Tribal Issues

Montana’s Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force met for a third time  in Billings Friday, Sept. 27.

Charyl Eagle came to the meeting to make sure task force members address how meth and human trafficking might affect Montana’s high rate of missing indigenous people.

Steve Daines talks about the issue of broadband the tribes are facing
Screengrab courtesy of Senator Steve Daines' staff

Lawmakers and tribal representatives urged the Federal Communications Commission to do more to expand broadband access in Indian Country this week. 

A documentary debuting this fall will attempt to show how the high rate of missing and murdered indigenous women is impacting tribes, families and communities in Montana. The film is aimed at calling policy makers to action.

Apsaalooke Nights Casino
Olivia Reingold / Yellowstone Public Radio


The Crow Legislature is considering a bill that would introduce alcohol on the Tribe’s Reservation. It’s part of a plan to revitalize the Crow economy with casino dollars.

Sheild of the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe
Little Shell Tribe /

Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte is urging his peers to grant the Little Shell Tribe in Montana federal recognition.

Left: Misty LaPlant, Right: Tina Chamberlain
Montana Department of Justice

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox announced Monday he’s hired two specialists to help address the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women.

A solar farm
Michael Mees/FLICKR (CC BY 2.0)

The Northern Cheyenne Nation received a $2 million dollar federal grant this summer to build a new solar farm. It’s part of the Tribe’s decision to invest in renewable energy over mining their rich coal deposits.

People stand in a group waiting for the conference to begin.
Olivia Reingold / Yellowstone Public Radio


The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes were exploring the link between human trafficking and missing and murdered indigenous people at a conference last week.

YPR News’ Olivia Reingold was there. She shared her reporting with Nicky Ouellet.

Nicky Ouellet: This is the third and last day of the conference on Missing and Murdered Indigenous People, hosted at Salish Kootenai College on the Flathead Reservation. What have you learned about the scope of this issue?

Update: 8 p.m., Sept. 4, 2019

The Missing and Endangered Person Advisory for Tabitha Gopher has been canceled. Tabitha was located and is safe, according to the Rocky Boy Police Department.


If you have any information on Tabitha Gopher, please contact:

Rocky Boy Police Department (406) 395-4513 or call 9-1-1

Help Find Montana’s Missing - Montana Missing Persons Clearinghouse (406) 444-2800

Sticky notes list risk factors for sex trafficking
Olivia Reingold / Yellowstone Public Radio

On Tuesday the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes kicked off a missing and murdered indigenous peoples conference to raise awareness about the work being done to understand the scope of the issue both on the reservation and in the state. Yellowstone Public Radio News’ Olivia Reingold is covering the conference and shared her reporting with Nicky Ouellet.