Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte is urging his peers to grant the Little Shell Tribe in Montana federal recognition.
Gianforte, Montana’s lone U.S. House representative, is trying to make sure that an amendment to federally recognize the Little Shell Tribe makes it into the final version of the national defense act.
On Thursday, Gianforte submitted a letter to the House Armed Services Committee, asking leadership to keep Little Shell recognition in the legislation as the House and Senate reconcile the differences between their bills.
Gianforte wrote, “The Little Shell people have waited long enough. It is time to give them the overdue recognition they deserve.”
Congress has granted federal recognition to 23 other tribes since 1960, according to Gianforte.
Last fall, he introduced a Little Shell recognition bill. It passed the House in March before failing in the Senate.
Now instead of a stand-alone bill, he’s hoping the must-pass defense bill can carry it across the finish line. It’s considered so vital to government operations that it has to be enacted. Congress has passed it for over five decades now.
Olivia Reingold is Yellowstone Public Radio’s Report for America corps member.