Great news (or is it?) for the Little Shell Tribe of Montana. It would appear that nothing can prod a Senator pandering for votes into action faster than a close Senate race. On August 2 Senator “No Earmarks Ever” Tester brought SB 546 to the floor to be read and referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs. SB546, sponsored by Tester, extends Federal recognition to the Little Shell Chippewa Indians of Montana. The bill allows that the Tribe and each member would now be eligible for all services and benefits provided by the United States to other recognized tribes even though they don’t have an actual reservation. The bill directs the Secretary of Interior to acquire trust title to 200 acres of land to be used as a tribal Homeland base. The bill also allows for future additional land that the Secretary of Interior may acquire for the benefit of the tribe pursuant to the Indian Reorganization Act.
Way to lock up those Little Shell votes Jon but is this really what is in the best interests of the Little Shell people? It would seem to me that we are taking a group of people that have been independent and self sufficient for over a century and are now attempting to place them in a system that has obviously been a failure for other Indian peoples of Montana. Don’t we learn anything from past mistakes? I don’t know what the solution is but this isn’t it.
Read the text of SB 546 here