Tribal Issues

Little Shell Portraits: John Gilbert

Jun 18, 2020
A photo of John Gilbert taken on March 22, 2020.
Evan Bartel

After the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians gained federal recognition six months ago, students from the University of Montana School of Journalism talked at length with tribal members about what that means to them. In this story, student Evan Bartel introduces former chairman of the tribe, John Gilbert.

A poster for the short film "Iniskim"
Courtesy Daniel Glick

A film made on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and starring Miss Blackfeet has won a major award.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes launched a social media campaign last week aimed at local kids, who tribal leaders fear aren’t taking the risk of COVID-19 seriously.

A herd of bison roam on lands owned by the American Prairie Reserve, a sprawling wildlife reserve in northeastern Montana.
Nate Hegyi / Mountain West News Bureau

A privately funded nonprofit that manages a nature reserve in northeast Montana is offering bison harvest opportunities for the fourth time.

A graph showing analysis of runaway Indigenous juveniles taken on June 3, 2020.
Montana Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force

Montana’s Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force reconvened on June 3 for the first time since April to review their work to date and go over future goals, including an upcoming legislative report due this fall.

A screenshot of the memebrs of the 2019 Montana American Indian Caucus taekn on June 3, 2020.
Montana State Legislature

Following Montana’s June 2 primary 15 Native American candidates will continue onto the general election. That includes a candidate for the statewide position of state auditor.

A photo taken on September 28, 2010 of the Blackfeet Nation Tribe sign
Loco Steve / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Native American tribes in Montana are beginning to use federal funds to bolster their response to the novel coronavirus.

The Crow Tribe announced they received $25 million from the U.S. Treasury. The Little Shell Chippewa Tribe received $25 million, per Chairman Gerald Gray. According to the office of Sen. Steve Daines, the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux tribes received over $24 million.

Montana Legislature


Last week the Montana State-Tribal Relations Committee sent out a letter asking the public to respect and comply with travel restrictions the state’s tribal governments have adopted to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

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

The U.S. Treasury Department says it will begin distributing billions in coronavirus relief funding to tribes. The announcement Tuesday comes more than a week after a congressional deadline to get $8 billion to tribal governments.

A woman uses chalk to write the words "No more missing women".words 'No more missing sisters' at Vancouvers Womens Memorial March
Jen Castro / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Montana’s Department of Justice has been analyzing data on missing persons in the state and released its findings on May 5.