Federal Recognition of Tribes: Why it matters

This December, the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians became the 574th federally recognized tribe after more than a hundred years of fighting for recognition. Prior to federal recognition, Little Shell was the sole Montana state-recognized tribe. If you want to learn more about the long road to recognition, the Great Falls Tribune wrote an article.

The difference between federal and state recognition of tribal nations is important, and the relationship between these governments is best understood in terms of the federal trust responsibility.

Community Health Aide Program: Frequently Asked Questions

During the 2019 legislative session, the Montana Legislature passed HB 599, which allows community health aides to provide care under the Indian Health Service Community Health Aide Program in Montana. While there is still uncertainty around what CHAP and its implementation could look like in Montana, this report answers some frequently asked questions about the program.

Native American Heritage Month: Why Voting Rights and Representation Matter

Congress has designated November as National Native American Heritage Month to celebrate American Indian culture and heritage each year since 1994. This year President Trump also proclaimed November 2019 as National American History and Founders Month, which pushes to erase American Indians and the first nations of this continent from the historical narrative. During this month and every month, it is necessary to recognize and celebrate indigenous peoples’ ongoing existence and contributions.

Honoring American Indian Veterans this Veteran’s Day

Veteran’s Day is a day to recognize and honor those who have served in the U.S. armed forces. Montana has one of the highest ratio of veterans to population in the country and is home to approximately 98,300 veterans. Of these veterans, 3.5 percent are American Indian. Nationwide, more than 150,000 living American Indians and Alaska Natives are veterans, and they serve in the U.S.

MBPC Hosts State-Tribal Policy Convening in Missoula

On September 10 and 11, MBPC brought together partners from Montana, the District of Columbia, and ten other states for a two-day event, “Collective Advancement: Building Partnerships and Policy in Indian Country,” hosted in partnership with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

As a member of the State Priorities Partnership (SPP), a network of more than 40 independent, nonprofit research and policy organizations situated across the United States, MBPC is currently the only state partner with a dedicated State-Tribal Policy focus.

Equal Pay Day for American Indian Women Is Six Months Behind National Equal Pay Day

Equal Pay Day for American Indian women is September 23, 2019. It marks the amount of time an American Indian woman has to work into 2019 to make in wages what a white man made in 2018 for the same occupation—a full nine months later.

The gender wage gap affects all women, regardless of income, educational attainment, occupation, and job sector.

Updates from the First State-Tribal Relations Interim Committee Meeting

On Monday, August 26, the State-Tribal Relations Committee (STRC) held its first meeting of the interim. During the 2001 legislative session, the Montana Legislature passed Senate Bill (SB) 10, which established the STRC. SB 10 outlined the STRC’s responsibilities as: Acting as a liaison with tribal governments; Encouraging state-tribal and local government-tribal cooperation; Conducting interim […]

Food Sovereignty: Reclaiming Food Systems

The consequences of colonization on indigenous peoples and nations are well-documented and far-reaching, and food is no exception. As colonists and the federal government forcibly removed indigenous peoples from their homelands to largely remote areas, indigenous peoples often lost access to a variety of food sources.

In many cases where food became inaccessible because of forced relocation from homelands, the federal government provided rations that were often culturally inappropriate and lacking nutritional value, like flour and lard, for example.

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2019: Year of Indigenous Languages

Indigenous peoples make up less than 5 percent of the world’s population but speak a majority of the world’s 7,000 languages. According to the United Nations (UN), the majority of languages disappearing are indigenous, where approximately one indigenous language disappears every two weeks.