Jon Tester

The tribal seal for the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
Little Shell Tribe / Montana Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians

 

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed the $738 billion national defense spending bill and with it, federal recognition of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

Kayla Desroches / Yellowstone Public Radio News

Correction December 12, 2019: This article has been updated to include that Sen. Jon Tester is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Environmental advocates and political leaders across Montana are pushing for full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund at $900 million, an amount the country hasn’t been close to since 1998.

Every member of The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs pictured together during the legislative hearing.
U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs / U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

 

The U.S. Senate will consider expanding access to healthcare for Native American veterans and streamline the hiring process for tribal law enforcement. That’s after two bills passed out of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Wednesday.

A photo of Lawrence VanDyke taken in 2015.
Jessie Mazur

The Senate has confirmed a top Justice Department lawyer with ties to Montana as a federal appeals court judge, despite a “not qualified” rating from the American Bar Association and sharp opposition from his home-state senator.

The tribal seal for the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
Little Shell Tribe / Montana Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians


The Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians is poised to get federal recognition any day now. Once the must-pass defense bill clears Congress, the Montana tribe will receive a land base and be eligible for federal funds after a generations-long struggle.

A bill proposing to settle long disputed water rights claims between the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and the federal government includes a massive new bargaining chip: transferring the National Bison Range to control of the tribes. U.S. Senator Steve Daines is expected to introduce a bill to do that as early as this week.

Montana Senator Steve Daines and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes announced Thursday that they have come to a new agreement that would settle thousands of the tribes’ water rights claims.

Daines says he will introduce legislation next week that, if approved by Congress, will bring more than a decade of negotiation over the tribes’ water rights to an end. Daines was not available for an interview, but provided this recorded comment.

A scubadiver holds a rock covered in quagga mussels on Lake Michigan in 2017.
Nicky Ouellet / Yellowstone Public Radio

Montana’s U.S. Senators on Wednesday introduced a bill aimed at stopping the spread of aquatic invasive species like zebra and quagga mussels. They have the potential to devastate hydro-electric systems and public water pipes and take over lakes.

A welcome sign for Crow Country.
Olivia Reingold / Yellowstone Public Radio

 

As Attorney General William Barr visited Montana to unveil his plan to address the crisis of missing people in Indian Country, a tribe across the state has declared an emergency over what they say is a lack of policing on their reservation.

U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs / U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

 

The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs advanced two bills this week that aim to beef up law enforcement’s response to the missing persons crisis in Indian Country.

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