition to Montana’s Little Shell Chippewa Tribe, which will enable the Tribe to qualify for existing government services that will enhance their quality of life. The Little Shell have been recognized by the state of Montana and have been pursuing federal recognition for over 100 years.

“The Little Shell have spent over a century tirelessly trying to gain federal recognition and my bill will help them get that recognition,” said Rehberg. “This recognition is critical for the Tribe to gain better access to existing education and healthcare services .”

The Little Shell Tribe is made up of approximately 4,300 members, mostly in the Great Falls area. In 2000, the same year the tribe was recognized by the state of Montana, the Department of Interior issued a positive finding for the tribe making them eligible for recognition. Since then, little progress has been made due to bureaucratic obstacles. Rehberg’s bill expedites recognition by instead using the legislative process. Rehberg said he intends to work with his House colleagues to gain quick passage of his bill and move it to the Senate so the president can sign it into law as soon as possible.

"With the introduction of the Little Shell Chippewa Restoration bill Congressman Denny Rehberg has rekindled the flame of hope for our Little Shell people; a flame that has often been dimmed by a slow and frustrating process but, has been kept alive by previous leaders of our tribe,” said James Parker Shields, Tribal Vice-Chairman of the Little Shell. “Chairman Sinclair and myself commend Congressman Rehberg for stepping forward to carry the Little Shell recognition banner.”

“As the recognition process has dragged on over the years, the burdens imposed on the Tribe by the federal government have made things even more difficult for the Little Shell,” said Rehberg. “It’s time for the Little Shell to receive their federal recognition without a government bureaucracy making up the rules of the game as it goes along. My bill helps achieve that goal.”

Copy of the Bill as Submitted To the United States House of Representatives:
SUMMARY AS OF:
7/13/2006--Introduced.

Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians Restoration Act of 2006 - Extends federal recognition to the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana. Makes the Tribe and its members eligible for all services and benefits furnished to federally recognized Indian tribes without regard to the existence of a tribal reservation or the location of the residence of any member on or near any Indian Reservation.

Directs the Tribe to submit to the Secretary of the Interior a membership roll consisting of all individuals enrolled as members of the Tribe.

Directs the Secretary to acquire trust title to 200 acres of land within the Tribe's service area for the benefit of the Tribe for a tribal land base.

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MAJOR ACTIONS:
***NONE***

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ALL ACTIONS:
7/13/2006:
Referred to the House Committee on Resources.
7/18/2006:
Executive Comment Requested from Interior.

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TITLE(S): (italics indicate a title for a portion of a bill)
***NONE***

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
COSPONSOR(S):
***NONE***

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COMMITTEE(S):
Committee/Subcommittee: Activity:
House Resources Referral, In Committee

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
RELATED BILL DETAILS:

***NONE***

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AMENDMENT(S):
***NONE***

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HR 5804 IH

109th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5804

To extend the Federal relationship to the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana as a distinct federally recognized Indian tribe, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 13, 2006

Mr. REHBERG introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Resources


A BILL

To extend the Federal relationship to the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana as a distinct federally recognized Indian tribe, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians Restoration Act of 2006'.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    For purposes of this Act:

      (1) TRIBE- The term `Tribe' means the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana.

      (2) MEMBER- The term `member' means an individual who is enrolled in the Tribe pursuant to section 7.

      (3) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of the Interior.

SEC. 3. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:

      (1) The Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians is one of the political successors to signatories to the Pembina Treaty of 1863, by which a large area of land in what is now North Dakota was ceded to the United States.

      (2) The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa of North Dakota, and the Chippewa-Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation of Montana, which also are political successors to the signatories to the Pembina Treaty of 1863, already have been recognized by the Federal Government as distinct Indian tribes.

      (3) The members of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa continue to live in Montana as their ancestors have done for more than a century since their ancestors ceded their lands in North Dakota.

      (4) The Little Shell Tribe repeatedly petitioned the Federal Government for reorganization in the 1930s and 1940s under the Act of June 18, 1934 (25 U.S.C. 461 et seq.; commonly referred to as the `Indian Reorganization Act'). Federal agents who visited the Little Shell Tribe and Commissioner of Indian Affairs John Collier attested to the Federal Government's responsibility toward the Little Shell Indians. These officials concluded that Little Shell tribal members were eligible for and should be provided with trust land, thereby making the Tribe eligible for reorganization under the Indian Reorganization Act. Due to a lack of Federal appropriations during the Depression, however, the Bureau lacked adequate financial resources to purchase land for the Tribe, and the Little Shell people were thereby denied the opportunity to reorganize.

      (5) In spite of the Federal Government's failure to appropriate adequate funding to secure land for the Tribe as required for reorganization under the Indian Reorganization Act, the Tribe continued to exist as a separate community with leaders exhibiting clear political authority. The Tribe, together with the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa of North Dakota, and the Chippewa-Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation of Montana, filed two suits under the Indian Claims Commission Act of 1946 to petition for additional compensation for lands ceded to the United States by the 1863 Treaty and 1892 McCumber Agreement. These tribes received Indian Claims Commission awards, which were distributed under 1971 and 1982 Acts of Congress.

      (6) The Tribe petitioned the Bureau of Indian Affairs for recognition through the Bureau's Federal Acknowledgement Process in 1978. Nearly 30 years later, the Tribe's petition is still pending.

      (7) The United States Government, the State of Montana, and the other federally recognized Indian Tribes of Montana have had continuous dealings with the recognized political leaders of the Little Shell Tribe from the 1930s through the present.

SEC. 4. FEDERAL RECOGNITION.

    Federal recognition of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana is hereby extended. All laws and regulations of the United States of general application to Indians or nations, tribes, or bands of Indians, including the Act of June 18, 1934 (25 U.S.C. 461 et seq.) that are not inconsistent with any specific provision of this Act, shall be applicable to the Tribe and its members.

SEC. 5. FEDERAL SERVICES AND BENEFITS.

    (a) In General- The Tribe and its members shall be eligible, on and after the date of the enactment of this Act, for all services and benefits furnished to Federally recognized Indian tribes without regard to the existence of a reservation for the Tribe or the location of the residence of any member on or near any Indian Reservation.

    (b) Service Area- For purposes of the delivery of Federal services to enrolled members of the Tribe, the service area of the Tribe shall be deemed to be the area comprised of Blaine, Cascade, Glacier and Hill Counties in Montana.

SEC. 6. REAFFIRMATION OF RIGHTS.

    Nothing in this Act shall be construed to diminish any right or privilege of the Tribe, or the members thereof, that existed prior to the date of enactment of this Act. Except as otherwise specifically provided in any other provision of this Act, nothing in this Act shall be construed as altering or affecting any legal or equitable claim the Tribe might have to enforce any right or privilege reserved by or granted to the Tribe which was wrongfully denied to or taken from the Tribe prior to the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 7. MEMBERSHIP.

    Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Tribe shall submit to the Secretary a membership roll consisting of all individuals enrolled as members of the Tribe. The qualification for inclusion on the membership roll of the Tribe shall be determined in accordance with Article 5, Sections 1-3, of the Tribe's September 10, 1977, Constitution. The Tribe shall ensure that such membership roll is maintained and kept current.

SEC. 8. TRANSFER OF LAND FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE TRIBE.

    (a) Homeland- The Secretary shall acquire trust title to 200 acres of land within the Tribe's service area for the benefit of the Tribe for a tribal land base.

    (b) Additional Lands- The Secretary may acquire additional lands for the Tribe pursuant to the authorities granted in section 5 of the Indian Reorganization Act (25 U.S.C. 465).



Congress's Thomas Webpage with Status and updates to Bill H.R. 5804-IH

Montana Senators Conrad Burns (R-MT) and Max Baucus(D-MT) have not yet submitted similar bills to the US Senate as of this date.

You can contact them here to tell them to please support our Federal Recognition:

Sen Max Baucus

Sen Conrad Burns

Article in Great Falls Tribune July 14, 2006:

Rehberg introduces legislation to recognize Little Shell Tribe
By ERIC NEWHOUSE
Tribune Projects Editor

Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., introduced legislation Thursday to formally recognize Montana's Little Shell Tribe.

"The Little Shell have spent over a century tirelessly trying to gain federal recognition, and my bill will help them gain that recognition," Rehberg said Thursday.

"This recognition is critical for the tribe to gain better access to existing education and health care services," he added.

Last July, Rehberg and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., announced plans to sponsor similar legislation in both the House and Senate. Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., also promised his support.

Recognition is important to the approximately 4,300 members of the Little Shell Tribe, who have been petitioning the federal government for it for nearly 115 years.

It could mean the construction of an Indian agency in Great Falls, as well as a tribal health clinic.

"Federal recognition of an Indian tribe can have a tremendous effect on the tribe, surrounding communities and the nation as a whole," stated a Government Accountability Office report a few years ago.

"In fiscal year 2000, about $4 billion was appropriated for programs and funding almost exclusively for recognized tribes," it said.

The report added that recognition "establishes a formal government-to-government relationship," between a tribe and the United States.

"The quasi-sovereign status created by this relationship exempts certain tribal lands from most state and local laws and regulations," it stated. That's been a critical component in the explosion of Indian gaming.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has made decisions on recognizing only 33 tribes since 1978 and has more than 200 on its waiting list.

"With the introduction of the Little Shell Chippewa Restoration bill, Congressman Denny Rehberg has rekindled the flame of hope for our Little Shell people, a flame that has often been dimmed by a slow and frustrating process, but has been kept alive by previous leaders of our tribe," said James Parker Shields, tribal vice-chairman.

Rehberg said his bill, which must work its way through the committee system of Congress, is designed to bypass the bureaucratic processes of the BIA.

"It's time for the Little Shell to receive their federal recognition without a government bureaucracy making up the rules of the game as it goes along," he said.

In its report, the GAO predicted that unless the bureaucratic problems with the BIA are resolved, Congress would become more involved.

Rehberg agreed the BIA had forced alternative action.

"We came to the conclusion that sometimes you have to light a fire under the bureaucracy to get things done," he said.

June 23, 2006

Little Shell Tribe's Home Ownership Classess are a success with Tribal Members, More Classes scheduled!

By Richard Parenteau:

On June 10, 2006 we had our third CREDITSMART homeownership class. We are scheduled to do five this year. Our June 10th class was well attended with 17 people showing up and 10 being Little Shell or Turtle Mountain! Ms. Eleanor Kindness of Wells Fargo gave a presentation on Section 184 Guaranteed Native American Home Loan Program. This program now applies to state recognized tribal members for the first time and other indians living off the reservation.

Since this homeownership intiative began in February we've had a total of 86 people attend either the orientation or one of the three classes. Of those 86 over 39 are Little Shell tribal members. Our next class will be August 26th in the Westgate Mall's conference room. Volunteers from within the native American community as well as representatives from the sponsoring organizations have been the driving force behind this homeownership initiative. Megwich goes out to all of you for your continued support!

If you want to sign up for the next class please call the tribal office (406)452-2892 to reserve your seat. Kids are welcome to come ( daycare is provided). If you have any questions or concerns about this class please call me at the tribal office on Tuesdays or at my home # 406-453-0634.

Future Dates (subject to change) for upcoming classes are August 26 and September 14, 2006.

We hope to see you there! Here are copies of the event fliers for your use, download the version you like and print it out:

PDF Version:
HTML Version:
MS Word Version:


May 8, 2006

Little Shell Tribe announces more Urban Native American Homeownership Initiative Classes for Tribal Members


By Richard Parenteau:

Start Down the Road to Home ownership!

On Saturday, June 10, 2006 is the 3rd of 5 financial Fitness Classes provided for all Federal and State Recognized Tribal members and descendants to gain the tools and knowledge needed for home ownership!

The Urban Native American Home Ownership Initiative is made possible by the sponsorship of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana, Freddie Mac and in association with Wells Fargo, Neighborhood Housing Services of Great Falls and the Great Falls Indian Family Health Clinic.

The Classes are free for Federally Recognized Tribal members and their descendants, but seating is limited. (24 seats), so you must call ahead and reserve your seat!

Time: 9:00am to 4:00pm
Date: Saturday June 10, 2006
Place: West Gate Mall (Signs will be posted)
1807 3 NW, Great Falls, MT

Free Continental Breakfast and Lunch provided.

RSVP before Each class by calling:

Little Shell Office: 406-452-2892
Indian Health Clinic: 406-268-1587
NHS: 406-761-5861

Notice: Walk-ins will not be allowed due to limited seating and popularity of event, reservations only.. Also, no daycare will be provided.

Future Dates for upcoming classes are August 19, and September 14, 2006. (Times and Places will be posted here as they become available)

We hope to see you there! Here are copies of the event fliers for your use, download the version you like and print it out:

PDF Version:
HTML Version:
MS Word Version:


April 24, 2006

Little Shell Tribe announces Urban Native American Homeownership Initiative Classes for Tribal Members


By Richard Parenteau:

Start Down the Road to Home ownership!

This Saturday, April 29, 2006 is the 2nd of 5 financial Fitness Classes provided for all Federal and State Recognized Tribal members and descendants to gain the tools and knowledge needed for home ownership!

The Urban Native American Home Ownership Initiative is made possible by the sponsorship of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana, Freddie Mac and in association with Wells Fargo, Neighborhood Housing Services of Great Falls and the Great Falls Indian Family Health Clinic.

The Classes are free for Federally Recognized Tribal members and their descendants, but seating is limited. (24 seats), so you must call and reserve your seat!

Time: 9:00am to 4:00pm
Date: Saturday April 29, 2006
Place: West Gate Mall (Signs will be posted)
1807 3 NW, Great Falls, MT

Free Continental Breakfast and Lunch provided.

RSVP before Each class by calling:

Little Shell Office: 406-452-2892
Indian Health Clinic: 406-268-1587
NHS: 406-761-5861

Notice: Walk-ins will not be allowed due to limited seating and popularity of event, reservations only.. Also, no daycare will be provided.

Future Dates for upcoming classes are June 10, August 19, and September 14, 2006. (Times and Places will be posted here as they become available)

We hope to see you there! Here are copies of the event fliers for your use, download the version you like and print it out:

PDF Version:
HTML Version:
MS Word Version:


March 31, 2006

Little Shell Job Announcements

Job Title: Position Opening
Location: Great Falls
Full Time

Full time position will provide the overall clerical support to the Little Shell Tribe Tobacco Abuse Prevention Program. Must be self motivated. Knowledge of office practices/procedures with working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Access, Excel and other computer software. Good work ethics and people skills a must. Drug-free workplace. Knowledge of Little Shell Tribal history.
Must be postmarked by closing date April 7, 2006.

Mail resume and letter of interest to:
Little Shell Chippewa
Russell Boham
P O Box 1384
Great Falls, MT 59403

Job Title: Tobacco Abuse Prevention Specialist
Location: Billings
Half Time

Half time position will provide support, develop and implement an effective tobacco abuse prevention program in the Billings area. Must be self motivated. Good work ethics and people skills a must. Drug-free workplace. Knowledge of Little Shell tribal history.
Must be postmarked by closing date April 7, 2006.

Mail resume and letter of interest to:
Little Shell Chippewa
Russell Boham
P O Box 1384
Great Falls, MT 59403


You can also find these job announcements on the Non-Profit Little Shell Tribe Tobacco abuse prevention program Webpage

March 21, 2006

LST "Special Election" Update

I have received several E-Mails from Little Shell Tribal Members who tell me that the "Special Election" being held by Chairman John Sinclair for last Saturday, March 18, 2006 during the Tribal Council Meeting had been cancelled and no "Special Election" was held. The Vacent Seats held by Elected Council Members Bob Van Guten and Carolyn Fluery are still vacent and will not be filled till the Constitutionally Scheduled Election Sometime this November. (No notice of Dates for the November Election has been set as of this writing).

UPDATE: I have received written confirmation that the "Special Election" had been cancelled and will be incorporated into the Constitutionally directed Tribal Council Election this upcoming November.

We would like to Personally thank the many Little Shell Tribal Members who e-mailed us with the information about the Elections,we would not have been able to make this public without their dedication and support of the tribe as a whole.



March 17, 2006

Dance troop to hold demonstration

From Great Falls Tribune:

ULM — The Chippewa-Cree Dance Troop from Rocky Boy's Reservation will demonstrate Native American dances at Ulm Pishkun State Park from noon to 1 p.m. today at Ulm Pishkun State Park Visitor's Center.

The troop is operated by Rocky Boy Tourism and was developed in 2003. The troop consists of Northern-style dances from both men's and women's dance groups. The dance performance will include information on the different dance styles and where they originated. Appropriate songs will be given so audience members will be able to get a better perspective on what type and styles of dances are being performed throughout Native America.

Dancing will be outdoors unless the weather is bad and then dancing will be in the Ulm Pishkun State Park visitor center.

Cost is $2 for nonresidents of Montana 13 and older; $1 for youth and free for children under 5. Montana residents are admitted free when in a Montana licensed vehicle.

Call Ulm Pishkun State Park at 406-866-2217 for more information.



March 15, 2006

Little Shell Special Election to be held this Saturday, March 18, 2006 for Tribal Council Seat

In an extremely short notice and little advertised by the Tribal Council. There will be a Special Election this weekend for the Tribal Council seat vacated by Carolyn Fluery, who resigned, along with Robert Van Gunten, in Protest to Chairman John Sinclair's illegal and unconstitutional actions in the 2004 elections.

Chairman John Sinclair unconstitutionally appointed Steve Doney of Zortman to the position in September. (Note, our Constitution does not allow the Chairman to appoint ANY members to the Tribal Council, only a special election by the Tribal Executive Committee is allowed) and now Sinclair wants to to make the unconstitutional appointment "Legitimate" by holding a "Special Election" 6 months after the fact with no notice to Little Shell Tribal members so nobody will apply to run in opposition to Chairman Sinclair's illegal "Appointment". No word if Little Shell Tribal Members in the District held by Steve Doney have been told there is even an election to be held. The Tribal Council's official website also has NO notice of the "Special Election".

So, two days before the election is to be held, we can probably announce the winner. Thank you Chairman John Sinclair for your Honesty and integrity in upholding the Tribal Constitution and Laws.

(Section of Constitution relating to Election of Tribal Council Members)

SECTION V.

If a council member or Official shall die, resign permanently, leave his or her district or not be able to represent the district in the best interest of the Tribe or be found guilty of a felony or misdemeanor involving dishonesty in any Indian, State or Federal Court, the Executive Committee shall declare the position vacant and call a district special election to fill the vacancy.

For more information about this Special Election, contact the Main Office.

If you want to lodge a complaint or you feel your US Constitutional or Tribal Constitution Rights are being violated about how this "Special Election" is being held, Contact the following:

BIA BILLINGS AREA OFFICE
Bureau of Indian Affairs
316 N., 26th Street
Billings, MT 59101
P: 406/247-7343
F: 406/247-7976

US Attorney for Montana District Office Locations:
BILLINGS
2929 3rd Avenue N.
Suite 400
Billings, MT 59101
(406) 657-6101 - TTY (406) 657-6100

BUTTE
181 Federal Building
Butte, MT 59701
(406) 723-6611 - TTY (406) 782-5992

GREAT FALLS
119 1st Avenue N.
Great Falls, MT 59401
(406) 761-7715 - TTY (406) 761-3152

HELENA
901 Front St.
Suite 1100
Helena, MT 59626
(406) 761-7715 - TTY (406) 449-5711

MISSOULA
105 E. Pine St.
Missoula, MT 59802
(406) 542-8851 - TTY (406) 327-9945



March 14, 2006

Burns Supports Little Shell Bill

By Jared Miller, Great Falls Tribune Regional Reporter

Sen. Conrad Burns has joined the state’s other congressional delegates in supporting a bill to grant federal recognition to the landless Little Shell Chippewa Tribe.

Tribal Vice Chairman James Parker Shield said Burns confirmed his support with a handshake during a meeting last week in Great Falls. “I told him that I really need to know very firmly whether he would support our bill in the Senate,” Shield said. “He responded that he would.”

Rep. Denny Rehberg and Sen. Max Baucus pledged support for the vill last year. If successful, the legislation would essentially force an end-run around a lengthy recognition process administered by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs. “Senator Burns will do whatever he can to try and get the Little Shell the recognition they deserve,” his spokesman Matt Mackowiak said. A senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Burns will likely fit the recognition language into the annual appropriations bill, Mackowiak said. Rehberg is planning a similar bill in the House.

Shield was ecstatic about Burns’ comment. “He is a key piece of this whole effort,’ Shield said. “His indication of support for our bill effort is a major movement toward getting this done,” Shield said.

With about 4,500 members, the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe has been waiting for more than a century to win acknowledgement from the federal government. The tribe is headquartered in Great Falls. The status could mean access to federal funding, land and benefits such as health care and housing.

“Our people back here are dying off and nothing’s happened for decades,” Sheild said.

Montana recognized the Little Shell Tribe in February 2000. That same year, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which oversees the federal recognition process, granted preliminary recognition through the “federal acknowledgement process.”

Since then, the BIA has raised questions about the tribe’s authenticity. In particular, the agency wants evidence that the tribe exerted political control over its members during the 1930s. It also asked for records of intermarriage between tribal members and proof that the tribe has occupied a contiguous geographic area over time.

Shield referred to the additional requirements as “absurd.” “I think it’s ludicrous that we have to continue to answer questions about our existence,” Shield said.

In a telephone interview Wednesday, Rehberg said the current version of his bill needs fine-tuning. The authors must decide, for instance, how to address issues of gaming, possible federal land allocation, tribal membership rules and more. Rehberg said it could be easier logistically to introduce the bill in the Senate, and he’ll coordinate with Burns to see if that can happen.

“My goal is to try and accomplish this before the end of this year,” Rehberg said. “But that’s sometimes optimistic when you’re talking about Congress.”

From Great Falls Tribune, March 2, 2006 Jared Miller, Regional Reporter



Febuary 25, 2006

Launching today, the Urban Indian Homeownership Initiative in Great Falls to help Little Shell Tribal Members buy new homes.

By Jared Miller, Great Falls Tribune Regional Reporter

Sandy Houle and her husband struggled for years to buy a home in Great Falls.

Plagued by bad credit, low income and a lack of knowledge about home buying, the Native American couple waited five frustrating years before a bank loaned them the money.

"I remember they just kept saying no," said Houle, a member of the Chippewa Tribe.

Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., will be in Great Falls today to help launch a pilot program intended to help Native Americans like Houle succeed at buying homes without the heartache.

Funded by a grant from the Federal Home Mortgage Corp., the Urban Indian Homeownership Initiative in Great Falls is a partnership between Wells Fargo, the Neighborhood Housing Service of Great Falls and the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe.

The program incorporates classes and workshops to teach potential homeowners about credit repair and home buying fundamentals.

Once participants complete the program and qualify for a loan, the Neighborhood Housing Service steps in to assist with down payments and closing costs.

Program graduates could see themselves in a new home for as little as $500 up front.

"The first thing you have to know on your path to homeownership is what it takes to become a home buyer," said James Parker Shield, vice president of the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe. "It's a learning process."

Only about a third of Montana Native Americans own homes, compared to an ownership rate of more than 60 percent across the West, according to the U.S. Census.

With roughly 3,000 Native American residents, Great Falls is home to the state's largest urban Indian population. It's the headquarters for the landless Little Shell Chippewa Tribe.

Karen Nebel, manager of the Neighborhood Housing Homeownership Center in Great Falls, said she'd like to see 10 new Native American homeowners as a result of the program next year.

"Most of the people who we will be helping have obstacles they will need to overcome to become homeowners," Nebel said.

Also on Saturday, Burns will present a check for $210,000 to the Neighborhood Housing Service.

Part of a $75 million national grant disbursement, the money will be used locally to improve housing conditions in the community.

Reach Tribune Regional Reporter Jared Miller at (406) 791-6573, (800) 438-6600 or at jarmille@greatfal.gannett.com.

**** WEBMASTER NOTE: Little Shell Tribal Members will need to contact the Main Office directly for more Information and to enroll in the Program ****

For the full story, go to the Great Falls Tribune:
Feb 25 Article: Program targets Native American homeownership



Febuary 23, 2006

Little Shell Tribe and other Chippewa Tribes win MAJOR trust mismanagement case!


Read the Full Decision Here: HTML Version: CHIPPEWA CREE TRIBE OF THE ROCKY BOY'S RESERVATION, Plaintiffs, v. The UNITED STATES, Defendant. (HTML)

PDF Version: CHIPPEWA CREE TRIBE OF THE ROCKY BOY'S RESERVATION, Plaintiffs, v. The UNITED STATES, Defendant. (PDF-300kb)

From NARF:

Federal Court allows Pembina Chippewa damages claims to go forward:

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims, in its fifty-five (55) page opinion dated January 26, 2006, in the case of Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy’s Reservation, Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, and the White Earth Band of Minnesota Chippewa Indians, et al. v. United States, announced a stunning victory for these four tribes, who are also known as the "Pembina Chippewa Tribes." It comes almost fourteen years after the case was filed by the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) on behalf of the Pembina Chippewa Tribes. It rejects four major arguments by the United States to get the case dismissed or substantially reduced. It allows the case to go forward to determine whether the United States breached its trust responsibilities to the Pembina Chippewas with respect to their trust funds, and to determine an amount of damages for which the United States is liable for those breaches.

The U.S. Federal Court of Claims ruled that statutes of limitation do not bar the suit because a full accounting by the U.S. has not yet occurred, that federal statutes mandate that the federal government pay money damages for any breach of trust under the statutes, and that the Court need not determine whether the rules governing class actions are satisfied in this case because a special federal statute, which allows "a group of Indians" to bring suit before the Claims Court, covers all of the judgment fund beneficiaries in the Pembina Chippewa's case.

NARF is hopeful that in light of this opinion that is so favorable to the Pembina Chippewas, meaningful negotiations between the parties on this case will resume. It is likely, however, the government will try to bring at least a few more issues to the Court before it seriously considers settlement of the case. Nevertheless, after years of representing the Pembina Chippewas in this case, NARF is extremely pleased with this opinion of the Court which allows the case to go forward as it originally was filed – for money damages on behalf of all of the beneficiaries to the Pembina Judgement Fund 1964 and 1980 Awards. Having cleared many potential hurdles, NARF now looks forward to getting to the merits of the underlying issue in the case – how much money should there have been in the Pembina Judgement Fund to distribute to the beneficiaries had the trustee properly and timely accounted for and invested the Pembina Judgement Fund.



From Indianz.com:

Judge advances Chippewa trust mismanagement case

Four Chippewa tribes who were awarded $52 million for the loss of their lands can challenge the United States for allegedly mismanaging those funds, a federal judge ruled last month.

In a 55-page opinion that the Native American Rights Fund is calling a "stunning victory," Judge Emily C. Hewitt of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims said Congress created a fiduciary responsibility when it appropriated money to pay the tribes for the loss of 20 million acres. She rejected the Bush administration's attempt to deny the existence of a trust relationship and avoid an historical accounting of the funds.

In two separate proceedings, the Indian Claims Commission had awarded the tribes $52 million, money which was sent to the Treasury Department for the intended beneficiaries. So there can be no dispute that such funds are "trust" funds even if the word "trust" is not mentioned in the acts of Congress that authorized the award, Hewitt concluded.

"Both the intent of Congress," Hewitt wrote and long executive branch practice support the conclusion that 'funds appropriated to Indians to satisfy judgments of the Indian Claims Commission or of this court' ... are, when kept in the Treasury, held in trust for the Indians."

Hewitt also ruled that the federal government has a fiduciary duty to make the funds "productive" to the tribes. Since an accounting has never been provided, she said she would hold a trial to determine the "contours" of the exact responsibilities owed regarding the investment of the $53 million award.

"The executive branch has been charged by Congress with a fiduciary responsibility for the productive investment of funds held in trust for the Indians through the enactment and amendment of investment statutes that create specific fiduciary duties," she wrote.

And in another significant finding, Hewitt rejected the suitability of the controversial Arthur Andersen "reconciliation" reports provided to a number of tribes in the mid-1990s. In the case of the Chippewas, she said the exercise -- which cost the federal government at least $21 million -- failed to provide the tribes with a "meaningful accounting" of their trust funds.

On a fourth issue, Hewitt ruled in favor of the tribes as well. She said the Chippewa Cree Tribe of Montana, the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe of Montana and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa from North Dakota -- the three original plaintiffs -- can add the White Earth Band of Ojibwe in Minnesota to the lawsuit because the Indian Claims Commission, under the authority granted to it by Congress, already identified them as "Pembina" descendants whose ancestors were forced to give up the 20 million acres.

The ruling comes almost 14 years after the tribes first filed the case with the help of the Native American Rights Fund, a non-profit organization that is also co-counsel on the Cobell v. Norton case involving individual Indian trust funds. NARF, in a statement issued last week, said it hopes the Chippewa tribes can now move forward to resolve a key issue: "how much money should there have been in the Pembina Judgement Fund to distribute to the beneficiaries had the trustee properly and timely accounted for and invested the Pembina Judgement Fund."

NARF, however, expects the government to raise a few more challenges before "it seriously considers settlement" of the case.

Hewitt's decision is the latest in a series from the Court of Federal Claims that have gone in favor of tribes and their trust fund claims. The Osage Nation of Oklahoma and the Eastern Shoshone Tribe and the Northern Arapaho Tribe, both of Wyoming, have won key rulings, with the Wyoming tribes the furthest along in the lengthy process. The Wyoming tribes have already settled some claims.

The Bush administration attempted to shut down the tribal and Cobell cases by asking the U.S. Supreme Court to limit the federal government's responsibilities. Government lawyers argued that Congress must be very specific in defining the trust relationship in order for Indian beneficiaries to go to court over the mismanagement of their funds.

The justices rejected that line of thought in two cases decided in March 2003. Although one case went in favor of a tribe and the other went against a tribe, the court reaffirmed the historic Mitchell precedent that provided the groundwork for Indian trust lawsuits.



Febuary 21, 2006

Great Falls Tribune: Montana tribes awarded economic development funds


From Staff and Wire Reports

Two Montana tribes received Indian Country Economic Development funds from the state Department of Commerce.

The Little Shell Tribe received $50,000. The tribe in Great Falls plans to use the money to support a feasibility study, grant writing for potential support and the creation of a business plan for a tribal capitol and a visitor center.

Tribal Vice President James Parker Shield said a tribal capitol will be a point of contact and pride for the Little Shell people.

"This will also add another tourism attraction to the local economy," Shield said.

The Little Shell have been fighting for more than a century to prove their legitimacy as a tribe and to win federal recognition and land for a headquarters near Great Falls.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes also received $50,000 to support the purchase of equipment at the tribally owned Flathead Stickers and Lathe Plant.

The equipment will allow the plant to make better use of forest slash piles and designated thinning blocks, reduce fire potential and salvage otherwise unsalvageable raw product. It also will provide tribal welfare recipients with more diversified training opportunities.

The funds have been available to tribes since Oct. 1. Department officials have awarded six grants in that time.

The grants are typically a small part of a larger tribal project that may have a significant impact on a tribe's larger economic growth and development.

For the full story, go to the Great Falls Tribune:

Feb 21 Article: Montana tribes awarded economic development funds



Febuary 20, 2006

Little Shell Tribe awarded with Economic Development Grant from the Montana Department of Commerce.


Awarded $50,000 by the Montana Department of Commerce the funds for This project will provide support for a feasibility study, grant writing for potential support and the creation of a business plan for a tribal capital and visitor center.

Indian Country Economic Development funds from the Montana Department of Commerce have been available to tribal governments since Oct. 1, 2005. The 59th Montana Legislature made funds available to support tribal business development projects, work-force training projects, entrepreneurial training, feasibility studies and other types of economic development projects. The program offers $400,000 annually.

Commerce has awarded six grants to date. ICED grants are leveraged with tribal funds. The grants are usually a small part of a larger tribal project that may have a significant impact on a tribe's economic growth and development.

Interested Montana tribes should call Fran Viereck, program manager, at (406) 841-2736 or e-mail fviereck@mt.gov for application guidance.

For the full story, go to the Missoulean:

Feb 20 Article: Montana tribes awarded economic development funds



Febuary 19, 2006

Federal Budget Proposial may affect health care in Montana for Little Shell Tribal Members


The Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana are not confined to a Reservation, we are free to live where we want and how we want. We are called a "Landless Tribe" because our lands were stolen from us along with our federal recognition over a century ago. We are recognized by the State of Montana as a Sovereign Nation, but this does not help us when we need healthcare. We have to rely upon health clinics setup on present reservations by other Native Tribes. We also rely heavily upon off-reservation Indian Health Clinics for our health care, especially those tribal members who do not have health insurance privately or through a job.

So when word comes down that the federal Budget process may cut monies that allow these off-reservation Health Clinics to operate, this is a major concern for Individual Little Shell Tribal Members. The 2006 Federal Budget Request eliminates $33 million for off-reservation health clinics. That could shut the doors of five clinics in Montana, which receive a total of $4.19 million, clinic directors say. At risk are clinics in Great Falls, Missoula, Helena, Billings and Butte. To compensate, the budget requires that the the Federal Government to redirect money to reservation health care and low-income clinics off of reservations.

James Parker Shield, vice president of the landless Little Shell Tribe, called the potential loss of the clinic "devastating."

He said it would compound already troubling health care access issues for members of his tribe.

The Little Shell have been fighting for more than a century to prove their legitimacy as a tribe and win federal recognition and land for a headquarters near Great Falls.

The lack of recognition results in limited access to free IHS services.

"That's going to mean that our people who already find certain doors shut in their face are going to find their own hometown doors shut in their face," Shield said. "This is a dire situation for the Little Shell Chippewa tribe."

Thomas Champagne of the Great Falls Indian Family Clinic said the group is building a united front that will help teach the importance of the urban clinics and defend their place in the health care community.

"We want to come as one voice," Champagne said.

The clinic directors also are working to win support from the tribal councils on each of Montana's seven reservations and from leaders of the Little Shell Tribe, which is headquartered in Great Falls.

Later this month, the executive directors of the clinics travel to Denver for a four-day meeting with the other 29 urban Indian clinic directors from across the nation.

For the full story, go to the Great Falls Tribune:

Feb 21 Opinion Great Falls Tribune: Indian clinics' value goes beyond numbers

Feb 19 Article: Budget menaces urban Indian clinics

Feb 19 Article: Clinics seek out allies, prepare united front for funding showdown



Febuary 1, 2006

Vice-Chairman James Parker Shield gives voice to Presidential State of the Union Speech


Vice Chairman James Parker Shield was asked by Great Falls Tribune Reporter Sonja Lee what he thought about President George W. Bush's State of the Union Address. Here are his thoughts:

James Parker Shield, a Native American leader and businessman. Shield is vice chairman of the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe and former Cascade County Republican Party chairman. He also is a former staffer for U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont. "I think he wanted to basically reassure the American people about what is going on in Iraq, where we are at now, and what is the long-term plan and that there is going to be an end game."

Parker Shield said he was satisfied with Bush's comments about Iraq. He also said Bush was correct in noting that it's a complicated situation. He also agrees with the need for "terrorist surveillance."

"In this ever-more dangerous world, I think we have to protect ourselves and if some of that is eavesdropping on selective conversations, I think that's necessary," he said.

Parker Shield said the president's Advanced Energy Initiative can provide common ground for both political parties.

"I did notice that he tried to promote bipartisanship on a number of issues," he said.

For the full story, go to the Great Falls Tribune Feb 1 Article: For area viewers, much to like or more of the same



January 30, 2006

Economic Conference in Great Falls will explore hurdles faced by Native American Entrepreneurs


The two-day conference in Great Falls this week will address the lack of credit and other stumbling blocks facing American Indian entrepreneurs and those who want to invest in projects on Indian reservations.

The Wednesday and Thursday gathering at the Heritage Inn is expected to attract as many as 300 Indian leaders, state lawmakers, lawyers, bankers, judges and others.

For the full story, go to the Little Shell News Page



July 26, 2005

Conference explores Indian business hurdles

By JARED MILLER
Great Falls Tribune Regional Reporter

When Willie Stump decided to open a small video rental shop on the Rocky Boy's Reservation two years ago, he struggled to find someone to bankroll his idea.

With cash from his own pocket, a tiny loan from the Chippewa-Cree Tribe and lots of tenacity, he eventually bought a handful of movies and started the reservation's only video store.

Despite the initial success, a continued lack of credit has stunted his shop and prevents him from turning a profit.

"There's no resources, nobody to back you or help you get going," said Stump, who operates Mountain Stop Video out of a trailer at Rocky Boy Agency.

A two-day conference in Great Falls this week will address the lack of credit and other stumbling blocks facing American Indian entrepreneurs such as Stump and those who want to invest in projects on Indian reservations.

The Wednesday and Thursday gathering at the Heritage Inn is expected to attract as many as 300 Indian leaders, state lawmakers, lawyers, bankers, judges and others.

"We need to look at what's holding Indians back from realizing the American Dream," said Susan Webber, owner of Nitzitapi Consulting in Browning and conference co-chairwoman.

Starting a business on an Indian reservation can be an entrepreneurial nightmare.

Sovereign tribes may lack business codes or their rules may differ from off-reservation practices. Legal disputes can end up in tribal courts, whose judges may be appointed by tribal council members.

Such factors can make businesses skittish about operating on a reservation.

Conference coordinators hope an unflinching examination of those troubles will lead to solutions and provide a template for doing business on Indian land.

The conference will offer tips and best practices that tribes can use to encourage lenders to take a chance on upstart reservation businesses.

"If we can foster a favorable growth atmosphere that can help business take place, we are going to see the benefits in ways that can't even be counted," said Sylvia Murray of Havre's Bear Paw Development, another contributor to the conference.

Speakers include Mike Roberts, president of the First Nations Development Institute, a Virginia-based group focused on tribal asset building; Montana Secretary of State Brad Johnson; Reno Charette, Gov. Brian Schweitzer's Indian affairs coordinator; and Evan Barrett, Schweitzer's chief business officer.

Another big-name speaker is Stephen Cornell, the co-director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development based at Harvard University.

Breakout sessions will focus on independent tribal court systems, police development, commercial laws and other topics.

"We want to give the tribes a template that they can take home with them and adopt," Webber said.

On Friday, the Tribal Economic Development Task Force convenes for a daylong session on a number of topics. The meeting is not part of the conference, but is open to the public.

Reach Tribune Regional Reporter Jared Miller at (406) 791-6573, (800) 438-6600 or at jarmille@greatfal.gannett.com.









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NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIPTION:
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

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REQUEST FOR DONATIONS FOR OPERATION FUNDS TO
KEEP OUR OFFICES OPEN


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.

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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